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Significance of Mahashivratri – The Night of Lord Shiva

Significance of Mahashivratri – The Night of Lord Shiva

Mahashivratri is one of the most spiritual festivals that is celebrated in the month February-March. This is the Great Night of Lord Shiva when devotees engage in Rudrabhishek, meditation and surrender to this greatest ascetic. While most of you might think of Maha Shivratri as a festival celebrated by the wives for the long life of their husbands but there is much more to this festival. For people who have a family, observe Mahashivratri as Shiva’s wedding anniversary. Those with worldly ambitions see that day as the day Shiva conquered all his enemies.

The ascetics consider Mahashivratri, as the day he became one with Mount Kailash. He became like a mountain –absolutely still. In the yogic tradition, Shiva is not worshiped as a God, but considered as the Adi Guru, the first Guru from whom the knowledge originated. After many millennia in meditation, one day he became absolutely still.That day is Mahashivratri. All movement in him stopped and he became utterly still, so ascetics see Mahashivratri as the night of stillness.

Shiva is known as the destroyer of ego and helps a human to clear his thoughts from the negatives that block him from his potentials. The night awakens an individual to whom he truly is. The devotees stay awake the whole night and worship Shiva.

Lord Shiva is most pleased with the Rudra Abhishek - by offering water, cow milk, and honey on the Shiva Linga. Then apply the vermilion paste on the linga after bathing it, offer fruits, flowers and the three leaf belpatra on the Shiv Linga. Incense sticks stand for wealth, diya for attaining knowledge and applying Tripundra on the forehead. Tripundra is a set of three horizontal strips. Devotees in ecstasy chant the Maha Mantra of Shiva “Om Namah Shivaye”. It means surrendering our body, mind and wealth to one God Shiva and staying pure in thoughts, words and actions. God Shiva is the supreme father of all.

Mahashivratri is an opportunity and a possibility to bring yourself to that experience of the vast emptiness within every human being, which is the source of all creation.

On the one hand, Shiva is known as the destroyer. On the other, he is known as the most compassionate. He is also known to be the greatest of the givers. The yogic lore is rife with many stories about Shiva’s compassion. The ways of expression of his compassion have been incredible and astonishing at the same time. So Mahashivratri is a special night for receiving too.

Mantras That Please Shiva:

Shiva Moola Mantra (the Root Mantra):

"Om Namah Shivaya"

Meaning: I bow to Almighty Shiva, who is the supreme reality, the inner Self.

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: 

One of the most sacred mantras mentioned in the Rig Veda and Yajur Veda.

"om tryambakam yajamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam |

urva rukamiva bandhanan mrityor mukshiya ma’mratat "

Meaning: 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.

Rudra Gayatri Mantra:

"Om Tatpurushaya Vidmahe Mahadevaya Dhimahi

Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat"

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


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