Shivratri is one of the most important festivals in the Hindu tradition. The fasting and puja ceremonies are observed by the Hindus. It is believed that fasting and staying vigil over the night of Maha Shivratri can get rid of the sins of the devotees and reward them with liberation. The greatest of such monthly Shivratri is known as Happy Maha Shivratri, this day is considered to be very sacred for the worship of Lord Shiva. This day falls on the Hindu month of Phalguna or between February to March.
The mythical story of Maha Shivratri
There are many ancient legends that mention about Maha Shivratri. Some regard this as the night when the Lord performed Shiva Tandava (cosmic dance) and others hold this as the occasion when the divine couple Shiva and Parvati got married. The legend tells the story of Devas and Asuras who churned the ocean to get Amrit the nectar to immortality. But in the start, a deadly poison emerged which was the potential destruction of the universe. At this moment when everyone panicked, Lord Shiva was the one who drank all the poison and saved the world. However, Goddess Parvati, the consort of Shiva stopped the poison to pass through the throat and since then Shiva is called Neelkanth. Shivratri is the expression of gratitude to God.
The significance of Happy Maha Shivratri
The greatest significance of Maha Shivratri lies in several faiths that devotees hold such as:
- This occasion has the efficacy of wiping out all the accumulated sins of an individual.
- It is firmly believed by the devotees that observing austerities on Maha Shivratri and offering worship to the Lord with devotion can absolve them of all the sins and bestows them with liberation which is known as Moksha
- Maha Shivratri Worship and Observes the Vrat (fast) and forms a very important aspect of Shivratri worship.
Fasting on Maha Shivratri
Many people observe complete fasts during the day and also in the night of Shivratri, remain awake all through the night and spend time in meditating, singing, reading and hearing about the glorious tales of Shiva. While people offer worship to the Lord at home, a very large number of people gather in Shiva temples, especially during Shivratri night and offer prayers to him. Devotees should provide bath the Shiva Lingas with coconut water, milk, honey, and water, along with the chanting of sacred hymns.
A Happy Maha Shivratri is very auspicious for women devotees. The married women pray for their husbands and sons well being. While unmarried women pray for an ideal husband same like Lord Shiva. But generally, it is believed that anyone who chants the name of Shiva during Shivratri with pure devotion is freed from all sins. Praying to Shiva with a pure heart can liberate a devotee from the cycle of birth and death. Askganesha wishes you and your family a very happy Maha Shivratri.