|Posted on February 19, 2015 at 3:05 AM|
The festival of Maha Shivratri is celebrated with great religious fervour all over India. This festival has a great importance in the lives of Hindus, especially Shiva followers who await this spiritual night every year. On the 14th New Moon of Maagha (Hindu month of Jan. & Feb.) and Phalgun ( Hindu month of Feb. & March.) as per the Hindu Calender on the Chaturdashi of Krishnapaksha. Mahashivratri falls on the 14th day of every lunar month, the day before the Amavasya or new Moon is referred to as Shivratri of the twelve shivratris, that occur in the calender year, the one that occurs in the lunar month is called Mahashivratri because it is most powerful.
Puranas associate the origin of this day with different events, some associate Mahashivratri as a night when lord Shiva did Tandava, other associate it as the when he drank the poisonous drink "HALAHAL" and came to be known as "NEELKANTH". There are others who believe it as the night when he got married to Goddess Parvati while some believe it as a birth day of Lord Shiva when he came in the form of lingam.
The main rituals involve purification, virtue and enlightenment.
It starts with bathng the lingam with milk, curd, honey, ghee and water. Later, the leaves of Bel fruits, betel leaves, flowers and fruit like dhaturas and baer are placed around lingam.
Sandalwood paste is applied on the lingam.
Incense sticks and/or dhoop are burt along with ghee lamp.
Hymns and mantras are recited which are concluded with Shiva arti.
FOOD AND FASTING:-
Thesignificance of this festival is beneficial to married and unmarried women and all those who want to fulfill their desires. Many devotees keep fast on this day till 6 A.M. till next day and start their day with the worship of Lord Shiva.
The other thing which is important is the procedure of fasting where you can have saatvik food lke sabudana,phalahaar, bhang, thandai, for dinner. Wearing a rudraksha mala is considered to be very auspicious as rudraksha beads are supposed to have been originated from the tears of Lord Shiva.
There is constant recitation of " OM NAMAH SHIVYA" and "MAHAMRITYUNJAY" Jap
RELEVANCE OF MAHASHIVRATRI:-
Keeping fast and worshipping the lingam after taking bath grants the blessing of Lord Shiva and the person is said to achieve "MOKSHA". The worshpping of Lord Shiva helps in attaining liberation from all past sins and awakens spiritually. It helps in stengthening the body, mind and soul & guiding us towards enlightenment and happiness. This day marks the union of SHIVA and SHAKTI, the Godess of Energy.
Acharya Ajay Mohan Lal.