Mahashivaratri or Great Night of Lord Shiva is being celebrated on 17h February 2015.
MAY LORD SHIVA BESTOW US HUMANS EVERYTHING THAT MAY BRING PEACE AND TRANQUILITY IN THE WORLD.
It is celebrated on Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi in the month of Phalguna as per Hindu calendar which is in the month of February. This is an annual feature which is celebrated with great enthusiasm and reverence. This is the holiest day since this day is associated with sacred marriage of Lord Shiva and Lordess Parvati (who is also the daughter of Himalaya) – coming together of Shiva & Shakti.
Shivratari Lord Shiva’s most favorite day/night. When earth was created, Shakti (Lordess Parvati) asked Shiva which day was dearest and favourite one for Him. Shiva replied that 14th night of the new moon in the month of Phaluna was most pleasing to Him. Parvati thus repeated these words amidst the company of friends and others and thus the word spread far and wide to the multitudes and since then this day is being celebrated with great adoration.
Maha Shivratri is associated with the marriage of Shiva and Shakti. The devotees (Bhakta) know the significance of this day since it is very dear to Lord SHIVA. On this day, the devotees in different age groups (young & old) take early bath in some sacred rivers like Ganga, Jamuna etc and offer prayer (pooja) in temples and also make offerings of bel patra and other leaves including berries including pour water on the Shiva Linga. (symbol of Lord Shiva) before washing the Lingum with utmost reverence (the symbol of Lord Shiva) with milk, ghee, honey, rose water etc. As Lord Shiva is known for His austere living he likes simple thingsand simple offerings in the form of herbs and leaves please Him immensely. Devout perform prayers with immense pleasure and devotion.
Devout chant Mantra OM NAMON SHIVAYE and also Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra to get special benefits since this day falls in the most appropriate planetary positions in the Northern hemisphere; helps a person raise his / her spiritual energy vigorously. The prayers are answered if these are done with sincerity. This day is also celebrated because on this night Shiva performed His cosmic dance (Tandava). This dance was enjoyed even by other Godheads.
Shivaratri means night of Shiva. On this day devotees observe strict fast and keep themselves awake during the night time, immersed in Lord’s prayers for deriving maximum benefits out of these sacred rituals.
Lord Shiva’s abode is mount Kailasha. He bearer of sacred river Ganga on his head besides a serpent named Vasuki. His devotee Nandi is carrier of Lord Shiva.
In Shiva Purana, it has been mentioned that Shiva prayers should be done in the following manner to get maximum benefit:-
- Shiva lingam is to be bathed with water, milk and honey. For purification of these bel patra should also be added.
- Vermilion paste represents virtue, after bathing the Shiva Lingum with water, honey, curd etc with utmost devotion vermilion paste is applied on it.
- Natural fruits like berries are very dear to the Lord, hence these are offered. Fruits are also the sign of fulfillment of our desires and hence should be offered.
- For getting His grace and bounties offerings when dhoop (incense) is ritualistically burnt give maximum benefits.
- Then lamp is lighted. The lamp symbolizes knowledge and wisdom. If this is lighted with devotion and offered to the Lord, we can derive maximum benefits.
- Finally betel leaves are offered which symbioses the satiation of our wordly desires besides keeping our spiritual onward march in tact.
There is also another legend attached with this day. At the time of the churning of the sea by the Godheads and the Demons (Rakshas) there surfaced a pot of full of poison amongst other enchanting objects. To save the world from the devastating effects of poison, Lord Shiva consumed the pot of poison and kept the same in his throat with his Yogic Powers and that is why He is also called NEELKANTHA or Blue Throated with immense reverence. By doing so, LORD SHIVA saved the world from being annihilated.
There are 12 Jyotirlingas (Lingas of Light) which are held sacred by the devotee. They offer prayers at these holy places. These are mentioned below:-
- Somnath ( Lord of the Nectar of Knowledge)
- Nageshwar or Nagnath (Lord of 5 headed snake):
- Kedarnath ( Lord of Kedar):
4.VishwaNath ( Lord of the Universe), Banaras-UP:
5.Mahakaleswar ( The lord of Death) Ujjain, MP:
- Amaleshwar (Lord of Purity) : Lord shiva the purifier of all sins.
- Trayambkeshwar ( Lord of Third Eye ), Maharashtra:
- Ghrishneshwar (Lord of Positive Energy obtained from Churning of divine Knowledge), Maharashtra:
- VAidyanath (Lord of Vaidya/Ayurveda), Maharashtra:
- Bheemashankar (Mighty & Powerful Lord), Maharashtra:
- Mallikarjun ( Lord ), Andhra Pradesh:
- Rameshwaram (Ram worshiping Lord Shiva), Tamilnadu:
It has been observed that this earth and what it contains, universe and all that it possesses (the sun, the mooth, countless stars, etc) are the wonders which have been created by our Creator. These are created only by some SUPREME BEING to whom we can feel if we have right attitude and all the other fine-tuned attributes like love, trust, etc. He has fathered us for a purpose and it is our duty to fulfil the assigned tasks in whatever way we can – by helping those who are not able to help themselves, doing good to others, forgiving others’ follies etc.
I consider religion as a pathway to reach to our Creator, it may be any religion to that matter. One thing that binds us together is that our requirement(s) are the same. He has given His precious bounties like air, water and other the gifts of nature without any bias. Let us thank Him in our own way suiting us. I have written a poem “Lord Shiva”. Kindly go through it and comment.
The Godhead amongst the Trinity,
Lord Brahma – the Creator,
Remains absorbed in His domain of Creation,
Lord Vishnu – the Preserver,
Keeps His Lotus hand on preservation.
The Lord of all Lords,
The most powerful & benevolent of all,
Enjoys special place in His realm,
Of death and destruction,
Dissolving in the process of fresh creation,
Since death is a means for rebirth.
Known variously by 1000 names like;
Mahadeva, Maheshwara, Ardnarishwara,
Nine Avtaras, Natraja et al.
During churning of ocean by Gods & demons accompanying,
He drank whole pot of poison which came out from churning,
To save the living beings from poisonous effect,
And kept it in his throat (kantha),
And thus is called Neelkantha,
Known for providing soothing balm to troubled souls.
The Lord is too found in Phallic Symbol of Linga.
He is the Centrifugal Force of the Universe,
And is mix of the the most simplest & complex amongst all deities.
Pile of curly hair, crescent tucked into it,
The Mighty Ganges flowing out from His piled hair.
With trident representing true virtues,
Coiled serpent signifying Kundalini,
The spiritual energy within,
Two sided drum (Damroo) drumming rhythmically,
The the hum of AUM – the core & initiaton of all Mantras.
Simplest in His appearance,
But complex in understanding,
With ash smeared all over the body,
Wearing Ruthraksha beads round his neck and arms,
Immersed in His Yogic mystic meditation.
He is the Lord who could be appeased very easily,
And bestows boons to sages and demons alike whenever invoked,
With love and piety,
The Omniscient Yogi’s abode is Mount Kailasha,
Where He dwells with our Divine Mother Parvati,
And sons Ganesha & Kartikeya – the Greatest in their own right,
Lord Ganesha for His troube shooting,
And Lord Kartikeya for demon conquering,
His Cosmic Dance is second to none,
By this Cosmic Dance all the Gods & Demi-Gods get enthralled.
When immensely provoked by inhuman acts,
Opens His Third Eye,
And annihilates the evil doers / the ferocious demons.
MAHA SHIVRATRI is the day of prayer,
When we all pray the BHOLE SHANKAR,
AUM NAMAON SHIVAYE,
May His Blessings remain on us all forever,
And may He fulfil all right desires of every being.