Friday, February 24, 2017

Maha Shivaratri.


May Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati …. Shower on you and your family success, happiness, prosperity, peace, love, strength and make your wishes come true. Happy Maha Shivaratri ......


“Maha Shivratri” is an auspicious Hindu festival that is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. The celebration falls on the 13th night and 14th day of the Hindu calendar month of Phalguna or Maagh every year and in 2017 it is being observed on the evening of 24 February.


Devotees offer prayers in the morning and evening, and some observe fasting throughout the day. People visit nearby temples of Shiva and worship continue late into the night when the devotees offer coconut, Bilva leaves, fruits, and specially prepared sacred food to Shiva and his divine consort Parvati. His devotees consider offering Bilva leaves to Shiva on Shivaratri very auspicious.


** Since it was on the 14th day in the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is extremely auspicious and is celebrated as Maha Shivaratri - the grand night of Shiva. To celebrate the occasion, devotees of Lord Shiva fast during the day and pray to the Lord throughout the night. It is said that worshipping of Lord Shiva on Shivaratri bestows one with happiness and prosperity.


** Marriage of Shiva And Shakti …. The legend of marriage of Shiva and Shakti is one of the most important legends related to the festival of Maha Shivaratri. The story tells us how Lord Shiva got married a second time to Shakti, his divine consort. According to legend of Shiva and Shakti, the day Lord Shiva got married to Parvati is celebrated as Shivaratri – the Night of Lord Shiva.


** Another Version of the Legend says …. Goddess Parvati performed tapas and prayers on the auspicious moonless night of Shivaratri to ward off any evil that may befall on her husband. Since then, womenfolk began the custom of praying for the well-being of their husbands and sons on Shivaratri day. Unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, who is considered to be the ideal husband.


** One very popular story traces the origin of this festival to the churning of the Ocean of Milk by devas (gods) and asuras (demons). Accordingly, during the samudra manthan, a pot of poison emerged from the ocean. This terrified the Gods and demons as the poison was capable of destroying the entire world, and they ran to Shiva for help. To protect the world from its evil effects, Shiva, raised his trident and condensed the fumes. In order to save the creation, Shiva swallowed the poison without spilling a single drop. Goddess Parvati is said to have held her hand on the throat firmly as a barrier to prevent the poison from entering into the entire body. The poison left a dark blue mark on Shiva's throat, and he was given the name “Neelakantha”, the blue-throated one. Shivaratri is also the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world.


** Another story in Hindu mythology also emphasizes the auspiciousness of Shivaratri: On the day of Shivaratri, a hungry lion chased a hunter, who had killed many birds in a forest. The hunter climbed a Bilva tree to save himself from the lion's attack. The lion waited throughout the entire night at the bottom of the tree for its prey. In order to stay awake to avoid falling from the tree, the hunter kept plucking the leaves of the Bilva tree and dropping them below. The leaves fell on a Shiva Linga that happened to be located at the bottom of the tree. Shiva was pleased by the offering of the Bilva leaves by the hunter, although inadvertently, and saved the hunter in spite of all the sin the hunter had committed by killing the birds. This story emphasizes the auspiciousness of worshipping Shiva with Bilva leaves on Shivaratri


|| OM NAMAH SHIVAYA ||

This Shivalinga is more than 55 yrs old and is made of shila stone and to the best of my knowledge is rare to find now. My father on one of his trips to Rameshwaram brought this home and gave it to my Mom who always saw to it that it was kept in water and that the water did not dry up. Mom handed this over to me about 19 yrs back and the tradition of Jala Abhishek is followed to date. This is one of the most treasured blessings of all that I received from my Parents ..... May Lord Shiva ~ Parvati Bless all of us on this Maha Shivaratri Day with good health, wealth and prosperity ...

Disclaimer : Picture And Story Courtesy : Compiled by Me from Various Sources, Friends and also from the Net ....

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