Maha Shivratri is a significant festival celebrated by Hindus worldwide in honour of Lord Shiva. The word "Maha" means great, and "Shivratri" means the night of Shiva. The festival is observed on the 14th day of the dark half of the Hindu month of Phalguna (which falls between February and March), according to the Hindu calendar.
The meaning and significance of Maha Shivratri vary among different regions and communities around the world. However, some common themes are observed in the celebration of this festival:
Worship of Lord Shiva:
On Maha Shivratri, devotees offer prayers, perform pujas, and offer special offerings to Lord Shiva. Many people also fast on this day as a form of devotion.
Purification and Spiritual Renewal:
Maha Shivratri is also believed to be a time for personal reflection and spiritual renewal. Individuals can purify their minds and souls by observing the fast and engaging in worship and meditation.
Celebration of Divine Love:
Maha Shivratri also celebrates the divine love between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Many devotees tell stories and recite hymns that celebrate this divine love, and some also perform symbolic wedding ceremonies to commemorate the union of Shiva and Parvati.
Celebration of Nature:
In some parts of India, Maha Shivratri is celebrated as a festival honouring the natural world. This is because Lord Shiva is often associated with the forces of nature, and the festival is seen as an opportunity to give thanks for the abundance of the earth and the blessings of the divine.
The legends associated with Maha Shivratri Hindu sacred scriptures contain many stories related to the celebration of Mahashivaratri. These myths highlight the significance of this festival and illuminate the greatness of Lord Shiva and His supremacy over other gods.
In Hindu Mythology, the holy river Ganga came down from the sky. On the night of Shivaratri, Lord Shiva was seen releasing His thick hair, matted, to keep his Ganges and soften the journey of Ganga towards the earth. For this reason, devotees commemorate this particular day by offering sacred Ganga water to Shivalinga.
According to another legend, it is the day Lord Shiva was married to Goddess Parvati. Shivratri legend also states that the practice of observing a fast for a whole day and praising Lord Shiva with full force can eliminate all negative karma and bring about miraculous changes in one's life. worshipper
The legend goes that according to Shaivites, Shivratri is celebrated as a way to express our thanks to Lord Shiva, who has saved the world from the poison which arose in the Khirsagar (sea) during Samudra Manthan. There is a belief that kind Lord Shiva took the poison and stored it in his throat, which caused his throat to turn blue (for this reason, he is also known as Neelkanth).
A tale from Shiva Purana recounts one day, Goddess Parvati requested Shiva to have His devotees carry out different rituals to delight Him; however, which one is the one that pleases Him most? In response, the gracious Lord Shiva responded that the 14th night of the new moon this month, Phalgun is his most special day, known as Shivaratri on this day. During this time, the devotees follow strict religious discipline and give Him flowers and Gangajal, and the leaves and water are more valuable to him than any other offering. Aware of this Goddess, Parvati was content and shared the same story with her friends. The message became known throughout the world as if it were wildfire. Shiva Shiva's followers began to mark Shivaratri by fasting, doing the ritualistic baths of Gangajal and making sacrifices of bel leaves.
Overall, Maha Shivratri is a festival that celebrates the power of Lord Shiva and the spiritual and personal growth that can come from observing the fast and engaging in worship and meditation. Certain devotees observe the festival in the daytime. Others celebrate it all through the night by arranging Jagran (staying in bed) while singing sacred hymns and listening to stories about Lord Shiva. The majority of devotees observe the strictest fasting for a day, and break their fast when they pray to Lord Shiva the following day. Vedic texts suggest that this night of divine bliss brings an ethereal feeling of peace and goodwill while singing mantras and meditative that are done during this time of the year is 100 times more effective. It is a time for purification, celebration, and renewal and is observed with great enthusiasm and devotion by Hindus around the world.