The glory and miracle of the Maha Shivaratri
In the midst of the squalor of worldly life, the search for peace and prosperity seems to be a futile quest, as man’s insatiable thirst for love, lust and power leaves him nowhere but in a sad desert of incessant debauchery. But it is fasting, festivals and celebrations that with his divine forces lead him to merge with the bliss of the supernatural and spiritual progress of life on earth.
Since time immemorial, Indian culture has been enriched by various types of festivals, religious celebrations, and cultural events. There are so many festivals here that almost every day one festival or another is celebrated with great enthusiasm and grace. One of them is Maha-Shivratri (Great Night of Ziva) which is well known for its remarkable importance in life as described in Hindu mythology. It is the most important sectarian festival of the year for the devotees of the Hindu god ‘Zhiva’.
According to the Hindi calendar, this great festival falls on the 14th night of the darkest half of the month, Phalgun (February). ‘The Great Night of Shiva’ is celebrated on this day with unconditional devotion and religious fervor because it is believed that on this very day, Lord Shiva, who is part of the Hindu holy Trimurti (trinity of gods), appeared in the form of Linga that it contained within itself gigantic forces of myriads of suns.
On the occasion of Maha-Shivratri, celebrations take place in all Shiva temples throughout India. Devotees celebrate it by fasting during the day and offering prayers at night. Tonight has its own meaning because it is believed that worshiping Lord Shiva on this very night brings salvation to life. Furthermore, this auspicious occasion means a lot to women, as the married pray for the well-being of their husbands and children, the single for a husband like Shiva, who is considered the ideal husband.
As a result, the atmosphere in and around the temples and houses becomes vibrant with Hymns sung in praise of Lord Shiva and the Panchakshara Mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, a mantra capable of freeing us from all sins, echoes the universe making it fragrant. and pious. .
Like other religious festivals, Maha-Shivaratri also has its origin in Indian mythology and is celebrated by Hindus not only because of their faith in Lord Shiva, but also because of its own scientific and spiritual significance. According to astrology, on this same day the Moon is closer to the Sun, creating a perfect moment for communion between two sustaining forces, one being the source of life with beauty, warmth and passion and the other being Shiva himself exuding light, force. and energy. Going on a spiritual note, Maha-Shivaratri is an auspicious announcement of Lord Shiva’s divine descent. So it is said that sincere worship of Lord Shiva produces merit and spiritual growth for the devotees.
The scriptures are filled with a number of interesting legends and stories associated with the Maha-Shivaratri festival. There is a story in the glory of Maha-Shivaratri. Once upon a time there was a hunter named Gurudruh in a certain forest in Baranasi. He was muscular and cruel and eked out a living from hunting. One day his whole family, out of hunger, asked him to bring some food. In search of his prey he wandered back and forth through the forest, but found none until sundown.
So he decided to continue his hunt even in the dead of night. Near a pond in the forest, he climbed a tree called Bilva and sat on one of its branches waiting for his prey. At last he had a chance to have a thirsty deer there. He tried to kill him but was unsuccessful. Therefore, it made four attempts at different periods of the night and failed each time. But one thing that happened that made a difference there was that every time he tried to kill the deer, some of the water that he had in a pot tucked up to his waist and some leaves from the tree fell on a Shivligum lying under the same tree.
In this way, although unknowingly, he made his offering to Lord Siva four times that night. Being the night of Maha-Sivaratri, Lord Siva was pleased with this act of the hunter and appeared there to bless him. This divine event completely changed his life and led to salvation. Inspired by this story, the tradition of observing Maha-Shivaratri became fashionable.
Furthermore, Maha-Shivaratri is not only a celebration of faith in Lord Shiva, it also helps us to maintain the ethics of Vedic and cultural values in life. The fast observed on this sacred occasion is considered the greatest fast on earth, which fills life with all the sanctity of spirituality and makes man overcome the negative forces of life and allows him to live a just and peaceful life. .