Maha Shivaratri: Nightlong Vigils And Worship Of Lord Shiva

Maha Shivaratri: Nightlong Vigils And Worship Of Lord Shiva – According to Hindu legend, Shiva performed the Tandava dance for the first time on Maha Shivratri. Lord Shiva prevented the end of the world by performing this act of devotion.

Maha Shivratri marks the day Shiva entered Mount Kailash and celebrates his marriage with Goddess Parvati. In the yogic tradition, Shiva is revered not as a deity, but as the primordial guru—the first guru from whom the science of yoga originated. Hindu folklore attaches great importance to this festival. According to legend, a devotee who sincerely worships Lord Shiva on the holy day of Shivratri is forgiven of his sins and attains moksha.

Maha Shivaratri: Nightlong Vigils And Worship Of Lord Shiva

Maha Shivaratri: Nightlong Vigils And Worship Of Lord Shiva

Maha Shivratri means the great night of Shiva. It is an annual festival dedicated to Lord Shiva. Unlike most Hindu festivals that are celebrated during the day, Maha Shivratri is celebrated at night. Also, unlike most Hindu festivals that include displays of cultural heritage, Maha Shivratri is a special occasion for observing, fasting, meditating on Shiva, self- study, social harmony and all-night vigils at Shiva temples.

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Celebrations include vigils, an all-night vigil and prayers. This holy night is celebrated by Shiva to “eliminate darkness and ignorance” in human life and the world. Fruits, leaves, sweets and milk are offered to Lord Shiva. Some fast all day with Vedic worship of Shiva and some do meditative yoga. In Shiva temples, “Om Namah Shivaya”, the holy mantra of Shiva, is chanted throughout the day.

Various legends describe the significance of Maha Shivratri. According to legend in the Shaivism tradition, this is the night when Shiva performs a celestial dance of creation, protection and destruction. Chanting of hymns, recitation of Shiva scriptures and choruses of devotees join this cosmic dance, recalling Shiva’s presence everywhere. According to another legend, this is the night Shiva and Parvati got married.

Another legend says that it is an annual ritual to offer Shiva images such as lingas to be freed from past sins, restart the path of healing, and from there reach Mount Kailash and deliverance.

The legend explains the all-night worship of Shiva on Shivaratri. Once upon a time there was a poor tribal man who was a devotee of Shiva. One day he went deep into the forest to collect firewood. However, he got lost and could not return home before dark.

What Is Mahashivratri?

As it grew dark, he heard the roaring of wild animals. In panic, he climbed a nearby tree to hide until morning. He was sitting among the branches and was afraid that he would fall asleep and fall from the tree. To stay awake, he decided to leave the tree by plucking one leaf at a time while chanting Shiva’s name. At dawn he realized that he had left a thousand leaves on the linga to keep himself awake. The tree became a wood apple or bell tree. This unconscious worship throughout the night pleased Shiva, by whom the tribes received a divine blessing with grace. Devotees fasting on Mahashivratri also recite this story. After an overnight fast, devotees eat prasad offered to Shiva.

Soon after Mahashivratri, almost miraculously, the trees are full of flowers because after the winter, the fertility of the land is revived. And perhaps this is why the linga is worshiped as a symbol of fertility throughout India.

Thus, Maha Shivratri is not only a religious ritual but also a global interpretation of the Hindu universe. It dispels ignorance, illuminates the light of knowledge, comprehends the universe, ushers in the spring after a cold and dry winter, and invites the Supreme Power to experience it. the creatures he created.

Maha Shivaratri: Nightlong Vigils And Worship Of Lord Shiva

Maha Shivratri usually falls in March or February. In 2023, Maha Shivratri will be celebrated on February 18, 2023.

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Devotees of Lord Shiva celebrate Shivratri by performing the prescribed rituals with devotion and dedication. The devotees fast all day and break their fast only in the morning of the next day after a night of worship. Another important aspect of Shivratri traditions and customs is the ritual washing of the Shiv Linga by Shiva worshippers, mostly women, in many Shiva temples.

On the day of Mahashivratri, it is customary for devotees to get up early and take a holy dip in the river Ganga early in the morning. On important Hindu holidays, Surya, Vishnu and Shiva are also worshiped as part of purification.

Devotees dress up in brand new clothes and go to the nearest Shiva temple to offer a traditional bath to the Shivalinga.

People pray to God and perform traditional Shivlinga Puja. Devotees circumambulate the Shivling three to seven times before bathing in the water. Others pour milk. Bells ring and echo throughout the temple grounds.

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Every three hours the Shivlingam receives a special bath of milk, honey, curd, sandalwood paste and rose water according to the rituals mentioned in the Shivpurana. Pooja, meditation and chanting of “Om Namah Shivay” is performed along with ritual bathing. Vermilion is applied to the lingam after bathing.

The worship of Shiva traditionally uses the leaves of the wild Agal Marmelos tree. The Shivlinga is then covered with bilva leaves, which should be a three leaf stem. On this day, ber or jujube fruit is a special gift to God. Some also recommend beetle leaves. Besides offering incense sticks and fruits, many worshipers decorate the linga with garlands and flowers.

Worship of Shiva during the night​​​​ Lord Shiva is worshiped during the​​​​ night during the Shivratri festival. To worship Lord Shiva, devotees spend the whole night in vigil and the whole night in Shiva temples.

Maha Shivaratri: Nightlong Vigils And Worship Of Lord Shiva

Along with the heartfelt recitation of Om Namah Shivaya, this verse which claims to be free from their sins, singing hymns and songs in honor and devotion to Lord Shiva continues throughout the night on Shivaratri.

Hindu Devotees Pray During The Annual Maha Shivaratri Festival At Shivam Kovil In Colombo March 10, 2013. Sri Lanka’s Hindu Devotes Celebrate The Annual Maha Shivaratri Festival By Fasting For An Entire

The priests continue the special worship of Shiva during the all-night prayer. During this traditional Lord Shiva puja, special food cooked with seasonal fruits, root vegetables and coconut is served. The next day, those observing the Shivaratri fast end by eating prasad dedicated to Shiva.

Most of us are familiar with the love story of Lord Shiva. Even after the death of Sati, his devotion to the goddess Sati was so intense and sincere that he stopped him from falling in love with another woman. Goddess Parvati, a wonderful girl who never married and had true love and devotion for God, was waiting for Shiva to accept her love. Goddess Parvati eventually won the Lord’s heart after severe penance and intense meditation. On this day Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva got married and became one. Therefore, unmarried women on this day pray for a partner like Shiva, who is considered the perfect man.

Families celebrate Mahashivratri as the wedding anniversary of Shiva and Parvati. People with worldly ambitions see it as the day when Shiva defeats all his enemies. However, for ascetics it is remembered as the day he met Mount Kailash. He became completely silent as a mountain. He spent many ages meditating until one day he finally became silent. That day is Mahashivratri. Sannyasis refer to Mahashivratri as “the night of silence” because all inner movement stops and they become completely silent.

According to legend, Shiva saved the world on the festival of Shivaratri. According to legend, a vessel of poison rose from the sea. To prevent the ill effects of poison from spreading across the planet, Shiva drank the entire amount and kept it in his throat instead of swallowing it. His throat turned blue as a result, earning him the title Nilakantha.

Maha Shivratri: The Night Of Shiva

The phrase “the night of Lord Shiva” refers to Maha Shivaratri. It is an important Hindu festival that is celebrated with enthusiasm and enthusiasm across the country. While everywhere celebrates the same Shivratri, including fasting and worshiping the Shiva Linga and the customary milk bath, there may be some variation in different states due to regional and special practices.

Some of the places where Maha Shivratri is celebrated in the grandest way are Tamil Nadu, Varanasi, Jammu and Kashmir, Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Odisha.

For many people, Maha Shivratri has many different meanings. The idea of ​​”victory over darkness and ignorance” is one of the main themes that appeal to the believer. This night of self-denial, meditation and silence is a silent vigil to bring light and creativity back to the Earth and embrace darkness and emptiness.

Maha Shivaratri: Nightlong Vigils And Worship Of Lord Shiva

Preserving cultural assets and passing them on to future generations means preserving the past and securing the future. The protection of cultural assets such as identity, cultural knowledge, meaning and core values ​​represented in certain traditional behaviors or rituals can be promoted through festivals.

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In order to preserve traditional values ​​and traditions in today’s world, it is necessary to find ways to make the celebration meaningful for the next generation. Bring children as soon as possible

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