Today is Maha Shivratri and we worship Lord Shiva mainly, as per Hindu mythology. Here are some facts I came across, which I would like to share with you readers about Shivratri:
When is Shivratri celebrated?
As mentioned in Hindu calendar Shivratri festival is said to be celebrated every year on 14th day of dark fortnight in Phagun. Sacred idols of Lord Shiva is worshipped on this day to make him happy.
Significance of Maha Shivratri :
This day is very significant for numerous devotees who worship Lord Shiva.
It is believed that people who worship Lord Shiva on speacially Maha Shivratri day gets 'moksha' and gets absolved of all his/her past sins. Word 'moksha' refers to salvation.
People also say that devotees who worship with purity at heart reach Lord Shiva's abode and they are blessed with a happy life there. Hence, the devotees gets liberated from birth and life cycle attaining 'moksha'.
Shivratri declared as best ritual by Lord Shiva himself :
It is said when Goddess Parvati (wife of Lord Shiva) asked Lord Shiva about one of so many rituals performed by his devotees pleases him the most, then he himself declared the day of Maha Shivratri as the best of all rituals which makes him happy to the fullest.
What does Lord Shiva's devotees do on this day?
* Devotees of Lord Shiva fast on this day and worship the idol of Lord Shiva with purity at heart and true faith on him.
* In the morning of the festival, after taking bath and wearing new and fresh outfits first themselves, the devotees, bath 'Shiva Linga' (idol of Lord Shiva) with water and milk.
*Then followed by applying 'tika' on the 'Shiva Linga' the devotees offer garlands and flowers mainly the 'Bel Patri' .
* Devotees also offer fruits as a 'prashad' like banana, orange, apple, her (Indian plum) called 'ber' in Hindi.
What is the Significance of Maha Shivratri 'Vrat' or fasting?
Here are few significance of fasting this day mainly for women :
As per Hindu mythology, this day of Maha Shivratri is considered to be very significant for both married and unmarried ladies. Women fast on this day and worship Lord Shiva in order to please Goddess Parvati (also called Gaura) who bestows married women with long happy married life and also blesses unmarried women to get an idea husband like Lord Shiva. This fast also serves men with prosperity and well being.
The devotees break their fast the next day of Maha Shivaratri. They take bath and freshen up and then worship Lord Shiva, after which they have the prashad first followed by some normal food.
Did you know these facts? Comment below.