A long weekend is what we all love. And when we learnt that Maha Shivratri is on a Monday this year, the smiles on our faces touched from one ear to another. After 12 years, this festival has fallen on a Monday. But do we really know what this festival is really about?
There are various theories to the backgrounds of this Hindu celebration. It means the night when Lord Shiva did the legendary ‘Tandava Nritya’, or the cosmic dance. The term Maha Shivratri comes from the three words – Maha, Shiva, Ratri. Hence it is a night to celebrate Lord Shiva in all his glory. It literally translates into – The great night of Shiva.
He is one of three Hindu gods who are responsible for the creation, upkeep and destruction of the universe, making him an extremely significant and important God in Hinduism. Lord Shiva’s role was to destroy the universe in order to recreate it, with the destruction being viewed by Hindus as a positive and constructive thing that paves the way for ridding the world of imperfections.
Lord Shiva is also believed to be the God of Yoga and is often portrayed in a yoga position.
Maha Shivratri also apparently marks when Lord Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati. Thus, the day is all the more auspicious as the cosmos saw a meeting of two mighty divine powers.
According to spiritual guru Sadhguru, the significance of Maha Shivratri differs from person to person. For a family man, it is Lord Shiva’s wedding anniversary. And for abstainers, the night scripts the instant when Lord Shiva went still and became one with Mount Kailash.
Maha Shivratri is also an extremely significant day for women, who perform a hunger fast to appease Goddess Parvati. She represents the goddess of love, fertility and devotion. She is believed to be the goddess that blesses women with marital bliss and long and prosperous married life.
The famous prayer ceremony conducted on this day is the Maha Rudra Abhishek, which is performed to gain the blessing of Lord Shiva. The puja is said to worship Lord Shiva in his “rudra” form, or “benevolent” form. It is said that the Maha Rudra Abhishek is hailed by all Vedic scriptures as one of the greatest pujas to perform in order to remove all evil and attain prosperity. Believers say that when you pray to Lord Shiva every negative form of energy that surrounds you is transformed into peace and joy.
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