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MahaShivratri Stories

Significance

Significance


Maha Shivaratri is a most propitious and important festival of Hindus, as per Hindu festival calendar Maha Shivaratri the event of grand night of Lord Shiva is usually commence on the 13th or 14th day in the Krishna Paksha every year on the month of Phalguna or Maagh.

Shivratri (Sanskrit 'ratri' = night) is the night when he is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. The festival is observed for one day and one night only.

As per legends the Maha Shivaratri is considered to the symbol that marks the wedding ceremony day of Lord Shiva and Parvati and the day that Lord Shiva danced "Thandava the representation of creation, Protection and devastation. According to Shiva/Linga Purana it is been said that the day Maha Shivaratri is celebrating the manifestation of Lord Shiva in the form of Linga.


Reasons to celebrate Maha Shivaratri:

The absolute formless God, Sadashiv appeared in the form of"Lingodbhav Moorti" exactly at midnight on Maha Shivratri. That is why all Shiva devotees keep vigil during the night of Shivratri and do"Shivlingam abhishekham" (coronation of the phallic idol) at midnight.

Lord Shiva was married to Devi Parvati on Shivratri. Remember Shiva minus Parvati is pure 'Nirgun Brahman'. With his illusive power, (Maya, Parvati) He becomes the "Sagun Brahman" for the purpose of the pious devotion of his devotees.

It is also believed that on Shivratri, Lord Shiva became 'Neelkantham' or the blue-throated by swallowing the deadly poison that came up during the churning of "Kshir Sagar" or the milky ocean. The poison was so deadly that even a drop in His stomach, which represents the universe, would have annihilated the entire world. Hence, He held it in His neck, which turned blue due to the effect of poison. Shivratri is therefore also a day of thanksgiving to the Lord for protecting us from annihilation.


A Festival Significant for Women:

Shivratri is considered especially auspicious for women. Married women pray for the well being of their husbands and sons, while unmarried women pray for an ideal husband like Shiva, who is the spouse of Kali, Parvati and Durga. But generally it is believed that anyone who utters the name of Shiva during Shivratri with pure devotion is freed from all sins. He or she reaches the abode of Shiva and is liberated from the cycle of birth and death.

Shivaratri Fast

Shivaratri Fast is considered to be the most important fast for the devotees of Lord Shiva. Shiva Purana goes on to say that if a devotee observes Shivaratri Vrata with sincerity, pure devotion and love he is blessed with the divine grace of Lord Shiva. Every year devotees observe Maha Shivaratri fast with devotion and sincerity. Though many go on a diet of fruits and milk, some do not consume even a drop of water all through the day and night of Shivaratri Festival.


About

About


History of Shivaratri or MahaShivratri

According to one, during the samudra manthan, a pot of poison emerged from the ocean. This terrified the Gods and demons as the poison was capable of destroying the entire world, and they ran to Shiva for help. To protect the world from its evil effects, Shiva drank the deathly poison but held it in his throat instead of swallowing it. This made his throat turn blue, and he was given the name Neelakantha, the blue-throated one. Shivaratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world.

According to another legend in the Shiva Purana, once the other two of the triads of Hindu Gods, Brahma and Vishnu, were fighting over who was the superior of the two. Horrified at the intensity of the battle, the other gods asked Shiva to intervene. To make them realize the futility of their fight, Shiva assumed the form of a huge column of fire in between Brahma and Vishnu. Awestruck by its magnitude, they decided to find one end each to establish supremacy over the other. Brahma assumed the form of a swan and went upwards and Vishnu as Varaha went into the earth. But light has no limit and though they searched for thousands of miles, neither could find the end. On his journey upwards, Brahma came across a Ketaki flower wafting down slowly. When asked where she had come from, the Ketaki replied that she had been placed at the top of the fiery column as an offering. Unable to find the uppermost limit, Brahma decided to end his search and take the

At this, the angry Shiva revealed his true form. He punished Brahma for telling a lie, and cursed him that no one would ever pray to him. The Ketaki flower too was banned from being used as an offering for any worship, as she had testified falsely. Since it was on the 14th day in the dark half of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is especially auspicious and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri. Worshipping Shiva on this day is believed to bestow one with happiness and prosperity.

How to Worship Lord Shiva on Maha Shivratri:

Devotees bathe the Shivalinga with milk especially auspicious for women. According to one myth, Parvati performed tapas, and prayed and Parvati meditated on this day to ward off any evil that may befall her husband on the moonless night. Since then, Mahashivaratri is also believed to be an auspicious occasion for women to pray for the well-being of their husbands and sons.

Devotees bathe at sunrise, preferably in the Ganga, or any otherholy water source (like the Shiva Sagartank at Khajurao). They offer prayers to the sun, Vishnu and Shiva. This is a purificatory rite, an important part of all Hindu festivals. Wearing a clean piece of clothing after the holy bath, worshippers carry pots of water to the temple to bathe the Shivalinga. The temple reverberates with the sound of bells and shouts of "Shankerji ki Jai" or 'Hail Shiva'. Devotees circumambulate the linga, three or seven times, and then pour water over it. Some also pour milk.

Offerings :

Sweets, Clothes, Flowers, Fruits, Betel nut, Bael Patra, Paan , Coconut

Place Lingam so that Yoni faces north and you are facing the West face of the Lingam and looking towards East. You need to sit on an Asan of wool/ Kusha. It is best to do Pooja of Lord Shiva while wearing Rudraksha on your body as it is His favorite bead. Sprinkle water over yourself and all items of Puja chanting.

Mantras:

Om Apavitrah Pavitro Va Sarva Vastan Gatopi Va
Yah Smaret Pundari Kaksham Sa Bahya Bhyantarah Shuchi

Meaning:May all things unholy become holy, may all lower tendencies depart, just as soon as we transcend may within and without be purified!


Do & Don't

Do & Don't


Do:

  • Should awake the Whole Night of MahaShivrathri to get Blessing from Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi
  • Pray to Lord Shiva and Maa Shakti (Parvati) on the day of MahaShivratri to have a happy married life.
  • Observe fasting on the occasion of MahaShivratri
  • Visit nearby Shiva temple on the day of MahaShivratri

Don't s:
  • Must avoid eating Non Veg on the day of MahaShivaratri.
  • Don't involve in any wrong doings.
  • Don't let your leg into the holy water . Splash holy water on top of your head . Should not put the stone in the holy water
  • Get around the temple should not be faster
  • Dont talk to anyone in the temple .
  • Do not fire Camphor in front of Thiruvadikal
  • Dont See the God while doing Nivetanam



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