Masik Shivaratri: Importance and Significance of the Shivaratri Vrat Easy

Masik Shivaratri: Importance and Significance of the Shivaratri Vrat

Masik Shivaratri: Importance and Significance of the Shivaratri Vrat Easy

What is Shivaratri

The Shivaratri festival and its significance have been mentioned in various Hindu scriptures, like Skanda Purana, Linga Purana, Padma Purana, etc. These scriptures elaborate on the importance of the festival.

According to Skanda Purana, there are four types of Shivaratris.

Masik Shivaratri is observed every month on Chaturdashi tithi. Thus, 12 Masik Shivaratris are celebrated in a year. And Maha Shivaratri (falls in February or March), is the most significant among all the 12 shivaratris.

Spiritual Significance of Shivaratri

As we know, Shivaratri falls on the Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi, which is one day before Amavasya. Amavasya represents complete darkness.

Generally, we associate darkness with limitations, evil, and negativity. When you are imprisoned in the grip of limitations, darkness looks fearful. When you come out of your sensory limitations, you will enter into the path of liberation. This is exactly what Lord Shiva represents. He handholds you to go beyond your limitations.

According to Hindu Astronomy, Chaturdashi tithi of Krishna paksha (second half) falls when the Moon moves closer to the Sun. Moon represents our mind (individuality) and the Sun represents higher consciousness. Therefore, this night becomes more powerful and important for spiritually inclined people.

Religious Significance of Shivaratri

There are many mythological stories associated with the Shivaratri day celebrations. It is believed that during Samudra Manthan (Churning of the ocean) by Devas and Asuras, a pot of poison and nectar came out. Lord Shiva came and drank that poison and saved the world. In remembrance of this event, Shivaratri is celebrated.

This Samudra Manthan event has not happened somewhere outside. It is happening continuously within our mind itself. We have both positive (deva) and negative (asura) qualities within us in varying proportions. These qualities inspire us to perform actions. Good qualities (Satwik nature) inspire you to perform good deeds and result in good karma (nectar). Bad qualities (tamasik nature) will inspire you to perform bad deeds and result in bad karma (poison).

Masik Shivaratri Rituals

One should get up early in the morning and take a bath. After taking the bath, one should perform pooja and other rituals. Otherwise, just light a lamp. Take a wow (sankalp) to observe the fast and think and act positively. It is advisable to observe strict fasting but water, milk, and fruits are allowed.

Abhisheka for Shiva linga is performed with water, milk, sandalwood paste, honey, ghee, sugar, and water. Chandan and Kumkum should be applied to the Shiva linga. After that, bilva patra should be offered. Then flowers and fruits can be offered.

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