Maha Shivaratri | History and significance, Celebration

Maha Shivaratri, Overview


Maha Shivaratri is a Hindu pageant celebrated yearly in honor of Lord Shiva. The title additionally refers back to the evening when Shiva performs the heavenly dance. There is a Shivaratri in each lunisolar month of the Hindu calendar, on the month's 13th evening/14th day, however annually in late winter and earlier than the arrival of Summer marks Maha Shivaratri which implies "the Great Night of Shiva".

It is a significant pageant in Hinduism, and this pageant is solemn and marks a remembrance of "overcoming darkness and ignorance" in life and the world. It is noticed by remembering Shiva and chanting prayers, fasting, and meditating on ethics and virtues reminiscent of honesty, non-injury to others, charity, forgiveness, and the invention of Shiva. The ardent devotees preserve awake all evening. Others go to one of many Shiva temples or go on pilgrimage to Jyotirlingams. This is a historical Hindu pageant whose origin date is unknown.

In Kashmir Shaivism, the pageant is known as Har-Ratri or phonetically less complicated Haerath or Herath by Shiva faithfuls of the Kashmir area. Cannabis can be smoked to mark this pageant, particularly in nations like Nepal and India.

History and significance

The Maha Shivaratri is talked about in a number of Puranas, notably the Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, and Padma Purana. These medieval period Shaiva texts current totally different variations related to this pageant, & point out fasting, reverence for icons of Shiva such because the Lingam.

Different legends describe the importance of Maha Shivaratri. According to at least one legend within the Shaivism custom, that is the evening when Shiva performs the heavenly dance of creation, preservation, and destruction. The chanting of hymns, the studying of Shiva scriptures and the refrain of devotees joins this cosmic dance and remembers Shiva's presence in all places. According to a different legend, that is the evening when Shiva and Parvati acquired married. A distinct legend states that the providing to Shiva icons such because the linga is an annual event to recover from previous sins if any, to restart on a virtuous path and thereby attain Mount Kailasha and liberation.

The significance of dance custom to this pageant has historic roots. The Maha Shivaratri has served as a historic confluence of artists for annual dance festivals at main Hindu temples reminiscent of at Konark, Khajuraho, Pattadakal, Modhera, and Chidambaram. This occasion is known as Natyanjali, actually "worship through dance", on the Chidambaram temple which is legendary for its sculpture depicting all dance mudras within the historical Hindu textual content of efficiency arts referred to as Natya Shastra. Similarly, at Khajuraho Shiva temples, a significant truthful and dance pageant on Maha Shivaratri, involving Shaiva pilgrims camped over miles across the temple complicated, was documented by Alexander Cunningham in 1864.

Maha Shivaratri is taken into account the day when Adi Yogi or the primary guru woke up his consciousness on the degree of the material of existence. According to Tantra, at this stage of consciousness, no goal expertise takes place and the thoughts are transcended. The meditator transcends time, area and causation. It is considered the brightest evening of the soul when the yogi attains the state of Shoonya or Nirvana, the stage succeeding samadhi or illumination.


Maha Shivaratri is widely known in Tamil Nadu with nice pomp and fanfare within the Annamalaiyar temple positioned in Tiruvannamalai district. The particular strategy of worship on this present day is 'Girivalam'/Giri Pradakshina, a 14-kilometer barefoot stroll around Lord Shiva's temple on prime of the hill. An enormous lamp of oil and camphor is lit on the hilltop at sundown - to not be confused with Karthigai Deepam.

The main Jyotirlinga Shiva temples of India, reminiscent of in Varanasi and Somanatha, are notably frequented on Maha Shivaratri. They serve additionally as websites for gala's and particular occasions.

In Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Shivratri yantras are held at Mallayya gutta close to Kambhalapalle, Gundlakamma Kona close to Railway Koduru, Penchalakona, Bhairavakona, Uma Maheswaram amongst others. Special pujas are held at Pancharamas - Amararamam of Amaravati, Somaramam of Bhimavaram, Draksharamam, Kumararama of Samarlakota and Ksheerarama of Palakollu. The days instantly after Shivratri are celebrated as Brahmotsavaalu at Srisailam, one in all 12 Jyotirlinga sites. Mahashivaratri utsavalu are held on the Rudreshwara Swamy's 1000 pillar temple in Warangal. Devotees throng for the particular poojas at Srikalahasti, Mahanandi, Yaganti, Antarvedi, Kattamanchi, Pattiseema, Bhairavakona, Hanmakonda, Keesaragutta, Vemulawada, Panagal, Kolanupaka amongst others.

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