Friday, March 4, 2016

Maha Shivaraatri - Shivratri

7 March 2016

Mahashivratri is observed on Falgun Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi as per North Indian calendars and Magha Krishna Chaturdashi as per Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh calendars. Devotees observe upvas (fasting) and Jagran on Shivratri to get blessings of Lord Shiva and Parvati (Parvati Parameshwar).

Maha Shivratri - The Story

The angels and demons have churned the ocean to get armit, the nectar that gives long life. They faced number of serious problems. First, the moutain, Mandar, they used to churn the ocean started sinking. As they prayed for help, Lord Vishnu came in the avatar of Tortoise (Koorma) and provided the support for churning. Then various items started coming out. At one time, a massive poison came out. It had the potential to destroy the whole world. Angels and Demons had no ability to escape from it or to neutralize it. They started praying various lords to come to their rescue. Lord Shiva came forward and gulped the poison. He kept it in his throat only and did not allow to go to his stomach. The poison had great power and hence troubled Lord Shiva also. One full night Lord Shiva suffered from the effects of poison. By early morning, he could return to normalcy despite having the poison in his throat. Throughout the night Parvati was serving Shiva to lessen his discomfort. All the troops and associates of Shiva were awake in that night praying for the health of Shiva.
Hindus celebrate this festival by remaining awake in the night The festival while promising individual benefit in the form of punya also informs people that various troubles of mammoth proportions do come in life and some body or other has to come forward and manage or bear that trouble for the rest of the world to live in comfort. Such people have to be honoured, respected and worshipped by the society for long periods of time. Some of such people would even develop powers to help others during their lifetime as well as after their death. They are  spiritual powers of raajayoga. 

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महाशिवरात्रि पूजाविधि एवं संकल्प 

महाशिवरात्रि की व्रत-कथा (Mahashivratri)
Links to English Articles on Shivratri

First posted on Knol (Number 2303)

Updated 4 March 2016, 19 Feb 2012

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