Maha Shivratri, literally meaning “the great night of Lord Shiva”, is a Hindu festival which falls on the 14th day or the 13th night of the Hindu lunar calendar.
What is Shivratri?
There are many people who do not know what is Shivratri and why it is celebrated!
There are different versions as to the reason(s) for celebrating Shivratri/ Shivarathri/ Sivaratri.
The most popularly accepted belief is that the occasion solemnizes Shiv Parvati marriage .
According to another version described in detail in the Linga Purana, it was on this chosen day that the Lord decided to manifest himself in the form of a Lingam.
Yet another school of thought advocates that the Lord performed the Shiv Tandava nritya (or the dance of destruction) on this night.
Owing to differences in the Hindu calendar followed in different regions of India, the festival is often celebrated on different dates across India.
How is Shivratri Celebrated?
After knowing what is Shivratri, let us tell you HOW it is celebrated!
Hindu sculptures attach great importance to observing a fast on this auspicious day. Devotees of Lord Shiva fast throughout the day and stay awake all night, singing and dancing to songs sung to eulogize the Lord.
Bilva leaves and bhanga are offered to the deity at night and the Shivlingam is bathed with panchamrit (a mixture of milk, curd, honey, tulsi (basil) leaves and rose water and the sacred tilak is applied to the lingam. Fruits are also offered to the Lord. Doing so symbolizes the fulfillment of desires.
Girls of marriageable age are said to find a perfect match or an ideal husband just like the Lord himself if she observes this fast, while the married women do so for the safety and well-being of their husband and son(s).
Besides that, fasting on this holy day is said to wash away a person’s previous sins and purifies his soul and also helps him inch closer to the ultimate goal of salvation.
Shivratri fairs are held at many places in India and also at the Pashupatinath temple, Kathmandu (Nepal). The annual Shivratri fair held in Mandi district and Naina Devi in Himachal Pradesh attract devotees and tourists from far and wide.
Here are a few Lord Shiva wallpapers to adorn your pc screen. Doing so would be a wonderful idea, particularly on this auspicious day. And that too, if you are a devotee of Lord Shiva!
Meanwhile, wishing all our readers a very Happy Maha Shivratri. May Lord Shiva bless you all!