is one of the important Hindu festivals
celebrated with religious fervor across the length and breadth of India
. Followers of Lord Shiva
consider the festival very special, as it is the time to show their love and devotion to their favorite deity. It is significant in every devotee’s life, as it also tests ones ability to abstain from food (because fast is observed on the day) and remain vigil in the night without sleeping (because one has to remain awake all through the night, on Maha Shivaratri). In addition to this, Maha Shivaratri bears significance in Hindu mythology. In the following lines, learn all about the significance of Maha Shivaratri.
Maha Shivaratri Significance
- Importance In Hinduism
According to the Hindu mythology, Lord Shiva declared that the rituals performed by his devotees on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun please him the most. Therefore, year by year, the day is observed as Maha Shivaratri, wherein devotees observe fast, sing songs and bhajans and offer prayers to the Almighty to seek his blessings. Pujas conducted in Lord Shiva temples during the day have significance too. This is because the rituals are conducted strictly in accordance with the method that is prescribed in Shiva Purana, a Hindu epic. According to the Purana, poojas are conducted once in every three hours, on Maha Shivaratri.
- Importance In Human Lives
It is believed that the devotion of Lord Shiva on Maha Shivaratri would freed the devotee from the past sins. Moreover, the devotee would reach the adobe of Lord Shiva and live there happily, because he / she is liberated from the cycle of birth and death, once he / she attains moksha or salvation. Therefore, all the devotees of Lord Shiva would flock the temples to offer their prayers. To serve the purpose, jujube fruits, stalks of Bilwa leaves, flowers and garlands are offered to the Shiva Linga by the devotees. If the devotee celebrates the festival at home, he / she would perform the Maha Shivaratri Puja by taking a holy bath (in warm water) early in the morning, wearing new clothes and then smearing bhasm (holy ash) on their forehead.
- Importance For Women
Maha Shivaratri is especially important for women. Ladies, both married and unmarried, would perform Shiva Puja and observe fast with great devotion and sincerity. This is predominantly done to appease Lord Shiva along with his consort Goddess Parvati, who is often called Maa Gauri. It is believed that Maa Gauri bestows marital bliss on unmarried women and blesses the married women with healthy and blissful married life. Since Lord Shiva is regarded as the ideal husband by the Hindu women, the unmarried women would not miss to observe the stringent fast on Shivaratri.