Ekadashi- A Spiritual Practice Where Importance is Given to Divinity in the Time of Materialism
According to Hindu Mythology, Shivratri is a day to celebrate the connection with Lord Shiva. Masik Shivratri is celebrated each month on the Chaturdashi, the tithi of the Krishna Paksha. Shivratri is among the most respectful festivals in the Hindu faith.
On this day, devotees take part in Lord Shiva Puja and receive the blessings for prosperity, health and happy marriage. Many people suffering from the financial crisis also observe fast to get financial stability in their lives. This is the History of Shivratri.
History of Shivratri
Puranas contain a variety of tales and legends explaining the festival's origins. According to one account, the poisonous pot erupted from the sea during the Samudra Manthan. The poison frightened all the Gods and demons since the poison could be capable of devastating the entire universe, and they rushed to Shiva to seek assistance.
Shiva drank the deadly poison but placed it in his mouth instead of taking it out to safeguard humanity from the destructive consequences. As a result, his throat turned blue, and he was then given the name Neelakantha the blue-throated. Shivaratri is the festival of the day when Shiva has saved the world.
According to another story from the Shiva Purana, once the other two trios that comprised the Hindu Gods, Brahma and Vishnu, were disputing over who was most superior between the two. Incredulous by the intense fight, the other gods requested Shiva for help. To convince them that their struggle was futile, Shiva assumed the form of a massive column of fire that was positioned amid Brahma and Vishnu.
The two were awestruck by the size of the column and size; they decided to locate the other's end and establish superiority against the other. Brahma assumed the shape of a swan and was upwards while Vishnu as Varaha plunged to the earth. However, light is never a limit, and even after searching for miles and miles, they could not find the final destination.
As he walked upwards, Brahma came across a Ketaki flower, wafting slowly. When asked where she'd come from, the Ketaki said that she was put at the highest point of the fiery column to offer an offering. Unable to locate the topmost threshold, Brahma decided to end his quest and present the flower to be witnesses.
The angry Shiva was able to reveal his true nature. He scolded Brahma for telling a false story and cursed him for ensuring that no one could ever worship Shiva. Ketaki flowers were also forbidden to be offered as an offering in any form of worship since she had lied in her testimony.
Because it is on the 14th of the month in the dark part of the month Phalguna when Shiva first appeared in the form of a Linga, This day is extremely significant and is observed as Mahashivaratri. The worship of Shiva on the day of Mahashivaratri is said to grant people luck and happiness.
Mahashivaratri is not just an event but also a cosmic interpretation that defines this Hindu universe. This ritual revels in ignorance. Radiates the illumination of knowledge, helps one become conscious of all that is, welcomes into the spring season after the dry and cold winter and invokes the power of God to recognize the creatures created by God.
Importance of Masik Shivratri in Hinduism
According to the Calendar, the fourteenth day of the month, also known as Chaturdashi Tithi(14), falls during Krishna Paksha is the day to worship Lord Shiva and the celebration is also known in the form of Masik Shivaratri. In Hindi, Masik refers to a monthly event celebrated each month on the day mentioned earlier.
The day, however, has the same name; only the names for the months differ and are known as Maha Shivratri. According to some legends, Shiva married Goddess Parvati on that day. But, Shivratri is a day dedicated to worshipping Lord Shiva and the power of his supreme. His followers observe a fast and visit Shiva Temple to offer their homage. According to the legend, Lord Shiva was the one who danced on this day, also known as the cosmic (Tandava) on the day of this celebration.
Because Lord Shiva is the God of supreme importance who his devotees revere to ensure that the universe is free from negative forces and evil, they pray to Shiva for the state of salvation, also known as Moksha. If a person doesn't get rid of their vices, the body, they cannot enter the phase of peace. Therefore, it is crucial to be calm to reach Moksha, a state of ultimate bliss that lasts forever.
Devotees begin to observe Vrata beginning on Maha Shivratri, which is maintained an entire month of fast on the day. People worship Lord Shiva in the evening of Nishita Kaal, which means at midnight. It is customary for people to bathe before making the puja; only then they are allowed to chant shlokas to honour Lord Shiva. The women who are not married keep fast to find the man of their dreams.
Devotees give water and milk to Shiva Linga in honour of the Abhisheka along with Datura blooms and Vilva leaves.
Masik Shivratri Vrat
A fast referred to as the Vrat is observed by the devotees on the masik Shivratri. The people who are fast don't eat anything the whole day. People make a fast to seek blessings from Lord Shiva. It is said that we all have three Gunas known as ( Satvic, Tamas and Rajas). To control the Tamas and Rajas Guna, people observe fast to control their angry emotions and become calm.
Rituals for Masik Shivratri :
A chant to Om Namah Shivaya and recite Maha Mrityunjay mantras 108 times. Priests in the temples offer Panchamrit abhishekam, which comprises five elements. On shivling. Later, it is given to devotees in the form of Prashad.Devotees observe fast and eat nothing before the puja.
It is said that offering food to Brahmin priests can remove all your sins. Therefore, it is a very auspicious occasion where bhog is offered to them, and people seek blessings.
In India, the Masik Shivaratri puja is performed at midnight, called Nishita Kaal. It starts with the "Abhishek" to honour Lord Shiva Idol, Shiva Lingam. The devotees present Gangajal curds, milk honey, ghee, Vermillion, turmeric powder, rose water, and bel leaves. Then Shiva Aarti or hymns are played, and the conch is blowing. People who are devoted then take Prasad.
It is believed that the Shivaratri fast is followed throughout the day. Parana is performed the following day.Masik Shivratri is an important religious holiday for Hindus because it is the holiest day to worship Lord Shiva and ask for his eternal blessings for inner peace. The belief is that the practice of fasting on this day will bless the soul with salvation, or Moksha.
Frequently Asked Questions
Masik Shivratri is celebrated each month, once on each Chaturdashi, the tithi of Krishna Paksha.
Food items that can be consumed while fasting include :
● Samak Chawal.
● Kuttu Ka Paratha.
● Fruit Salad.
● Kuttu Ki puri.
● Potato Fries.
● Mashed Sabudana.
Many believe that Lord shiva curses when puja is not performed properly. But, it’s all a myth. He is the supreme commander of the world. More than rituals, intention matters.