As many cities in India gasp for a breath of clean air, the devotees and priests in Varanasi were seen covering the face of the deity Shiva with a mask. This comes as many cities and towns in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi have been suffering from an incessant spell of heavy air pollution. The air pollution is a result of multiple disruptions to the environment and nature ranging from smog, stubble burning, cracker bursting, and other things. Although the government in Delhi is trying to curb the air pollution by reintroducing Odd-Even and abstaining from cracker bursting and construction activities, the PM2.5 level in the air seems is becoming uncontrollable day by day.
The Supreme Court of India had banned all the construction activities in the National Capital Region as they declared a public health emergency in the region till November 5. While all this is happening all over the country the priests and devotees of Lord Shiva in Varanasi were seen covering the lingam of the deity with a mask. One of the prominent forms that lord Shiva is worshipped in is a lingam structure. This is a black stone that is erected on the surface called Yoni.
In the pictures released by the news agency ANI, it is seen that the lingam of Lord Shiva was covered with a mask. The priests are standing behind the lingam donning a mask themselves. A signboard outside the Shiva temples says, “Keep the air pollution in Control”. The devotees of Lord Shiva said that since the air pollution in the city is on a rise there was a need to protect the lord Shiva too. Citing this reason, the devotees added that they have put a mask on the lingam to protect “Bhole Baba” from “poisonous air”. They asserted that they have faith in their god and if he is safe from the polluted air, the lord will keep them safe too.
The 'Shivling' at the Tarkeshwar Mahadev Temple in Varanasi is covered with a mask. Devotees say,"the air is polluted in the city & to save 'Bhole Baba' from this poisonous air we have put on the mask. We believe if he is safe, we will remain safe." pic.twitter.com/gNPcj0ETZO— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) November 7, 2019