March 10, 2021 Blog

Maha Shivratri (What is the story behind mahashivratri


There are usually twelve or thirteen Shivaratri in a year that falls on the day of Triyodashi before the full moon. It is considered an auspicious day for Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. Maha Shivaratri and Sawan Shivaratri are the most famous one. This festival signifies an immense power of the universe emerged in Lord Shiva. It falls on the new moon in the month of Maagha as per the Hindu calendar. This year it falls on 4th March 2019.

Mahashivratri is one of the largest and most significant among the sacred festival nights of India. This is darkest night of the year and the celebration of the grace of God Shiva. God Shiva is considered to be Adi Guru according to Hindu Mythology. The planetary positions on this night are such that there is a powerful natural upsurge of energy in the human system. It is enormously beneficial for one’s physical and spiritual wellbeing to stay awake and aware in a vertical position throughout the night. Lord Shiva is considered as the soul of everything.

Important Timings Of Maha Shivratri

Nishita kaal Puja Timings: 00:06 to 00:55, March 12 (Duration: 00 hours 48 minutes)

Ratri first Prahar Puja time: 18:27 to 21:29
Ratri second prahar puja time: 21:29 - 00:31, March 12
Ratri third Prahar Puja Time: 00:31 to 03:32, March 12
Ratari fourth Prahar Puja Time: 03:32 to 06:34, March 12

Shiva Mantra

The sound vibrations of the mantra “NA MA SI VA YA” are the sounds of the five elements:

  • NA is a sound for the earth element
  • MA is a sound for the water element
  • SI (pronounced like the English word "she") is a sound for the fire element
  • VA is a sound for the air or wind element
  • YA is a sound for the ether or causal plane

These sounds help you harmonize with all the five basic elements of nature, which constitute every matter in the universe.

Rituals of MahaShivratri

The devoted soul observes fast on the holy occasion of MahaShivratri.

The devotees offer prayers, chant Vedic Mantras. The special Bela leaf is offered (leaf of wood apple) to Shiv.

Shiv Lingam is bathed with milk, water and honey.

The Shiva temples all around the world are decorated with lights and flowers.

Devotees offer flower, fruits and seek blessings from Lord Shiv.

Unmarried Women observe fasting on the auspicious day of Shiv Ratri and pray to get companion as Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is considered as the best companion according to mythology.

Married Women observes fast on the occasion of Mahashivratri to have bliss married life.

The devotees of Lord Shiva stay awake through the night of Shivratri. Keeping awake all the night is the symbol of awareness and the devotees of Lord Shiva meditate and rejoice the Shiv Tattava (Shiv Tattava is the energy on which the whole creation rests, Lord Shiva is the soul of everything present in this universe).

Maha Sivaratri is crucial for gaining control over the Rajas Guna (excess passion) and Tamas Guna (ignorance) by observing Vrat.

Millions of people visit the 12 Jyotirlinga Shiva temples or their local temples to offer prayers and witness the Rudra Abhisekham of Lord Shiva on this night.

The significance of Maha Shivratri

The lord Shiv devotees who observe fast on the spiritual day of Mahashiv ratri, will be blessed with the divine blessings of God Shiva and may have:

  • Fulfillment of wishes
  • Blessings of peace, prosperity, and happiness
  • Long and blissful married life
  • Blessing of a husband like Lord Shiva for unmarried women
  • Help get rid of sins and attainment of salvation
  • Devotees can get liberation from their sins if they take the name of Lord Shiva during this auspicious night.
  • On this night Shiva performed the Tandava dance, the furious dance of all creation and destruction in the Universe.

Stories Behind the Celebration Of MahaShivratri

There are many historic spiritual stories behind the celebration of the Mahashivratri. Some of the devotees believes one or the other core reason of the celebration but the common thread that ties all the devotees is that they all are Lord Shiva followers and all seek the divine blessings of Lord Shiva.

According some Puranas of Hindu mythology. The origin of the name  (NeelKantha) given to the Lord Shiva can be traced at the time of Samundra Manthan. During the Samundra Manthan the poison pot emerged out of the Ocean. The poison was capable of destroying the whole universe. So the terrified Gods and Demons ran to Lord Shiva and ask for the help and to save the universe. So in order to protect the whole universe from the evil disastrous consequence of the poison, he preferred to drink the poison, but the he held the poison in his throat himself, instead of swallowing. Due to the effect of poison, his throat became blue and then after he was given the name of “Neelkantha”. This is one of the story behind the celebration of Mahashivratri and it is considered as the celebration of this event by which Lord Shiva saved the entire universe.

#According to other notion of Hindu mythology (Shiv Purana), long ago the two triads of Hindu Gods, Lord Bhrama and Lord Vishnu was having the opinion differences on the ground of superiority. They were arguing to each other whom so ever is superior among two of them. In order to make Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu realize the futility of their light, Lord Shiva assumed the huge column of fire in between both of them. So in order to establish the supremacy over each other, Lord Bhrama and Lord Vishnu decided to find the one end of the fire. Brahma assumed the form of a swan and went upwards and Vishnu as Varaha went into the earth. But light has no limit and though they searched for thousands of miles, neither could find the end. Unable to find the uppermost limit, Brahma decided to end his search and take the flower (ketaki, name of the flower)as a witness. At this, Lord Shiva appeared in his true form and cursed the Lord Brahma for telling a lie and told him that no one would ever pray Lord Brahma. Ketaki (Flower) was cursed too and banned from offering to any God while prayers. Since it was on the 14th day in the dark half of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga. So this is another reason for the celebration of Mahashivratri. Worshipping Lord Shiva in the form of Linga will bestow happiness and prosperity to his devotees.

# Another reason to explain the divinity for all-night worship of Lord Shiva on the spiritual occasion of Mahashivratri lies behind the holy faith of a tribal man. Long ago there was a tribal man who was a Lord Shiva devotee, everyday he goes to the forest to collect fire sticks from the forest and earned his livelihood. One day he went deep into the forest and lost his way back to home. As the darkness feel, he became terrified after hearing the growling of wild animals in the forest. In order to save his life he climbed the nearest tree to find a shelter. While sitting on the branches of the tree thought came to his mind that if he falls asleep, he might fall from the tree and may face death. As the wild animals were roaring hard in the forest. So in order to keep himself awake for whole night , the tribal man plucked one leaf from the branches and dropped down, which he was unable to see due to darkness. This he repeated for the whole night and simultaneously chanting the name of Lord Shiva. . Next day morning he found that the tree was happened to be of Wood Apple (Bel leaf, Indian name) and below the tree was Lord Shiva (Linga Form). Unconciously he has dropped almost thousands of leaves on the Shiva Ling. Lord Shiva was pleased with him and blessed him his divine blessings. The Lord Shiva devotes who desperately seek Lord Shiva divine blessings stay awake through out the night on the occasion of Mahashivratri and praise Lord Shiva.

#The common believes lies in the historic event of Hindu Mythology, that on the occasion of Mahashivratri  Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. Maha Shivratri celebrates the union of Shiva and Shakti, the two greatest forces of the Universe.

# After the spiritual day of Mahashivratri, the nature, mother Earth welcomes the spring season. The trees are full of flowers as if to announce that after winter, the fertility of the earth has been rejuvenated. And this perhaps is the reason why the Linga is worshipped throughout India as a symbol of fertility.

Celebrations Of Mahashivratri in other parts of India

In Southern Karnataka, the children are allowed to get into various kinds of mischief and ask for the punishment as the rituals on the occassion of Mahashivratri. Probably the faith lies in the mythological incident of Shiva punishing Brahma for lying. The Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi offer prayers to Shiv (Ling form). They pray to Shiv Linga as the pillar and symbol of light and the

Manifestation of Lord Shiva as the light of Supreme Wisdom in whole universe.