13 February 2018 | Happy Maha Shivratri | Bam Bam Bhole

Maha Shivratri is one of the biggest and most important among the holy festival nights of India. The blackest night of the year, which celebrates the Elegance of Shiva, who is reflected the Adi Guru or the First Guru, from whom the yogis ritual invents. Lets move to the brief introduction to Maha Shivratri Festival.

A Brief Introduction to Shivaratri Fest

Maha Shivaratri is one of the most important festivals in Hinduism, especially in the Shaivism tradition. This annual festival is devoted to God Shiva. Shivaratri is a Sanskrit word that literary means the great night of Shiva. It is believed that god Shiva and goddess Parvati married on this day. Hindus celebrate this festival by remembering Shiva, enchanting holy hymns and fasting. Unlike the other Hindu festivals, Shivaratri is celebrated in the night time. The passionate worshippers keep awake entire night and remember god Shiva. In this festival, most of the people go for pilgrimages or visit famous Shiva temples. This festival denotes the overcoming of ignorance and darkness in life. This festival is celebrated by meditation, prayers, chanting mantras to please the god Shiva. Maha Shivaratri is known as the Night of the Lord Shiva.   According to the Hindu calendar, Maha Shivaratri is celebrated on the 13th night and 14th day or the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of the Phalguna/Magha month. The day usually falls in between February to March of the Gregorian calendar or the standard calendar. Though every month, there is a Shivaratri, but the main Shivaratri falls in the Magha month of Hindu calendar.    

History behind Maha Shivaratri

Shivaratri is a very ancient festival in Hinduism and its origins date is still interested. This festival is stated in the ancient holy book known as Puranas. It is detailed in Padma Purana, Linga Purana and Skanda Purana. There are different legends linked with Shivaratri mentioned in these early Shaiva literatures. All of them includes prayers and fasting for icons for God Shiva. The Jones and Ryan claim Shivaratri to have commenced in the approx. 5th century BC.  

What to do or How is Maha Shivaratri celebrated?

On Maha Shivratri’s eve, people gather in the temples of Shiva. In order to purify their body, they take a bath in early morning, usually in holy water bodies. They take the water from that water body in a pot for worshiping. They do different rituals with Shiva lingam. One of such is the Rudra Abhishek in which water and milk are poured over the Shiva lingam. They also offer various things to please the god such as Bel leaves, sweets, etc. The Shiva Purana has mentioned some important things for worshipping Shiva on this occasion that includes water, milk or honey for pouring on Shiva lingam, Bel leaves, Vermilion paste, incense, fruits, lamp and betel leaves.     The main mantra of God Shiva “Om Namah Shivaya” is chanted by devotees. They also enchant different religion songs and recall stories from the Shiva Purana. The devotees of Shiva observe fast for the entire day. For performing these rituals, many people go to Jyotirlingas, which is important temples of God Shiva.  

Maha Shivaratri Vrat, Upwas or Fast

According to Hindu tradition, fulfillment of  Mahashivratri Vrat with discipline helps a follower to control the two great normal forces that worry a man, rajas guna and tamas guna. Maha Shivaratri Vrat or fast is a great way to admire the God and get blessings. This fasting not only involves avoiding food, but also waking up throughout the entire night. People can consume a special meal known as Phalahar on this day. This meal includes exclusively fruits and dairy only. Though meals are prohibited after sunset on Shivratri day. Also, food grains such as rice, wheat, etc. is strictly prohibited during fast.     Followers of Lord Shiva trust that by keeping Shivratri fast would be very promising and rate it differently or more than perform an Ashwamedha Yagna. Some trust that a devotee who perceives a Shivaratri Fast with honesty and says the name of Lord Shiva with perfect dedication is forgiven from all evils. Such a believer reaches the house of Lord Shiva and lives there happily.

The Legends associated with Shivaratri

There are various legends and Stories attached with Shivaratri. For this festival, offering prayers to Shiva icons is considered to be a way of getting over past sins and restarting a righteous path. According to one legend, on this day Shiva married Parvati. Since then Shivaratri is celebrated in the memorial of their marriage. In the Shaivism tradition of Hinduism, on this night god Shiva performs a divine dance with a unique blend of construction, protection and destruction. The Shiv followers chant the holy mantras to join this divine dance and consider the Shiva’s presence everywhere. According to another legend, everyone was terrified when the poised pot known as Halahal emerged during Samudra Manthan. This poised pot had the ability to destroy the entire world. Hence, gods and demons asked Shiva for help. He then swallowed the poised pot and kept it in his throat to save the world. Since then Shivaratri is celebrated to show the gratitude towards Lord Shiva.   There is another Story associated with Shivratri. Though it’s not about the origin, but about the offering to Bel tree leaves to Shiva. Once, there was a poor devotee of Shiva. One day, he lost his way while collecting firewood in the deep forest. At night, he got scared after hearing wild animals. So, for night shelter and protection, he climbed on a Bel tree. The fear of falling from the tree didn’t let him sleep. To overcome this fear, he chanted Shiva name and plucking Bel leaves. In the dimness, he didn’t realize that the leaves are falling on Shiva’s lingam underneath the tree. God Shiva got delighted and offered him a divine bliss. It is believed that from then Bel leaves are offered to God Shiva.

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13 February 2018 | Happy Maha Shivratri | Bam Bam Bhole 13 February 2018 | Happy Maha Shivratri | Bam Bam Bhole Reviewed by Abhishek Jain on February 13, 2018 Rating: 5

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