Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu festival celebrated in the month of Maagha Masam or Phalguna masam on the 13th night or 14th day. Devotees offer prayers to Lord Shiva in temples. The most importance of this day are offering of Bilva leaves and performing abhishekam to the Lord Shiva, fasting and doing Jagarana (all through night long).
As per Hindu mythology the Lord Shiva’s favorite day is Maha Shivaratri. Chanting OmNamaShivaya on this with perfect devotion and concentration will get free from all sins and liberated from the wheel of births and deaths.
- Many believe that this day is auspicious because Lord Shiva and Parvathi are married.
- Some Believe that this auspicious night, Lord Shiva performed the Tandava (Dance) that led to the creation, protection and destroy of the universe.
- Another story is that during the Churning of the Ocean (Samudra Manthan) by the Gods and Demons, a toxic poison which could affect the entire creation is formed. Lord Vishnu advised the gods to approach Lord Shiva and pray to protect their lives by consuming the poison. Then Lord Shiva drank the poison and held it in his throat has become blue (also known as NeelaKanta). The gods kept Lord Shiva awake the whole night on the advice of Ashwini Kumaras as a part of therapy, by performing dances and playing music. So from that time on the Shivaratri day and night, devotees fast and chant and meditate Lord Shiva.
- Devotees have to get up early morning clean the house and perform bath at sunrise. Wear fresh new clothes after the bath.
- Visit a nearby Shiva temple and circumambulate the linga, three or seven times.
- Perform Special abishekam and offer bilva Leaves and chant the panchakshara mantra to the Shiva linga.
- At home perform puja with bilwa leaves, light a ghee lamp and incense to purify the negative energies. Prepare naivedhyam and offer to Lord Shiva.
- Keep Fasting and do jagaram the whole night by chanting and meditating.
Maha Shivaratri Puja must incorporate with six items as per the Shiva Purana:
Milk - purity,piousness
Yogurt - prosperity,progeny
Honey - speech witrh sweetness
Ghee - victory
Sugar – happiness
- Married Women observe fast and offer prayers both to Lord Shiva and Parvati to shower their grace with a peaceful and blissful married life.
- Unmarried women observe fast and offer prayers to Lord Shiva to bless them a husband like Shiva, who is considered to be the ideal husband.
- Maha shivaratri is celebrated when winter pass across spring. The humans have to adjust the body physiology as they are easily influenced to lung and respiratory infections.
- Abhishekam (water has noncrystalline substance consisting of large molecules) is done on the Shiva lingam to provide a powerful medicine. The Shiva lingam is made up of special granite with precious metals. The lingam produces cosmic vibrations because of the architecture.
- The bilva leaves are the preventive medicine for respiratory diseases and cardiac problems. By inhaling the smell we are connected to aroma therapy.
- The position of moon at an angle with the earth has intense influence on the organs like brain, kidney, digestive tracts etc. so fasting is prescribed on Maha Shivaratri to keep the organs impaired and function smoothly.
- The temples are built in a special architecture as per agama Shastra to accumulate the cosmic energy and Geo-magnetic energy. This energy will be overindulging to the devotees in the temple.
- Staying wake up on the whole night and reciting Powerful Vedic mantras will help in charging yourself with the infrared energies which acts as a medicine for the seasonal changes.