New Delhi: Maha Shivratri is the Hindu festival celebrated annually in reverence of Lord Shiva. This festival is celebrated on the new moon day in the month of Maagha. Devotees of Lord Shiva observe day and night fast and give a sacred bath to Shiva Linga with honey, milk and water. According to Hindu Mythology ' the devotees who perform sincere worship of Lord Shiva on this auspicious day is absolve of sins and attains Moksha.'
This festival is celebrated by the devotees of Lord Shiva all around the globe, but there are many beliefs related to Maha Shivratri. Some of them believe that this day marks the togetherness of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati while others believe that during the Samudra Manthan,lethal poison was released which was so powerful that it could destroy the Universe, Lord Shiva drank the deadly poison, but held it in his throat which made it his throat turn blue and hence was named Neelkanth. Some believe that on this night, Lord Shiva performed the Tandav Nritya which symbolises the Creation and Destruction of the Universe. Some consider this to be Shiva's day as this was believed to be the answer given by Lord Shiva when asked about his favourite day by Mata Parvati.
Maha Shivratri is not only a ritual, but also a cosmic definition of the Hindu Universe.
Here are some points you need to know about this auspicious festival.
-Maha Shivratri celebrates the union of Shiva and Shakti, the two greatest forces of the Universe. Lord Shiva was married to Devi Parvati, with his illusive power, (Maya, Parvati) he becomes the "Sagun Brahman" serving the purpose of the religious devotion.
-Lord Vishnu made his appearance as Krishna at Gokul at midnight, 180 days after shivratri which is commonly known as Janmashtami. Thus according to Hindu Calendar, the circle of one year is divided into two by these two religious days.
-Shiva performed the Tandava Nritya or the furious dance of all creation, preservation and destruction in the Universe.
-It is believed that Sadashiv appears in the form of Lingodbhav Moorti exactly at midnight on Maha Shivratri. That is why, all Shiva devotees perform ' Shivilingam abhishekam' at midnight.
-For the Monks, it is the day when Lord Shiva became Achaleshwara and merged with the mountains. They see Maha Shivratri as a day of stillness.
-Maha Shivratri is crucial for gaining control over Rajas Guna (excess passion) and Tamas Guna (ignorance) by oberving fast.