THE GREAT NIGHT OF THE MIGHTY DESTROYER OF THE UNIVERSE ~ MAHASHIVARATRI !
Maha Shivratri, which literally translates to “great night of Shiva” is a Hindu festival largely celebrated in India as well as in Nepal. The festival is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of Maagha according to the Hindu calendar. The day is celebrated to venerate Lord Shiva, an important deity in Hindu culture.
There are many mythological legends associated with this day.
As per one story of Mahashivaratri, the festival is celebrated to mark the day on which Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati.
It falls on the 13th night of the dark half of the Hindu month of Phalgun. On the occasion of Maha Shivaratri, devotees observe a day-long fast and worship Lord Shiva with great vigor at temples and homes. The Shivratri legend also says that a person who fasts on this day can reap the benefits of a whole year’s rigorous prayers. Women pray to Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri to get a husband as omnipotent as Lord Shiva himself.
According to another legend of Mahashivratri, during the great mythical churning of the ocean – Samudra Manthan conducted by the gods and demons for obtaining nectar to make them immortal, first a pot of poison emerged. The poison was so potent that nobody was ready to even touch it as it had the power to burn up the whole world. It was decided that the only one who could help them get rid of this poison was Lord Shiva. So they all went to him for help, and Shiva promptly agreed to consume the poison. However, the poison was so deadly that even if a drop had entered Lord Shiva’s stomach (his stomach represents the universe), it would have annihilated the whole world. Shiva carefully held the poison in his throat which turned blue due to the effect of the poison, and so he came to be known as Neelkanth. Maha Shivaratri is celebrated as a day of gratitude to Lord Shiva for protecting the world from this deadly poison.
HOW IT IS CELEBRATED :
Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival which is celebrated by people following Hinduism in India. People often fast on the night of Shivratri and sing hymns and praises in the name of Lord Shiva. Hindu temples across the country are decorated with lights and colorful decorations and people can be seen offering night long prayers to Shiva Lingam. Woodapple leaves, cold water and milk are offered to the Shiva Lingam on this day as they are believed to be Lord Shiva’s favourite.
It is believed that the people who fast on this night and offer prayers to Lord Shiva bring good luck into their life. The most popular Maha Shivratri celebrations take place in Ujjain, believed to be the place of residence of Lord Shiva. Large processions are carried out throughout the city, with people thronging the streets to catch a glimpse of the revered idol of Lord Shiva.
THIS YEAR MAHASHIVARATRI IS CELEBRATED ON TOMMOROW 24 FEB,2017 .THE ACCURATE TIMINGS ARE GIVEN BELOW ACCORDING TO ISD :
Mahā Śivarātri (Great night of Śiva) is an annual
celebration in reverence to Lord Śiva Mahādeva. Celebrated on the 14th
day of the waning moon of the 11th month of the Hindu calendar – Māgha
Kṛṣṇa Caturdashi (माघ कृष्ण चतुर्दशी). Widely believed to be the day when Lord Śiva got married to
Other legends associate Mahā Śivarātri with the
day Lord Śiva performed the cosmic dance – taṇḍava, the day He
appeared on the Earth in the form of the sacred Liṅgam. Several other
stories and legends are associated with this day as per the Hindu purāṇas.
People celebrate this day
by performing ablutions at dawn, preferably in some sacred river or kuṇḍ and
worshipping Lord Śiva in the form of a Śivaliṅga with his favourite bilva
leaves. People refrain from eating all day and stay up all night singing
devotional hymns in praise of Lord Śiva after breaking their fast.
The Mahā Śivarātri is
celebrated with great solemnity in the major Śaivite shrines and temples across
India and Nepal.
Legend says the the town of Amber gets it’s name from this incredible 11th Century temple, one of the oldest temple in the city. Built by the Second Kachwaha King Kakil Dev son of Dulha Rai, when he laid the foundation of Amber as the capital of Dhoondar. The temple complex has a variety of smaller temples, with Sheetal Mata and Ganpati to name a few. The Shivling however is much lower to the temple structure and is submerged in water during the monsoon months. It’s an incredible space.
Auspicious festival of Mahashivaratri falls on the 13th or the 14th
night of the new moon during Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Phalgun. This
is the period of waning moon or the dark fortnight and Phalguna corresponds to
the month of February - March in English Calendar. Shivaratri Festival is
celebrated on a moonless night.
According to Hindu mythology, Shivaratri or ‘Shiva’s Great Night’
symbolizes the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
Many however, believe, Shivaratri is the night when Lord Shiva
performed the Tandava Nritya - the dance of primordial creation, preservation
Celebrating the festival in a customary manner, devotees give a ritual
bath to the Lingam with the panchagavya - milk, sour milk, butter and dung.
Celebrations of Shivaratri Festival mainly take place at night.
Devotees of Lord Shiva throng Shiva temples across the country and spend ‘the
Night of Lord Shiva’ by chanting verses and hymns in praise of the Lord.
The festival holds special meaning for the ladies. They pray to Goddess
Parvati also called ′Gaura′, the giver of ′suhag′ for good husbands, marital
bliss and a long and prosperous married life.