Mahakal Temple Sanctum Fire in Ujjain: 14 Including Priest Burnt, Gulal Ignites During Bhasma Aarti; 9 Critical

In a startling incident on Monday morning, a fire erupted within the sanctum sanctorum of the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain during the Bhasma Aarti, leaving 14 individuals, including priests, engulfed in flames. Among them, nine are reported to be in critical condition. 

It is reported that the fire broke out due to the scattering of colored powder (gulal) during the ritual. At the time of the incident, the temple was crowded with thousands of devotees who were participating in the celebration of Holi with Lord Mahakal.

A wounded attendant disclosed that during the Aarti, someone had scattered gulal over Sanjeev, one of the priests performing the ritual, causing him to catch fire. The fire quickly spread across the area where the gulal was scattered. It is speculated that the presence of certain chemicals in the gulal might have triggered the fire.

Use of Flex for Protecting Silver Covering in the Sanctum Sanctorum Leads to Fire at Mahakaleshwar Temple

Despite the precautions taken to protect the silver covering in the sanctum sanctorum of the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain by using flex sheets, a fire broke out, resulting in a chaotic situation. Some individuals attempted to control the fire using fire extinguishers, but it quickly went out of control. 

Unfortunately, during the chaos, thirteen people, including priests Sanjeev, Vikas, Manoj, Sevadhari Anand, and Kamal Joshi, were injured.

Collector Neeraj Singh of Ujjain stated that an investigation into the incident has been ordered. A committee will be formed for this purpose. Some of the injured have been admitted to Ujjain District Hospital, while others are being referred to Indore for further treatment.

The injured have been admitted to the district hospital in Ujjain.

Change in Daily Aarti Timings Starting Tomorrow

Starting tomorrow, there will be a change in the timings of the daily aarti. Today’s evening aarti, scheduled at 4 o’clock, marked the first instance of offering colors and gulal to Lord Mahakal during the Bhasma Aarti. 

From the 26th of March onwards, there will be a change in the timing of the daily aarti.

Daily Bhasma Aarti at Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga

Every day, the sacred Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga, one of the twelve Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva, located in Ujjain, witnesses the ritualistic Bhasma Aarti. During this ceremony, the lingam is adorned with sacred ash (bhasma) as a form of embellishment. 

According to Ujjain’s astrologers and Shiv Puran storyteller Pandit Manish Sharma, Lord Shiva holds a special affection for bhasma, considering it as his primary adornment.

Aarti TIme

While other deities are adorned with gold, silver, diamonds, and pearls for decoration, the manifestation of Lord Shiva is distinctively unique. 

The Great God adorns himself with ashes and serpents. The tradition of the Bhasma Aarti has been ongoing in the Mahakaleshwar Temple for many years, and behind it lies a plethora of revered beliefs and practices.

The Essence of Bhasma Creation

The concept of bhasma creation holds profound significance in Hindu mythology. It symbolizes the essence of creation, signifying that one day the entire universe will dissolve, and all beings will return to ashes, which are then adorned by Lord Shiva. 

This message conveys that when the destruction of the world occurs, the souls of all living beings and the entire creation merge into Lord Shiva. According to scriptures, periodic destruction (pralaya) is a natural phenomenon where everything is destroyed. Afterward, Lord Brahma initiates the process of creation, and this cycle continues perpetually.

How is Bhasma Prepared?

According to the Shiv Puran, the preparation of bhasma involves burning the dried cow dung of Kapila cows, along with leaves of the peepal, banyan, garmalo, and borana trees, in a sacred fire while reciting mantras. 

The ashes produced from these substances are then collected and ground into a fine powder. This powder, prepared in this manner, is applied to the Shivalinga after being mixed with cloth.

Niyati Rao

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