Today, as mark of Mahashivaratri being celebrated across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate a 112-foot-tall statue of Lord Shiva in Coimbatore built by the Isha Foundation of Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.
Though environmentalists protested that the statue is an ecological threat to the area, the Isha Foundation denied allegations and said the stature in the form of Shiva’s face looking at the sky "symbolises liberation, representing the 112 ways in which one can attain the ultimate through the science of yoga. For the first time in the history of humanity, Adiyogi introduced the idea that the simple laws of nature are not permanent restrictions. If one is willing to strive, one can go beyond all limitations and attain liberation, moving humanity from assumed stagnation to conscious evolution," it said in a statement.
Jaggi Vasudev said, "As philosophies, ideology, belief systems that don’t stand the test of logic and the scientific verification will naturally collapse in coming decades, you will see the longing for liberation will rise. When that longing rises, Adiyogi and the science of Yoga will become very important."
The local tribal representatives have voiced their apprehension that several irregularities were found in the project and in some cases permission was obscured with different construction.
Apart from this, Maha Shivaratri is being celebrated all over India and Nepal today. Though Shivaratri falls on every luni-solar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month’s 13th night /14th day, once a year in late winter (February/March, or Phalguna) and before the arrival of spring, Maha Shivaratri comes. It literally means "the Great Night of Shiva".
Legend goes that on this day, Lord Shiva drank the Halahala poison churned up from the Samudra Manthan to eliminate its destructive capacity. Shocked by his act, Parvati squeezed his neck and stopped it in his neck to prevent it from spreading all over the universe, supposed to be in Shiva’s stomach. He remained awake the whole night and was fasting so that the pioson would not reach his stomach. However the poison was so potent that it changed the color of his neck to blue. In remembrance of his sacrifice, the day is observed by his devotees who remain fasting the whole day and also keep awake in the night called "Jagaran".
The ardent devotees visit one of the Shiva temples or go on pilgrimage to Jyotirlingams spread over the country.