Mahashivratri is one of the most sacred night festival in Hinduism. It is the darkest night of the year. The festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva, one of the Trimurtis ( Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh). Shiva is also known as Adiyogi, the origiantor of the yogic traditions. Mahashivratri comes on the month of Phalgun usually between February and March.
There are total 12 or 13 Shivratris throughout the year. The one that comes on the Chaturdashi ( 14th day ) of Phalgun is named Mahashivratri.
” Mahashivratri is not a religious festival. It is associated with the astronomical phase of planet earth. It has a significant positive effect on the body.”
Mahashivratri is a lunar festival. During the night the planetary positions are such that there is a natural upsurge of energy in the body. To get more benefit, yogis try to keep their bodies vertical during the night. The energy flows in the upward direction passing through the 7 Chakras.
In Hindusim, people celebrate this festival by practicing fast on the day. Chanting Shiva Bhajans, mantras and worship-ping Shivalingas in the temples is usual practice. People gather together to offer Milk and Water to the Shivalinga. Both men and women offer Milk, Ghee, Water, Fruits and Belpatra to the Shivalinga. The Shivalayas are high energy places. Taking round circle of the Shivalinga helps in absorbing this positive energy. Below are Shiva mantras with thier meanings.
Shiva Panchakshara Mantra:-
ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namaḥ ŚivāyaNamaskara to the Lord Shiva
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् |
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात् ||
Aum Tryambakam yajaamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam |
Urvaarukamiva bandhanaan-mrityormuksheeya maamritaat ||
Meaning of Mahamrityunjay Mantra:-
We worship the three-eyed One, who is fragrant and who nourishes all.
Like the fruit falls off from the bondage of the stem, may we be liberated from death, from mortality
The Fasting on the day and meditation in the night:-
- Devotees start their day by visiting Shivalayas and offering Milk and water to the Shivalinga.
- Most of the men and women practice fast during the day.
- Some yogis continue fasting throughout the night.
- During the night, people remain awake. The body must remain vertical to take the most benefit of Astronomical conditions of planet earth.
- The natural upsurge of energies makes it one of the most beneficial time for meditating and allow positive energy to flow throughout the body in upward direction passing through the Seven Chakras.
- People often arrange Bhajans and Mantras devoted to Lord Shiva to remain wakeful during the night.
All spiritual festivals in India are meant to purify mind, body and soul. They fill the minds with pure joy and peace. Cleanse your body through fasting. Calm your mind with Shiva mantras and meditation. Enjoy the Shiva Bhajans. Dance to the music of Shiva songs and forget all fears.