Who Is Shiv?
“The One who is as Pure as Kapur (camphor), The one who is the epitome of kindness, The One who is the essence of the world, The one who has serpent king as his garland, The one who always reside in the lotus like heart, Lord who is accompanied by the Goddess, I bow to you!!”
Yes, today we are going to discuss about the one and the only Lord Shiva who is the destroyer of evil and the one who is creator the world. In the Upnishads and the Puranas, it is being said about Shiva that he is Ayonija– one who has not taken birth from mother’s womb. He is the start, he is the end, he was before the time and he will be there during oblivion. According to Shiv Mahapuran, in the beginning of time when the life on earth was about to start, a huge pillar of fire appeared from no-where, which has no starting and no end and from the between of that fire pillar came out the Shiva, who took the responsibility to destroy the evil and the asuras (demon) and established the dharma (righteousness) as and when require.
When you will be on your India tourism you will find different temples and shrines dedicated to Lord Shiva. To celebrated the festival of deity every year, people of not only from India but from around the world anxiously do wait for the Mahashivratri – The great night of Shiv.
Mahashivratri and The Legends
Roughly saying, Mahashivratri is the considered as the most important night for worshiping Lord Shiva. Whole country on this day colored in the hues of divinity and the spirituality. Shiv temple on this day filled with a throng of people taking unprocessed milk, leafs (belpatra) and water in their hands to offer their deity. You will see different part of the country celebrating Mahashivratri during your India tour packages.
When you come to India during this festival you will come to know various legends that will tell you the reason behind celebrating this festival. We have brought to you three major reasons why Mahashivratri is celebrated. According to the first legend, the festival is marked as the wedding day of Lord Shiv and Goddess Parvati. Married women on this day worship Shiv-Parvati for happily married life.
According to other legend stated in ‘Linga Puran; it is the night when Lord Shiva manifested from Fire Pillar in the form of Linga and boon Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahmma to be worshipped as equal as him and they all three will plays their respective role in creation, preserving and destroying the world as and when requires.
Another reason why Mahashivratri Celebrated in India is, when devtas and ashuras did churning of Ksheer Sagar (Milk Ocean), a poison (Kaalkoot) emerged from the shallow of the ocean. It was so dangerous that its’ one drop is sufficient to destroy whole world. Nobody in the Universe but Shiva has ability to control it. Every one prayed and praised Lord Shiva asking for help. So Shiva then swallowed the poison and his throat was started getting blue due to the severeness of the poison. Thus he was named ‘Neelkanth – One with blue throat’.
When and How Mahashivratri Is Celebrated..?
Majority of India celebrate Mahashivratri with utmost zeal and enthusiasm. When you will be on your India Festival Trip, you will find people chanting different mantras such as ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAY’ and ‘HAR HAR MAHADEV’ in different temples of Shiva.
The festival is celebrated on 13th or 14th new moon night in Krishna Paksha of the Hindu month of Phalgun (Feb or March). People on this day celebrate the festival by bathing the Shiv Linga with ‘Panchagavya’ (five sacred things) – unprocessed milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, sugar and water. Devotees wake up early in the morning and take bath before sunrise. All the devotees observe fast on this day visit Shiv temples to worship the Shiv Ling with Goddess Parvati along with Ganesha and Kartikey.
Women have special connection with this festival. The married women prays Shiva for well-being of their husband and family while unmarried girls worship him to get a husband like him – as Shiva is regarded as an ideal husband.
What Is The Significance of Mahashivratri..?!
There’s an old saying about Lord Shiva –‘Shiv Samaan Daata Nahi’ –There is no benefactor like Lord Shiva’. People to fulfill their wishes pray the Lord of the Lords by offering him milk and water and by keeping fast for whole day. Mahashivratri has it very own significance.
It is being said by keeping fast on this day will help you in meditating and improves the concentration. To attain the Shiv Tatva on Mahashivratri, will help you to fulfill all your wishes on this day. By worshiping Shivling on Mahashivratri you will get three types of peace – Peace of Material – Mental Peace and the Peace in the Soul. Mahashivratri is considered as the night of taking refuge in the divinity of the almighty that brings peace and solace to your mind, body and soul.
Mahashivratri in India
The hard core devotees of Lord Shiva worships him for 12 Shivratris during a year, but this Mahashivratri is the one where people fast throughout the day and offers prayers throughout the night. Considering the importance of the festival here are some of the best places we suggest you where you will witness the grandeur of Mahashivratri during your Travel in India. Mandi, Varanasi, Haridwar, Rishikesh and Shivsagar are some of the major places where the charm of the festival is something worth experience.