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Mahashivaratri

03 Mar

I intend to write a note on every important festival that is celebrated through the year by Hindus and the various cultural and gastronomic signifacance of the same. Last year when I started the blog, I was thinking of doing something along these lines but a conversation with my MIL helped me crystalize the whole idea.

Shiva & Shakthi

Mahashivaratri, literally means “Shiva’s grand night”, is an important festival for Saivites. The day is usually spent in meditation and prayers, while many stay awake the whole night in reverence to Lord Shiva. Abhisekam is performed to the Shivalingam with milk, honey and water, and special offerings are made to the Lord in Bilva leaves, various fruits and the linga is adorned with flowers. Devotees usually recite Lingashtagam, Shiva Panchakshara stotram set in praise of Lord Shiva.

It is believed that this was the night when Shiva had to stay awake after drinking the haala-hala poison, that came out during the churning of the ocean of milk . The story goes that the devas and asuras started churning the ocean of milk in search of Amritam, the nectar of life, but inadvertently churned the poison out first. When the entire universe was in danger of destruction, Lord Shiva drank the poison and held it in his throat, to save the universe from the impending disaster. All his devotees remained awake and worshipped Him the whole night and helped Him stay awake. This is supposed to be the origin of Mahashivaratri. It is also believed to be the night when Shiva performed the Ananda Tandava – the dance of creation, in the form of Nataraja, the Lord of dance.

Om Thathpurushaya Vidhmahe Chakrathundaya
Dheemahe Thanno Nandi Prachodayath

Om Tat Purushaya Vidmahe Mahadevaya
Dhimahi Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat

Know more about the significance of Shivaratri here.

Picture source: Wikipedia Commons. Visit the site for copyright information.

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10 Comments

Posted by on March 3, 2008 in Pandigai (Festival)

 

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10 responses to “Mahashivaratri

  1. Purnima

    March 3, 2008 at 4:59 PM

    Thats a wonderful article! Tks for sharing!

    Glad you liked it Purnima. -A-kay

     
  2. Happy Cook

    March 4, 2008 at 2:32 AM

    A very learning post.

     
  3. Mythreyee

    March 4, 2008 at 3:30 AM

    I didn’t know the details of maha shiva raathiri until I read your. Thanks for the info.

     
  4. Sig

    March 4, 2008 at 3:47 AM

    That is a great series A-Kay! I am starting to forget some of these stories, and I am sure there are a bunch that I’ve never even heard of… So this will be a great refresher course…. 🙂

    🙂 Guess that is the idea. -A-kay

     
  5. UL

    March 4, 2008 at 9:57 PM

    very nice read, thanks for sharing.

     
  6. Laksh

    March 4, 2008 at 11:42 PM

    Very nice post and an equally nice picture to accompany it. I like your concept of posts for important festivals. Serves to remind us of the tales we grew up on. Keep up the good work!

    Yes – as I told you offline, I fell in love with the picture. Such a nice way of portraying male-female equality, I feel. -A-kay

     
  7. Uma

    March 5, 2008 at 5:28 AM

    Wow, what a lovely post! Thanks for the info. Very nicely presented.

     
  8. revathi

    March 7, 2008 at 2:08 AM

    This series is informative. Looking forward to more..

     
  9. Ashish Malhotra

    January 24, 2009 at 5:17 PM

    it was great work by this artist you represnt the time when two powers got toghether that is called ardhnareshwar good work keep it up

     
  10. B KAUSTAV

    May 11, 2009 at 2:27 PM

    I M PLEASED .

     

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