Mahashivratri is one of the most auspicious dates in the Hindu calendar as it celebrates the convergence of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It falls on the Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in the month of Magh.
On 14th, MahaShivratriParana Time: 07:03 AM to 03:29 PM
Chaturdashi Tithi begins: 10:34 PM on 13th Feb
Chaturdashi Tithi ends: 12:46 AM on 15th Feb
Significance of Mahashivratri
Out of all the twelve Shivratris in a year, Mahashivratri that falls during February-March has immense spiritual significance. This is because the northern hemisphere is positioned in a way that it enhances your spiritual aura to the most on the night of Mahashivratri. This is considered the best day for:
- Fulfillment of all Material Desires: Devotees who worship Lord Shiva with absolute devotion are blessed with health, wealth and prosperity. All their desires get fulfilled.
- Soul Purification: Worshipping Lord Shiva with utmost faith on the auspicious day of Mahashivratri purifies your soul of all negative thoughts, feelings and emotions.
- Attain Lord Shiva’s abode: Observing strict Mahashivratri fast helps you grow on the spiritual path, get free from the cycle of birth and death and attain the mighty Lord’s abode in Kailash.
- Marital Bliss: Worshipping Lord Shiva with a pure heart on Mahashivratri brings happiness in your married life. Unmarried women observe a fast on this day in the hope of getting a husband as good as Lord Shiva.
On the day before Shivratri (on the TrayodashiTithi), devotees eat just one time. Then on Shivratri, devotees observe a full day fast to seek blessings of Lord Shiva. They only break their fast after worshipping Lord Shiva the next morning.
Rituals observed on the day Mahashivratri are as follows:
- Holy bath: Devotees get up early in the morning to take a holy bath with water containing black sesame seeds.
- Shivling Puja: Devotees visit Lord Shiva’s temple and offer milk, water, bilva leaves, bilva fruit and dhatura to the Shivlinga, seeking the Lord’s blessings.
- Sankalpa: They vow to observe a strict fast all day.
- During the fast, you should refrain from even a bite of food and water the entire day. However, you can have some fruits and milk during the daytime.
- Shivling Puja at four Prahars: During the evening, Shivlinga Puja is observed all night during the four Prahars:
Shivlingabhishek with water during the first Prahar
Shivling Abhishek with curd during the second Prahar
Shivling Abhishek with ghee during the third Prahar
Shivling Abhishek with honey during the fourth Prahar
This is followed by adorning the Shivling with a garland made of bilva leaves, chandan, kumkum, vibhuti and sacred ash made from cow dung.
- Bhajans and Mantras: Devotees spend the entire night chanting Om Namah Shivay, Maha Mrityunjay Mantra and heart-felt Shiva-Parvati bhajans.
- Parana: On the next day within the Chaturdashi Tithi, you can observe Parana (opening the fast) but only after worshipping Lord Shiva and offering him plain rice and yellow curry.