Great Night of Lord Shiva
Shivratri, also popularly known as Mahashivratri is a festival of great importance among the Hindus in India. It is celebrated in remembrance of overcoming darkness and ignorance in life and the world.
It is celebrated in memory of Lord Shiva by vocalizing his prayers and meditating on ethics and virtues like honesty, non-violence to others, charity, and forgiveness. As the name Shivratri indicates, it is the night of Lord Shiva.
Shivaratri is widely known everywhere in Asian nations and among the Hindu population across the globe. As per Hindu mythology, the calendar holds some significance, and the stories behind them usually vary from community and region. As per the parable, once Lord Shiva saved the globe by drinking poison that emerged from the ocean throughout Samudra Manthan. This poison got stuck in his throat and turned it blue. That is why Lord Shiva is known to be Neelkanth (blue throat).
Story of Lord Shiva’s Dance
In the epics, the description of this famous festival- Mahashivaratri is as the night when Shiva dances in creation, destruction, and preservation. The devotees sing hymns and read Shiva slokas along with this dance. Mahashivaratri is widely known for dance festivals at major Hindu temples like; Chidambaram, Konark temple, Khajuraho, Pattadakal, and Modhera.
Nataraja is called the supreme God of dance. In other words, we can say that Nataraja is simply another incarnation of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva’s dance forms like tandava and lasya were performed in various forms by classical dancers with immense respect for God.
Significance of Shivratri
Among all the twelve Shivratri in a year, the Mahashivratri is the most precious one. Many devotees celebrate it throughout the day, whereas others celebrate it throughout the night by singing spiritual songs and also by chanting slokas throughout the night. Devotees follow fast for someday. Mahashivratri falls on the thirteenth or fourteenth day of Krishna Paksha on the Phalgun month of the lunisolar calendar.
Mahashivratri is a festival celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the Asian nations. Based on the Hindu belief, Lord Shiva balances the universe by acting as God of destruction. Throughout the Samudra Manthan, Lord Shiva gulped poison while every one of the Gods danced and sang hymns to stay awake. For a few of the devotees, Shivratri is when Lord Shiva and Parvati Devi got married. Vocalizing the Panchakshari mantra is the most vital ritual throughout the day. Devotees chant "Om Namah Shivaya" which radiates positive ambiance and gives life great energy as it represents Earth, water, hearth, and ether or sky. This mantra virtually goes back to thousands of years and is mentioned in Yajur Vedic literature within the Shri Rudram Hymn. The vocalization of "OmNamah Shivaya” helps one experience peace of mind.
There are several stories told and, here lies a couple of them:
- The most popular story is that Lord Shiva got married on Shivratri day, and so it became the celebration of this sacred union.
- Another one depicts that once the Lords and Asuras stirred the ocean along to obtain ambrosia that lay in its depths and a vessel of poison emerged. Lord Shiva drank this poison to shield the universe. The poison got stuck in his throat, which his throat turned blue. We know that Shivratri is widely known to honor the savior of this planet.
- As we tend to all apprehend, the deity Ganga is falling from heaven in full force. It was Lord Shiva who caught her in his tangled locks. He freed her as many streams to forestall the destruction on our planet. Shivalinga is bathed on this auspicious night to honor the savior of earth, Lord Shiva.
- Another story concerning Shivratri is that the individuals do not sleep during this night and offer prayers to God. They believe that the formless God Sadashiv appeared within the type of a Lingodhbhav Moorthi at night time. That's why most of the devotees spend the Shivratri in prayer, meditation, and fasting. The Effectiveness of the rituals is very much vital. Devotees provide priority for fast on the day because it detoxifies the body and reduces the tensions of the mind. A disturbed mind falls into meditation very quickly. Therefore fasting on Mahashivratri is very relevant for the body as it also aids meditation
Rudrapooja is another special pooja performed by religious mantras. Rudrapooja provides positive energy and purity to the mind and transforms negative emotions. Participating in the Pooja and paying attention to the mantras helps one experience meditation quickly.
Worshipping of the Shivlinga is another vital ritual performed on the day of Shivaratri. To perform this ritual, the devotees reach the nearest Shiva temple early in the morning.
Individuals bathe the Shivling with Ganga water and milk. Millions of devotees conjointly bathe the Shivling with a mix of milk, curd, ghee, honey, and sugar. The next step is to apply sandalwood to the Shivlinga. Then, the devotees offer flowers and Bel leaves. For Lord Shiva, Bel leaves are vital. Therefore, individuals offer Bel leaves to them. In several places, during this festive period, they will have a procession of Lord Shiva.
The Shivalinga claims to be a symbolization of the formless Shiva. Offering Bel leaves to Lord Shiva represents the offering of three aspects of our being. They are rajas, secondly tamas and sattva.
The Story of Chitrabhanu
There are several mythological stories about Shivaratri that are very inspiring. Chitrabhanu was a hunter. He was ignorant of Shivaratri fasting. He lived within the forest by killing animals. Once on Shivaratri, he ought to hear the Shiv Katha. And so he left to the woods in search of the prey. Chitrabhanu unwittingly plucked Bel leaves whereas watching for his prey and threw them on a Shivling coated beneath a pile of grass. Lord Shiva was pleased with this act and transformed his heart into a pure one by removing all the violent thoughts from his mind.
This story portrayed the kindness of Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva becomes happy even though you worship Shiva with a simple flower. And this also shows that offering money is not necessary to gain Lord's blessings. Anyone with a pure heart can worship Lord Shiva.
Every festival in our country offers us an opportunity to assemble, share happiness, and do one thing within the interest of society. It will be nice if we tend to do one thing on the day of Shivratri in line with our capability for social well-being. Many organizations conduct blood donation camps, in the same manner, several organizations distribute food for the poor.
Many organizations are coming up with donation programs for the poor. Devotees believe that such deeds facilitate them to urge nearer to God. We should always conjointly pray to Lord Shiva to bless us with a refined heart like Chithrabhanu. Therefore each celebration becomes relevant because it enhances our rituals and traditions. Read more about some other festivals too on our website https//astroo.live/