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Maha Shivratri 2019 - Date, Muhurat | Shivarathri Katha, Puja Procedure & Significance

Date and time

Maha Shivratri is one of the main festivals to be celebrated in India and some of its neighbouring countries to offer prayers to Lord Shiva. This is celebrated in each luni-solar month which falls on the 13th or 14th day as per the Hindu Panchang or calendar. These monthly Shivaratri is basically adored in temple’s by the priests and irrespective of that the term Maha Shivratri have its own importance. Maha Shivratri is celebrated once the year which occurs in late winter and before the arrival of summer. Mythologically this auspicious festival falls on the fourthth moonless night of new moon during krishna paksha in the Maagh or Phalgun masa of Hindu Panchang which corresponds to the month of February or March as per the English calendar.

MahaShivratri Date 2019: 2019 is on March 4th, Monday
Pooja Muhurtam / Timings: 7.07 AM to 12.35Pm
Chaturdashi Tithi Start at 4.34PM on 4-Mar-2019
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends at 7.07 PM on 5-Mar-2019
Nishita Kaala PujaTime 12.25AM to 1.14(5th Mar 2019)

Brief meaning of the name Shivratri.

Maha Shivratri got its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Maha’ which means ‘great’ ‘Shiva’ is our deity and ‘Ratri’ means ‘night’. It is also known as the “Great night of Shiva” when we offer our prayers to Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva remains in everyone of us, he is the only spirit in us and on this day we offer thanks to him to protect us. We offer our gratitude to him for giving us this precious life and providing security.

Brief Startup About Shivratri

Our world is a big home to total of 195 countries but have we ever thought why India is known as the most traditional and cultural country? The finest answer to this question is our vibrant tradition and culture. Indian culture and its age old tradition makes it different from all over the world. It is a country where people celebrate 365 festivals in 365 days. Many small and big festivals are celebrated here with same fervour and enthusiasm. Some have there significance in culture which became a tradition over years and some are directly related to our God, our Deity and when it comes to worshiping God then India is the best place to observe and thrive for the joy. Many such spiritual festivals are there out of which Maha Shivratri is the one having its significance in the history of Gods and Asurs.

This is a festival in which we pray and offer our gratitude to Lord Shiva and it is widely celebrated in Shaivism tradition of Hinduism. Shiva more than being a God  is always been thought as Adi Guru who was the initiator of knowledge and conscience. He is the ultimate divine in himself and as per Hindu Mythology he is the truth, peace, simplicity and everything in this world. This world starts with him and ends with him. He is assumed to be very aggressive by nature and it is believed that normally his aura and appearance is not handled by we humans so he comes to earth once a year and that is on the night of Maha Shivratri when he is assumed to be in his pure and simple forms and humans can watch him without getting destroyed by his presence. This is the only reason that Shiva is worshiped on this day for whole night starting from 10 pm till morning 4 am.

Different Indian states celebrates this festival in their own way and customs in which “Ujjain” in the Indian state of Madhya pradesh holds a special significance. A temple called “Mahakaleshwar” holds the puja of Shivratri in a grand way and this temple is assumed to be the residence of Lord Shiva. Like Ujjain all other states also holds the puja in their own way and with different names and cultures, Umananda temple in Assam’s capital Guwahati is another example. Many married women worship Shiva for long life of their husbands whereas unmarried girls pray to get a husband like Lord Shiva. Not only women but men also pray to God on this day. In India its a tradition to keep fast on this day for 24 hours as per their convenience. Some keep nirjala (without water) vratam and some have fruits and other sweetened juices..

Nataraja

Maha shivratri is also associated to dance and other art forms and has special connection with ‘Nataraj’. Lord Shiva is also worshiped in the name of Nataraja. Natraja is the incarnation of Lord Shiva. It has its meaning in Sanskrit where ‘Nata’ means ‘dance’ and ‘Raja’ means ‘king’. As per the historical evidences the dance performed by Nataraja is also said as “ananda tandava” and “Rudra Tandav”.. The Nataraja is surrounded by a Circe of fire representing our universe where all four hands of Nataraja is on the ring of fire. Each of the hand is significant in prospect of the man kind. Upper right hand holds “damru” which represents prehistoric sounds of creation of life on Earth and time elapsing and lower right hand is in “abhaya mudra” which is a symbol of righteousness and shows correct path to human kind. The upper left hand has a flame as a symbol of destruction and lower left hand is pointing towards his feet in “gaja hasta mudra” and represents emancipation.

In respect of Lord Nataraja many cultural events are organized on the day of Maha Shivaratri in which some of them are very prominent at major Hindu temples like Konark, Khajuraho, Kattadakal and many more. These dance and art forms are known as “Natyanjali or Natya Shastra”. Oraganization of dance and art related functions has special significance on Maha Shivratri.

History 

Shivratri festival has its history in many Hindu holy books like Skanda Purana, Linga Purana and Padma Purana. It has many historic instances associated in the name of Shiva and Parvathi.Its said that on this auspicious day Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathy married after a long tapasya of Devi sati of whom Devi Parvathy was the incarnation.

As per another mythological instance, on this day a great historical event of “samundra manthan” took place when a pot full of poison also was churn out. To protect the earth from the ill effects of poison Lord Shiva drank that poison risking his own life. All Gods and Goddesses’s performed dance and other rituals to keep Lord Shiva awake for whole night. This incident didn’t harmed Shiva but his neck turned blue and from that day he is known as Neelkantha”. 

In one of the another incident on the day of Maha Shivratri Lord Shiva performed the “Rudra Tandav”. As per the events, once Sati’s father Daksh did a Mahayagya in which he did not invited Lord Shiva and his wife Sati, but being a daughter of Daksh, when Devi Sati and Lord Shiva reached at Daksh’s place, he insulted them. Out of anger Devi sati burnt herself in self atonement. This incident broke Lord Shiva and out of anger he carried Devi Sati’s dead body on his body and started doing “Rudra Tandava” which caused huge destruction’s in the universe. The tandava dance of lord Shiva has five meanings which shows his characteristic to the world.

  • Shrishti - Creator
  • Sthiti - Position and Support
  • Anugraha - Emancipation
  • Tirobhava - Delusion
  • Samhara - Destruction

The music on which Lord Shiva danced was called as “tandava stotram” recited first by the Raavna himself.

Many also says that on this day Lord Shiva took the form of Shivalingam which is worshiped as a symbol of Lord Shiva all over the world. Many such incidents are still thought to be a reason behind the Shiva festival.

One of the interesting fact associated with this festival is consuming of bhang mixed with sweetened milk as prasad which is also known as “Thandai” by Shiva followers.  At some places smoking marijuana is also practised everywhere.

Customs and Traditions:

Depending on the regional differences different states celebrate this festival in their own ways and beliefs. Specifically on this day people worship the Shivalingam as symbol of faith in Lord Shiva. Many women observe fast on this day and pray for their husbands long life. Unmarried women observe fast to have a husband like him as he is treated as the best husband. In this festival even males also observe fast on this day to make their dreams come true. Its very auspicious to observe a fast on Shivratri and is widely celebrated in different Shiva temples all over India. In many temples, night Jaagran is organized for the worshipers. Whole night they observe fast and sing songs to praise their Deity. it is strongly believed that Lord Shiva comes to see his followers in a form which can be accommodated by humans. After having the prasad in the morning they break their fast and have food. This festival is very auspicious for all Hindus in the world and they celebrate them in their own style.

  • In Jammu Kashmir, it is celebrated in the name of “Hara-ratri”and lasts for three weeks or 21 days. Two pots of water symbolizing Lord Shiva and Devi Parvathy is kept and filled with water and walnuts. After three days these walnuts are distributed in the form of prasad to everyone. After 21 day gifts and sweets are given to family members to celebrate the festivities.
  • In West Bengal, sand bought from river Ganges is used to make four idols of Lord in the form of Shivlingam and each of them is worshiped in four periods of the day. In the first period, one Shivling is poured with milk, in the second period the Shivling is poured with curd, in the third ghee is used and in fourth period honey is used. The next morning food is offered to the pandit’s and purohit’s and fast is broken.
  • In Madhya pradesh its a tradition to have bath in the “Shiv Sagar Tank”.And many such traditions are followed from decades with beliefs and faith.
  • In Coimbatore At Isha Yoga Center Mahashivratri has been celebrated with great pomp and ... An even larger number of people witness and participate in the event online . https://bit.ly/2H7SgJu
  • In Bangalore Celebrating the Shiva Tattva in oneself is called Shivratri. ‘Ratri’ means night, the time for rest, when everything becomes quiet and peaceful. Shivratri is not only rest for body, but for mind and ‘Ego’. – Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar https://bit.ly/2Tvglkg

Complete Process of performing puja in Sivartri:

The procedure of performing Shivratri puja differs on the local customs and faith but the essence of all remains in common. As per the decade long traditions, on this day devotees visit temple and perform to the Shivlinga Abhishekam and pour milk, curd, honey and other sacred things to god and this process is known as “Abhishekam”. Some special fruits like ‘ber’ and ‘bael leaves’ are also offered as they are thought as the favorites of the deity. Whole day and night chants of “Om Namah Shivay” can be heard every where. In temples priests perform the “abhishekam” in every 4 hours and after jagran fast is broken by everyone.

Observing fasts on spiritual occasions is one of the most important tradition of Indian culture be it for any religion and it holds significance in Hinduism at its at most. We  celebrate so many festivals like navratra, ganesha chaturthi, teez puja, karwa chautha and many more by following diverse rituals but one thing in common is observing fasts.

Fasting is basically, striving one’s self from delicacies and other fancies of the world and be dedicated towards the Almighty God. Being superstitious we celebrate each of our festivals with enthusiasm and excitement and remain very cautious for following each of our customs minutely. One such festival is Maha Shivaratri which is assumed as the festival of Lord Siva.

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated to offer prayers to lord Shiva and is celebrated with great fervor and spiritualism to pay our respect to the god. People observe fasts and jagran for whole night and then food is consumed next morning. In Maha Sivaratri Extremism of spirituality is displayed as “nirjala fasting” is a common practice when people don’t consume water for 24 hours and the fast is broken the very next morning. Whole night bhajan, kirtan and prayers are offered to please the god and to be blessed by his boons. Different region celebrates this festival in their own ways and beliefs out of which Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain, Bhoothnatha temple in Mandi and Tilbhandeshwar temple in Varanasi holds special importance. Each and every individual takes part in this festival and celebrate it with high energy, devotion and passion

Masik shivratri Puja Prasad:

One of the most important and famous sweet of this festival is “bhang mixed sweets” and “thandai”. These are specially made sweets mixed with “bhang” in them and”thandai” is a milkshake made by mixing milk with bhang along with all kind of dry fruits, sugar curd and jaggery. These sweets and milkshakes are called as prasad’s and are distributed all over among Shiva devotees. Besides being aware of the side effects of bhang and bhang mixed sweets it is widely consumed by every one as a tribute to Lord Shiva as he is assumed to be a lover of “BHANG” and it was also an option of extravagance for him.

This festival is celebrated by everyone in their own way as per their convenience, some observe Nirjala fasts, some observes fast by having fruits and fruits juices and some may perform puja followed by the consumption of foods. In many places its famous to be in Shiva temple for whole night offering prayers and dancing and singing hymns in praise of lord Shiva. On this day its very auspicious to offer milk, dhatura, bhanga and other puja items on shivlinga which pleases the lord which in turn assures us with health, wealth and happiness.

Why should we stay awake on the night of Shivaratri?

Shivaratri or Maha Shivaratri is one of the most famous festival of India for Hindus in which Lord Shiva is being worshiped in all his forms. He is the only divine behind every existence in this universe and is treated as the maker as well as destructor of every creation. Maha Shivaratri marks his day when people worship him and all his avatars in different forms. This festival is celebrated on the fourth night of new moon in krishna paksha of phalguna(March) month.

As per ancient history this day is also said as the association day of Goddess Parvathy and Lord Shiva when they got married and Lord Shiva entered into “Gruhastaasrama”. It is also said that this was the day when Lord Shiva drank the poison churned out during Samudra Manthan for the sake of humans and from that day itself he was also named as “Neelkantha”.  Maha Shivratri marks the occurrence of 64 - forms of shivlinga all over the world when 64-shivlingas which are the abode of Shiva occurred on the Earth and so this day is also known as “the great night of Shiva”.

 

Shivaratri is celebrated all over India and Nepal by all men and women with same fervor and excitement. Pouring of all essential items and prasads on shivlinga is an important customary to be followed and these customaries are followed by observing nirjala (not having a sip of water and food) fasts for whole day and night. On this day, people remain awake whole day and night and in night jagrans or night vigils are observed.

 

Visiting temples in night and performing dance and singing hymns of Shiva has special importance. It is believed that while being awake for whole night we purify our sins and let the lord bless us with his blessings and boons.

 

Every 5 hours the shivlinga is being worshiped and is poured with the five sacred offerings of cow which includes cow dung, milk, butter, gowmutra or urine and sour milk which together is known as “Panchgavya” and then the shivlinga is again poured with milk, honey, curn, sugar and ghee. The devotees perform the puja and archana whole night and then in the morning at 4 am final puja is done after which the fast is broken.   

 

Night vigils or jagran on Maha Shivaratri holds importance all over Indian despite following different culture and traditions because when it comes to worshiping we Indian’s unite in our own ways without any differences.

Book pandit to perform puja on Maha Shivratri at Puja N Pujari


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  • User Avatar
    isha18/02/2019 2:00:17 PM

    Why do we celebrate Sawan shivratri?

  • User Avatar
    Maheshwar18/02/2019 2:32:20 PM

    Is it mandatory to do fasting on Shivratri, and why do we do that?

  • User Avatar
    sanjay18/02/2019 2:35:16 PM

    From my childhood, I was follower of Lord Shiva. And on every Shivratri I along with my falimy do jagran which will be happening at our nearest temple. And we love to so the same for our whole life. har har maha dev

  • User Avatar
    lakhsmi Kanth18/02/2019 2:56:01 PM

    Please tell me the difference between Maha Shivratri and Sawan Shivaratri

  • User Avatar
    dina19/02/2019 12:26:11 PM

    How does one perform a Shiva Linga Puja at home daily?

  • User Avatar
    R Niranjan21/02/2019 3:56:51 PM

    Is Shivratri is also celebrated in Nepal. And do they perform puja as hindu do in India? I have heard that they celebrate "Maha Shivaratri" the night when Lord Shiva performed the "Tandav", the cosmic dance.

  • User Avatar
    Michael21/02/2019 4:00:02 PM

    Niranjan, Nepali people are very open to having people enjoy and experience their way of life including their festivals. If you are planning to visit to Nepal, going a little early if possible to catch Shivaratri is highly recommended

  • User Avatar
    Ravi21/02/2019 4:02:48 PM

    Please tell me the meaning of Shiva ratri and why we perform puja in shiva temples whole night

  • User Avatar
    Madhav23/02/2019 12:16:36 PM

    Hi Ravi, Maha Shivratri got its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Maha’ which means ‘great’ ‘Shiva’ is our deity and ‘Ratri’ means ‘night’. It is also known as the “Great night of Shiva” when we offer our prayers to Lord Shiva Hope this is helpful,

  • User Avatar
    Puja N Pujari26/02/2019 8:12:30 AM

    Shivalinga pooja is to be done with full of faith & with a concentrated mind believing that lord shiva is pervading in the idol kept in front of you. If there is no shiva linga at home , you can make a shiva linga of sand or mud as done by Lord Rama when he reached Rameshwar. Perform the puja by pouring the water, milk or any liquids like rose water, honey etc. This are medium of worshiping the lord.Then decorate with flowers, show the arati & pray. If the shiva linga is made of mud, then pour shanti jal & deface the shiva linga. If it made of stone idol, then preserve it in your home & use for daily worship. There are no hard rules for this worship. What is needed is faith & dedication. As the worship progresses for some years, Lord shiva will definitely keep guiding you to reach higher stages of divine life.

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    danya28/02/2019 7:59:24 AM

    What should not in sivaratri?

  • User Avatar
    vinod02/03/2019 7:43:03 AM

    I should thank you for writing on this topic, very useful information you have given through this blog regarding Maha Shivaratri. I will visit again your blog to get more helpful information.

  • User Avatar
    madhav02/03/2019 3:00:26 PM

    How do i perform jagaran?

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    prasanth02/03/2019 3:02:20 PM

    What prasad should i offer for shiva on maha shivaratri

  • User Avatar
    bhaskar02/03/2019 3:03:52 PM

    What time should i start and end the jagaran.

  • User Avatar
    bhavani 02/03/2019 3:05:35 PM

    What type of puja should i performr for shiva on maha shivaratri?

  • User Avatar
    manoj02/03/2019 3:08:16 PM

    What type of songs or mantras should i hear while doing jagaran?

  • User Avatar
    suresh14/03/2019 3:05:37 PM

    i have gone through your website has more informative content.