Lord Shiva is known as Neelkanth, Kalyankari, Rudra, Bholenath, Bhole Baba, Shiv Shankar, and many other countless names. He has his devotees around every corner of the world and they celebrate his existence in every particle of the universe. Maha Shivratri is the symbol of overcoming dusk and unawareness in the world.
It falls on the thirteenth night and fourteenth day of the lunisolar month in accordance with the Hindu calendar. Typically, the day occurs in the late winters in the month of February or March each year. Therefore, it marks the end of winter and the beginning of summer.
In the Hindu religion, people devote to God. Nonetheless, Lord Shiva is the king of all Gods because not just human beings but the demons also worshiped him. His simplicity made the greatest Demon King, Ravana to be his biggest devotee.
Lord Shiva is one of the three deities of Hindu religion. However, Maha Shiva is an annual Hindu festival that observes a grand festivity across the world among people of multiple religions. It is a day to commemorate the reunion and marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Apart from being a major festival for Shiva devotees, it is one of the prominent Hindu festivals.
Maha Shivratri is an amalgamation of the sentence which means the great night of Lord Shiva. It is one of the greatest occasions to immerse in the holy chanting of Bholenath.
On Maha Shivratri, devotees indulge in the devotion of Neelkanth and roar together “Har Har Mahadev”, “Om Namah Shivay” and “Bhole Baba ki Jay”. Therefore, the voices of devotees turn the entire surrounding into a grand religious affair.
The legends of Hindu mythology often mention the gain of devoting Lord Shiva. In Hindu culture, chanting of Maha Mrityunjay Mantra of Lord Shiva takes away all the pain, stress, anxiety, and problems. Therefore, worshiping Lord Shiva on the day of Maha Shivratri has a great significance in the life of Hindus.
Also, for people who choose the spiritual path, the festival of Shivratri is a day to dedicate to their Mahakaal. They believe, by worshiping Lord Shiva they can move to the path of righteousness, goodness, and become a better family member because the day of Maha Shivratri is believed to be the day when Lord Shiva marries her beloved Goddess Parvati.
The day of Maha Shivratri holds a tremendous belief for people who believe in the strength of God.
The major customs of Maha Shivratri involves chanting prayers, fasting, meditation, and worship of Lord Shiva.
In accordance with the legends, the greatest way to achieve Lord Shiva’s blessing is honesty, ethics, forgiveness, and non-injury to any being. The zealous Shiva devotees of staying awake all night on Maha Shivratri and offer prayers in front of his worship idols. Their enthusiasm and love for Lord Shiva allow them to perform strict fast and visit his temples and offer prayers to Jyotirlings/ Shivling.
Maha Shivratri is one of those Hindu festivals which have no data about the date of its origin. It is one of the most primeval festivals of Hindu culture.
This festival is celebrated in numerous different forms across the country. In the northern parts of India, devotees observe majestic festivity on the occasion of Maha Shivratri. On the other hand, in the West, people smoothly worship in the temple at this event.
In Kashmir, the festival of Maha Shivratri is known as Har-Ratri and Herath by Kashmiri people. Nevertheless, the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, and West Bengal also celebrate the festival with great zeal.
The festival of Maha Shivratri is mentioned in the Puranas. In Padma Purana, Skanda Purana, and Linga Purana, the significance and fasting of Maha Shivratri have been discussed. The mythological tales mention the worship of Lord Shiva’s Shivling form on this day.
There are several stories behind the celebration of Maha Shivratri. According to legends of Shaivism customs, in ancient time on this night, Lord Shiva performs Tandav, a heavenly dance f preservation, and destruction.
In accordance with another mythological tale, this is the night when Lord Shiva ties a knot of marriage with Goddess Parvati. This is one of the most significant days for the Hindu devotees. Thus, people celebrate the reunion of their divine deities and sing devotional songs.
On the auspicious night of Shivratri, one can hear the chanting of hymn and devotional songs in the honor of Lord Shiva. Most of the people from the country celebrate the day to commemorate their get-together of Shiv-Parvati. However, according to another olden story states, it is the day dedicated to the devotion of Lord Shivas’s worship idol, Shivling.
As per the legend, it is a day when over past the sins and starts a virtuous path by worshipping the Shivling.
The significance of the dance form, the marriage, and worship of Shivling have historical roots. This festival observes grand festivity since ancient time.
Also, in the Hindu culture, an event called Natyanjali is organized in the form of an annual dance festival. Temples like Pattadakal, Modhera, Chidambaram, Khajuraho, and Konark organize this festival. The event is known as Natyanjali which means “worship through dance” because it takes place to worship Lord Shiva and show dedication towards his dance.
In Mudras, in the ancient Hindu text, the performance of this art has mentioned as Natya Shastra. Likewise, on the occasion of Maha Shivratri, at the Khajuraho’s famous temple of Lord Shiva, observes a grand fair including the dance performances.
Lord Shiva is the soul of everything in the universe. The occasion of Maha Shivratri takes place to celebrate the Shiva Tattva. On this day, the devotees and spiritual seekers observe fast, meditate and rejoice the energy of Lord Shiva. The celebration takes place in countless appearances. In temples, a great number of devotees stand in line to pour milk on the Shivling.
The city of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh, observe the most imperial celebration of Maha Shivratri every year. Here people celebrate the occasion with a significant style because Ujjain is the place of Mahakaal. Lord Shiva is the King, the president, and the supreme deity of Ujjain since forever.
As Ujjain is the residence of Neelkanth, the inhabitants of the place don’t give him a chance to feel any lessening in the celebration of his special day. On Maha Shivratri, the entire city organizes grand processions in the honor of Lord Shiva.
Here is a list of everything a person needs for Maha Shivratri Puja-
With a belief of Bholenath would bring goodness, prosperity, and health, devotees observe a strict fast on Maha Shivratri. On this day, fasting excludes the consumption of food that contains salt and grain.
Alongside this, in accordance with the Astrology, there are a few time frames of the year that are favorable for spiritual growth. For the people stepping on the spiritual path, the occasion of Maha Shivratri is one of the best times to begin.
This year, the festival falls on Monday 21st February.
Maha Shivratri Next Five Years-
|Friday|| 8th March||2024|
These were some major details about the festival of Maha Shivratri and you may also like to know about Effects of Rahu in Each House.