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Importance of Maha Shivratri on 4th March 2019
Importance of Maha Shivratri on 4th March 2019

Maha Shivaratri: The Festival of Lord Shiva is on 4th March 2019 (Monday)

Every year Rudra Centre organizes a grand celebration for Maha Shivratri where devotees also participate in Rudra Abhishek. Bhajans, satsang with Neeta Singhal and Rudram chanting and dances are a part of this and devotees experience divine Shiva energy in the perfect ambience of Chakra Yog. You are welcome to attend this joyous celebration of union of Shiva with Shakti any time between 6:38 pm to 1:00 am. Participation is Free.

Maha Shivratri (known as "The Night of Shiva") is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in reverence of Lord Shiva. 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.

Mahashivaratri 2019 Festival Date and Time

Maha Shivratri occurs on the 14th night of the new moon, in the dark fortnight during the month of Phalgun. It falls on a moonless night in February or March and is celebrated with much fervor and enthusiasm to honor Lord Shiva. Mahashivratri 2019 falls on 4th March (Monday) this year.

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 commemorated for one day and one night only. Maha Shivratri is also known as Shivaratri (and written as Sivaratri, Shivaratri, Sivarathri or Shivarathri)

Maha Shivratri 2019: Muhurata For Puja, Timing For Fasting, Time For Breaking Fast

Chaturdashi Tithi Begins: 04:34 PM on 4th March, 2019
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends: 07:07 PM on 5th March, 2019

Nishita Kaal Puja Time = 12:25 AM to 01:14 (5th March 2019)

First Prahar Puja Time (Night): 06:41 PM to 09:45 PM (on 4th March)
Second Prahar Puja Time (Night): 09:45 PM to 12:49 AM (on 5th March)
Third Prahar Puja Time (Night): 12:49 AM to 03:54 AM (on 5th March)
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time: 03:54 AM to 06:58 AM (on 5th March)

Time To Break Your Fast: 06:58 AM to 3:45 PM (on 5th March)

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What to do on Maha Shivratri:

1. 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:

1)ॐ नमः 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.

2) 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.

3) 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.

2. Fasting: The devotee should fast from the morning of Shivaratri day (13th Feb) and break fast the next day on 14th Feb. 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.

3. Meditate: 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 or the 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.

4. Worshiping Linga: It is said in the ancient scriptures that When Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu argued over who is supreme, Lord Shiva manifested Himself as a beam of Divine light, asking them to find the beginning and the end. Brahma and Vishnu failing to do so accepted the position of Shiva. This beam was a giant Pillar which later became Linga (Shivalinga). Vedic scriptures mention that a Lingum is the epitome of Lord Shiva. By worshipping or offering prayers to a Shiva Lingam on Maha Shivratri is highly auspicious.

5. Wearing Rudraksha: 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 m Shiva because of Rudraksha”. What greater eulogy one can expect of Rudraksha? A devotee who wears Rudraksha gets rids of his past karmas and his consciousness becomes purified.

Importance of Shiv Puja During Maha Shivratri:

Lord 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.

Story Behind Maha Shivratri Festival:

There are many legends around Mahashivratri festival. According to one, after the Earth’s creation was complete, Maa 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 word spread to all creation. From that time onwards, this day is celebrated as Mahashivratri.

Why We Celebrate Mahashivaratri

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.

1. Maha Shivaratri Significance
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • It is believed that Maa Parvati followed strict penance for Lord Shiva.
  • 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.
  • It is on this night that Shiva performed the Tandava, the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction.
2. 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.
3. Rituals 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).
  • They then offer prayers to Lord Surya, Lord Vishnu and Shiva as part of a purification rite observed on all important Hindu festivals.
  • After wearing clean or new clothes, devotees visit their nearest Shiva Temple for Shivalinga abhishek or giving the Lingam a customary bath.
  • Circumambulation around Shivalinga three or seven times is also done.

How to Perform Shivling Abhishek on Mahashivratri

Shiva devotees perform Maha Shivratri Puja and Abhishek Vidhi all through the night. According to the Shiv Purana, the Shivalingam should be bathed at an interval of every three hours on this night. 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.

Significance of Shivling Abhishek on Mahashivratri

Ritual of Worshipping 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)

1. How to Worship Lord Shiva on Mahashivaratri

Shiva devotees stay awake all through the night for Shivaratri puja. They spend the night in Shiva temples or wherever they are offering Puja. During the ritual worship, Shiva is offered special food made from the fruits of the season, root vegetables and coconuts. Those who observe Mahashivaratri fast break their fast the next morning by consuming the Prasad offered to Lord Shiva

2. Hymns and Mantras that please Lord Shiva

The Maha Mrityunjay Mantra from the Sukla Yajurveda Samhita III. 60
|| Om Trayambakam Yajaamahe Suganghim Pushtivardhanam Urvaarukmiva BandhanaanMrityor Mokshiya Mamritaat ||
The meaning of the Mantra is as follows:
"I worship thee, O sweet Lord of transcendental vision (the three -eyed one or Lord Siva). O giver of health and prosperity to all, may I be free from the bonds of death, just as a melon (or cucumber) is severed effortlessly from its bondage or attachment to the creeper".

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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