MahaShivaratri or the ‘The Night of Shiv’ is celebrated throughout the country & most of the part of the world especially by Hindu community & People who believe in Lord Shiv, one of the deities of Hindu Trinity. MahaShivratri is an auspicious & important festival of Hindus. This day usually falls month of February – March as per English Calendar. MahaShivratri is also known as “Shivratri” in some part of country. In Nepal also MahaShivratri celebrated with great belief & devotion at famous “Pashupatinath” temple.
According mythology, one of the most popular legends, MahaShivaratri marks the wedding day of Lord Shiv & Parvati. Some believe that it was on the auspicious night of MahaShivaratri that Lord Shiv performed the ‘Tandav’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation & destruction. Another popular MahaShivratri Story stated in Linga Purana states that it was on Shivaratri that Lord Shiv manifested himself in the form of a “Ling”. Hence the day is considered to be extremely auspicious by Shiv devotees & they celebrate it as Mahashivaratri – the grand night of Shiv. Mythology also says this is the day when Shiv merged with Mount Kailash. In yog, Shiva is not considered to be a god. He is seen as the “AdiGuru” or first Guru & the “AdiYogi” or first Yogi. He is seen as the spine from which all spiritual knowledge on the planet originated.
On this day devotees visit the nearest Shiv temple to give ritual bath to the “Shiv-Ling” with milk, honey and water & also offer “Bael” leafs. And Chant “OM Namah Shivay” mantra as per their belief. Worship of Lord Shiv continues all through the day & night. Every three hours priests perform ritual pooja of Shiv-Ling with milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar & water amidst the chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya” and ringing of temple bells. For Indian women, MahaShivratri is an auspicious festival. Most of women observe fast & offer prayers to Lord Shiv & Parvati to shower their grace for their peaceful & blissful married life. Many devotees observe strict fast in honor of Shiv, though many go on a diet of fruits & milk some don’t consume even a drop of water. Nightlong “Jaagran” is also observed in Shiv temples. Devotees strongly believe that sincere worship of Lord Shiv on the auspicious day of MahaShivaratri, absolves a person of sins & liberates him from the cycle of birth & death.
“Om Namah Shivay” !!! “Om Namah Shivay” !!! “Om Namah Shivay” !!!
Author : Prafful Sarda (Entrepreneur, Columnist & RTI Activist)
Co-Author : Kapeel Mutha (Businessman & Devotee of Lord Shiv)
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