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Maha Shivaratri: A Night of Devotion and Spiritual Awakening



Maha Shivaratri: A Night of Devotion and Spiritual Awakening

Maha Shivaratri holds immense significance in Hindu culture, dedicated to honouring Lord Shiva. Devotees observe day-long fasts, stay awake all night, and perform pujas during Nishita Kaal to commemorate this auspicious occasion. In the North Indian calendar, Maha Shivaratri falls in the month of Phalguna, while in the South Indian calendar, it occurs in the month of Magha on Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha.

Hindu mythology is rich with stories surrounding Mahashivratri, from the birth of Lord Shiva to his marriage with Goddess Parvati. It is said that after Sati’s death, Shiva went into deep meditation until she reincarnated as Parvati, marking the union celebrated on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in Phalguna.

Lore also tells of Shiva performing the cosmic dance of preservation, creation, and destruction on this night. Additionally, some see Maha Shivaratri as a thanks-giving ceremony, recalling a tale where Shiva saved the world by holding the poison in his throat, turning it blue, giving rise to the name ‘Neelkantha.’

A tale from the scriptures narrates the story of King Sundarsen, who, while hunting in the forest, unintentionally observed a fast and worshipped a Shivling under a bael tree, accidentally offering bilvapatra to the deity. This act unknowingly completed his fast of Shivratri. Upon his death, Lord Shiva’s attendants fought with the messengers of Yamraj to free him, and he joined Lord Shiva’s beloved ganas in Shivlok.

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