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» Online Puja Services » God and Goddess Puja » Shiva Pujas » Importance of Maha Shivratri on 11th March, 2021

Significance of Maha Shivratri

Significance Of Maha ShivratriLord Shiva is the most revered Hindu God and one of the three main deities of Hinduism. He is the fountainhead of perfection, yoga, meditation, bliss and spirituality. In ancient Vedic times, renowned saints (Brahmins) sought the blessings of Lord Shiva for moksha, fabled warriors (Kshatriyas) prayed to Him for honor, strength and bravery, merchants and traders (Vaishyas) worshipped him for wealth and profits, and the servant class (Shudras) worshipped Him for daily bread and butter. According to Srimad Bhagvatam (4.6.34), Lord Shiva is flanked by Lord Kubera, the god of wealth and the four Kumaras, who are celibate and liberated souls. This denotes that the Supreme Lord is the sanctuary for both kinds of devotees, the ones who seek wealth and worldly pleasures and the ones who seek liberation from miseries of the world.

Maha Shivratri Maha Puja

Maha Shivratri (known as "The Night of Shiva") is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in reverence of Lord Shiva. Shivratri (in Sanskrit 'ratri' means night) is the night when Lord Shiva is believed to have performed the Tandava Nritya, the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. This festival is celebrated for one day and one night. Maha Shivratri is also known as Shivaratri (and written as Sivaratri, Shivaratri, Sivarathri or Shivarathri). On this auspicious day devotees glorify, honor and worship Lord Shiva with sanctifying rituals throughout the night. For devotees of Shiva, this day is the most propitious day of the year as it is believed that whoever worships Him with true devotion is freed of all sins and is blessed with Nirvana or Moksha (liberation from the eternal cycle of life and death). As per the Vedas, the Universal Spiritual energy generated by favorable planetary positions is at its peak during this time. Thus Mahashivratri puja benefits and has a profound impact on the Supreme Lord’s devotees.

On this, worshipping Lord Shiva and performing Maha Shivratri Puja is supremely auspicious and beneficial. The puja includes Shiva Abhishekam using water, milk, Gangajal, honey, sugarcane juice, pomegranate juice and offering of belpatra, vermilion, fruits, oil lamp, incense, Betel leaves and Panchagavya which is one of the best ways to worship Lord Shiva. Devotees who worship Lord Shiva with true devotion on Maha Shivratri are freed from all sins and are blessed with health, wealth and success.

Maha Shivratri 2021 Festival Date & Auspicious timings for Puja & Fasting

Maha Shivratri, the night of the worship of Lord Shiva, occurs on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna when Hindus offer special prayer to Lord Shiva who is the lord of destruction of Maya or illusions. Mahashivratri 2021 falls on March 11 (Thursday) this year.

The devotee should fast from the morning of Shivaratri day (11th March) and breakfast the next day on 12th March. He may consume fruits and milk during this time. Fasting purifies not just your body but your consciousness. When consciousness is purified, the person actually becomes focused and spiritually stronger.

Chaturdashi Tithi Begins: 02:39 PM on Mar 11, 2021
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends: 03:02 PM on Mar 12, 2021

Nishita Kaal Puja Time = 12:24 AM to 01:12 AM, Mar 12

First Prahar Puja Time (Night): 06:41 PM to 09:46 PM
Second Prahar Puja Time (Night): 09:46 PM to 12:52 AM
Third Prahar Puja Time (Night): 12:52 AM to 03:58 AM, Mar 12
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time: 03:58 AM to 07:03 AM, Mar 12

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Why do we celebrate Maha Shivratri?

There are many legends around Mahashivratri festival. According to one, after the Earth’s creation was complete, Parvati asked Lord Shiva about the kind of rituals or worship that pleased Him the most. Lord Shiva replied that worshiping Him with Bel patra on the 14th day of the waning moon in the month of Phalgun by His devotees pleases Him the most. Goddess Parvati reiterated this to Her friends and the word spread this way in all directions. Maha Shivaratri is considered a propitious and mesmerizing night when all followers of Shiva must take refuge in Him to rid themselves of miseries and sufferings. Devotees all over the world wait for this night to seek the blessings from the Lord.

Bel Patra for Mahashivratri

In the Vedic scriptures like Shiva Purana, the glory of Bel Patra is mentioned. Shiva said to Parvati: Worshiping Him with Bel patra on the 14th day of the waning moon in the month of Phalgun by His devotees pleases Him the most.

Lingam on Mahashivratri

As per Vedic scriptures, on the day of Maha Shivratri Lord Shiva revealed His Lingam form. Hence devotees perform the Rudra Abhishekham at midnight of Mahashivaratri to worship the formless Sadashiv.

Shiv Parvati Marriage

Shiva and Parvati got married on the day of Mahashivratri and due to the power of Parvati, Lord Shiva was transformed from a "Nirgun Brahman" to a "Sagun Brahman".

Parvati Worshiping Shiva on Mahashivratri

It is believed that Parvati followed strict penance for Lord Shiva. She is the Energy of the Energetic (Shiva). Regarded as Shakti or Bhavani, She is the protector, the destroyer ( of pure evil) and regenerator of the universe and all life. In the Rig Veda, she is mentioned as Ambika, Rudrani and Uma.

Samundra Manthan, Halahal

According to the legend of "Samundra Manthan" Shiva saved the whole world and humanity by consuming the poison Halahal, which emerged as a byproduct from the churning of Kshir Sagar or the milky ocean. With His immense Yogic powers He was able to stop the poison in His throat. The effect of the poison was such that it turned His throat blue and He became known as Neelkantha, the Blue Throated one.

Rudra & Ananda Tandava

It is on this night that Shiva performed the Tandava, the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. Shiva performs it in His two manifestations; Rudra Tandava featuring His violent nature and Ananda Tandava depicting His blissful form. The Tandava Dance represents (the cosmic cycles of) creation and destruction and the rhythm of birth and death.

Significance of Maha Shivratri for Women

Significance of Maha Shivratri for Women

  • Mahashivratri is deemed a very auspicious occasion for women. On this night married women pray for the long life and well-being of their husbands and sons.
  • Unmarried women pray for an ideal husband, just like Shiva, the husband of Kali, Parvati and Durga. It is believed that anyone who sincerely utters the name of Shiva or does Shiva mantra japa during Shivratri attains Moksha.

What to do on Maha Shivratri?

Puja rituals on Mahashivratri primarily involve traditional Shivalinga worship. Shiva devotees wake up early in the morning and take a ritualistic bath (bathing in holy rivers like Ganga is considered highly auspicious on this day). One can also take bath with water mixed with sesame seeds. Ancient scriptures mention that adding sesame seeds to the bathing water purifies the body and the soul.

They then offer prayers to Lord Surya, Lord Vishnu and Shiva as part of a purification rite observed on all important Hindu festivals.

Devotees visit their nearest Shiva Temple for Shivalinga abhishek or giving the Lingam a customary bath. It is the main form of Puja to Lord Shiva. This is performed with various materials like rose water, yogurt, ghee, milk, honey, sugar, water and juices and several offerings. The Puja can be done either one time or four times in the whole night. Read complete Abhishek Procedure here.

MAHA SHIVRATRI 2021 Puja (Prayer) Vidhi (Procedure), Mahurat (Auspicious timings) and Mantras

Maha Shivratri Puja Vidhi

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated with great devotion as the most important day to attain purification of the soul and salvation from bondage of human birth and achieve union with Lord Shiva.

1. Devotees wake up early morning and take bath with water mixed with sesame seeds. Ancient scriptures mention that adding sesame seeds to the bathing water purifies the body and the soul. Those who can make it, prefer bathing in the holy Ganges on this day.

2. Devotees fast for the entire day and break the fast only on the next day. It is also recommended that one should have only one meal a day before Maha Shivaratri so as to make sure that there are no traces of any undigested food inside the body when you are on fast. The fast of Maha Shivaratri festival is very tough and devotees should abstain themselves from consuming food in any form during the fasting. Though in many fasts, people do consume fruits and milk during the day time, but in the strict form of Puja, people don’t even drink water throughout the day.

3. Abhishek is the main form of Puja to Lord Shiva. This is performed with various materials like rose water, yogurt, ghee, milk, honey, sugar, water and juices and several offerings. The Puja can be done either one time or four times in the whole night. Read complete Abhishek Procedure here.

4. People who perform four prahar Puja should do the Abhishek with water mixed with ganges water during the first Prahar, yoghurt/curd during the second Prahar, ghee in third prahar and honey in fourth prahar. After performing the Abhishek rituals, the Shiva Linga should be adorned with garlands of bilva leaves. The reason behind using the Bilva leaves is that they elevate the devotees beyond the three gunas signified by the 3 leaves of the Bilva patra.

5. After adoring the Shiva Linga with Bilva garland, Chandan and ashtagandha is applied and Dhoop is lighted. Then other items like Madar flower, Vibhuti also called as Bhasm are offered to the Shiva Linga.

6. Throughout the puja ritual, one must chant the mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”. The fast should be broken only on the next day of Shivratri after having bath before Chaturdashi Tithi ends. This way most benefit of the Vrat is obtained.

Chanting Shiva Mantras: Chanting Shiva mantras on Maha Shivratri is best and the effects multiply manifold when done on this day. The best mantras are:

ॐ नम: शिवाय॥
Om Namah Shivaya॥

“I bow to Almighty Shiva who is the supreme reality, the inner Self”

It is the root mantra chanted in remembrance of All-auspicious Shiva but going deeper, the mantra means a lot. Namah used in middle means "I am not ego" but only Shiva. In self-realization, it means I am none other than Shiva. Further Namah in simple words refers to worshipping. But when you divide the word Namaha as Na and Maha, it denotes "not mine". I am not mine. I am submissive to the Lord; I belong to the Lord (Shiva). Nothing is mine. I am in Shiva and Shiva is in me.

Vedic literatures like Shiva Purana calls Him Bhole Natha, the one who is quickly delighted and fulfills His devotees’ wishes. Anyone can chant this mantra at a silent place to approach Him with humbleness and devotion.

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra:
त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिंम् पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् ।।

tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ pushtivardhanam ǀ
urvārukamiva bandhanān mrityormukshīya mā'mratāt ǁ

“OM! We worship the Three-eyed Lord Who is fragrant and Who nourishes and nurtures all beings. As the ripened cucumber (with the intervention of the gardener) is freed from its bondage (to the creeper), may He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality.”

It is one of the most sacred and highly powerful mantras mentioned in the Rig Veda and Yajur Veda. It offers protection against untimely death. This mantra charges your mental, emotional and physical health and is known for bestowing longevity and immortality. The Puranas mention that powerful saints, sages and devotees always recited this mantra. When Daksha, father of Shiva’s wife Sati, cursed Chandra (Moon god), Sati recited this mantra to dwindle the effect of curse, which eventually demoralized Daksha. Shiva pleased by Sati took Chandra and placed it upon His divine head.

Rudra Gayatri Mantra:
ॐ तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे महादेवाय धीमहि
तन्नो रुद्रः प्रचोदयात्॥

Om Tatpurushaya Vidmahe Mahadevaya Dhimahi
Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat॥

“OM! Let me meditate on the great Purusha, Oh, greatest God, give me higher intellect, and let God Rudra illuminate my mind.”

Gayatri is the divine goddess and mother of the Vedas worshipped by Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh revere and worship Gayatri. Gayatri symbolizes the virtues of purity, truth and knowledge. By chanting Rudra Gayatri Mantra, our Shiva Tattvas in our soul are super charged by the blessing of Goddess Gayatri who is the divine union of Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati. This mantra is usually recited for the blessing of Lord Shiva Who alone can burn our ego, selfishness and ignorance. It is best if you chant this mantra on Mondays, Maha Shivratri and Amavasya Tithi.

Maha Shivratri 2021 Vrat (Fasting) Vidhi (Procedure), Mahurat (Auspicious timings) and Food

Fasting during Shivratri Shivratri vrat is one of the important spiritual activities. Unlike other festivals featuring consumption of food after rituals, the Shivratri vrat happens throughout day and night. Scientifically, fasting detoxifies your body and purifies the mind. It makes you feel lighter in your body with your mind becoming stable, less fickle and alert (focused) as well. With a focused mind, one is better prepared for meditation. When the mind and body are purified, the strength of taking sankalpa (intentions) also increases. Fasting during starts in the morning and ends the following morning. Some devotees fast without water while some observe moderate fasting with fruits and water or easily digestible food to keep the body and the soul together.

Food to Eat During Fasting on Mahashivratri

Food to Avoid During Fasting on Mahashivratri

Food to Eat During Fasting on Mahashivratri


Sabudana khichdi


Kuttu puri (buckwheat unleavened deep-fried bread)

Table Salt (Alternative: Rock salt)

Halwa made from water chestnut flour

Meat of any sort;

Sama ke chawal or barnyard millet

Eggs in any form

Pumpkin soup with rock salt

Other Rajsik and Tamsik foods

Fruits and milk

If you are fasting, start it from the morning of Shivaratri day (11th March) and break fast the next day on 12th March. (Time To Break Your Fast: 06:49 AM to 03:02 PM on 12th March). You may take fruits and milk during this time. As discussed earlier, fasting purifies not just your body but your consciousness. When consciousness is purified, the person actually becomes focused and spiritually stronger.

Types of Fasting in Hinduism:

  • When you take neither water nor any food, it is Nirjala Upavas.
  • When you skip breakfast but has lunch and dinner, it is Prat Upavas. (Prat means morning)
  • When you have one meal during the day and skip dinner, it is called Adhopvas.
  • When you eat just one type of food (e.g. only rice at lunch), it is called Ekaharopvas.
  • When you take only liquids like juices of fruits/vegetables (not milk or cereals), it is called Rasopavas.
  • When you take only fruits and cooked vegetables, it is called Falopavas.
  • When you take only milk (four to five times), it is called Dughdopavas.
  • When you avoid ghee and other sour items, it is called Takropavas.
Types of Food for Shivaratri Fasting:

  • Sattvik: Natural and fresh foods which don’t require processing. Like Fruits, vegetable and milk.
  • Rajasik: Food which requires mild processing for edibility. Excessively oily or spicy or sweetened or salty food items are included in this.
  • Tamasik: Decayed or preserved or packaged food items which require a lot of processing to be consumed. Like all forms of meats, eggs. Food which consists of a lot of onion or garlic and/or are cooked in vinegar or alcohol are also included in this.

How to perform Shivlingam Abhishek, how to worship shivlingam on MAHA SHIVRATRI

Shiva devotees perform Maha Shivratri Puja and Abhishek Vidhi all through the night. According to the Shiv Purana, the Shiva lingam should be bathed at an interval of every three hours on this night. People who perform four prahar Puja should do the Abhishek with water mixed with ganges water during the first Prahar, yoghurt/curd during the second Prahar, ghee in third prahar and honey in fourth prahar. After performing the Abhishek rituals, the Shiva Linga should be adorned with garlands of bilva leaves. The reason behind using the Bilva leaves is that they elevate the devotees beyond the three gunas signified by the 3 leaves of the Bilva patra

  • The linga is bathed with five sacred offerings from a cow - the ‘panchagavya’ comprising of milk, curd, cow urine, ghee and cow dung. In addition to these, fragrant substances such as sandalwood paste, rosewater and honey are also offered.
  • The Shiva Mantra "OM NAMAH SHIVAYA" is chanted during this entire ceremony.
  • After this, milk, clarified butter, curd, honey and sugar (the 5 foods of immortality) are offered to the Shivling.
  • Sandalwood paste is then applied on the linga.
  • The leaves of Bilwa, Maredu and Wood apple trees are used for Shiv puja.
  • Bilwa leaves (there is a belief that Goddess Lakshmi resides in them) are offered on top of the Shivaling.
  • Ber or jujube fruit and beetle leaves are a special offering on this day.
  • The fruit and flower of Dhatura, though poisonous, is sacred to Shiva and thus used as an offering.
  • The Shivling is decorated with flowers and garlands. Incense and fruits are offered to the Lord.

How to Worship Shivling

Spiritual Connotation

Bathing the Shiva Linga with water, milk and honey and offering Woodapple or bel leaves

Represents purification of the soul

Applying sandalwood on Shiva Linga after bathing it

Purification and filling oneself with divine fragrance

Offering of fruits

Represents longevity and gratification of desires

Burning incense

Surrender of senses to the Higher Self

Lighting of the lamp

Attainment of knowledge

Offering betel leaves

Represents satisfaction with worldly pleasures

Applying Tripundra on forehead and Shivling (three horizontal stripes of holy ash)

Represents spiritual knowledge, purity and penance. (It also symbolizes the three eyes of Lord Shiva)

Importance of Bhajan Bhakti and Meditation on Maha Shivratri

Meditation Dress

Bhakti (Devotion), Bhajan (Devotional songs) and Dhyaan (Meditation) performed during Shivratri increase spiritual strengths and attract the cosmic energy. Shvetashvatara Upanishad defines ‘Bhakti’ as participation, devotion or dedication to an act. Bhagavad Gita calls it as one of the spiritual paths to attain the grace of the Supreme Lord. Just like Shiva Abhishek or Shiv Puja, hearing Bhajans or singing songs devoted to Lord Shiva is equally powerful. Those who cannot perform a Shiv Puja or Abhishek may do meditation.

Lord Shiva is known as Adi Yogi and Maha Yogi for it is He who first imparted the knowledge of yoga and meditation to the descendants (humans) of Manu. Meditation on Shiva, His divine qualities and the divine sound OM drives away illusions from one’s mind. Meditation during Maha Shivratri is highly auspicious as the constellations form in the way that creates an atmosphere super-charged with shambu tattvas.

There are two types of meditation; Saguna and Nirguna. Saguna meditation includes focusing on the personal form of the deity. It is pleasing and joyfully performed. You can simply close your eyes and focus on the pleasing form of Lord Shiva. Nirguna meditation includes focusing on the impersonal feature of Shiva, the unmanifested aspect, formless, infinite, expansive and unchangeable form of Shiva. In this mediation, the meditator merges into the divine form of Shiva or assumes the same qualities of His.

Wearing & Buying Rudraksha on Maha Shivratri

Wear Rudraksha on Mahashivratri

This is the best time of the year to start wearing Rudraksha the mystical beads dearest to Lord Shiva. Rudraksha beads have emanated from the tears of Lord Shiva himself. Shiva says in Padma Purana that “I am Shiva because of Rudraksha”. It is also stated the even Rudra attained Rudrahood only after wearing Rudraksha beads. Saints achieve the ultimate truth and Brahma attains Brahamatava. Thus there is nothing higher than wearing Rudraksha beads in this world. Just like Vishnu amongst men, Surya amongst all the planets, Ganga among rivers, Kashyap among human, Shiva amongst all Gods, Parvati amongst all Goddesses is Highest and Praised. Similarly Rudraksha is the Highest amongst All. Hence there is no Sloka or fast above Rudraksha.‘Rudraksha’ means Rudra (Lord Shiva). The root word rud means ‘to wail’; Rudra means the one who wails, howls or roars. Similarly, rud in Sanskrit also means ‘being red’ leading to ‘red, intense, and brilliant’. Rudraksha commonly come from 1 to 21 Mukhis, but Rudraksha of 1 to 14 Mukhis are commonly found. Rudraksha beads from 15 Mukhis to 21 Mukhis are more rare and mukhis above that are found in very few numbers every year. Of all these, 4,5 and 6 Mukhi Rudraksha beads are found easily and abundantly. Depending upon the availability and production of Rudraksha different prices have been allocated for different Mukhi Rudraksha. Read more

How do we celebrate MAHA SHIVRATRI at Rudra Centre

Every year Rudra Centre organizes a grand celebration for Maha Shivratri Maha puja where the devotees participate in Rudra Abhishek of the 4 prahars with Namak Chamak (Rudri) Path. The celebration includes Bhajans, Rudram Chanting, Satsang with Neeta Singhal and spiritual dances are a part of this and devotees experience divine Shiva energy in the perfect ambience of Chakra Yog. Each Yajmans individual Sankalpa is read out and the rituals and entertainment programs organized are live streamed.

Maha Shivratri at Rudra Centre happens with different spiritual activities with Maha Shivratri Puja as the central part of the night performed by 11 qualified priests. The event includes the following activities:

Puja on Mahashivratri by Neeta Singhal Kalash Sthapana: Kalash is the most essential part of the Vedic Rituals. Installed at the altar before the start of a Vedic ritual, it represents the source of life abundance, wisdom, and immortality.

Panchang Sthapana: Panchang is a table featuring the most auspicious time for an activity.

64 yogini Pujan: It includes the worship of Sixty Four yoginis, the female practitioner of spirituality and yoga. These 64 goddesses are the divine aspect of Bhavani or Parvati.

Shetrapal Pujan: It includes prayers and worship of Shetrapal Pujam wherein the attendants of Lord Shiva.

Swasti Vachan: It is a mantra that purifies the mind, the body, the heart, the senses and the soul.

Ganesh Pujan and Abhishek: It includes the worship and Abhishek of Lord Ganesha.

Navgraha Pujan: It includes the worship of nine planets.




Milk, Ganga Jal


Fruit Juices such as Sugarcane


Coconut Water


Honey or Sugar

108 chants of each planetary mantra: It includes the chanting of each planetary manta meant to invoke their energy.

Invocation of major Gods and Goddesses in Kalash: It is highly discourteous not to invite other gods and goddess to a Yagya or an Abhishek. By taking part of such auspicious ceremony, the gods are pleased and shower their blessings.

Rudra Kalash Pujan: It includes the worship of Rudra, a fierce manifestation of Shiva.

Sankalpa: It includes the recital of Purpose or Intention behind offering prayers to Shiva. One may ask for wish fulfillment from Shiva. Each Yajman’s Sankalpa is recited individually and recordings are sent to them.

Mahashivratri Puja at Rudra CentreShiva Invocation Mantra: Powerful Shiva mantras are chanted to invoke the grace of Lord Shiva.

Rudra Pujan: It includes the worship of Lord Rudra.

Complete Rudra Abhishekam: It includes the sacred bath of Lord Rudra.

Shiva Mantra Japa: It includes the chanting (japa) of Shiva mantras.

Sadyojata, Vaamadeva Aghora & Tatpurash: These are the different personality aspects of Lord Shiva worshipped during the puja.

Eeshana Mantra: It includes the mantra chanting dedicated to Lord Ishana (Eeshana), the Guardian of northeast direction. North and East are the residences of divine energy whose deity-in-charge is Lord Ishana.

Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra Japa: It is the most powerful mantra dedicated to Lord Mrityunjaya, a form of Shiva who is fear personified, whose worship helps one conquer the most dreaded fear in the world.

Shri Rudram Chamakam recitation: It is a powerful Vedic mantra dedicated to Lord Rudra mentioned in the Fifth and the Seventh in Taittiriya Samhita of the Krishna Yajurveda. It is chanted for invoking a benevolent feature of Shiva for wish fulfillment.

Aarti on Mahashivratri at Rudra Centre

Aarti: It includes songs sung in praise of Lord Shiva.

Along with those activities, we have narrations of Shiva stories, bhajans and aartis conducted and dances performed to glorify Lord Shiva and celebrate the joyous union of Shiva and Parvati. Worship of Lord Shiva on this day has several multitude times more benefit than worshipping on any other day of the year.

The main Shiva Puja spans over four prahars (units of time) meaning in each Prahar, rituals include holy bath of Shivalinga with Panchamrit, offering of sacred items, Shiva Abhishek, Shringar (applying sacred powders), applying Bhasma, and offering vastra (clothes).

Maha Shivratri is celebrated with much fervor in Rudra Centre. This year on Thursday, March 11, 2021, Puja starts post 12:24 AM to 01:12 AM, Mar 12.

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Maha Shivaratri Puja Vidhi in Hindi

जानिए महाशिवरात्रि के शुभ अवसर पर क्या करना चाहिए, कौनसी पूजा विधि करें। वेदों खासतौर पर शिवपुराण में अनेक प्रकार की पूजा विधि का वर्णन किया गया है।

शिवजी को परमकृपालु कहा जाता है। उनके कई सारे दिव्य नाम है। उन्हें आशुतोष कहा जाता है जिनका अर्थ है इच्छा पूर्ण करने वाला। भक्त शिवरात्रि पूजा के लिए रात भर जागते हैं।अनुष्ठान की पूजा के दौरान, शिव को फल सब्जियों और नारियल के फल से बने विशेष भोजन दिए जाते हैं।

  • शिव पुराण के अनुसार, इस रात शिवलिंग को हर तीन घंटे के अंतराल में नहलाया जाता है।
  • लिंग को गाय से पांच पवित्र प्रसादों से स्नान कराया जाता है - 'पंचगव्य' में दूध, दही, गोमूत्र, घी और गाय के गोबर शामिल होते हैं।
  • सुगन्धित पदार्थ जैसे चंदन, गुलाब जल और शहद चढ़ाया जाता है।
  • इस पूरे समारोह के दौरान शिव मंत्र "ओम नामः शिवाए" का नाम जपा जाता है।
  • इसके बाद, दूध, मक्खन, दही, शहद और चीनी (अमरता के 5 खाद्य पदार्थ) को शिवलिंग पर चढ़ाया जाता है।
  • फिर चंदन के पेस्ट को लिंग पर लगाया जाता है।
  • बिल्वा पत्ते को शिवलिंग के शीर्ष पर चढ़ाया जाता है। बेर या बेर फल और सुपारी के पत्ते को चढ़ाया जाता है।
  • धतूरा का फल और फूल शिवजी को अर्पण किया जाता है। शिवलिंग को फूल और मालाओं से सजाया जाता है।

महाशिवरात्रि को महिलाओं के लिए एक बहुत शुभ अवसर माना जाता है। इस रात विवाहित महिलाएं अपने पति और पुत्रों की लंबी जिंदगी और भलाई के लिए प्रार्थना करती हैं। अविवाहित महिलाएं आदर्श पति के लिए प्रार्थना करती हैं, जैसे शिव, काली, पार्वती और दुर्गा का पति। ऐसा माना जाता है कि जो कोई ईमानदारी से शिव का नाम लेता है या शिवरात्रि के दौरान शिव मंत्र जाप करता है तो मोक्ष प्राप्त होता है।

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