Importance of Mahashivaratri Festival [3 Minute]
Lord Shiva is called Satyam Shivam Sundar. Truth is Shiva… Shiva is beautiful. The glory of Lord Ashutosh is limitless. Mahashivaratri is a great festival to please Lord Shiva.
Mahashivratri (Mahashivaratri Festival) is a religious festival of the Sanatan Hindu religion. Being the main festival of Lord Shiva, on this day Shiva devotees observe fast and perform special worship of Lord Shiva. According to the Hindu calendar, the Mahashivratri festival is celebrated on the Chaturdashi date of Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month, because Lord Shiva got married on this day. It is a day of fasting, abstinence, and worship for the devotees of Lord Shiva. The festival is marked by the offering of special prayers and rituals at Shiva temples, and some devotees even keep vigil all night at the temple.
The Monthly Shivratri festival is celebrated on Chaturdashi of Krishna Paksha every month of the year. Among the 12 Shivratris that occur in a year, Mahashivaratri, the Chaturdashi date of Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month, is considered the most important. The holy festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated with great enthusiasm all over the world including India.
According to mythology, Lord Bholenath and Mother Parvati got married on this day. Shiva devotees celebrate the Mahashivaratri festival with pomp every year.
Mahashivaratri (Mahashivaratri Festival) Story:-
According to the first mythology, Lord Shiva appeared for the first time on the day of Mahashivaratri. Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Jyotirlinga i.e. Agnilinga which had neither beginning nor end. To find out this Shivling, Brahmaji himself went to see the upper part of Agnilinga in the form of a swan, but he could not succeed. On the other hand, Lord Vishnu also took the form of Varah and was searching for the base of Agnilinga, but Lord Vishnu also could not find the base.
The day Shiva first manifested himself in the form of Agnilinga was Chaturdashi Tithi of Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month. Since then this day is considered very auspicious and important and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri.
According to another story, Lord Shiva and Parvati met on Mahashivaratri. Shiva and Parvati were married to each other. Lord Shiva left the quietness and entered the householder’s ashram. That’s why Bholenath’s procession is taken out on the festival of Mahashivratri at many places. On this day, devotees also get married to Lord Shiva and Parvati. According to religious beliefs, the marriage of Lord Shiva and Mother Parvati removes the problems of married life.
Shiva Worship in Mahashivratri:-
On the day of Shivratri, after taking a bath in Brahma Muhurt, wearing clean clothes, do Jalabhishek of Shivling in any Shivalaya. Then offer Belpatra, Akshat, Ganges water, milk, flowers, sandalwood, honey, etc. to Lord Shiva by chanting Shiva Panchakshar Mantra Om Namah Shivay.
“ॐ नमः शिवाय”
“Om Namah Shivay”
This shloka is considered one of the most powerful mantras of Lord Shiva. It is believed that by reciting this shloka, one can receive the blessings of Lord Shiva and attain spiritual enlightenment.
Many devotees also perform Rudrabhishek, a ritual that involves pouring water on the Shivalinga while reciting mantras in the name of Lord Shiva. Another popular shloka recited on Mahashivaratri is-
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्।
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात्॥
Om Trimbakam Yajamahe Sugandhi Pushtivardhanam.
Urvarukamiv Bandhanan Mrityormukshiya Mamritat ॥
This shloka is taken from the Rigveda and praises Lord Shiva as the three-eyed one who bestows blessings and provides liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
The whole day of Mahashivaratri is considered very auspicious for worshiping Lord Bholenath. On this day Shiva devotees can worship Lord Shiva anytime throughout the day. On the day of Mahashivaratri, worship of Lord Shiva should be done methodically with Belpatra, the favorite item of Lord Shiva. Belpatra, the favorite of Lord Shiva, must be offered on the Shivling.
It is considered very important to worship Lord Shiva on the day of Mahashivratri in Pradosh Kaal i.e. between night and day. By worshiping at this time, Lord Shiva becomes happy soon and fulfills every wish. Lord Shiva destroys all kinds of sins by worshiping the four Prahars on the day of Mahashivaratri.
According to the opinion of scholars, Shivratri is worshiped in all four hours of the night. Sadhak can please Mahadev, the God of Gods, by worshiping all four Prahars or one Prahar. To get the full results of the Mahashivratri fast, Shivratri fast should be completed between sunrise and sunset of the Chaturdashi date.
Importance of Mahashivratri fast:-
The festival of Mahashivaratri has both spiritual and cultural significance. Spiritually, it is believed that celebrating the festival bestows blessings and divine grace, and helps individuals attain spiritual growth and enlightenment. It is also believed to help purify the mind and body and increase devotion to Lord Shiva.
On this auspicious day of Mahashivratri, Shiva devotees observe fast, penance, and chant, and on this day worship and see the Shivling form of Lord Mahadev. On this day, in all the Shiva temples across the country, Abhishekam is done on Shivling with Belpatra, Dhatura, milk, curd, sugar, etc.
It has been said in Hindu religious scriptures that the devotee of Shiva who fasts on Mahashivaratri attains salvation. The fast of Mahashivratri is fast for the welfare of man. With the end of all the sorrows of the person who fasts on Shivratri, the wishes are also fulfilled.
Additionally, the festival is also an occasion for people to reflect on their lives and take resolutions for self-improvement. It is also a day to forgive and seek blessings from Lord Shiva.
In short, Mahashivratri is considered an important festival in Hinduism with both spiritual and cultural significance. It is a day of devotion, reflection, and celebration.