|Observed by||Hindus in general and Shaivites in particular|
|2009 date||February 26|
|Observances||Fasting, worship of Lingam|
Maha Shivratri or Maha Sivaratri or Shivaratri or Sivaratri (Night of Shiva or "Great Night of Shiva") is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Maagha (as per Shalivahana) or Phalguna (as per Vikrama) in the Hindu Calendar (that is, the night before and day of the new moon). A Hindu ( Devanagari: हिन्दू is an adherent of the philosophies and scriptures of Hinduism, a set of religious, Philosophical Shaivism, also spelled "Saivism" names the oldest of the four sects of Hinduism. This article is about Hinduism. Puja or "pooja" may also refer to certain devotional practices performed by Balmikis Buddhists (see The Hindu calendar used in ancient times has undergone many changes in the process of regionalization and today there are several regional Indian Calendars, as Maagha (माघ might be confused with the Nakshatra Magha (मघा Maagha ( Hindi: माघ maagh) is a Phalguna ( Hindi: फागुन phaagun or फाल्गुन phaalgun, Tamil: பங்குனி The Hindu calendar used in ancient times has undergone many changes in the process of regionalization and today there are several regional Indian Calendars, as The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael (Bilva) leaves to the Lord Shiva, all day fasting and an all night long vigil. Bael ( Aegle marmelos) is a fruit-bearing Tree indigenous to dry forests on hills and plains of central and southern India, southern Nepal Shiva:(pronunciation; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, lit "Auspicious one" One of the Trimurtis Shiva is the supreme God in the Shaiva
In North India and Nepal, many people consume bhang (Cannabis sativa) , which is believed to be Lord Shiva's favourite drink. Geography Northern India lies mainly on continental India and a very small part of it lies on the Indian peninsula Nepal (नेपाल) is a Landlocked country in South Asia. Bhang (ਭੰਗ pa بھنگ /pə̀ŋg/ ভাং /bɦaŋ/ is the leaf and flower of a female Cannabis sativa plant as consumed in the Cannabis sativa is an annual plant in the Cannabaceae family It is a Herb that has been used throughout recorded history by humans for various purposes
There are many stories associated with Shivaratri and its origins.
During the samudra manthan (the churning of the ocean) by the Gods and demons, haalaa-hala, a poison, came out of the ocean. Hinduism, Samudra manthan ( Devanagari: समुद्र मंथन or The churning of the ocean of milk is one of the most famous episodes in the In Hinduism In Hinduism, the Asura ( Sanskrit: असुर are a group of power-seeking deities sometimes referred to as Demons or sinful Halahala ( Sanskrit हलाहल is the name of a poison (as per Hindu mythology) created from the sea when Devas (Gods and Asuras (Demons It was so toxic, it could have wiped out the entire creation. At this juncture, on the advice of Vishnu, the gods approached Mahadev and prayed to him to protect their lives by consuming this poison. For other meanings see Vishnu (disambiguation. Vishnu ( IAST viṣṇu Devanagari विष्णु (honorific Shiva:(pronunciation; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, lit "Auspicious one" One of the Trimurtis Shiva is the supreme God in the Shaiva Pleased with their prayers, out of compassion for living beings, Lord Shiva drank the poison and held it in his throat by binding it with a snake. Shiva:(pronunciation; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, lit "Auspicious one" One of the Trimurtis Shiva is the supreme God in the Shaiva The throat became blue due to the poison (thus Lord Shiva is also known as Neelakantha) and Shiva remained unharmed. Shiva:(pronunciation; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, lit "Auspicious one" One of the Trimurtis Shiva is the supreme God in the Shaiva Shiva:(pronunciation; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, lit "Auspicious one" One of the Trimurtis Shiva is the supreme God in the Shaiva Shiva:(pronunciation; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, lit "Auspicious one" One of the Trimurtis Shiva is the supreme God in the Shaiva The incident shows that Shiva, who may be seen as the divine Destroyer, is also the Protector. Shiva:(pronunciation; Sanskrit: शिव Śiva, lit "Auspicious one" One of the Trimurtis Shiva is the supreme God in the Shaiva
In another version, it is believed that the whole world was once facing destruction and the Goddess Parvati worshiped her husband Shiva to save it. Parvati ( Sanskrit: Pārvatī sa [[wiktपार्वती पार्वती]] sometimes spelled Parvathi or Parvathy, is a Hindu She prayed for the Jivas (living souls) remaining in space – like particles of gold dust in a lump of wax – during that long period of pralaya (deluge) night, should, upon becoming active again, have his blessings, but only if they worshiped him just as she did then. Pralaya, in Hindu Cosmology, is a period of time of the cycle of existence of the planets where activity does not occur Her prayer was granted. Parvati named the night for the worship of Ishwara by mortals Maha-Sivaratri, or the great night of Shiva, since Pralaya is brought about by him. Ishvara ( Sanskrit: Īśvara sa ईश्वर Malay: Iswara, Thai: Phra Isuan) is a philosophical concept in Hinduism
After creation was complete, Parvati asked Lord Shiva which rituals pleased him the most. The Lord replied that the 14th night of the new moon, during the month of Maagha, is his most favourite day. Parvati repeated these words to her friends, from whom the word spread over all creation.
In the Shanti Parva (chapter) of the Mahabharata epic, Bhishma, whilst resting on the bed of arrows and discoursing on Dharma (righteousness), refers to the observance of Maha Shivaratri by King Chitrabhanu. Bhishma: One of the strongest characters of the Mahabharata. He was the great-uncle of both the Pandavas and the Kauravas A unparalleled archer he once The Sanskrit term ( Devanāgarī: धर्म Pali transliteration dhamma) is an Indian spiritual and religious The story goes as follows:
Once upon a time King Chitrabhanu of the Ikshvaku dynasty, who ruled over the whole of Jambudvipa (the earth), was observing a fast with his wife, it being the day of Maha Shivaratri. Ikshvaku dynasty was a dynasty founded by Ikshvaku, grandson of Vivasvan or Surya and son of Vaivasvata Manu. Jambudvīpa ( Devnagari: जम्बुद्वीप is the name of the Dvipa ("continent" of the terrestrial world as envisioned in the cosmologies The sage Ashtavakra came on a visit to the court of the king. Ashtavakra was a sage in ancient india Ashtavakra, also spelt as Ashtaavakra in Sanskrit:अष्टवक्र means "eight bends"
The sage asked the king the purpose of his observing the fast. King Chitrabhanu explained that he had a gift of remembering the incidents of his past birth, and in his previous life he had been a hunter in Varanasi and his name was Suswara. Varanasi ( Sanskrit: वाराणसी Vārāṇasī, pronunciation) also commonly known as Benares ( or Banaras (बनारस His only livelihood was to kill and sell birds and animals. The day before the new moon, while roaming through forests in search of animals, he saw a deer, but before his arrow flew he noticed the deer's family and their sadness at its impending death. So he let it live. He had still not caught anything when he was overtaken by nightfall and climbed a tree for shelter. It happened to be a Bael tree. Bael ( Aegle marmelos) is a fruit-bearing Tree indigenous to dry forests on hills and plains of central and southern India, southern Nepal His canteen leaked water, so he was both hungry and thirsty. These two torments kept him awake throughout the night, thinking of his poor wife and children who were starving and anxiously waiting for his return. To pass away the time he engaged himself in plucking the Bael leaves and dropping them down onto the ground.
The next day he returned home and bought some food for himself and his family. The moment he was about to break his fast a stranger came to him, begging for food. He served the food first to stranger and then had his own.
At the time of his death, he saw two messengers of Lord Shiva, sent to conduct his soul to the abode of Lord Shiva. He learnt then for the first time of the great merit he had earned by unconscious worship of Lord Shiva during the night of Shivaratri. The messengers told him that there had been a Lingam (a symbol for the worship of Shiva) at the bottom of the tree. The leaves he dropped had fallen on the Lingam, in imitation of its ritual worship. The water from his leaky canteen had washed the Lingam (also a ritual action), and he had fasted all day and all night. Thus, he unconsciously had worshipped the Lord.
As the conclusion of the tale the King said that he had lived in the abode of the Lord and enjoyed divine bliss for long ages and now he was reborn as Chitrabhanu.
Tripundra refers to the three horizontal stripes of holy ash applied to the forehead by worshippers of Lord Shiva. Tilak redirects here For the Indian nationalist leader see Bal Gangadhar Tilak. These stripes symbolise spiritual knowledge, purity and penance (spiritual practice of Yoga), so also they represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva. For the spritual concept see Tapas (Sanskrit; for the Spanish film see Tapas (film.
Wearing a rudraksha (seed of the rudraksha tree, said to have sprung from the tears of Lord Shiva) when worshipping Lord Shiva is ideal. Rudraksha (Sanskrit rudrākṣa) ("Rudra-eyed" is the name of the dark berries of Elaeocarpus ganitrus, used to make prayer beads (Sanskrit A rudraksha is reddish in colour with yellow stripes and is flat like a fish. The rudraksha converts light frequencies of deities from the universe into sound frequencies in the body of humans and vice versa.
On Shivaratri, only cold water and bael leaves are offered to the Lingam (sometimes called the pindi, a round stone). Other traditional offerings, such as bathing it in milk and panchamrut (a mixture of milk, curds, ghee, sugar and honey) (symbols of sustenance), or rubbing it with turmeric, vermilion (kumkum) or white consecrated rice (akshata) (symbols of fertility, or creation), are not done on this day, when Lord Shiva is worshipped as the deity of dissolution .
The twelve Jyotirlingas (lingams of light) are sacred shrines of Lord Shiva, and centres for his worship. A Jyotirlinga or Jyotirling or Jyotirlingam is a shrine where Lord Shiva, an aspect of God in Hinduism is worshipped in the form They are known as "Swayambhus", meaning the lingams sprung up by themselves at these places and temples were built there afterwards. Om Namah Shivaya. Aum Namah Śivāya ( IAST transliteration refer to Sanskrit for pronunciation Devanagari: ॐ नमः शिवाय is among the foremost