Thursday, February 16, 2017

‪Maha Shivratri When is ‪Maha Shivratri

‪Maha Shivratri When is ‪Maha Shivratri
Mahashivaratri Festival or the ‘The Night of Shiva’ is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the deities of Hindu Trinity. Shivaratri falls Krishna Paksha of the month of Maagha,on the moonless 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun, which corresponds to the month of February - March in English Calendar. Celebrating the festival of Shivaratri devotees observe day and night fast and perform ritual worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva.Devotees observe fast and conduct special pujas on this day. It is believed that performing special pujas according to your sun sign helps you get all your wishes fulfilled.

In 2017, Shivratri Vrat date is February 24. Vrat time is from Sunrise on February 24 to sunrise on February 25.

Legends of Mahashivratri:

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 Mahashivaratri - the grand night of Shiva.
prayers and mantras:
Maha Mrityunjay Mantra or Lord Shiva Mantra is considered extremely powerful and significant by the Hindus. Also known as the Moksha Mantra of Lord Shiva, chanting of Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is said to create divine vibrations that heals. Devotees of Lord Shiva further believe that Maha Mrityunjay evokes the Shiva within human beings and removes the fear of death, liberating one from the cycle of death and rebirth.
Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra:
The following Maha Mrityunjay Mantra has been taken from the Sukla Yajurveda Samhita III. 60. The Mantra is addressed to Lord Shiva and is a centuries old technique of connecting one to pure consciousness and bliss.

Om Tryambhakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam |
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat ||
Meaning:
Om. We worship The Three-Eyed Lord Shiva who is fragrant and who increasingly nourishes the devotees. Worshipping him may we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality just as the ripe cucumber easily separates itself from the binding stalk.
Explanation:
The mantra is a prayer to Lord Shiva who is addressed as Sankara and Trayambaka. Sankara is sana (blessings) and Kara (the Giver). Trayambaka is the three eyed one (where the third eye signifies the giver of knowledge, which destroys ignorance and releases us from the cycle of death and rebirth).
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 in a pure environment with great benefit and discover the happiness that′s already within.
Shiva Panchakshari Mantra - Om Namah Shivaya
Shiva Sakti Panchakshari Mantra - Om Hrim Namah Shivaya
Shiva Gayatri Mantra
Om tatpuruṣhaya vidmahe
Mahadevaya dhimahi
Tanno rudrah prachodayat

Apart from this one can chant the 108 names or 1008 names of Lord Shiva or the 24 Sacred Names of Lord Siva.
Om Sarva Mangal Manglaye Shivay Sarvaarth Sadhike
Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayaani Namostu Te
Meaning:
Oh the divine couple Shiva Parvati !
O ! Thee, the protectors of this universe,
Along with Lords Brahma and Vishnu
We pray to You for our well-being, prosperity and the enlightenment of our souls.
Om Namastestu Bhagavan
Visvesaraya Mahadevaya
Trayambakaya Tripurantakaya
Trikagni - Kalaya
Kalagni - Rudraya Nil - Kanthaya Mrityunjaya
Sarvesvaraya Sadadhivaya
Sriman Mahadevaya Namah.
Meaning:
Om. I bow down to Lord Shiva, who is the creator and protector of the universe, who is the greatest among Gods, who has three eyes, who is the annihilator of all the three worlds, one whose throat is blue, who is the conqueror of death, who is the Lord of all, who is propitious who is possessed of all marks of greatness and who is the greatest among Gods. To him my prostration.

This mantra is a prayer to Lord Shiva who is addressed as Sankara and Trayambaka. Sankara means giver of blessings: (sana = blessings, Kara = the Giver). Trayambaka is the three eyed one, where the third eye signifies the giver of knowledge, which destroys ignorance and releases us from the cycle of death and rebirth.
Naagendra haaraaya thriloochanaaya bhasmaangadhaaraaya maheshwaraaya
Nityaaya shudhdhaaya digambaraaya tasmai nakaaraaya namahshivaaya
Meaning:
Salutations to Shiva who wears a serpent as garland, who is three-eyed, whose bare body is covered with ashes, who is forever pure and the very embodiment of sacrifice.
Shiva Dhun
Shivo Bhokta, Shiva Bhojya
Shivo Karta, Shivah Karma
Shivah Karanatmakah
Meaning:
Shiva is the experiencer and the highest object of experience. Shiva is the goal of Sadhana. There is nothing apart from Shiva. There is nothing other than Shiva. Whatever there is, is Shiva. There is nothing, which is not Shiva. There is no place, which is not Shiva. There is no time, which is not Shiva. To be aware of this is to be aware of Shiva.
Twenty Four Sacred Names of Shiva
1. Om maheswaraya namaha
2. Om mahadevaya namaha
3. Om sarveswaraya namaha
4. Om shivaya namaha
5. Om Shankaraya namaha
6. Om Saswataya namaha
7. Om pasupataye namaha
8. Om umapataye namaha
9. Om brahmadhipataye namaha
10. Om parameswaraya namaha
11. Om bhasmangaragaya namaha
12. Om mahesaya namaha
13. Om nityaya namaha
14. Om shuddhaya namaha
15. Om mrutyunjayaya namaha
16. Om bhutesaya namaha
17. Om mrudaya namaha
18. Om sarvaya namaha
19. Om sadashivaya namaha
20. Om bhavaya namaha
21. Om sarvajnaya namaha
22. Om bhimaya namaha
23. Om vasudevaya namaha
24. Om tripurantakaya namaha
Fasting:
The fasting involves refraining from eating any food and not sleeping through out the night. Sivaratri literally means ‘the night of Lord Shiva’ and unlike other festivals associated with Hinduism there is no fun and merrymaking on the day. But the night provides an opportunity to cleanse the ignorance and realize that you are Brahman and open the door to bliss.
The day after Shivratri is Amavasi – the dark night or the no moon night. It symbolizes the evil forces – desire, greed, illusion, arrogance, jealousy, and anger – which dominate the Kaliyuga. Shiva is believed to have appeared in the form of ‘Lingodabhavamurti’ or Jyotir Linga on the Shivratri night. The Linga is an attempt to give form to the formless Brahmn. Praying to Shiva is to escape from miseries of Kaliyuga.

The Mahashivratri fasting begins on the morning of Shivratri and ends next day morning or the Amavasya morning. Since it is a long Upvaas or Vrat, many people consume a special meal known as ‘phalar.’

Devotees wake up before sunrise and take bath and wear clean clothes.
Applying of sacred ash, or vibhuthi, is an important aspect on the day. People also wear a Rudraksha Mala.
  • The idols of Ganesh, Shiva and Parvati are cleaned and a lamp is lit.
  • Most people then visit a nearby Shiva temple. In most places, Shivratri is largely observed in temples.
  • Some people observing fast consume a mid-day meal consisting of non-cereal food such as boiled potatoes which is made into a curry without onion, garlic, adarak or haldi. Another food eaten on the day is pakori or Kutt Singahri ki puri.
  • Most devotees go for a fruit diet and drink lots of water.
  • No meal is eaten after sunset.
  • Next meal is taken on the morning of next day after doing puja and giving alms.
  • The entire night is spend in a nearby Shiva temple or by chanting Mantras or listening to stories related to Shiva.
  • Some of the important mantras that are chanted on the day include: Shiva Panchakshari Mantra – Om Namah Shivaya or chanting the sacred names of Lord Shiva.
  • People who have a Shivling at home can bathe the Shivling with water intermittently throughout the night.
  • Those taking medicine or having health issues should avoid rigorous fasting.
  • Fasting should not be torturing your body. Do only that which you are capable of doing. Always remember even a single bilva leaf or a drop of water offered with devotion is more than enough to satisfy Bholenath(shivji).
All the rituals on the night of Shivratri are meant to cleanse the ignorance and realize the Brahmn manifest in you. The fasting, rituals and chanting are meant to kill desire, greed, illusion, arrogance, jealousy, and anger. This will make you a better person and prepare you to face the challenges.
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