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Nepali Army Celebrates Army Day on Auspicious Occasion of Mahashivaratri

March 8, 2024
Nepali Army Celebrates Army Day

The Nepali Army (NA) is marking Army Day today, a celebration that coincides with the significant Hindu festival of Mahashivaratri. Security affairs expert Dr. Deepak Prakash Bhatta sees this alignment as more than just a happenstance.

“Lord Shiva embodies awareness and power, and as the god of truth, embodies qualities of calmness and the potential for destruction. This draws parallels between Army Day and Maha Shivaratri, honoring truth and awareness,” Bhatta explains.

The blend of religion and philosophy within the Nepali Army is evident in its history. The NA logo itself features the symbolic trident and damaru (a musical instrument) associated with Lord Shiva. In Hindu philosophy, Shiva embodies creation, preservation, and destruction.

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Further connections exist in the naming of army barracks and companies after deities, and the construction of temples dedicated to goddesses within the barracks themselves. The NA incorporates daily prayers and worship into its routine, with dedicated budgets for such activities, says Brigadier General Santosh Ballav, spokesperson for the Army.

Historian Dinesh Raj Panta offers an alternative perspective, believing the conjunction of Army Day and Mahashivaratri is not coincidental. He maintains that the first Nepalese army troop was established by former king Prithvi Narayan Shah on the day of Shivaratri, leading to the tradition of celebrating Army Day on this festival.

The Nepali Army is widely respected for its dedicated role in maintaining peace, both within Nepal and in conflict zones across the globe.

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