Maha Shivratri : A Hindu Festival
Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival which is celebrated across the country. It is the celebration of Lord Shiva. Though there are different mythological stories associated with it but the central point is the worshiping of SHIVA. Maha Shivratri literally translates into “Great night of Lord Shiva”. This festival is marked for the worship of Lord Shiva and is one of the most important festivals for Hindu women.
This year Maha Shivratri will be celebrated on 27th February, 2014 (Thursday).
Maha Shivratri is considered to be highly auspicious for the Hindu women. Married women worship and keep fasts for the well-being of their husband and sons. This is equally important festival for unmarried women as they keep fast to get a husband like Lord Shiva. It is believed that the women who fasts on this day gets husband of their choice hence it is very popular among the unmarried women as well.
In general, Lord Shiva is known for as Destroyer or transformer, he is believed to have power with which he can even give life to dead people. He can see all the “three kaals” ie., he can see past, present and future and hence can enlighten people about the right and wrong that they do. Worshiping Shiva with a pure heart on this day can erase all your sins and can make you free from the cycle of life and death.
On Mahashivratri, the Nishita Kala is the ideal time to do a Shiva Puja. This is the time when Shiva came to earth in the form of Linga. Hence he is also called Lingum or Lingadev. His puja or worship is done in a different way than rest of the gods and goddesses. You should never do the traditional puja for Lord Shiva.
On this day people keep fast and chant “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” this chant is a sacred chant and is called Panchakshara mantra. In the rituals a fast is done and a bael is offered to the linga. One has to bath the Shiva linga with milk, water and honey. Though these days prefer giving it to poor people as Lord Shiva himself has taught to provide poor with milk first and if you do this it will be considered as his worship. People also offer fruits and betel leaves to Shiva on this day.