Mahashivratri is one of the major festivals of Hinduism. The main festival of Shivaratri is widely celebrated twice a year. One is in the month of Phalgun and the other in the month of Shravan. According to the Hindu calendar, Chaturdashi of the Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month is celebrated as Mahashivratri. On Mahashivaratri, people keep a fast and worship Lord Shankar with complete legal practice. This year, the festival of Mahashivaratri will be celebrated on Thursday, 11 March.

Meaning Of Mahashivratri

The meaning of Mahashivratri is a combination of three words. The three words are Maha-shiv-Ratri. The wors Maha means ‘The Great’, the second word shiv is for ‘Lord shiva’, and the third word Ratri stands for ‘night’ and also ‘to take refuge.’ That is the night in which we take refuge in our soul i.e. Shiva. This night, we practice sadhana and take refuge in the divine consciousness.

Symbolism Of Lord Shiva

According to Hindu scripture Puranas, Lord Shiva is the primary cause of all creation. It is said that Lord Shiva is the origin of all religions of the world and in the Hindu religion, Lord Shiva is considered the deity of the dead. he is the fountainhead of perfection, yoga, meditation, bliss, and spirituality. It is said that he has neither a beginning nor an end. That is why he is an embodied God, not an avatar.

Why Do Celebrate The Night of Lord Shiva: Mahashivratri

Mahashivaratri is considered to be the most important of the 12 Shivaratris in the year. The holy festival of Mahashivaratri is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the world including India. There are many mythological legends associated with this day. some are described here-

There are some beliefs related to Lord Shiva regarding Maha Shivaratri. It is believed that Lord Shankar was descended on this special day in the form of Rudra of Brahma on the midnight.

At the same time, it is also believed that the creation of this world started on this day. According to mythology, the creation of this day began with the rise of Agnilinga (which is the giant form of Mahadev).

Lord Shiva and mother Parvati were also married on this holy day. Thus it is a celebration of this holy union.

According to another legend, when the ocean was churned (Samudra Manthan), a poison called Hallahal was produced in its depth. Hallahal venom had the ability to destroy the universe and therefore only Lord Shiva could destroy it. Lord Shiva had kept the poison named Hallahal in his throat. The poison was so powerful that Lord Shiva was suffering from great pain and his throat became very blue. For this reason, Lord Shiva is famous as ‘Neelkanth’. For the treatment, the doctors advised the gods to keep Lord Shiva awake throughout the night. Thus, the Lord kept a vigil in the contemplation of Lord Shiva. To enjoy and awaken Shiva, the gods played different dances and music. Pleased with their devotion as the morning approached, Lord Shiva blessed them all. Shivaratri is the celebration of this event, from which Shiva saved the world. Since then, devotees fast on this day

In the Vela of the Holocaust, on the same day of Pradosh, Lord Shiva Tandava ends the universe with the flame of the third eye, hence it is also called Mahashivratri or Kalratri.

What To Do On Mahashivratri- The Night of Lord Shiva

On this day, Shiva devotees and those who have faith in Shiva keep fasting and especially worship Lord Shiva. This day is also beneficial and desired fruitful for dear devotees.

  • In the morning, the devotees get a glimpse of Lord Shiva’s temples and traditional Shivlinga worship is done and pray to the Lord.
  • Lord Shiva is anointed on this occasion. Abhishekam is performed in many ways such as Jalabhishek: water and Dudhabishek by milking.
  • Both women and men pray to the Sun, Vishnu, and Shiva, the devotees revolve the Shivling three or seven times and then pour water or milk on the Shivling as well.
  • On the day of Maha Shivaratri, Lord Shiva is worshiped and anointed with various holy things and Bilvapatra (leaves of the bel tree), Dhatura, Abir, Gulal, Ber, Umbi, etc. are offered.
  • On Mahashivaratri, devotees keep fast all day and night. It is said that a person observing the fast of Mahashivaratri is able to control the rajas and tamas.
  • Some people also do water fasting.
  • One should wear Bhasma and Rudraksha on this day and Meditation on Shiva.
  • This festival meditates well, it is said that if you cannot meditate every day, then you must meditate on this day of the year because this night is considered auspicious for the position of the constellations.
  • Om Namah Shivaya Mantra should be chanted, it increases your energy.
  • Mahamrityunjaya mantra is also liked by Lord Shiva, it should also be chanted with a full heart on the whole day. This mantra harmonizes the five elements of the universe.
  • On the day of Shivaratri, the devotees fast for three hours and chant the Lord overnight and observe the fast the next day. Foliar is definitely done on Shivratri.
  • To get the desired fruit, you should chant this mantra of Shiva:

Nagendraharaya trilacanaya bhasmanga ragaya mahesvaraya
nityaya suddhaya digambaraya tasme na karaya nama: shivaya

Mandakini salila candana carcitaya nandisvara pramathanatha mahesvaraya
mandarapuspa bahupuspa supujitaya tasme ma karaya namah shivaya

Shivaya gauri vadanabjavrnda suryaya daksadhvaranasakaya
shri nilakanthaya vrsabhaddhajaya tasmai si karaya nama sivaya

Avantikayam vihitavataram muktipradanaya ca sajjananam.
Akalamrtyoh Pariraksanarthan Vande Mahakalamahasuresam

Mahashivratri date and time

Mahashivaratri will start from 2:39 pm on 11 March evenings to 3:02 pm on the next day i.e. 12 March. The next day, Lord Shiva will be worshiped in the temples in the morning.