Shivratri (Herath) 2019
“Shivratri, literally the night of Lord Shiva is one of the most important occasions of the Hindu calendar. It typically falls on each year on the fourteenth day/night of the dark half of the month of Phalguna (Feb-Mar) that’s considered to be the most auspicious of festivals by Kashmiri Hindus.
Sharika Foundation organized the Mahashivratri / Hearth pooja in Canada for the first time and celebrated in presence of over hundred families on 2nd March 2019 at Vishnu Temple, Richmond Hill, Ontario.
Everyone was served hot piping Kehwa (Green tea), Luchis (Bread) and Nadeer Monj (Lotus stem fritters) on their arrival in dining hall. The Pooja started with Abhishek of Shivling with milk amidst chanting of “Rudraastkam” and “hyms” by the temple priests. Followed by Kashmiri bhajans and Aarti in which everyone took part with great devotion and fervour. As per Kashmiri tradition ladies were given Noon, Doyn and Athgath (Salt packet, Walnuts and some Cash) as Naivideya. Towards the end Preetibhoj (dinner and prasad) was served that was equally enjoyed and shared by each and everyone.”
Daily Bread Food Bank 2019
‘KP Community Volunteering/Donations for Daily Bread Food Bank, Toronto.’
While Canada is one of the developed nations in the world, still more than 800,000 people in Canada – over 35% of them children and youth – go to the Food Banks every month to access food and make ends meet.
With a view to making some tangible contribution to alleviating the needs of hungry and poor, Sharika Foundation decided to organise a Kashmiri Hindus’ community volunteering event in association with Daily Bread Food Bank, Toronto – One of the largest food banks in Canada – on Saturday, 2nd February 2019.
The response from the Kashmiri Hindus to community volunteering event was overwhelming. We had over 28 people from the community – which was maximum no of volunteers allowed by Daily bread on that day – volunteering to help Daily Bread Food Bank in packing, sorting and bagging food products as well as donating food items like Baby Food and formula; Peanut butter; Canned fish and meat; Canned fruits and vegetables; cans of soups and stew; rice grains, lentils, beans etc.
Our strong Kashmiri Hindus community donated more than 350 pounds of food items which were collected by the community volunteers for donation to Daily Bread Food Bank on the day of the event.
So, on Saturday, 2nd February 2019 at 10’o clock in the morning, community volunteers spent two hours providing voluntary service to Daily Bread Food Bank and donating various food items for the needy and hungry. They unpacked all the food items from the big boxes, sorted all the food items in various food categories bins that included checking the expiry dates for the foodstuff and then repacking in smaller boxes for shipments to the various branches of the Daily Bread Food Bank.
The Community volunteering event was a big success and highly appreciated by the members of the community. We are attaching some pictures of the event below.
Amarnath Yatra 2018 (ICE SHIV LINGAM)
Amarnath Yatra known primarily as ‘Chhari Mubarak’, the saffron-robed holy mace of Lord Shiva, was usually taken to the ancient ‘Sharika-Bhawani’ temple on the Hari Parbat hillock in downtown area of Srinagar city for offering special prayers as per the age-old customs.
Carried by a group of sadhus and devotees, the holy mace was taken to the temple to pay obeisance to the Goddess on the occasion of ‘Shravan Shukla PakshaPradipada’ ‘Sharika-Bhawani’, popularly known as ‘Tripursundari’ amongst the mystics, is believed to be ‘Isht Devi’ (Presiding Deity) of the Srinagar city who manifested herself in a figure of ‘Shila’ (holy rock) at Hari-Parbat. Sadhus, usually, prayers conducted for well-being and everlasting peace for Jammu and Kashmir.
It’s said that the rituals connected with ‘Chhari-Sthapana’ are performed at Shri Amareshwar Temple, Srinagar and after performing the rituals, the holy mace would be kept in the temple for ‘Darshan’ till it leaves for main course of pilgrimage.Something similar will be initiated tomorrow.
FIRST TIME EVER in Canada, Sharika Foundation in association with, Hindu Heritage Centre, Mississauga ON, organised, as per the age-old traditions of ‘AmarnathYatra’ known primarily as ‘Chhari Mubarak’ on the occasion of ‘Shravan Shukla PakshaPradipada’. Hundreds and thousands of devotees / followers gathered at Hindu Heritage Centre temple and participated in Parikrama (go round) in the very presence of the saffron-robed ‘Holy mace (Trishul)’ of Lord Shiva decorated with Rudraksh and flowery garland.
A special color-changing “ICE SHIV LINGAM” was erected to pay obeisance for well being and everlasting Universal Peace. The chanting of Shiv sutras continued while devotees were guided for ‘Lingam Abheshek Mantras’ by the Head priest.
Later, Kashmiri aarti and prayers were offered and all present were feeling overwhelmed and mesmerized singing along. Head priest had his discourse on the significance of AmarnathYatra and the universal recogination of it’s spiritual meaning which was very well engaging and thought provoking.
As at the closing end of the celebration, a ‘Holy feast (Preetibhoj)’ was offered to all present and everyone expressed their entire satisfaction.
Annual Havan 2018
Sharika Foundation had the pleasure to be a key sponsor and made significant donation towards the proceeds of annual ‘Havan’ ceremony at Vaishno Devi Temple,Oakville ON which usually is conducted by our own Kashmiri Overseas Association Canada (KOAC).
Havan, also known as homa or homam, is a Sanskrit word that refers to any ritual wherein offerings are made into a consecrated fire. It is believed that Havan has a purifying effect on both the devotee who makes the offerings and the environment.
Through the process of chanting of mantras and making offerings to the fire, one’s subconscious mind are re-energized, creating a revitalizing and rejuvenating effect for both the body and mind.