Maha Shivaratri - 2022
Maha Shivaratri, a festival celebrated in the night, unlike other festivals which are overtly joyous, colourful and zest. This festival is celebrated for self-reflection, introspection to live life successfully. It mainly considers the Shiva Tattva which is the principle of life that resides deep within.
Maha Shivaratri is the most considered day among all the 12 Shivarati’s of the year. It is a major festival done in honour of Lord Shiva. Celebrated at the end of winter and start of summer either in February or march based on planetary movements and positions. Maha Shivaratri is a festival celebrated all over India.
Maha Shivaratri is celebrated on the 13th day- Thrayodashi transition to 14th day- Chaturdashi of Phalguna month, which is the last month of the Hindu calendar. Generally, it falls on the Krishna Chaturdashi of Phalguna.
Shivaratri is celebrated on the 14th day of every month, termed Masik Shivaratri. It is believed that every day has a ruling god and the ruler of Chaturdashi is lord shiva.
In south India, Chaturdashi during Krishna paksha of month Maga and in the north, Shivaratri of Phalguna is celebrated as Maha Shivaratri. However, celebration occurs on the same day.
Shiva and Shakti duo are considered the epitome of love, power, togetherness and this festival had marked the initiation for this bond. So, it is celebrated. On this day, Shiva Tattva is celebrated from within our souls and the body, thus this day marks spirituality festive.
Let’s celebrate the Mighty, the Lord of the universe creator, God shiva by knowing some more about his favourite day...!!!
Maha Shivaratri Muhurta:
Stories/legends and significance behind the celebration of Maha Shivaratri:
Maha Shivaratri is considered as the LINGODHBAV MOORTI day; Lord Shiva has come to earth in the form of LINGAM. This happened because of the fight between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu to show their supremacy to the world. But eventually failed around the fireball created by lord shiva i.e., the Linga Rupam Of Lord Shiva.
On this day, Lord Shiva performed Shiva Tandavam the whole night. It is a legendary dance- thandavam a heavenly and hypnotic dance; by which Shiva activated and awakened consciousness to attain SHOONYA which means succeeding in the state of SAMADHI. This was performed for creation, preservation and destruction.
Lord Shiva drank HAALAHAL (poison) on this day to save the world and became NEELAKANTH. This happened during Sammudhra marthan. This day is considered a celebration of gratitude for the gesture made by Lord Shiva to protect the universe.
Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married on this day, thus, this day has been a special, auspicious one to celebrate. Parvati is known as the goddess of fertility, love, beauty, shakti and lord shiva is known as the lord of destruction and creation. The main reason for this celebration is there was an escort of gods, goddesses, animals, birds, demons to take the couple to their place. This is all about feminine and masculine energies balancing the world.
This day has a speciality for women. Married ones pray for their husband’s wellness and happiness in their lives. Unmarried women pray for a compassionate and ideal husband like lord shiva.
It is the day when Adhiyogi / first guru was awakened from the consciousness at the material level of existence.
When goddess Ganga descended, came with full force; lord shiva caught her in his matted locks, slowly released her in streams to earth by stopping the destruction of the earth. For this, shiva Linga is bathed in Ganga water on this auspicious day.
Maha Shivaratri marks a great time frame with high esteem for Vedic scholars and yogis, as the day has such a divinity. Because 3 days before and after Maha Shivratri, the sun will be in Aquarius and the moon in Capricorn.
Once Mata Parvati asked lord shiva about which day, devotees, rituals pleased him the most. Lord Shiva replied-14th night of the new moon, dark fortnight, the month of Phalguna; even said, it's his favourite day as the natural upsurge of energy in the human system increases due to positional changes in planetary positions, most devotees put their body straight and perform sadhana not sleeping all night with a vigil in them.
Chanting Mantras for Mahashivaratri:
Science Behind MahaShivaratri:
The only festival celebrated in the night, which indirectly makes a human body stay erect and upright, so the fluids reach the human brain. By which it functions more actively. on this day, people perform- Dhyana, Natyam to keep themselves erect on this special and significant day. This indirectly says a way to become more sensitive towards changes in nature and the human body.
On a full moon day and a new moon day, the moon's gravitational pull is at a maximum, which results in an upward flow of body fluids and the brain receives more amount of oxygenated blood. Even the gravitational pull is very slight, it affects. On this day, the planet spins with a certain precision which create a wobble, in turn creates a natural upsurge of energy towards the Northern Hemisphere. The word ‘Jagran’ is created to keep one’s spine erect.
Fasting is done to create a mediative mind and body state. People perform intermittent fasting which gives rest to the digestive system by which it actively starts the metabolism and energizes the body; to control and eliminate the laziness, sleepiness within an individual. It’s simply, introspecting digestive system in the name of devotion. It makes us learn, to end the unending, vicious cycle of material love by adapting slowly towards the freeing of soul and salvation.
The matter is lifeless energy, which is shiva’s consciousness as he is the creator of the universe and origin. According to science, the earth comes near to sun on Maha Shivaratri. The sun rays on Uttara Phalguna will touch the moon than are reflected, which aids in the metabolism of plants and animals.
Vacuum is created in the night (12.00 AM – 3.00 AM), here the union of the moon (Shiva) and fire (Skathi) meets on Maha Shivaratri day. Thus, considered auspicious.
The third eye on shiva’s face resembles the different perspectives and balancing the contradictions. As he is ARDHANARISHWAR, every human also has half man and half woman, the thoughts are also the same. To celebrate this, sindoor or kumkum is put on the linga.
On this day, the Vata component of the body gets activated as the sun, the moon is aligned in such a way. Its activity reaches the maximum. Vata is about the moments of the body, and its characteristic is dryness. The day of Maha Shivaratri is to enhance the body by moments in it by reducing dryness. This makes one positive, activated and soulful.
To make Vata active, all the nadis should be perpendicular to the ground. This is the reason behind being awake all night.
Jagaran is a ritual performed by being vigil all night to perform puja, dhayan, chanting mantras, performing Natyam in dedication to lord shiva. This night is divided into 4 quarters and pujas are performed to abide the life and death circle and liberation from the materialistic world. This can be considered as a blessing to overcome the darkness and ignorance.
Offering Bel leaf is considered most auspicious on this day. This releases 2% of shiva tattva generally but on Maha Shivaratri, it emits 20%.
Abhishekam is performed with water and Ganga Jal, offered with bel leaf; as lord shiva is the God of Dissolution. This makes us learn the quality of dissolution.
Circumambulation is done around the shiva linga which starts from the left side and a reverse circumambulation is performed without crossing the start point to the Shalunka's extended outlet. By doing this, one won’t get affected by the adverse effects of the production of vital fluids and energies in the body.
Offerings for Mahadev on Maha Shivaratri festival:
To do things on Maha Shivaratri day according to Shiva Purana:
- Bathing in Ganga to purify soul, mind and body
- Doing abhishekam to shiva lingam with Ganges water, cow milk and honey
- Offering bel leaves to linga swarupa shiva
- After this, put vermolin/ kumkum to it, which represents virtue
- Offer fruits and leaves, flowers to help with satisfaction in life
- Burning some wealth’s – enrage yields wealth
- Applying 3 horizontal lines with holy ash- vibhuti which represents penance, spirituality, cleanliness.
- Wear a garland of rudraksha during worshipping of lord shiva
Maha Shivaratri is an auspicious festival. It has a speciality that it is for the soul rather than for the body and joyous or eye fascinating one. It is celebrated for in-person calmness, soulfulness, peace, enlightening of soul, improving spirituality, etc.,
On this auspicious day, if one takes up a specific kriya or Karya with full devotion, they can supercharge themselves spiritually and mentally.
One line before I leave- “Shiva is not present in a physical form, but he is in you, so celebrate yourself to celebrate lord shiva for his presence in you and the world.”
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA – 108 TIMES