Hindus celebrate many festivals and almost all through the year. Mahashivratri is the most important festival for devotees of Lord Shiva. Read on to learn about the significance and celebration of Mahashivratri.
Mahashivratri is said to be the festival that pleases Lord Shiva the most. So, any Hindu, who wishes to show devotion and commitment towards Lord Shiva, should keep fast during the day and pray and worship the Lord to get his blessings. This festival is celebrated on the moonless night of the Phalgun, a month of Hindu calendar, which falls in February or March.
Importance of Mahashivratri
Worshipping Lord Shiva this day bestows one with happiness and prosperity. Fasting is recommended on this day because when you do not eat too much, you are capable of meditating and this improves concentration and helps in the fulfilment of desire as well. Shiva Tatva helps get even small wishes fulfilled effortlessly on this day.
Experts are of the opinion that on Mahashivratri, Shiva Tatva touches earth. Shiva is considered as the soul of everything. It means peace, beauty, infinity and ratri means taking refuge. So, the literal meaning of Mahashivratri is taking refuge in Shiva or in other words it is about celebrating and understanding Shiva Tatva within oneself.
Significance of Mahashivratri for Women
Married as well as unmarried women keep fast during the day of Mahashivratri and worship Lord Shiva. This is done to please Goddess Parvati to bestow marital bliss and bless them of having a happy and long married life. Since Lord Shiva is considered as an ideal husband, unmarried girls observe fast on Mahashivratri and perform pooja so that they get married to man like Lord Shiva.
Significance of Keeping Awake on the Night of Mahashivratri
Keeping awake at night is symbolic of awareness and oneness of the purpose in which the spiritual aspirant has to achieve the goal. One cannot afford to slack even for a moment on such important night.
The main purpose of keeping awake the whole night of Mahashivratri is not just to stay awake and make the night full of wakefulness. The main intention is to make the night – a night of awakening for the aspirants.
Stories Behind Celebration of Mahashivratri
At the time of Samudra Manthan, a pot full of poison emerged from the ocean. The poison had the capability of destroying the entire world and this terrified both, Gods and demons. Lord Shiva drank the poison and held it in his throat in order to save the world from its ill-effects. Mahashivratri is celebrated to recall and rejoice the event by which Shiva saved the world.
The whole night worship of Shiva has a different story. Once upon a time there was a tribal man who was poor and also a devotee of Lord Shiva. One day he went to forest to collect firewood and lost the way out. During night he climbed a tree and stood awake the entire night. To stay awake he plucked leaves from the tree and along with enchanting the name of Shiva dropped them one by one on the ground.
In the morning he saw that he had dropped thousand leaves that night and there was a Shiv Linga on which he had dropped them. Unknowingly he worshipped Lord Shiva on that auspicious day of Mahashivratri and for this he was rewarded with divine bliss.
It is also believed that Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva was married on this day and therefore known as Mahashivratri.
Mahashivratri is also a day when sacred hymns are chanted. These Mantras are said to bring big changes in the environment. It purifies the atmosphere, increases positivity, helps destroy bad karmas and makes nature celebrate the occasion. Everything when done together on this auspicious day strengthens one’s connection with the divine.
What is the importance of fasting on the occasion of Mahashivratri? How to fast on the day of Mahashivratri? How is Mahashivratri celebrated across India? Discuss here.
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