Mahashivratri Festival - Significance and
Mahashivratri is celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva or Shankara. There are many mythological stories associated with the celebration of Mahashivratri in India. Devotees visit Lord Shiva’s temple and observe fast on the day of Mahashivratri. Read on to know more about the significance and celebration of Mahashivratri festival.
Mahashivratri is one of the most important festivals of Hindus. They believe that those who perform this Pooja on this auspicious day get ‘Moksha’ and rid of all his/her sins also. The people perform Pooja or worship of Lord Shiva on this day. Many people observe fast during day while many fast throughout day and night.
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. Like each year, Mahashivratri 2014 will be celebrated on Thursday, February 27
Significance of Mahashivratri Festival
Maha means huge, Shiva means auspiciousness and Ratri means night. Numerous interesting and intriguing mythological stories are believed pertaining to the celebration to Mahashivratri. One version is that, devotees believe that Shivratri is auspicious because it marks the marriage ceremony of Lord Shiva and Parvati. However, many believe that Mahashivratri signifies the auspicious night when Lord Shiva performed the dance 'Tandava' that led to the creation, conservation and devastation of the universe. Experts and devotees say that this is the day when people should awake to the most positive truth within themselves. This is said to be the real celebration of Mahashivratri.
According to Puranas, during the time of Samudra Manthan a pot of poison came out from the ocean. Both, Gods and demons were frightened and they went to Lord Shiva for help. Lord Shiva drank the poison in order to save the world. However, he did not swallow it but held it in his throat. Since the poison turned his throat blue, he is known as ‘Neelkantha’ after that. It is believed that Mahashivratri was the day when all this happened and so people celebrate it by worshipping Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva was formless until the night of Mahashivratri when he appeared in the form of huge Lingam. This was actually to end the ego clash between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. The Lingam is said to be extremely huge and neither Lord Vishnu nor Lord Brahma could find the end or beginning of this Lingam. From that day onwards people worshipped the Lingam as Lord Shiva and celebrated Mahashivratri every year.
How is Mahashivratri Celebrated
Devotees of Lord Shiva observe fast that day and they take only fruits and milk.
Devotees perform Pooja and even carry out Rudrabhishekam.
People chant Mantras and sing devotional songs for Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
People chant ‘Om Namah Shivay’ and try to meditate concentrating on what they have in their lives. Encouraging positive thinking is the objective and makes people feel gratified and thankful to God for all that he has bestowed on them.
Try to meditate and get connected to Lord Shiva to attain ‘Moksha’ and find out the real truth of life.
Visit the temple in the evening for ‘Aarti’ and Pooja. Offer flowers and incense to the Lord and ring the temple bells loudly.
The Shivalinga is washed every three hours that day with cow's milk, curd ,honey , cow ghee ,water and adorned with the holy Bilva leaves and Vibhuthi.
Women give special significance and consider this festival extremely auspicious.
Married women pray for the well being of their husbands and children, unmarried girls keep fast so that they get good and understanding husbands.
Mahashivratri is not just another festival of Hindu that indicates worshipping different forms of God. It is celebrated to make people aware of the universe and their inner selves. It drives out ignorance and radiates the light of knowledge. Anyone who enchants the Mantra and says the name of Lord Shiva from heart, he is liberated from the cycle of birth and death and he reaches the abode of Lord Shiva.
శ్రీశైలంలో మహా శివరా...
శివరాత్రి స్పెషల్ ఆర...