Maha Shivratri: When Why and How You Celebrate


Maha Shivratri: When Why and How You Celebrate -Maha Shivratri is one of the most significant festivals in the Hindu religion. 

It's celebrated annually. The Chaturdashi Tithi (fourteenth day) and Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the Moon) of the Lunar fortnight are celebrated as Maha Shivratri.

The festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the principal deities in the Hindu pantheon. 

Maha Shivratri is observed by millions of devotees around the world who come together to worship and honor Lord Shiva.

Maha Shivratri: When Why and How You Celebrate

Meaning of Maha Shivratri

The name Shiva Ratri Means "The Great Night of Shiva" and also indicates the night when Shiva performs the heavenly dance. 

The Maha Shivaratri is mentioned in several Puranas, particularly the Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, and Padma Purana. 

The legend of Maha Shivratri has several interpretations, but the most popular one tells the story of the marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati. 

According to Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva is known as the destroyer of evil, and Parvati is considered the goddess of fertility and love. 

Their marriage represents the union of opposites, and it is believed that their union brings peace, happiness, and prosperity.

Maha Shivratri is celebrated to honor Lord Shiva and to seek his blessings for a peaceful and prosperous life. 

Devotees believe that by fasting and offering prayers on this day, they can attain spiritual enlightenment and overcome their worldly problems.

Maha Shivratri Legend and Significance

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Top 12 facts You Should Know About Maha Shivratri

1.  It is Celebrated as remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, and meditating on ethics and virtues such as honesty, non-injury to others, charity, forgiveness, and the discovery of Shiva.

2.  The mostly devotees keep awake all night, Others visit one of the Shiva temples or go on a pilgrimage to Jyotirlingams. 

Do not waste your time during Shivratri by watching movies and gaming. 

3.  Keep away from untruths and quarrels. Do not eat non-vegetarian food. Abstain from alcohol and any other kind of addictive stuff.

4.  Shiva devotees praise Lord Shiva through the recitation of Shiv Chalisa.

5.  Many Peoples perform all-day fasting with vedic or tantric worship of Shiva, and some perform meditative yoga.

6.  In Shiva temples, "Om Namah Shivaya", the sacred mantra of Shiva, is chanted throughout the day.

7.  You should eat light food, chant, meditate, and realize the presence of Shiva through the universe and within us is the essence of Maha Shivratri.

8.  If possible, Do not sleep throughout the night and spend the night contemplating and considering spirituality.

9.  If possible, perform prayers/pujas at home Or the temple. Start the puja after sunset on Maha Shivratri and continue to do puja till sunrise. 

At the end of Shivratri puja, donate Prasad, food, clothes, and other items to the poor and needy.

10. Maha Shivratri is a time to remember the eternal truth of Shivoham, meaning ‘I am that principle. I am Shiva. I am the truth, benevolence, eternity, beauty.’ 

11. In ancient times, people believe that if you cannot meditate continuously then do it once a year at least. On Maha Shivratri, stay awake and meditate.

12. Maha Shivratri is a New Year for spiritual seekers. It is considered an auspicious day for spiritual growth and material attainment.

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What do you offer on Maha Shivratri?

Maha Shivratri is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor in India and other parts of the world. 

Devotees observe a day-long fast and offer milk, honey, and other offerings to Lord Shiva's idol. Shiva devotees offer Bilva leaves, White Color Flowers, Ganga Water, Sacred ash, Sandalwood Paste, Fruits, Sweets, Ghee, Honey, Curd, Unprocessed Milk, and other cool ingredients to Shiva idol. 

Thus they consider it auspicious and want Mahadev's blessings. The worship is accompanied by chanting of mantras and devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva.

Devotees, who perform four Prahar Puja, perform Jal Abhishek during the first prahar, Dahi Abhishek during the second prahar, and Ghee Abhishek during the third Prahar apart from other materials. 

Shiva Linga is adorned with a garland made of Bilva Leaves and Flowers. Dhatura is a favorite flower of Lord Shiva. 

You should definitely offer dhatura to Lord Shiva during Shiv Puja to get rid of the poison of ego, rivalry, envy, and hatred.

We should not be offered Champaka Flower to Lord Shiva, also known as Golden Champa, Yellow Champak, Ketaki, or Kewda.

Maha Shivratri: When Why and How You Celebrate

Which color should wear on Maha Shivratri?

On this day, devotees take an early bath, wear auspicious green colored clothes and visit the Shiva temple. 

If you can't wear green, you also have the option to wear red, white, yellow, or orange on this day.

In many places, Maha Shivratri is celebrated with cultural programs and processions. People dress up in traditional attire and visit Lord Shiva's temples to seek his blessings.

What is the difference between Shivratri and Mahashivratri?

Shivratri occurs every month, whereas Maha Shivratri is the great night of Shiva that occurs only once a year. 

The Chaturdashi Tithi (fourteenth day) and Krishna Paksha (waning phase of the Moon) of the Lunar fortnight are celebrated as Maha Shivratri.

What are the Stories and Related Beliefs behind Maha Shivaratri Celebration?

6 most common beliefs and stories you must know about Maha Shivratri

Different beliefs describe the significance of Maha Shivaratri differently. 

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1.  According to one belief in the Shaivism tradition, this is the night when Shiva performs the heavenly dance of creation, preservation, and destruction.

2.  According to another belief, this is the night when God Shiva and Devi Maa Parvati got married.

Spiritually, Shiva represents Purusha "Male" and Devi Maa Parvati symbolizes Prakriti "Nature". These are the two fundamental entities that make the Universe.

3.  According to another belief that on this particular day, Lord Shiva saved the world from destruction by drinking the poison that emerged during the churning of the ocean (Samudra Manthan). 

The poison was so potent that it could have destroyed the world, but Lord Shiva drank it to save the world. The poison turned his throat blue, and since then, he has been known as Neelkanth. 

It is also believed that the famous Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is the place where this incident took place.

4.  A different belief states that by offering Shiva icons such as the linga that is a day to get over from his past sins and they can restart on a virtuous path.

5.  The significance of the dance tradition to Maha Shivratri has historical roots. 

Artists perform annual dance performances at Maha Shivratri at major Hindu temples such as Konark, Khajuraho, Pattadakal, Modhera, and Chidambaram.

This event is called Natyanjali, literally "worship through dance", at the Chidambaram temple which is famous for its sculpture describing all dance mudras in the ancient Hindu text of performance arts called Natya Shastra. 

Similarly, A Big Fair and Dance Festival was also held at Khajuraho Shiva Temples on Maha Shivratri.

What you can chant on Shivaratri?

Shiva Mantras have tremendous powers. Chant these Shiva Mantras with devotion and seek the divine grace on Mahashivratri.

Shiva Mantras to chant on Maha Shivratri

1.    Shiv Mantra for eradicating fear :  

"Om Namah Shivaay" 

(ॐ नमः शिवाय॥)

2.    Rudra Mantra for seeking Lord Shiva's blessings : 

"Om Namo Bhagwate Rudraay"

(ॐ नमो: भगवते रुद्राय )

3.    Rudra Gayatri Mantra for increasing concentration : 

"Om Tatpurushaya Vidmahe Mahadevaya Dhimahi
Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat॥"

ॐ तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे महादेवाय धीमहि
तन्नो रुद्रः प्रचोदयात्॥

4.  Mahamrityunjay Mantra for increasing longevity : 

"Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushti-Vardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityormukshiya Mamritat॥"

(ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात्॥)

5.  Shiva Stuti for health and wealth :  

"Karpur Gauram Karunavataram, Sansara Saram Bhujagendra Haram 
Sada Vasantam Hridayaaravinde, Bhavam Bhavani Sahitam Namami"

(कर्पूरगौरं करुणावतारं, संसारसारम् भुजगेन्द्रहारम् ।
सदावसन्तं हृदयारविन्दे, भवं भवानीसहितं नमामि ॥)

6.  Aarti to worship Lord Shiva

Om Jai Shiv Omkara, Swami jai Shiv Omkara, 
Brahma Vishnu Sadashiv Arddhagni Dhara. Om Jai Shiv Omkara

(ॐ जय शिव ओंकारा, स्वामी जय शिव ओंकारा।
ब्रह्मा, विष्णु, सदाशिव, अर्द्धांगी धारा॥ ॐ जय शिव ओंकारा॥)

Ekanan Chaturanan Panchanan Rajai, Hansanan Garudasan Vrishvahan Sajai.
Om Jai Shiv Omkara

(एकानन चतुरानन पञ्चानन राजे।  हंसासन गरूड़ासन वृषवाहन साजे॥
ॐ जय शिव ओंकारा॥)

Do Bhuj Char Chaturbhuj Das Bhuj Ati Sohe, Trigun Roop Nirakhta Tribhuvan Jan Mohe.
Om Jai Shiv Omkara

(दो भुज चार चतुर्भुज दसभुज अति सोहे।  त्रिगुण रूप निरखते त्रिभुवन जन मोहे॥
ॐ जय शिव ओंकारा॥ )

Akshaymala Vanmala Mundmala Dhari, Chadan Mrigmad Sohai Bhale Shashi Dhari.
Om Jai Shiv Omkara

(अक्षमाला वनमाला मुण्डमाला धारी।   त्रिपुरारी कंसारी कर माला धारी॥
ॐ जय शिव ओंकारा॥ )

Shvetambar Pitambar Baghambar Ange, Sankadik Garunadik Bhootadik Sange.
Om Jai Shiv Omkara

(श्वेताम्बर पीताम्बर बाघम्बर अंगे। सनकादिक गरुणादिक भूतादिक संगे॥
ॐ जय शिव ओंकारा॥)

Kar ke Mashya Kamandalu Chakra Trishooldhari, Sukhkari Dukhhari Jag Palankari.
Om Jai Shiv Omkara

(कर के मध्य कमण्डलु चक्र त्रिशूलधारी।  सुखकारी दुखहारी जगपालन कारी॥
ॐ जय शिव ओंकारा॥ )

Brahma Vishnu Sadashiv Jaanat Aviveka, Pranvaakshar me Shobhit Yah Tinon Eka.
Om Jai Shiv Omkara

(ब्रह्मा विष्णु सदाशिव जानत अविवेका।  प्रणवाक्षर में शोभित ये तीनों एका ॥
ॐ जय शिव ओंकारा॥ )

Trigun Swami ji Ki Aarti Jo Koi Nar Gave, Kahat Shivanand Swami Manvanchhit Phal Pave.
Om Jai Shiv Omkara

(त्रिगुणस्वामी जी की आरति जो कोइ नर गावे।  कहत शिवानन्द स्वामी, मनवान्छित फल पावे॥
ॐ जय शिव ओंकारा॥)


Om Sarva Mangal Manglaye Shivay Sarvaarth Sadhike
Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayaani Namostu Te

(सर्व मंगल मांगल्ये शिवे सर्वार्थ साधिके शरण्ये त्र्म्बकें गौरी नारायणि नमोस्तुते ||)

Places to visit during Shivratri

There are 12 Jyotirlingas spread across the country that one can visit to experience Maha Shivratri in its full glory. 

The twelve jyotirlingas are :

1. Somnath Jyotirlinga in Gir Somnath, Gujarat

2. Mallikarjuna Jyotirlinga in Srisailam, Andhra Pradesh

3. Mahakaleswar  Jyotirlinga in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh

4. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga in Khandwa, Madhya Pradesh

5. Kedarnath Jyotirlinga in Rudraprayag, Uttarakhand

6. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga in Pune, Maharashtra

7. Vishwanath Jyotirlinga in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

8. Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga in Nashik, Maharashtra

9. Baidyanath Jyotirlinga in Deoghar, Jharkhand

10. Nageshvara Jyotirlinga in Dwarka, Gujarat

11. Ramanathaswamy Jyotirlinga in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu

12. Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga in Aurangabad, Maharashtra

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Shivaratri Food

Most people observe a Vrat on this day.

They eat fruits and Falahaar like Sabudana, Ramdana and Kuttu based recipes.

We are sharing Some Recipes which you can try on Shivratri.

Rajgira Paratha and Puri - These are healthy gluten-free flatbreads made with rajgira flour. Rajgira is one of the commonly used ingredients for religious fasting. Apart from these Parathas you can also make Rajgira ki puri.

Kuttu Paratha and Puri - These are healthy gluten-free flatbreads. Kuttu ka atta is one of the commonly used ingredients for religious fasting. Apart from these Parathas you can also make Rajgira ki puri.

Singhare ki Puri - These are healthy gluten-free flatbreads. One of the commonly used ingredients for religious fasting.

Sama Rice - Sama ke chawal is regularly used rice, which is commonly used during fasting days. Its very healthy. You can make a variety of fasting recipes with them like Sama ke pulao, Sama ke chawal ki kheer.

Aloo Tamatar ki Subji – This is a delicious potato and tomato curry without adding onion-garlic. You can serve this curry with Vrat ki roti or Kuttu ki poori or Rajgira paratha or Rajgire ki poori.

Kaddu ki Sabji - This is an easy and delicious pumpkin recipe that can be made on regular days and also for Maha Shivratri vrat.

Sabudana Kheer - Delicious sweet pudding made with Sabudana and milk. which is commonly used during fasting days.

Makhane ki kheer – This is a delicious North Indian dessert made from healthy foxnuts or phool makhana and Milk.

Maha Shivaratri 2023 Date and Puja Timings Details

Maha Shivratri 2023 date 

This year, Maha Shivratri will be celebrated on February 18th, 2023.

Maha Shivratri 2023 Chaturdashi Tithi Timings

The Chaturdashi Tithi begins at 08:02 PM on Feb 18, 2023, and ends at 04:18 PM on Feb 19, 2023.

Maha Shivratri 2023 Puja Timings or Puja Shubh Muhurat

Shiva Puja on Maha Shivratri is performed during Nishtita Kaal or midnight. 

The Nishita Kaal Puja Time is between 12:09 AM to 01:00 AM on Feb 19.

A Shiv devotee may perform Shiva Puja during Nishita Kaal or any/all four Prahars (a unit of time).

The Prahar timings for Maha Shiv Ratri Puja are as follows :

Prahar 1 -  06:13 PM to 09:24 PM (Feb 19)

Prahar 2 -  9:24 PM (Feb 18) to 12:35 AM (Feb 19)

Prahar 3 -  12:35 AM to 03:46 AM (Feb 19)

Prahar 4 -  03:46 AM to 06:56 AM, (Feb 19)

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Maha Shivratri is a festival that celebrates the spirit of devotion and faith. 

It is an occasion to seek blessings from Lord Shiva and to reflect on the deeper meanings of life. 

By fasting, offering prayers, and performing rituals, devotees seek to attain inner peace and spiritual enlightenment. 

Maha Shivratri reminds us that by seeking the divine, we can overcome our worldly problems and find true happiness and contentment.

Written By - Ms. Rudra Sharma