Maha Shivratri is one of the ancient festivals celebrated by Hindus around the world. It is celebrated with much enthusiasm and festive spirit in India, Nepal, and some countries where there is a significant Hindu population. Maha Shivaratri honours and seeks the blessings of lord Shiva, the Adi Guru, and one of the principal deities in Hinduism.
Why do Hindus celebrate Mahashivratri?
The Festival of Maha Shivarathri is considered one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals. Believers including young, old, male, and female everyone participates in it by chanting Shiva slokas all night. Devotees believe by observing fasts and by chanting Shiva Slokas, one could get blessings of health, wealth, and spiritual engagement. The festival falls on the full moon day of Maagh February.
Scientific Reason behind Maha Shivarathri
The meaning of Mahashivratri is the great night of Shiva and is considered auspicious for worshipping Shiva.
Apart from spirituality, it has some science behind this. On this Navarathri night, the earth’s northern hemisphere is upsurged with cosmic energy that can be transferred to the human being by observing fast prayers or pranayamas. One can easily imbibe this like a magnet attracting iron pieces and bringing positivity to life.
When is Maha Shivratri 2023?
Shivratri 2023 date is 18 February 2023, Saturday.
History of Shivaratri
Maha Shivaratri puja depicts the night of awakening and is an excellent opportunity to become one with Lord Shiva. Here the devotees stay awake the whole night praising Lord Shiva without bending their backbone.
This celebration has thousands of years of traditions. According to popular legend, Shivarathri is the day of tandava, the popular dance of destruction, creation, and perseverance. Another belief is, what happened on Mahashivratri is that during the churning of the ocean, snake Kalindi spits an enormous quantity of poison that is enough to kill the whole world. To save this, Shiva drank the whole poison. This caused the god to become sick, and his throat turned blue.
For this reason, Lord Shiva is also known by the name Neelakanta. The whole night Goddess Parvathi served and treated Lord Shiva with prayers for a speedy recovery. Shivarathri glorifies this act of the highest perseverance. Another legend states it is the celebration of the marriage between Shiva and his consort, Parvathi.
What is the reason behind Mahashivratri?
There are many maha Shivaratri facts for understanding why we celebrate Mahashivratri. It is a great unifier of Hindu Society. All castes, genders, ages, and social groups come united in worshipping the might of Lord Shiva. Even atheist has many reasons to celebrate as it is proved by science that Maha Shivrathri, the darkest day of the month is blessed with the highest vibration of cosmic energy and through meditation, one can imbibe this cosmic positivity into oneself when Mahashivratri is observed with fasting and yoga.
Maha Shivratri is closely related to creation or fertility. Unmarried women observe this ritual hoping to find a better-married life while married women celebrate to appreciate the blessings showered on their family life.
What is the Significance of Mahashivratri?
If participated with the utmost devotion, devotees say that results are guaranteed. It is the most auspicious day to start anything new, the perfect time to start a business, launch a new product, or for buying any assets like a house or vehicle.
It is the day of spiritual awakening. It purifies your body and mind. Lord Shiva is the embodiment of knowledge, wisdom, and consciousness. It helps people to have the self-control to overcome vices and purify the body and soul.
It is believed Lord Shiva blesses all his devotees who take part in prayers and rituals.
What do we do in Mahashivratri?
On the day of Maha Shivratri, devotees wake up and bathe early in the morning and wear new or fresh clothes.
The pooja usually starts in the evening and will continue throughout the night till the next morning. People eagerly participate in pooja, and bhajans, decorate the temple with flowers and lamps and participate in cultural or fun activities.
Devotees also visit as many as 12 Shiva shrines making the whole night busy and engaged. Those who cannot visit the temple can spend the entire night in yoga and meditation and chanting slokas.
About Lord Shiva
Lord Shiva, the ultimate god or Mahadev is known by many names – Mahayogi, Pashupati, Nataraja, Bhairavba, Viswanath, and Bholenath are a few among them. He is the destroyer and at the same time goes to any extent to protect his devotees; and one of the Trimurthis (Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwara).
The physique of lord Shiva is very unique. He has his long hair piled up over his head and the river Ganges originates tumbling from there. Around his neck is a serpent with a pair of chains made of rudraksha. His left hand has a trident and wears tiger skin. You can see a water pot on the right-hand side. Most of the time, God is in a meditation posture.
Lord Shiva according to Hindu scriptures is portrayed as a complicated deity with a passive and composed disposition sometimes as a celestial family man living with a wife and children or as an omniscient yogi, leading a yogic life in Mount Kailash. The truth is, Lord shiva is the fascinating god of Hindu belief.
Some important Shiva temples you can visit for Maha Shivartri 2023
Listed below are some of the important Shiva temples you should consider visiting for Maha Shivratri 2023.
Ujjain Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga temple
One of the twelve jyotirlingas and the most sacred Shiva temple in India. This temple is near the famous Rudra Sagar Lake and is in the ancient city of Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh.
Brihadeshwara temple, Thanjavur
Brihadeshwara temple is in Thanjavur, Tamilnadu which is famous for its Dravidian architecture. The famous dancing Shiva, popularly known by the name tandava sculptured here. Temple has a huge corridor and one of the largest Shiva Lingams in the world.
Excelled in spiritual, cultural, and architectural excellence, Brihadeshwara temple is one of the most visited Shiva temples in India.
Kedarnath temple, Uttarakhand
Kedarnath in Uttarakhand is a popular Shiva temple and one of the key destinations of the Chardham Yatra.
It is in the Himalayan ranges, with an elevation of around 3583 meters from sea level. Maha Shivratri is a very auspicious celebration in this temple and the temple has made elaborate arrangements for maha Shivratri 2023.
Somnath Temple, Gujarat
Very historical and one among the twelve Jyotirlingas, Somnath temple is also known for its resolve to withstand foreign invasion. Mahashivarathri celebration here attracts lots of devotees from India and abroad.
Ramanatha Swamy temple, Rameshwaram
One among 12 jyotirlinga temples, Rameshwaram is an island of Tamil Nadu. It has much historical relevance and depicts the rich Dravidian architectural style and the rulers of the Pandya dynasty. It houses the longest corridor of any Hindu temple in India.
Come 18 February 2023, it’s a chance for you to feel the unending positivity and a chance to become one with the supreme god. May Lord Shiva ignites all the strength you possess and help you work harder in life and achieve your desires come true. Maha Shivaratri Subhakanshalu to all.