Mahashivratri, the great night of Lord Shiva, is one of the holiest days of the Hindu calendar. It falls on the new moon day in the month of Maagha, and is dedicated and celebrated in honour of the beloved Hindu deity, the destroyer, Lord Shiva. It is a festival of great importance because of its religious and spiritual implications. It is believed that no prayer goes unanswered on this sacred day and those who pray to Lord Shiva with the utmost devotion on Mahashivratri are absolved of their sins and attain Moksha, Salvation, and Enlightenment.
How is Maha Shivratri Puja celebrated?
Mahashivratri is celebrated by offering water, milk, dhatura, bhaang, akwan and flowers to Lord Shiva. In addition to this, devotees observe a fast, mantras are chanted, all night vigils and special prayer ceremonies are held, and Shiva scriptures are read.
Significance of Maha Shivratri Celebrations:
Different mythical shivaratri stories are associated with Maha Shivratri. According to a popular legend, Mahashivratri is the night when Lord Shiva performs the cosmic dance of creation, preservation and destruction. Hence, Mahashivratri is marked by annual dance festivals at major Hindu temples Konark, Khajuraho, Pattadakal, Modhera and Chidambaram. Lord Shiva’s dances, Tandava and Lasya, are also performed by classical dancers in veneration of Shiva.
Another Maha Shivratri story identifies Mahashivratri as the night of Lord Shiva’s wedding to Goddess Parvati. Yet another popular belief associates Mahashivaratri with the legend of Lord Shiva drinking poison to save the universe. A pot of poison was amongst the many things discovered during the churning of the ocean (the legendary Sagar Manthan). Lord Shiva drank the poison to save the universe from its ill effects. Gods danced in order to protect Shiva from the harmful effect of the poison and to keep him awake for a night. The poison eventually didn’t harm Shiva, but it turned his neck blue, which also explains why Lord Shiva is called Neelkanth.
Legends apart, Mahashivratri celebrations are of tremendous significance since this festival is considered to be a powerful time for prayers and prayer fulfillment, spiritual awakening and realisation. Whether one seeks worldly happiness or spiritual wisdom, Mahashivratri is considered as an auspicious day to seek the blessings of God!
Mahashivratri Celebrations at the Shivoham Shiva Temple
At the Shivoham Shiva Temple, the festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated with grandeur, devotion and love. It is regarded as a day of gratitude, a day of thanksgiving to Lord Shiva for His kindness and blessings. It is looked upon as a day when all devotees, believers and seekers can express their Bhakti to Lord Shiva and seek His grace to spiritually guide them to the truth of Shivoham, self-realisation, and God realisation.
Be a part of our grand festivities on the 13th of February, 2018, as we celebrate Mahashivratri at the Shivoham Shiva Temple. Be blessed!