Monday, February 20, 2012

Mahashivratri


Today is Mahashivratri, an important Hindu festival associated with Lord Shiva.

 According to sacred scriptures, ritual worship of Lord Shiva on Shivratri festival that falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun pleases Lord Shiva the most. 



Mahashivratri Festival is also considered to be an extremely significant festival by women. Married and unmarried women observe fast and perform Shiv Pooja with sincerity to appease Goddess Parvati  who is also regarded as ‘Gaura’ - one who bestows marital bliss and long and prosperous married life. Unmarried women also pray for a husband like Lord Shiva who is regarded as the ideal husband.

According to one of the most popular legends, Shivaratri is the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. It is also believed that Lord Shiva performed ‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation and destruction on this auspicious night of Shivaratri. According to another popular legend, described in Linga Purana, it was on Shivaratri that Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Linga for the first time. Since then, the day is considered to be extremely auspicious by the devotees of Shiva and they celebrate it as Maha Shivaratri - the grand night of Shiva. 

According to Shiva Purana, sincere worship of Lord Shiva yields merits including spiritual growth for the devotees.

Shiva Purana further says that performing abhisheka of Shiva Linga with six different dravyasincluding milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar and water while chanting Sri Rudram, Chamakam and Dasa Shanthi pleases Lord Shiva the most. According to the mythology, each of these dravya used in the abhisheka blesses a unique quality:
  • Milk is for the blessing of purity and piousness.
  • Yogurt is for prosperity and progeny.
  • Honey is for sweet speech.
  • Ghee is for victory.
  • Sugar is for happiness.
  • Water is for purity.
Devout Hindus bathe early in the morning and visit temples for offering and prayers.

Vendors selling pooja items associated with Mahashivratri can be seen around the market place.





It is believed that Lord Shiva is appeased by offering of 

Bers

Ber


Bel patta

Bel patta


Bel

Bel fruit


Dhatura,

Dhatura


Bhaang leaves

Bhaang leaves



besides regular pooja itmes like

A typical pooja thali for Shivratri


 flowers, incence, fruits and deepak.

Many people also  fast on this day to seek blessings of Lord Shiva.

Every temple in every neighborhood if full of devotees offering prayers and pooja all day long.

 I too offered prayers and pooja to seek the blessings  for my family.This is accompanied by chanting of 'Om Namo Shivay' and other shlokas and songs of Lord Shiva. People also donate liberally  in temples on this day.

Wishing you Happy Mahashivratri.