What, Why and How in the Prominence of Maha Shivratri
An Introduction to Maha Shivratri
Maha Shivratri is an important and major Hindu festival that occurs yearly before the summer season arrives during the ending of the winter season, i.e., February or March. It symbolizes Maha Shivratri, also known as “the Great night of Lord Shiva” and said to be the night when a holy and godly dance is performed by Lord Shiva, as mentioned in the Puranas.
The festival of Maha Shivratri is for the remembrance of Shiva and conquering goodness over evil and insensitivity. Shiva, also known as Mahadev, is believed to be an energy that brings everything alive and happening. Therefore, the festival is named as Maha Shivratri, a grand celebration in the honor of Shiva.
What happens during Maha Shivratri?
Maha Shivratri is celebrated to idolize Shiva and make one self-aware about the lively, positive energies around and embrace the spiritedness. When Maha Shivratri occurs during the month of Magha on either a full or new moon day this is in accordance with the Hindu Calendar. The day is celebrated as a big festival with loads of enthusiasm and happiness.
The following activities and rituals are performed to celebrate Maha Shivratri:
âž” Jagran or Night Vigils (a period of time dedicated to keeping self awake to pray) are organized on the day of Chaturdashi by the avid disciples, i.e., the day of Maha Shivratri.
âž” Meditation and yoga are also a way of honoring Shiva and the auspicious day of Maha Shivratri and to receive forgiveness, for charity, health, and well-being of others.
âž” Some people offer sweets, leaves, and milk to Shiva to please and worship Him.
âž” Many people also fast on this day, it is a way of showing respect and love toward Shiva.
âž” To mark the remembrance of Shiva and Maha Shivratri, Shivalinga is also worshipped.
The holy Shiva Mantra (Om Namah Shivay) is chanted and recited throughout the day, especially in the Shiva temples. It is notably celebrated over a period of three or ten days, depending on the preference of people and the Hindu calendar.
Significance of Maha Shivratri
âž¢ Why is Maha Shivratri Significant?
It is an age-old Hindu festival the origin date of which is unknown to date. It is considered to be relatively opportune for women. There are many stories since ancient times doing the rounds of why Maha Shivratri is an auspicious day and festival.
â— It is said the women who are married pray for the prosperity and healthy life for their partners, whereas, the unmarried women pray for marriage without any delay and a fitting husband like Shiva.
â— It is also believed that at midnight God Sadashiv having an indefinite form appeared in as a Lingodhbhav Moorthi. Therefore, people stay awake all night and perform Jagran, to offer prayers to God.
â— Another and the most important one is that Lord Shiva and Parvati got married on this pious day. And that is why it is a celebration of their sacred union.
Although it is a general belief that anyone who takes the name of Shiva during Maha Shivratri is freed from all sins and blessed with strength as well as prosperity.
âž¢ Is Maha Shivratri Significant for a particular group of people?
The festival of Maha Shivratri is quite significant for individuals who are already on a spiritual spree, as it is also the day when people are anyway pushed in the direction of their highest spiritual point.
It is also very significant for people who are in family situations, to provide them with patience and strength to fight and come out of it.
For the ambitious people in the world just like Shiva was very ambitious and wanted to conquer happiness and certainty over darkness and enemies.
Conclusion: Maha Shivratri signifies the importance and accomplishment of good over evil, and frees one from all the sins and blesses with peace, prosperity. It instills positive and spiritual energy within an individual to their highest point. Lord Shiva and ShivaLinga are worshipped during Maha Shivratri.