Maha Shivratri Festival of India is an annual festival dedicated to Lord Shiva and it literally means the ‘Night of Lord Shiva’. This festival usually falls in the month of Phalguna or Maagh of the Hindu Lunar Calendar, which generally corresponds to February or March. The celebration is done with zeal and enthusiasm in various parts of the country.
Legends of Maha Shivratri
Mahashivaratri is inspired by many stories of Hindu Mythology which varies from the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi, the story of Neelkanth to the performance of the Tandava Dance by Lord Shiva.
Maha Shivratri Puja Muhurat 2021
Maha Shivaratri on Thursday, March 11, 2021
Nishita Kaal Puja Time – 12:06 AM to 12:55 AM, Mar 12
Duration – 00 Hours 48 Mins
Ratri First Prahar Puja Time – 06:27 PM to 09:29 PM
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time – 09:29 PM to 12:31 AM, Mar 12
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time – 12:31 AM to 03:32 AM, Mar 12
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time – 03:32 AM to 06:34 AM, Mar 12
Lord Shiva’s marriage to Parvathi:
Lord Shiva returned to his ascetic world and deep meditation after the death of Goddess Sati. So Sati reincarnated as Parvati to become the consort of Lord Shiva. Mahashivratri is celebrated as the wedding anniversary of Shiva and Parvati. Couples, especially women seek divine guidance in their life to lead a blissful and peaceful married life.
Shiva performed the Tandava dance on this night:
In Hinduism, it is believed that the creation and destruction of the universe are cyclic. The creation of Lord Brahma is destroyed by Lord Shiva followed by another creation by Lord Brahma.
It is said that when the time for the destruction of the universe arrives, Lord Shiva will perform his destruction dance, Shiva Tandav. Maha Shivaratri is celebrated on the anniversary of the cosmic dance.
As a thanksgiving ceremony to Lord Shiva:
According to another legend, the poison that came out from the ocean during Samudra Manthan was drunk by Lord Shiva and was held in his throat instead of swallowing it which made his throat turn blue. It is from this story that the name ‘Neelkantha’ originated. On Mahashivaratri, devotees thank him for saving the world.
Traditions and Customs of Mahashivaratri
On the day of Shivratri, people fast, sing devotional songs, and recite famous tales from Mahavira’s life. The temples are adorned with flowers and ornaments.
In life and the world, the day marks the celebration of conquering darkness and ignorance. The whole atmosphere is filled with devotees shouting ‘Shivji ki Jai’ and ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ and praying to the Supreme Lord to lead them to light and knowledge.
A nightlong vigil or “jaagran” is also observed at Shiva temples singing songs and hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. It is only on the following morning that devotee break their fast by partaking in prasad offered to the deity
It is a festival celebrating the successes of fighting darkness and ignorance in life and the universe. By remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, and meditating on ethics and values such as fairness, non-harm to others, charity, forgiveness, and Shiva’s discovery, it is observed.
We observe the Shiva Tattva by meditating and rejoicing in the Shiva energy. The best night to pray to Bhole Nath and accomplish Mukti is Mahashivratri.
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