The festival of Mahashivratri is looked upon with greatest reverence & respect
by the devotees of Lord Shiva. This festival is celebrated every year on the
14th day in the Krishna Paksha of the month of Phalgun. As per the English
calender this is somewhere around the end of Feb or the beginning of March.
This day and more so the night is dedicated by the devotees of Lord Shiva for
his worship, practise of various austerities & meditation. All the Shiva Temples
are fully decorated and there are hordes of devotees queing up to get darshan of
Lord & offer their obesiances at the feet of Lord Shiva on this special day.
The significance of Mahashivratri :
There are other stories which are associated with this special day:
1. Once Parvatiji asked Lord Shiva as to which Vrata was the best in terms of
giving maximum punyas & his bhakti. So Lord Shiva himself revealed about this
2. On this day manifested the great & also the first ever Jyotirmaya form (Anala-skanda)
of Lord Shiva in front of Lord Vishnu & Brahmaji.
The story goes that once both Vishnuji & Brahmaji, who were both doing great
jobs, got infected by a bit of ego. The result was an clash between both these
gods. In order to show their respective importance & superiority they decided to
fight it out. Lord Shiva decided to intervene so as to make them realise that
there is something more to life than the powers of an embodied beings. He
manifested in the form of a huge pillar of fire whose top & bottom end could not
be seen. Vishnuji & Brahmaji decided to check what this strange thing was. While
Vishnuji went down towards patal-loka to see the end of this pillar, Brahmaji
sitting on his swan went up. Even after years of travel they could not see the
beginning or the end of this manifestation. They came back, mellowed down,
realising once again the limitations of an embodiment. Once they surrendered,
then Lord Shiva gave darshan to them and set things in order once again. This
blessed manifestation is said to have been on the day of Mahashivratri.
3. On this day there was also supposed to have been the marriage of Lord Shiva
with Adi Shakti.
4. There is also a famous story of a hunter, who one day got delayed in the
forest, and therefore decided to remain perched on a tree throughout the night,
so as to avoid any predators who prowl on the ground in the night. In order to
remain awake, he kept on plucking a leaf and threw them on the ground. As it
happened there was a Shiv-linga below that tree, and it was this particular day
too. Lord Shiva became very happy even with such inadvertant worship, and
blessed the person with all wht he wished for. This story not only shows how
easily Lord Shiva is propitiated, but also reveals the great importance of
worship of Lord on this particular day.
How to celebrate this festival ?
The devotees of Lord Shiva should preferably do the following things on this
1. Observe fast on this day, taking only fruits & milk.
2. Perform elaborate puja of Lord Shiva, and perform Rudrabhisheka. Chant
various hymns & bhajan of Lord Shiva.
3. Chant the mantra �Om Namah Shivaya� as many times as you can.
4. Practise Dhyana for longer periods than the usual routine.
5. Remain more introvert on this day contemplating about the truths of life.
6. Do for darshan of Lord Shiva where he is properly & regularly worshipped.
7. Try to get darshan & satsang of some learned Mahatmas. Offer sewa at Ashrams