Mahashivratri: Date, Importance, & Puja Vidhi
By: Future Point | 20-Feb-2020Views : 725
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Significance of Mahashivratri for enhancing the connection with Mahakaal Shiva
The most famous festival to appease lord Shiva – ‘SHIVRATRI’ finds its mention in many of the old Hindu scriptures like Garun Puran, Padam Puran, Skand Puran, Shiv Puran, and Agni Puran.
In Kaliyuga, as is believed that if one observes this festival/ fast with complete devotion, it ensures tremendous divine blessings leading to the alleviation of all the misdeeds of the past.
Notably, a devotee who observes fast and offers a prayer to Shivlinga during Shivratri gets his ambitions and desires fulfilled with fewer efforts. The Pindi Roop or Shivlinga boasts of mystical powers which on the day of Mahashivratri get maximized.
It is to note that most Hindu festivals are celebrated during the day, whereas Shivratri, as the name suggests is celebrated during the night. To honor lord Shiva, his devotees remain awake for the whole night singing Bhajans, Vedic Mantras, performing pooja or practicing meditation and sadhana. It reinforces the feeling of oneness with the supreme being – Lord Shiva.
Mahashivratri Date in 2020
Celebrated on the Chaturdashi tithi (14th) of Krishna Paksha during the holy month of Falgun in Hindu Calendar. In the year 2020, Mahashivratri falls on Friday, 21st February 2020. Shivratri celebrates the union of Shiva & Shakti. It signifies the lord's hand in creating a better world for us by visiting us in our darkest times (night ) and glorifying it with happy times ahead.
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Mahashivratri Puja Vidhi-Vidhan
One must take a bath early in the morning, preferably in a river. Wear clean clothes and make a resolution that – I at this moment confirm to do my duty (karma) to the best of my capabilities. So lord, please support and guide me from the path of ignorance to enlightenment and eternal salvation.
Then visit a Shiva temple and carry along with his favorite items like Ganga Jal, Honey, Milk, Bel Patra (three leaves stalked in one), ber (plum), Dhatura ( thorn apple), Durva ( grass), Betel Leaf, Vermillion and ghee to light earthen lamps or Diyas. On the day of Mahashivratri, the devotees observe a fast for the entire day, only consuming the prescribed items. The fast ends the next day morning.
According to the Shiv Puran, here is a simple 6 step process for the Mahashivratri Puja:
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- Bathe the Shivlinga with holy Ganga water followed by milk and honey. (Please note: Here the quantity is insignificant; what matters is the love and devotion with which the Pujan gets commemorated)
- Offer Bel Patta and apply vermillion – for attaining virtues.
- Offer flowers & ber– for being blessed with longevity.
- Offer Dhatura- For the satisfaction of desires (Iccha Poorti)
- Light an Earthen Lamp or Diya – for attaining knowledge and wisdom with divine powers.
- Offer betel leaf- for all-round progress and the highest level of satisfaction.
- One must try to recite/ read Shiv Strotra, Rudra Astadhyay, Shiv Chalisa, stories about Shiva from Shiva Puran.
- Chanting Panchakshari Mantra – Aum Namah Shivaay is highly recommended for deriving the blessings of Lord Shiva.
As per the Shiv Puran, There was a king named Sundarsen, a Nishad king in the Arbud kingdom. Once upon a time, he ventured into the deep forests with his dogs for hunting, but lady luck didn’t bestow a smile on him. Even after working hard for most of his day, he remained empty-handed and frustrated. Come evening, he became hungry, thirsty and most of all, exhausted due to a long and hard day. Upset, he climbed on a tree to retire for the night, and incidentally few leaves from that Bel tree fell upon the Shivlinga which was under the tree.
He removed those leaves and washed the Shivlinga with water to take away the dust accumulated there. Then one of his arrows fell, and he bent to pick it up while keeping one hand on the Shivlinga.
As was made clear later, this procedure that he performed came to be known as the Vidhi for Mahashivratri Puja. It involves being awake at night, cleansing & bathing a Shivlinga with water, and offering Bel leaves to it.
Later the next day, he safely returned to his home and enjoyed a 'satvik bhojan' prepared by his wife. He led a blissful and contented life with his wife.
In due course of time when he passed away, the messengers from the god of death- Yamraj, came to take his soul to Yamlok. However, they got interjected by the mighty army of Lord Shiva. They liberated King Nishad from the shackles of God of Death along with his dogs, who later got to join the army of Lord Shiva with their master.
Auspicious time for the Shivratri Puja
In the year 2020, Mahashivratri is falling on a very auspicious day after 117 years when Saturn is in his own sign- Capricorn, Jupiter is placed in Sagittarius and Lord of beauty and luxury- Venus is in its exalted sign Pisces.
This day is ideal to commence any new assignment.
The best time to perform the pooja will begin at 05:20 p.m. on Friday, 21st February 20 to 07:00 p.m. on 22nd February, 20.
Devotees aspiring for the night Muhurat of Shiva Puja can do so from 06:41 p.m. to 00:52 a.m. on 22nd February, 20.
In the morning, the devotee can take part in the grand celebrations held in the Shiv temples across the country.
Lord Shiva also goes by the name Bholenath - one who can be appeased easily. He is the god of destruction but is very merciful. He grants Moksha to his devout believers- the freedom from the vicious cycle of life & birth.
Lord Shiva's mantras have the power to remove sorrows, obstacles, diseases, and troubles from one's life.
5 Most powerful Shiva Mantras for recitation are:
To escape the fear of death (Akaal Mrityu):
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे
सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।
मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ॥
Om Try-Ambakam Yajaamahe
Mrtyor-Mukssiiya Maa-[A]mrtaat ||
To cleanse the soul and for self-growth:
ॐ नमः शिवाय॥
Aum Namah Shivaya॥
To seek help and fulfill every wish:
ॐ नमो भगवते रुद्राय
Om Namo Bhagavate Rudraya
To seek mental peace:
ॐ तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे महादेवाय धीमहि तन्नो रुद्र: प्रचोदयात।
Om Tatpurushaya Vidmahe Mahadevaya Dhimahi;
Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat
To seek all-round development and mental peace:
कर्पूरगौरं करुणावतारं संसारसारं भुजगेन्द्रहारम् ।
सदा बसन्तं हृदयारबिन्दे भबं भवानीसहितं नमामि ।।
Karpur Gauram Karunavataram |
Sansara Saram Bhujagendra Haram ||
Sada Vasantam Hridayaravinde |
Bhavam Bhavani Sahitam Namami ||
Greetings of a Happy & Prosperous Mahashivratri from Future Point!