Wednesday, January 28, 2015

How is Maha shivaratri celebrated, Maha Shivaratri 2015 date, Maha Shivaratri, Maha Shivaratri festival, celebrate Maha Shivaratri, pooja, process, ritual, Maha Shivaratri katha, teej women fast ladies female

How is Maha shivaratri celebrated, Maha Shivaratri 2015 date, Maha Shivaratri, Maha Shivaratri festival, celebrate Maha Shivaratri, pooja, process, ritual, Maha Shivaratri katha, teej women fast ladies female

Maha Shivaratri is on 17th Feb 2015.

There are 12 Jyotirlinga's all over India which are considered divine and places of worship of Lord Shiva. They are

  1. • Somnath Temple
  2. • MallikarjunTemple
  3. • Mahakaleshwara Temple
  4. • Omkareshwar Temple   
  5. • Vaidyanath Temple
  6. • Bhimashankar Temple
  7. • Rameshwaram Temple
  8. • Nageshwar Temple   
  9. • Vishwanath Temple
  10. • Trimbakeshwar Temple
  11. • Kedarnath Temple
  12. • Grishneshwar Temple

Maha Shivratri (the 'Great Night of Shiva') is a Hindu festival celebrated every year in reverence of Lord Shiva. It is the day Shiva was married to Parvati. The Maha Shivratri festival, also popularly known as 'Shivratri' or 'Great Night of Lord Shiva', is observed on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha every year on the month of Falgun according to the Hindu calendar. Alternate common spellings include Sivaratri, Shivaratri, Sivarathri, and Shivarathri. It marks the convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of Hindu calendar month Maagha as per Amavasya-ant month calculation. As per Poornima-ant month calculation, the day is Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi of Hindu calendar month Phalguna which falls in February or March as per the Gregorian calendar. Of the twelve Shivaratris in the year, the Maha Shivarathri is the most holy.

The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael or golden apple or Bilva/Vilvam leaves to Lord Shiva, all-day fasting and an all-night-(jagarana). All through the day, devotees chant "Om Namah Shivaya", a sacred Panchakshara mantra dedicated to Lord Shiva. In accordance with scriptural and discipleship traditions, penances are performed in order to gain boons in the practice of Yoga and meditation, in order to reach life's highest good steadily and swiftly. On this day, the planetary positions in the Northern hemisphere act as potent catalysts to help a person raise his or her spiritual energy more easily. The benefits of powerful ancient Sanskrit Mantras such as Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra increase greatly on this night

Rituals Performed on Maha Shivaratri

Very early morning, Shiva temples are flocked by devotees, young and old, who come to perform the traditional Shivalinga worship (puja) and hence hope for favours from the God. Devotees bathe at sunrise, preferably in the Ganga, or any other holy water source (like the Shiv Sagartank at Khajurao). This is a rite of purification, which is an important part of all Hindu festivals. Wearing clean clothing after the holy bath, worshippers carry pots of water to the temple to bathe the Shivalinga. Women and men both offer prayers to the sun, Vishnu and Shiva. The temple reverberates with the sound of bells and shouts of “Shankerji ki Jai” meaning 'Hail Shiva'. Devotees circulate the lingam three or seven times, and then pour water over it. Some also pour milk over it.

According to the Shiva Purana, the Mahashivaratri worship must incorporate six items:

    Bathing the Shiva Linga with water, milk and honey. Wood, apple or bel leaves are added to, which represents purification of the soul;
    Vermilion paste is applied to the Shiva Linga after bathing it. This represents virtue;
    Offering of fruits, which is conducive to longevity and gratification of desires;
    Burning incense, yielding wealth;
    The lighting of the lamp which is conducive to the attainment of knowledge;
    And betel leaves marking satisfaction with worldly pleasures.

Tripundra refers to the three horizontal stripes of holy ash applied to the forehead by worshipers of Lord Shiva. These stripes symbolise spiritual knowledge, purity and penance (spiritual practice of Yoga). They also represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva.

Wearing a mala (rosary) made from the rudraksha seeds of the rudraksha tree (said to have sprung from the tears of Lord Shiva) when worshiping Lord Shiva is ideal. A rudraksha seed is mahogany-like color, or could sometimes be black. They might also have traces of sacred sandalwood powder, turmeric, kumkum, or holy ash if the rosary is used in worship ceremonies or annointations.

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