Shivaratri: Banishing Darkness from our Lives

Times of India

Mangalore, Mar 4: Lord Shiva occupies a central role in Hinduism. Shiva is usually worshipped in the form of ‘linga’ — symbolizing ‘purusha’.
While most festivals are celebrated at daytime, Shivaratri is celebrated at night as Lord Shiva saved the universe from darkness.

The 14th day of every month, Krishna Chaturdasi, is Shivaratri. But during the month of Magha, the day is observed as Mahashivaratri. 

On this day, Lord Shiva drank poison, halahala, which emerged during churning the ocean of milk. With this, He saved the universe. Lord Shiva also married Goddess Parvati on this day and performed Shiva Tandava Nrtya, better known as Natyasastra. 

The main themes of the festival are ahmisa, satya, compassion and forgiveness, and absence of jealousy. Devotees worship by fasting and jagarana (keeping vigil in at night). 

On this day, the ‘linga’ is bathed with panchamruta — a mixture of milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey. This is accompanied by chanting of Vedic hymns (chanting of Rudra Mantra), and showering the ‘linga’ with ‘bhila patre’ and flowers. 

Next day morning, the fast is broken after making offerings to the God. Next, devotees perform the Rudra Homa at temples and homes. Delicious food is prepared and offered as ‘naivedhyam’ to the deity. Later, it’s distributed to devotees as ‘annadhanam’. By worshipping Lord Shiva, one attains peace and prosperity and is absolved of sins.


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Comment on this article

  • Vittal Acharya, Katapadi / Aden, Yemen

    Wed, Mar 05 2008

    Salute Daiji, so nice to read and recalls those days used enjoy such festivals at native place. you are greate !!! and greate site.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

  • B.P.Dixit, Mumbai

    Tue, Mar 04 2008

    It is good & informative.It should give more details as many of us are not aware of our culture & tradition.

    DisAgree Agree Reply Report Abuse

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