Maha Shivratri 2019

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Maha Shivratri 2019: According to Hindu mythology, Mahashivratri or the 'Great night of Lord Shiva' is celebrated to mark the wedding of Lord Shiva to Goddess Parvati. This year it will be celebrated on March 4.

The Hindu festival of Maha Shivratri is observed by with much fervour across the country. Maha Shivratri, which will be celebrated on March 4 this year, falls once a year during the months of February and March. However, Shivratri falls on the 14th day of each month of the lunar calendar. Maha Shivratri, also known as the ‘Great night of Lord Shiva’ is celebrated in various forms depending on the perspective. Maha Shivratri celebrations are associated with several stories about Lord Shiva, who is also known as ‘The Destroyer’ within the Hindu trinity. Generally, Maha Shivratri is celebrated as the anniversary of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, but there are many other stories in various texts and scriptures describing why Maha Shivratri is celebrated.

According to Puranas, Shivratri is celebrated as the day Shiva saved the world from the pot of poison that emerged during the great mythical churning of the ocean called Samudra Manthan.Yet another story goes on to say that Shivratri maks the day Brahma and Vishnu got involved in an argument about their supremacy. It is believed that an angry Lord Shiva punished them by taking the form of a massive fire that spread across the length of the universe. Vishnu and Brahma then got into the race to find the end of the fire and prove their prowess. However, Brahma is believed to have resorted to a lie, and angered Shiva greatly who cursed that no one would ever pray to him. In the Shivaism tradition, this is the night when Shiva performed the glorious dance of creation.

On this day, followers of Lord Shiva observe the special Maha Shivratri vrat (fast). Devotees throng Shiva temples across the country, perform late evening puja, offer milk to the Shivaling and also pray for moksha. Many spend the night chanting verses and hymns in praise of Lord Shiva. Women also pray to be blessed with a good husband and a happy married life. Some temples even organise fairs and other cultural programmes on this day. Shivratri has a great significance for the Kumbh Mela also. The festival marks the end of the mega holy event which is celebrated after every 12 years. This year, the ongoing Ardh Kumbh Mela will end on March 4 when devotees will take the last holy dip on the auspicious day. It is believed that the people who fast on this day and offer prayers to Lord Shiva are blessed with good luck. The most popular Maha Shivratri celebrations take place in Ujjain, which is believed to be the most sacred abodes of Lord Shiva. Large processions are carried out throughout the city, with people thronging the streets to catch a glimpse of the revered idol of Lord Shiva.

Mahashivratri Puja Vidhi

Shiva devotees visit temples and worship the Shivalinga with milk, water and offer items including Bilva leaves, Bilva fruit and Dhatura. Some even distribute sweet beverage laced with bhaang in the form of prasad. Most devotees observe full day fast on this day. On the following day, specially prepared food is offered to the deity, after which people consume food.

Mahashivratri Puja Samagri

There are six significant elements that should be used while performing Maha Shivratri puja, and each symbolises a special meaning. Bathing of Shivalingam with water, milk and Bel leaves epitomises soul purification.  Vermilion after the bath is a symbol of virtue.  Fruits offered while worshiping represent the fulfillment of desires and longevity. Incense stick burning is a symbol of wealth. Betel leaves depict satisfaction from worldly desires. Lamp lightning epitomises attainment of wisdom and knowledge. As the main aspect of this festival is night long vigil of Shiva temple, this is why jaagrans (when people stay awake the whole night and sing songs in praise of god) are organised by devotees.

Mahashivratri 2019 puja timings and muhurat

The festival also marks the end of winters and the onset of spring, and is believed to be the day of convergence of Shiva and Shakti. The Chaturdashi Tithi this year begins at 4.28 pm and ends at 7.07 am (March 5). Nishita Kaal Puja Time : 12:18 am to 1:07 am. Mahashivaratri Parana Time on March 5: 6:54 am to 15:37 pm. Ratri First Prahar Puja Time : 6:31 pm to 9:37 pm. Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time : 9:37 pm to 12:43 am. Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time : 12:43 am to 03:48 am. Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time : 03:48 am to 06:54 am.

Mahashivratri 2019 Puja Mantra

In temples dedicated to the deity, many sacred mantra is chanted.

* Shiva Moola Mantra
Om Namah Shivaya॥

* Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushti-Vardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityormukshiya Mamritat॥

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