Sunday, February 19, 2012

Maha Shivaratri 2012

Maha Shivaratri
‘The Night of Shiva’ or ‘Shiva's Great Night’

Mahashivaratri falls on the 13th/14th Night of the New Moon during Krishna Paksha in the Phalgun (Hindu Month)

According to one Belief, this day symbolizes the Wedding Day of Lord Shiva and Sati/Parvati
However other belief is that Shiva Ratri is when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava Nritya - the Dance of Creation, Preservation and Destruction

As a Tradition, Devotees wake up early in the morning of the Maha Shivratri, take a ritual sunrise bath, wear fresh new clothes & then visit the nearest Shiva Temple to give the customary bath to the Siva Lingam
Devotees observe a Strict Fast on this day for Lord Shiva, though many go on a diet of fruits and milk some do not consume even a drop of water!

Both Married & Unmarried Women observe this fast; they perform Lord Shiva’s Puja rituals with complete Sincerity especially pray the Goddess Parvati who is also regarded as ‘Gauri’ (one who bestows Marital Bliss along with a Prosperous Married life)
Unmarried Women also pray for a husband like Lord Shiva who is regarded as the ideal Husband!
The Siva Lingam is given a special Bath with Milk, Yoghurt, Honey, Sandalwood Paste & Rose Water every 3 Hours

Milk is for the Blessing of purity and Piousness
Yogurt is for Prosperity and Progeny
Honey is for a Sweet Speech
Ghee is for the Victory
Sugar is for Overall Happiness
Water is for the Purity

After Bath, Vermilion Paste is applied on the Lingam
As a part of the Tradition, the Leaves from any of the Forest Tree (Bilwa/Maaredu/Wood Apple) are used for Puja
The Bilwa Leaves should be a stalk with 3 Leaves which are kept on top of the Siva Lingam
Jujube Fruit (Ber) is offered to the Lord Shiva on this day

Mahanyasa Parayanam & Rudra Paranayam are available at:

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra:

“Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushti Vardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat..”

Interestingly, two of the most famous Shiva Temples (Kashi Vishwanath in Varanasi & Somnath Temple in Gujarat) offer Free Live Darshan during the Aarti, important Offerings & Puja 

In Andhra Pradesh, Sri Kalahasteshwara Temple in Kalahasti & the Bharamarambha Malikarjunaswamy Temple in Srisailam are most frequented
In Orissa, besides the Famous Loknath Temple in Puri, the Lingaraj Temple, Hakateswar Temple Atri, Mahendragiri, Gupteswar, Kapilas, Bhubaneswar and Khiching are few noteworthy Temples as well

Feel free to share your views & do let us know how this Festival is celebrated at your place :)

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