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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Mahashivratri: History, Significance and Celebrations

In this article, my readers will get to know about the past, its significance, and the reason why Lord Shiva is worshipped on this day.

This year Mahashivratri falls on Tuesday, 1st March 2022. As believed by the Hindu devotees it is a night that is dedicated to worship of the Hindu God Lord Shiva.

Shivratri, the most auspicious day is celebrated throughout the nation and among the Hindu population in Nepal and West Indies with fervour. In the mythology of Hindus, the calendar holds its significance and obviously a tale behind them it often varies from different communities as well as regions.

The Birth of the day

The day is celebrated annually. If we look at the Hindu calendar the day is celebrated on the new moon day in the maagha month.

There are various versions of the creation of the eve. Some people believed that this is the day when Lord Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati.

While some people believed lore and thought this was the day when Lord Shiva saved the world by drinking poison that emerged from the ocean during Samudra Manthan. This poison got stored in his throat by making it blue which is the cause that Lord Shiva is also known as Neelkanth( blue throat).

The emergence of Shivalinga (History)

Many people believe in Shiva Purana and according to that two of the triads of the Hindu God – Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu both were fighting to establish superiority amongst them. By seeing the intensity of the horrifying battle all the gods pleaded with Lord Shiva to intervene and make them realize the futility of this skirmish. Shiva assumed the form of a huge column of fire between the both of them. The latter the gods decided to find the pinnacle of the fire column. Lord Brahma assumed the form of a swan and flew upwards while Lord Vishnu took the form of Varaha (the avatar of the Hindu God Vishnu in the form of a boar) and went inside the Earth. As the limitless light, neither Brahma nor Vishnu could reach the end despite their tedious haunt.

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Significance

During the journey of Lord Brahma who came across a ketaki flower wafting down slowly. When he was asked about the flower, she replied it came from the top of the flower column. Lord Brahma decided to give a full stop to his haunt to his search and to take the flower as a witness. This made Lord Shiva exasperated who then punished Lord Brahma for lying and cursed him that no one would ever pray to him. From the time till date there is only a single temple dedicated to him, the Pushkar temple in Ajmer, Rajasthan. As the ketaki flower has testified falsely, she too was banned from being used as an offering for any worship. Since Lord Shiva helped to pacify the gods, Maha Shivratri is celebrated in this honor.

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When Earth celebrated the birth of Shiva

Some people also believe, once Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva to save the Earth from destruction. Lord Shiva agreed to save the world on the condition that its inhabitants worship him with dedication and passion. That’s how the day was born and came to be known as Maha Shivratri, hinting at the fertility of the Earth.

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