This Russian is staunch Shiv devout

While lakhs of devotees from different parts of the country reached Varanasi, the permanent abode of Lord Shiva, to attend the wedding function of the presiding deity– the Mahashivratri celebration– `Dinanath from MoscowRussia)’ also arrived for the 13th consecutive year to attend this celebration.

“I come to the city only on the occasion of Mahashivratri. This is my 13th visit to this holy place,” said Dinanath, who was known as Damitri before 1998. Born in 1967 in Moscow, Dinanath knew about Lord Shiva when he was attracted towards ayurved while studying in a medical college in his country. He recalled: “During the studies of ayurved, I not only knew about Lord Shiva but also studied a lot about other Hindu deities.” Dinanath considers Sadguru Shivay Subramaniam Swami of Sri Lanka as his Guru (teacher).

He studied three books of Swami on `Shaiv Siddhanta’ and decided to adopt the same sect of Shiavism. “During meditation, I had a `Sakshatkar’ (interview) with my Guru,” he said, claiming he had never met his ‘guru’ in person. The developments had taken place before 1998 when the decision to change his original name was taken. He said he got attracted to Hinduism and Lord Shiva in the age of 26 when his married life also ended. Since then, he had been leading his life as a `Bramhchari’, he said. Dinanath’s attraction towards Lord Shiva also inspired his parents.

“After the death of my mother, I cremated her body in Moscow but came to Varanasi with her ashes for immersion in the Ganga,” he said and added with such developments, he continued his study of Sanskrit, Vedas and other literature on Lord Shiva. He said it was his 47th visit to India. “Initially, I visited the shrine in Himalayan valley. But, till now I have visited almost all the shrines known as the abode of Lord Shiva,” said the Russian devotee.

Dinanath, who has given a shape of temple to his house, has also translated many religious literatures in Russian but has published only four of them including `Shiv Sahastranam Strot’. He runs six-hour course on Sanskrit Vipashyana at his house that also attracts many non-resident Indians. Dinanath, who had begun his ‘Mahashivratri vrat’ (fast) in Onkaleshar (Madhya Pradesh) from where he collected the water of Narmada river to offer at Kashi Vishwanath temple here on Wednesday, has his travel agency while he is also engaged in the trade of publishing books to earn livelihood. “I am into tour and travel business in countries like IndiaIndonesia and Nepal only,” said Dinanath, who consider that neither he is a `Grihasth’ nor a `Sanyasi’. He said his only mission was to make people aware of `Shiv’ and `Shaivism’.

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