Congress president Rahul Gandhi, who calls himself a devotee of lord Shiva, extended his Mahashivratri greetings today."On the occasion of Mahashivratri, my greetings to you all," he tweeted in Hindi, along with a picture of of a snow-clad Mount Kailash. The Congress also shared two 'throwback' pictures - one clicked by Rahul Gandhi himself and the other, of him at a Shiva temple.
In August last year, Rahul Gandhi went on the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra or pilgrimage to seek Lord Shiva's blessings.
The pilgrimage, which took about 12 days, was a follow-up on a vow to himself in April, when his plane had a technical snag and plunged several feet during the campaign for the Karnataka polls.
"Shiva is the universe," Mr Gandhi had tweeted when he began his pilgrimage. The tweet was accompanied by a photo of Mount Kailash. Today, the Congress shared that image with this: "Shiva is the Universe". #Throwback to when Rahul Gandhi went on a pilgrimage to Kailash Mansarovar in Sept 2018."
"A person worshipping you in whatever way, in whatever name reaches you just as the water of all rivers reaches the ocean," the Congress wrote on its Instagram account with a picture of Rahul Gandhi offering prayers at the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain along with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and close aide Jyotiraditya Scindia in October last year.
Soon after his return, when he returned to his constituency of Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, he garlanded a portrait of Lord Shiva. He was welcomed with chants of "bol bam" by Congress supporters dressed as devotees of lord Shiva. He wore a red scarf and accepted a lord Shiva image gifted by supporters. His forehead was smeared with sandalwood paste and a tilak or a red mark.
According to Hindu mythology, Mahashivratri symbolises the last holy bath of Kalpvasis - who spend the month of Magh, the period of austerity, living a minimalistic life.