Maha Shivratri is celebrated to honour the heroic acts of Lord Shiva, who originated from Brahma as a Rudra. Lord Shiva would have burnt the whole universe with his fierce third eye while performing Tandav on Pradosh Date. Hence, it is called Maha Shivaratri. It is the darkest day of the month. It symbolizes the night when Lord Shiva performs tandav. It is also known as “The Great Night Of Lord Shiva.” The festival allows us to mark the remembrance of overcoming darkness and ignorance. The 14th day of every lunar month, or the day before the new moon, is called Shivratri. The planet’s northern hemisphere is positioned in a way that there is a natural & superior upsurge of energy. On this day, nature pushes us towards spiritual elevation. To allow this upsurge of powers, it is recommended to stay awake, meditate and be seated with an erect spine.
The moon is debilitated in the event of Chaturdashi. It has no strength to provide energy to the earth. However, the moon’s strength increases with the grace of Lord Shiva. Therefore, praying to Lord Shiva invigorates the moon, which strongly connects with a person’s mood. Thus, worshipping the moon on Mahashivratri invokes bliss, happiness and success at work. It is a once-in-a-year opportunity to resolve your life problems in education, health, business, career, etc. It is recommended to fast and pray for longevity and good health. It is the day when Lord Shiva became still and one with Lord Shiva. Maha Shivratri is an opportunity to experience the source of all the creation.
On the one hand, Lord Shiva is known as the destroyer. On the other hand, he is considered to be the most compassionate and the greatest of the givers. Revering Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri resolves the struggles of life. The Ganges flows through Lord Shiva and enters the earth at Gangotri. Taking a dip in the holy river can wash away your sins and encourage you to follow the path of spirituality. It brings an end to miseries and grants strength. The one who worships Lord Shiva attains ‘Moksha.’
Maha Shivratri and Astrology
According to astrology, Lord Shiva is considered the giver of happiness. The Shivaratri is regarded as the best when it has the touch of Trayodashi, Chaturdashi and Amavasya. Jupiter aspects the moon by 5th Drishti and lends energy for spiritual effort during this time. Jupiter is in the 12th house, creating detachment from materialistic life and releasing from the cycle of birth-death-birth. The moon is the mind’s controller, and the moon’s effect is weaker on Maha Shivratri. Hence, worshipping Lord Shiva on this day strengthens the worshipper’s moon in the birth chart while Lord Shiva holds the moon on his head. It represents mental strength, willpower, bravery, and endurance to the worshipper. On Maha Shivratri, scientifically, the earth is close to the sun. The rays of the Uttar Phaguni star strike the moon and bounce back to help plants grow. Shivratri falls just before the ‘Amavas’ – the no-moon night. Amavas symbolically represent Kaliyuga or spiritual ignorance. Lord Shiva entered just before the beginning of Kaliyuga to get the world rid of evil and ignorance.
The moon becomes debilitated on Chaturdashi. It does not have the strength to give energy to this earth. Sometimes, a person’s mind is very upset and faces many mental tensions. If a person wants to have the grace of the moon to nullify the effects, he should worship Lord Shiva. Moreover, till Mahashivaratri, Surya Dev also reaches Uttarayana.
The 12 famous Jyotirlinga of Lord Shiva are as follows:
- Viswanath temple at Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh
- Kedarnath temple in Uttar Pradesh
- Baidyanath temple at Deogarh in Bihar
- Omkareshwar temple at Mamleshwaram in Madhya Pradesh
- Mahakalaswar temple at Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh
- Somnath temple in Gujarat
- Bhima Shankar temple at Dhakini in Maharashtra
- Nageshwar temple at Darukavana in Maharashtra
- Ghrishneshwar temple at Verul in Maharashtra
- Trimbakeshwar at Nashik in Maharashtra
- Mallikarjun at Srisailam in Andra Pradesh
- Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu
12 Jyotirlinga and 12 Moon sign relation
Somnath – Aries
Shrilaisha – Taurus
Mahakalaswar – Gemini
Omkareshwar – Cancer
Baidyanath Dham – Leo
Bhim Shanker – Virgo
Rameshwaram – Libra
Nageshwar – Scorpio
Vishwanath – Sagittarius
Trimbakeshwar – Capricorn
Kedarnath – Aquarius
Gurumeshwar – Pisces
Mahashivratri Date & Time
Maha Shivratri on Tuesday, February 18, 2023
Nishit Kaal Puja: 12:09 AM to 01:00 AM on February 18
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins – 08:02 PM on Feb 18, 2023
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends – 04:18 PM on Feb 19, 2023
First Prahar Puja – 06:13 PM to 11:24 PM
Second Prahar Puja – 11:24 PM to 12:35 AM, Feb 19
Third Prahar Puja – 12:35 AM to 03:46 AM, Feb 19
Fourth Prahar Puja – 03:46 AM to 06:56 AM, Feb 19
On Maha Shivratri, Lord Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati. Lord Shiva, after losing his first wife, ‘Sati’ resorted to deep meditation. It is believed that Sati took rebirth as Shakti since she wanted to unite with Lord Shiva. However, he was in deep meditation. It is believed that Sati then worshipped Him with a lot of dedication and devotion to win his heart. Fascinated by the love and commitment displayed by Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva agreed to marry her. Later, they both were united in the form of ‘Shiva-Shakti’ or ‘Ardhnareshwar.’
Spiritual Significance and Rituals
- On Maha Shivratri, ‘Rudra Abhishek’ is performed. Milk, ghee, honey, dhatura, bel-Patra and bhang are offered to the Lord.
- Worshippers of Lord Shiva perform Jagran.
- It is recommended to meditate, fast, and conduct prayers.
- It is believed that chanting ‘Om Namah Shivay’ with a pure heart calms the mind and frees you from negative energy.
- Writing mantras of Lord Shiva on bhoj patra brings grace and good luck.
- If unmarried women observe a fast and perform Shiv puja with pure intent, Lord Shiva grants their wishes and fulfils their dreams to get a desired life partner.
- Married women should worship Lord Shiva for the longevity and prosperity of their husbands and for a peaceful and harmonious married life.
- Worshipping Shiva with a pure heart and clear intention would help you gain wealth, name and fame.
- Chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaay’ with a pure heart and intention helps in getting rid of the negative effects of the waning moon, fortune and peace.
- It spiritually awakens people and empowers them with positive energy that will lead them to absolve sins and achieve moksha.
- It is a time to awaken our inner consciousness and purify our souls.
Samudra Manthan story
Lord Shiva transformed into ‘Neelkanth’ after the Samudra Manthan. The churning of the milky ocean is mentioned in the Vishnu Purana, Bhagavat Purana and the Mahabharata. Once Lord Indra was riding on His elephant, ‘Airavata’ and came across sage Durvasa. He offered the king an auspicious garland which was given to him by a nymph. He accepted the garland and placed it on the trunk of the elephant Airavata, who threw the garland on the ground. Upon witnessing this, Durvasa was angered as the garland was not an ordinary garland, but an abode of fortune and riches. Outraged, Durvasa cursed Lord Indra and other Gods that they would lose their powers and would be bereft of their miraculous powers, fortune and strength. Bali, an Asura, won the battle against the Devas and gained control over the universe. This created tension amongst the Gods. Thus, the Devas approached Lord Vishnu to resolve the issue. He advised the Devas that only the elixir that resided at the bottom of the milky ocean can restore their lost power and strength. It was impossible to churn a vast ocean. Hence, they formed an alliance of sharing the nectar of immorality with the Asuras to convince them to churn the milky ocean jointly. Mount Mandara was the churning rod, while the snake God ‘Vasuki’ was used as a churning rope.
The Asuras had the head of the snake while the Devas held the snake’s tail while mountain Mandara began to sink. Upon learning this, Lord Vishnu took the form of Kurma (turtle) and held Mountain Mandara on his back. The fumes emitted by the snake God Vasuki poisoned the Asuras. Looking at the pot of elixir, the Devas and the Asuras fought a battle. ‘Garuda’, Eagle of Vishnu, took the pot and flew away from it. A few drops of nectar fell in Nashik, Prayagraj, Haridwar and Ujjain, where the ‘Kumbh Mela’ is celebrated every 12 years. One of the Asuras, caught hold of the pot and approached Lord Vishnu for help. He disguised himself as a beautiful woman, ‘Mohini’, who distracted the Asuras. It was decided that she would distribute the nectar equally between them. An Asura disguised himself as one of the Devas and joined the Gods to receive the nectar. As soon as Rahu drank the nectar, Surya and Chandra noticed that Rahu had disguised themself as a God. Mohini quickly beheaded Rahu with the Sudarshan Chakra before the nectar could pass through Asura’s throat. The head of the Asuras was called Rahu, and his body was called Ketu.
The rest of the Asuras realized that the beautiful maiden Mohini was Lord Vishnu himself. As the story goes, Devas defeated the Asuras in the battle and regained their glory. Halahala, a deadly poison, was churned from the Samudra Manthan. So, the Gods approached Lord Shiva to save the three worlds from being destroyed. Hence, Shiva drank Hala Hala. Goddess Parvati placed her hand on Lord Shiva’s throat to prevent the poison from spreading in Shiva’s body. His throat turned blue. Hence, he was known as ‘Neelkanth.’
Let this Mahashivratri night be a night of awakening for you!!!