Maha Shivratri is one of the most revered festivals of Hinduism.

Maha shivratri
Wall painting depicting Lord Shiva; Image credit: author

Namaste!

Welcome to the world of resolute readings at www.onindianpath.com. Let’s read on the insights on Maha Shivratri 2024 in this blog. We are going to explore the fasting norms, date, significance and rituals associated with it.

Introduction

Maha Shivratri is the great night of Lord Shiva. As per Hindu scriptures, it is the day when Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married. Some believe that on this day, Hindu God Mahadev performed the cosmic dance called Tandava(dance of creation and destruction).

Although, many scholars suggests that on this day, Lord Shiva went to his abode Mount Kailasha after drinking halahal poison out of churning of oceans( Samundra Manthan). I have written briefly over the Neelkanth form of Lord Shiva in my previous blog on adhik mas series.

Infact, it is widely believed that utmost devotion and worship on this day lead to blessings, spiritual growth and the fulfillment of desires.

Date of Maha Shivratri 2024

Additionally, in 2024, Maha Shivratri will be celebrated on March 8. As per Hindu Panchang, this divine festival falls on chaturdashi(14th) tithi of Krishna Paksha of Falgun maas. The tithi will start at 9:57 PM on March 8 and will end up at 6:17 PM on March 9, 2024.

Moreover, there is Shivratri on the 14th day of every lunar month of the Hindu calendar. Hence, there are 14 Shivratris in the calendar. Apparently, Maha Shivratri is the long night holding great significance for human existence spiritually and physically.

Thus, some scholars suggests that on this very day, the northern hemisphere of our planet Earth is positioned in a way that results in higher energy levels for all beings.

However, it’s important to note that these beliefs are rooted in religious and spiritual traditions rather than scientific evidence.

Significance of Maha Shivratri

Maha Shivratri holds immense significance in Hinduism as it is believed to be the night when Lord Shiva performs the cosmic dance of Tandava.

Generally, devotees observe fasts, offer belpatra, dhatura, bhang, aak flowers, prayers, perform rituals and participate in night-long vigils.

Indeed, many people worship other fomrs of Lord shiva on maha Shivratri too. One of them is Ardhnarishwar. A union of male and female energies in Shiva is popularly known as Ardhnarishwar.

Furthermore one can see Shaivities indulging in Bhajan, kirtan, chanting prayers and engage in meditation during this auspicious night to seek blessings for spiritual upliftment and liberation.

Not only this, a spiritual seekers may find the best opportunity to indulge in meditation and dhayana on this day.

Why is Lord Shiva called adiyogi?

Do you know who is Adiyogi? Adiyogi is the name given to Lord Shiva as he is the Guru(master) of Yoga. Certainly, all the Yogis in the world have special significance of Maha Shivratri.

Maha Shivratri
Yogini Preity Bisht performing yoga on Maha Shivratri

Yoga is the way of living,to refine your mind and body from toxicity. Yogis follow the immortal teachings of Lord Shiva guiding us to be free from worldly attachments despite of being a family person. Dhayana and sadhna(aligning body) towards higher goal of life is the main crux of meditation. For yogis, night of Shivratri is the best time to awaken their Kundalini by performing yoga and meditation.

Additionally, Maha shivratri is a night of solace and stillness. it is apt time for them to meditate and get aligned with divine powers of hindu god Mahadev.

Why do people observe fast on Maha Shivratri?

Apparently, fasting on Maha Shivratri is considered auspicious and sacred. Devotees perform all day long fast and worship lingam form of Lord Shiva on this day.

Mainly, fasting on Maha Shivratri is different from other fasting norms on other Hindu festivals. Shaivities follow the fast earnestly to align themselves to divinity.

  1. As religious text suggests, unmarried girls are blessed with suitable match by performing fast on Maha shivratri.
  2. Secondly, it is boon for couple to observe this fast to get the marital bliss in life.
  3. In addition to this, observing day long and night long fast detoxifies body and also reduces the restlessness of the mind.
  4. Moreover, performing fast on this day aligns your mind with prayers thus results in manifestation of your actions.
  5. Fasting helps in controlling the senses. Thenafter, one can focus on meditation
  6. As per Shiv Purana, one get rid of all his bad deeds and sins by performing fast and worship of Lord Shiva. And, he attains salvation.

What to do on Maha Shivratri?

Maha Shivratri is a great opportunity for a devotee to seek spiritual upliftment and cleansing of mind. Not only it gives us profound teachings of Lord Shiva but also paves us towards the path of refining ourselves from greed, lust, ego, jealousy and supremacy.

  1. Firstly observe fast.
  2. Secondly, chant panchaKshariye mantra -Om Namha Shivaye.
  3. Do not forget to chant karpur gauram mantra to enchant the fullness to your prayer.
  4. Additionally, offer belpatra, milk, honey, dhatura and bhang to lingam form of Mahadev on this day.

Don’t for Maha Shivratri

  1. Stay away from caffeine.
  2. Refrain yourself from drinking alcohol, eating non-veg food and indulging in analytics kind of gambling activity.

Conclusion

Many of you consider it as a day devoted to Lord Shiva by worshipping and observing fast on this day. But, I believe that it gives us an opportunity to move towards the emptiness of the universe. Infact, Shiva is endless, formless and omnipresent. He mentors us to move towards the higher goall of life i.e. salvation.

Since childhood, I have been practicing worship and fasting on this very day as a ritual. Later, I realised how beautiful this day is for performing meditation and finding answers to your questions.

Wish you a blessed time ahead. Keep growing with us.

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