Maha Shivaratri is a famous Hindu festival celebrated each year in reverence of Lord Shiva. In 2020 Shivaratri will be celebrated on Friday, 21st February. Maha Shivaratri Festival is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor on the moonless 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun. Know The reason why Maha Shivratri Is Celebrated. Devotees observe fast all through the day and night of Shivaratri in honor of Lord Shiva and pay a visit to Shiva temples. Ritual bath of Shiva Lingam with milk, water, honey etc is also performed by the devotees as a part of the Maha Shivratri tradition. This is a festival celebrated all over India. This day is considered to be extremely auspicious and people who observe the Maha fasting on this day are said to get free of all their sins.
The planetary positions on the night of Shivaratri are such that they can enormously benefit your spiritual and physical well-being when certain procedures are followed. The major festival marks overcoming darkness and ignorance in life, and as such, it is observed by remembering Shiva, chanting prayers and practicing yoga, fasting and contemplating ethics and virtues of honesty, restraint, and forgiveness.
Auspicious time for Maha Shivaratri
Nishita Kaal Puja Time = 12:09 AM to 01:00 AM, Feb 22
Duration = 0 Hours 51 Minutes
On 22nd Maha Shivaratri Parana Time = 06:54 AM to 03:25 PM
Ratri First Prahar Puja Time – 06:15 PM to 09:25 PM
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time – 09:25 PM to 12:34 AM, Feb 22
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time – 12:34 AM to 03:44 AM, Feb 22
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time – 03:44 AM to 06:54 AM, Feb 22
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins – 05:20 PM on Feb 21, 2020
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends – 07:02 PM on Feb 22, 2020
To know in detail about the Prahara Time and Chaturdashi Tithi read Maha Shivratri In Detail Muhurat
Lord Shiva – The most complex of Hindu deities and one of the most powerful is known by different names — Mahadeva, Mahayogi, Pashupati, Nataraja, Bhairava, Vishwanath, Bhava, Bhole Nath and many more. He is the ultimate God with an extraordinary love for his devotees can grant anything you desire for. Chanting his mantras will enable you to have power from within; the powers which are still unexplored and untouched. Below are certain Mantras you should chant on the day of Maha Shivaratri.
Shiva Moola Mantra
Om Namah Shivaya॥
Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात्॥
Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushti-Vardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityormukshiya Mamritat॥
Significance of the most powerful Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
Maha Mrityunjaya on being recited properly has the capacity to rejuvenate, bestow health, wealth, long life, peace, prosperity and contentment in one’s life. It is believed that chanting of Shiva Mantra generates divine vibrations that ward off all the negative and evil forces and creates a powerful protective shield. This Mantra creates positive vibrations around you, hence keeping unwanted situations apart. It is also said to have a strong healing power and can cure even serious diseases. Many believe Maha Mrityunjay Mantra to be a mantra that can conquer death and connect human beings to their own inner divinity.
You should also follow Pradosh Vrath Katha and Vidhi, which is considered to be the happiest day for Lord Shiva and comes every month.
Best Time to Chant
Chanting the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra with sincerity, faith, and devotion in Bramha Muhurata is very beneficial. But one can also do Maha Mrityunjaya Japa anytime with complete devotion and dedication.
Rudra Gayatri Mantra
ॐ तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे महादेवाय धीमहि
तन्नो रुद्रः प्रचोदयात्॥
Om Tatpurushaya Vidmahe Mahadevaya Dhimahi
Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat॥
Checkout some images of Lord Shiva’s Rudra avatar
There are many more important Mantras you need to follow while observing Maha Shivratri – Chant these Maha Shivaratri Maha Mantra to worship Lord Shiva
Also, read the Maha Shivratri Vrat Katha
Significance of Maha Shivratri
Maha Shivratri is one of the most auspicious days in a year according to Hinduism. The God of all Gods and the king of existence have chosen this day to shower his precious blessings on his true devotees. Many saints and sadhus have claimed this day to be miraculously magical having capacities to eradicate the strongest of the negative powers. The astrological leaders say that the planetary positions on this day are such that all the chakras of the human body become pure enabling every positive happening.
Evils like lust, anger, jealousy, born of Rajas and Tamas are subdued. The devotees break the fast after the fourth and last round. According to our ancient scriptures and Vedas, the performance of this ritual is both obligatory and desirable. On performing the Maha Shivaratri fast it is believed that the devotees’ body shifts towards divinity. It is said that one who performs the sacrifice on Shivaratri with all the necessary rituals and keeps the fast according to the rules attains happiness and realizes his most cherished desires.
In many parts of the country young, unmarried girls keep fast as it is believed that it will enable them to get a handsome, caring and loving husband like Lord Shiva.
If you want to understand the origin of this superpower then read How Did Shiva Linga evolve
Legends and Mythology behind Maha Shivaratri
There are various interesting legends related to the festival of Maha Shivaratri. According to one of the most popular legends, Shivaratri marks the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Some believe that it was on the auspicious night of Shivaratri that Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation and destruction. Another popular Shivratri legend stated in Linga Purana states that it was on Shivaratri that Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Linga. Hence the day is considered to be extremely auspicious by Shiva devotees and they celebrate it as Maha Shivaratri – the grand night of Shiva.
Marriage Of Shiva and Shakti
Many of us are aware of the love story of Lord Shiva. His love for Goddess Sati was extremely intense and pure which denied his heart to fall for any other beauty even after Sati’s demise. Goddess Parvati – an unmarried beautiful girl then with huge devotion and love for the Lord was waiting for Shiva to accept her love. After severing penance and extreme meditation Goddess Parvati was finally able to win the Lord’s heart. This was the day when Lord Shiva and Parvati got married and united as one. Hence, on this day Unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, who is considered to be the ideal husband. The uniting of Shiva and Shakti was not normal and witnessed a power that is unimaginable – Lord Shiva Taught Yoga to Parvati For The First Time After Marriage.
You will be amazed to learn that Lord Shiva had an affair with a beautiful apsara Mohini.
Most of you must be aware of the story of the great Samudra Manthan among the asuras and the devtas. This fight had for sure produced the immortal Amrit but along with it had also produced the most poisonous venom ever known as the haalaa hala. The poison had the capacity to destroy the universe and hence only Lord Shiva could destroy it my drinking it. The poison was so potent that Lord Shiva was suffering from immense pain and his throat had also become blue. For this reason, Lord Shiva is famously known as ‘Neelakantha’. As part of the therapy, doctors advised gods to keep Lord Shiva awake during the night. Thus, Gods kept a vigil in contemplation of Lord Shiva. To amuse Shiva and to keep him awake, the gods took turns, performing various dances and playing music. As the day broke out, Lord Shiva, pleased with their devotion blessed them all. Shivaratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world. Since then, on this day and night – devotees fast, keep vigil, sing glories of Lord and meditate the entire night.
This incident also stated Why Shravan Maas is Lord Shiva’s Favorite.
The Power of Shiva Lingam
This was the day when Lord Brahma and Vishnu were fighting over each other’s powers. Lord Shiva decided to make them realize their mistake and hence took the form of a flaming Linga in between Lord Brahma and Vishnu and challenged them to measure the start and end of it. Lord Brahma came back lying that he found the origin which enraged Lord Shiva and he had punished Brahma. That day it was proved that Brahma and Vishnu were also Lord Shiva’s part and hence he was the supreme of all. This makes the Lingam the most potent emblems in Hindu ideals.
Celebrations and Traditions of Mahashivaratri
Puranas contain many stories and legends describing the origin of this festival. According to one, during the Samudra Manthan, a pot of poison emerged from the ocean. This terrified the Gods and demons as the poison was capable of destroying the entire world, and they ran to Shiva for help. To protect the world from its evil effects, Shiva drank the deathly poison but held it in his throat instead of swallowing it. This made his throat turn blue, and he was given the name Neelakantha, the blue-throated one. Shivaratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world.
Maha Shivaratri Festival Various traditions and customs related to Shivaratri Festival are dutifully followed by the worshipers of Lord Shiva. Devotees observe strict fast in honor of Shiva, though many go on a diet of fruits and milk some do not consume even a drop of water. Devotees strongly believe that sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Shivaratri absolves a person of sins and liberates him from the cycle of birth and death. Shivaratri is considered especially auspicious for women. While married women pray for the well being of their husbands’, unmarried women pray for a husband like Lord Shiva, who is regarded as the ideal husband. Drinking Thandai and getting intoxicated is a ritual of Maha Shivratri.
To mark the Shivratri festival, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath, preferably in river Ganga. After wearing fresh new clothes devotees visit the nearest Shiva temple to give ritual bath to the Shiva Lingam with milk, honey, water etc. In Rajasthan, people celebrate Gangaur a festival after Mahashivratri.