Shivratri 2020 Date and Time
|Date - Friday, 21st February|
|Nishita Kaal Puja Time - 24:08 to 25:00|
|Maha Shivaratri Parana Time- 06:57 to 15:23 (22nd February)|
|Chaturdashi Tithi Begins - 17:20 (21st February)|
|Chaturdashi Tithi Ends - 19:02 (22nd February)|
There is a mysterious energy that dwells in the universe, that guides every single element to behave the way it does. Though scientists were unable to give it a name, the saints call this energy as 'Shiva'. If you go by Hindu calendar, the pious festival of Maha Shivratri is celebrated on the new moon day during the month of Maagha. The festival is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and though there are several versions available for its origin, one of them is the celebration of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati's marriage to each other.
Another legend is that Shivratri is the day when Lord Shiva saved the world by drinking the pot full of poison, that emerged from Samudra Manthan. This poison got stored in his throat and turned it blue – that’s why Lord Shiva is known as Neelkanth.
As per a different folklore, Shivratri is the day when Earth faced imminent destruction and Goddess Parvati prayed to Lord Shiva to save the world. Lord Shiva, pleased with her prayers, assured her to save it on one condition that the people would have to worship him with complete devotion. It is said that starting from that day, devotees began worshipping Lord Shiva and the night came to be known as Maha Shivratri.
Another story suggests that on this day, Goddess Ganga descended from heaven in full force, which could have destroyed Earth had it not been Lord Shiva, who caught her in his entwined tresses and freed her on to Earth as several streams. This saved Earth from major devastation. From that day, Shivratri is celebrated as a tribute to Lord Shiva by worshipping the Shivalinga (lord Shiva idol) at temples.
Maha Shivratri is celebrated by people following Hinduism in India and abroad. There is imminent importance of Shivratri for Hindus all over the world. While some celebrate the festival of Mahashivratri during the day, others do it at night by offering prayers to Lord Shiva. Hindu temples all across the country are decorated with lights and Wood apple.
What to do on Mahashivratri?
Mahashivratri is the day to seek wisdom and blessings from divinity. It is the day when people meditate and offer prayers to honor Lord Shiva in more ways than one. Here are a few activities that you can perform to please Lord Shiva on Shivratri:
Other than having spiritual significance, fasting on this day help you detoxify the body and curb the restlessness of mind. Therefore, Lord Shiva devotees are advised to remain awake and meditate in honor of God and fast with fruits, which are easy to digest.
The position of constellations on the night of Shivratri is believed to promote well being and bring stability and peace to those, who meditate. It was said in the ancient era, if you cannot meditate every day, do that at least once a year, preferably on Shivratri. So, devotees remain awake and meditate on this day as they strongly believe that Lord Shiva and the entire Universal energy benefits those them.
3. Chanting Om Namah Shivay
Om Namah Shivay is believed to be the perfect mantra to chant on the divine night of Mahashivratri as it immediately elevates your energy and brings harmony and peace to mind. Shivaratri is the night to meditate and experience eternal bliss and joy.
4. Worshipping Shivalinga
The Shivalinga represents the formless Shiva. On this day, people worship Shivalinga by offering 'Bel Patra', which conveys three aspects of human existence. These three aspects include Rajas, Tamas, and Sattva. While the Rajas corresponds to the aspect of you that is accountable for activity, Tamas defines what brings apathy and Sattva refers to the aspect of you that instills positivity, creativity, and peace. All these aspects are believed to influence the human mind and actions. When you surrender these three aspects to Lord Shiva, it is believed to bring peace and freedom.
Significance of Mahashivratri
With 12 Shivratris celebrated in the year, the Mahashivratri celebrated during Maagha is considered to be the most auspicious one. This famous Hindu festival is not only celebrated all over India and Nepal but also in some parts of the West-Indies, which houses more than 400 temples.
Mahashivratri is celebrated to honor Lord Shiva by singing special Vedic mantras and following certain rituals. Also termed as Rudra Puja, it is believed to bring positivity and purity to the human mind and environment. Hindus have a strong belief that listening to the chants and fasting on this day, the mind can easily slip into meditation.