It is believed that Shivaratri occurs in every lunar month of the Hindu calendar, Maha Shivaratri, occurring only once every year in February/March, when winter ends and spring and summer begin. Of the 12 Shivaratris observed in any given year, Maha Shivaratri is considered particularly auspicious, as it is considered the night of convergence of Shiva and Shakti, meaning the male and female energies that keep the world in balance. . Shiva and Shakti are revered as embodiments of love, power and unity.
There are different legends throughout history that describe the importance of Maha Shivratri.
One of them claims that on this day Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati tied the knot. Purusha (Mindfulness) is embodied by Lord Shiva, while Prakriti (Prakriti) is embodied by Mother Parvati. It facilitates creation by the union of both consciousness and energy.
Another story says, during the churning of the ocean, a vessel came out of the ocean which contained poison. All the gods and demons were afraid that it would destroy the whole world and hence, the gods went to Lord Shiva for help.
To save the whole world from the ill-effects, Shiva drank all the poison and instead of swallowing it held it in his throat. Due to this his throat turned blue and hence he came to be called Neelkanth.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated in many states of India like Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Bihar.
On this auspicious day, followers and devotees of Shiva observe a fast and special pujas are performed in many temples of Shiva across the world. They offer milk to the Shivling and pray for salvation.
Many devotees pray throughout the night, chanting mantras in praise of Lord Shiva. Apart from the celebration of the marriage of Shiva and Shakti, unmarried women pray and observe a fast to wish for a kind mate in the form of Lord Shiva. Fairs and cultural programs are also organized in various temples on this day.
It is believed that those who worship, fast and worship Lord Shiva are blessed with good fortune. Many people also think that the Maha Shivratri fast reminds the devotees that pride, arrogance and lies lead to downfall. Overall, it is a day when positivity triumphs over negativity. (ANI)
First published:February 28, 2022, 5 am