Maha Shivratri 2023: Shivratri, means the night of Lord Shiva, occurs every 14th night of the new moon. However, Maha Shivratri is celebrated only once a year in the months of February or March. Maha Shivratri is the festival of worshipping Lord Shiva and Shakti together. As per the South Indian calendar, Maha Shivaratri is celebrated in the Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in the Magha month.
In Drik Panchang, as per the North Indian calendar, Masik Shivaratri in the month of Phalguna is known as Maha Shivaratri. Though the lunar month in both the calenders is named differs but the entire nations celebrate Maha Shivaratri and worship Lord Shiva and Shakti on the same day.
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According to Shiv Purana, Shiva Linga must be bathed with milk, honey and water. Devotees can also apply sandalwood paste, yogurt (Dahi), and rose water. Also, wood-apple that symbolises purification of the soul must be offered to Lord Shiva. Devotees must apply vermillion paste that symbolises virtue after bathing the Linga. After that devotees must offer fruit, which denotes longevity and fulfillment of desire. Then, a candle and an incense stick are lit to attain knowledge and wealth.
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On Maha Shivratri, the devotees offer puja to Maa Shakti and Lord Shiva according to their faiths, ritiuals and cultures. You can also read the Shiva’s 108 names and ‘Shiva Chalisa’ followed by the Shiva Aarti. While Devotees chant Shiv mantras for blessings, keep Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati’s idol in front of you. Devotees spend the entire night by chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaay’ and ‘Maa Parvati’s’ name.
In Maha Shivratri fasting, devotees maintain a strict custom of keeping fast and worship the entire day. Firstly, Devotees(or you) awake early in the morning and take a bath (many people prefer to visit Famous sacred rivers in India) – often with sesame seeds, and wear traditional Indian clothes. During fasting for Maha Shivratri, people must not consume even a grain of food. People usually maintain purity, worship and devotion during the fasting period. Devotees feel that commitment to the fast will lead to wish-fulfilment or blessing from Lord Shiva.
In the Hindu mythology, it is suggested that performing vrat or fasting on Maha Shivratri helps one to achieve power over the two great forces that afflict man – rajas guna (quality of passionate activity) and tamas guna (quality of ignorance). You can breakfast after waking up in the morning and taking a bath.
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