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Maha Shivaratri Festival Story and its Significance

Maha Shivaratri Festival Story and its Significance

Maha Shivaratri Festival Story and its Significance
Maha Shivaratri Festival, Why Do We Celebrate Maha Shivaratri Festival, Maha Shivaratri Festival significance, Maha Shivaratri Festival history, Abhishekam To Shiva Lingam, Maha Shivaratri fasting, Maha Shivaratri Vratam, Maha Shivaratri Pooja

Mahashivratri is an auspicious and important festival of Hindus, especially for the devotees of Lord Shiva who celebrate the religious festival with great enthusiasm. The Mahashivratri festival, also much popular as ‘Shivratri’ or ‘Great Night of Lord Shiva’, is observed on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha every year on the month of Phalguna or Maagh according to the Hindu calendar. Devotees on Mahashivratri throng to temples and holy shrines to offer prayers and please Lord Shiva.

For women, Mahashivratri is an auspicious festival. They observe fast and offer prayers both to Lord Shiva and Parvati to shower their grace with a peaceful and blissful married life.

Significance Of Maha Shivratri

Once when everything in all the worlds got reduced into Lord shiva, in that darkness of nothing present, the mother parvati worshipped Lord shiva in the Agamic way with great devotion. The parameshwar pleased by Her prayer blessed Her. She asked for the benefit of all the creatures that in future whoever worships the Lord on the shiva ratri day with devotion, they should be blessed and should be given the ultimate liberation. The pashupati granted that showing way for all of us to get blessed easily

Numerous interesting and intriguing mythological stories are believed pertaining to the celebration to Mahashivratri.

Maha Shivratri Story 1:
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.

Maha Shivratri Story 2:
On the day of Shivaratri, a hunter, who had killed many birds in a forest, was chased by a hungry lion. The hunter climbed a Bilva tree to save himself from the lion’s attack. The lion waited throughout the entire night at the bottom of the tree for its prey. In order to stay awake to avoid falling from the tree, the hunter kept plucking the leaves of the Bilva tree and dropping them below. The leaves fell on a Shiva Linga that happened to be located at the bottom of the tree. Shiva was pleased by the offering of the Bilva leaves by the hunter, although inadvertently, and saved the hunter in spite of all the sin the hunter had committed by killing the birds. This story emphasizes the auspiciousness of worshipping Shiva with Bilva leaves on Shivaratri.

Maha Shivratri Story 3:
Shivratri is auspicious because it marks the marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva and Parvati.

Maha Shivratri Story 4:
Mahashivratri signifies the auspicious night when Lord Shiva performed the dance ‘Tandava’ that led to the creation, conservation and devastation of the universe.

Maha Shivratri Story 5:
Brahma and Vishnu searched hard to discover the Aadi (beginning) and the Antha (end) of Lord Shiva. It has been believed that on the 14th day in the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna, Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga. Since then, the day is considered to be extremely auspicious and is celebrated as Maha Shivratri – the grand night of Shiva. To celebrate this occasion, devotees of Lord Shiva keeps fast during the day and worship the Lord throughout the night. It is said that worshipping Lord Shiva on Shivratri bestows one with happiness and prosperity.

What to do on Maha Shivaratri?
Keep Fast (If possible). All night vigil. Chant “OM Namahshivaya” all night and pour milk, curd, honey, ghee, sugar, fruit juices, water to shiva linga. The Maha Shivaratri fasting-Vratam begins on the morning of Shivratri and ends next day morning

Below Is The Process Of Maha Shivaratri fasting-Vratam Or Maha Shivaratri fasting Rules:
Devotees wake up before sunrise and take bath and wear clean clothes.

Applying of sacred ash, or vibhuthi, is an important aspect on the day. People also wear a Rudraksha Mala.

The idols of Ganesh, Shiva and Parvati are cleaned and a lamp is lit.

Most people then visit a nearby Shiva temple. In most places, Shivratri is largely observed in temples.

Some people observing fast consume a mid-day meal consisting of non-cereal food.

Most devotees go for a fruit diet and drink lots of water.

No meal is eaten after sunset.

Next meal is taken on the morning of Amavasi after doing puja and giving alms.

The entire night is spend in a nearby Shiva temple or by chanting Mantras or listening to stories related to Shiva.

Some of the important mantras that are chanted on the day include: Shiva Panchakshari Mantra – Om Namah Shivaya or chanting the sacred names of Lord Shiva.

Maha Shivratri Rituals-Pooja
As per Shiva Purana, Shiva worship must incorporate the below:

Bathing the Shiv Linga with water, milk and honey, and Wood apple or bel leaves added to it, represents purification of the soul

The vermilion paste applied on the Shiv Linga after bathing it, represents virtue

Offering of fruits, which is conducive to longevity and gratification of desires

Burning incense, represents yielding wealth

The lighting of the lamp which is conducive to the attainment of knowledge

And betel leaves marking satisfaction with worldly pleasures.

Devotees worship the Lingam throughout the night. It is bathed every three hours with the 5 sacred offerings of a cow, called the ‘panchagavya’ – milk, sour milk, urine, butter and dung. Then the 5 foods of immortality – milk, clarified butter, curd, honey and sugar are placed before the lingam.

We should do abhishekam with :
– juice of sugarcane for Laxmi,
– honey for money,
– with milk for son,
– if  we want to remove trouble from our life. – with continuous pouring of water.
– with ghee for progeny,
– with mustard oil, for enemy trouble
– And with ganga water for moksha.
Dhatura fruit and flower, though poisonous, are believed to be sacred to Shiva and thus offered to him.

All the rituals on the night of Shivaratri are meant to cleanse the ignorance and realize the Brahmn manifest in you. The fasting, rituals and chanting are meant to kill desire, greed, illusion, arrogance, jealousy, and anger. This will make you a better person