“Om Namah Shivaya”
“Om Namah Shivaya”
“Shiva Shiva Shiva Bho Mahadeva Shambho”
Maha Shivaratri or Shivratri Utsav is a famous Hindu festival in honor ofLord Shiva, one of the Trimurtis in Hinduism. Sivaratri, which literally means “Great Night of Shiva” or “Night of Siva”, is observed on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha on the month of Phalgun (February – March) in the Hindu Calendar.
It is said that on this day Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava’, he was married to Goddess Parvati, the Lord consumed the deadly poison – halahal that emerged from the Besides a ‘Maha Shivratri’ there is also a Shivratri for each month. It churning of the ocean to save his creation. It has great significance in Hinduism. According to scriptures, worship of Lord Shiva on Shivratri that falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun pleases the Lord most. Legend says Lord Shiva himself said this to devi Parvati when she asked about the form of worship that pleased him the most – as he finished his ‘Anandatandava’ after creating the universe.
The Puranas mention stories where being Lord Vishnu and Brahma unsuccessfully tried to find the beginning or end of Lord. There is also the story of Raja Chitrabhanu as Bhisma of Mahabharata narrated on his deathbed.
Lord Shiva is offered cooling substances like water, milk, ‘Bel’ leaves etc and a ritual fast and reading or listening to associated stories of the lord are part of the puja. Associated rituals include Tripundra – the three horizontal lines of holy ash on the brow, with a dot as the third eye. The three lines represent the soul’s three bonds: anava, karma, and maya. The made of burnt cow dung, is symbolic of the transient physical body form and the urgency for spiritual attainment. The rudraksh is worn to please the Lord Shiva.
- Rudra Tandav
- Divine Wedding
- Linga Purana
- Samudra Madhan
In 2011, the date of Maha Shivratri Festival is on 2nd March 2011 in South India and 3rd March 2011 in North India.