|Maha Shivaratri calls for a night devoted to worship of Lord Shiva. This event happens to be on the 14th night of the new moon in the month of Phagun. According to popular belief, Lord Shiva is said to have performed the ‘Tandava Nritya’ on this night. Many other legends and beliefs have been associated with this day. Maha Shivaratri holds immense value for Hindus and is a big day for the devotees of Lord Shiva.|
|Significance of Maha Shivaratri
Apart from the significant Tandava performed by Lord Shiva, it is also believed that Lord Shiva married Parvati on this night. It is said that on this night Parvati prayed fervently for the wellbeing of Lord Shiva.Another legend goes that on this day, when Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu had a dispute over the beginning and the end of Lord Shiva, he manifested himself in the form of a ‘Lingum’ to portray that there is no beginning or end to his being.
According to Hindu mythology, when Parvati asked Lord Shiva which ritual he liked best, Lord Shiva proclaimed that the services and rituals performed by his devotees on the 14th night of the Phagun month delighted him the most.
|Rituals of MahashivaratriThe devotees take an early morning bath and swarm the nearby Shiva temple in order to seek blessings from Lord Shiva and make offerings to the deity.The traditional Shiva-Linga puja is performed where the Shiva Linga is given a solemn bath with milk, rose water, curd, ghee, honey and sandalwood paste. The puja is carried out once in every three hours!
People also make offerings of milk, gangaajal (holy water), incense sticks, bel leaves, fruits and flowers. The devotees strictly perform all the rituals of Maha Shivratri as it is considered to be an auspicious day to worship Lord Shiva, and it is believed that they will be cleared of their past sins.
Celebrations of Maha Shivaratri are carried out with married women praying for the wellbeing and long life of their husbands. Also, since Shiva is believed to be an ideal husband, unmarried women pray for a husband like Him.
Keertans and jaagrans (nightlong vigil) are a major highlight which feature chanting, reading of the verses, and singing the praises of Lord Shiva. Chanting of the mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ is very prominent on this day.
One is supposed to remain awake all through the night, on Mahashivratri and keep a night long vigil. Fasting is firmly observed throughout the day and the devotees break their fast early next morning by eating the prasad that was offered to the idol.
Shivan in Small Age
Lord Shivan with Nandhi
Shiva Lingam’s in Karnataka
Lord Shiva & Parvathi
Lord Shiva with Parvathi, Lord Ganesh & Lord Murugan