Why Celebrate Maha Shivratri? – Significance and Importance
Maha Shivratri, the night of the worship of Shiva, where devotees keep vigil during the night to celebrate the coronation of Shivalingam, the marriage of Shiva to Devi Parvati and Thanksgiving to the Lord for protecting us from annihilation. Shivaratri is a festival which also marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and ignorance” in life and the world.
When is Maha Shivratri celebrated?
Maha Shivaratri aka “The Great Night of Shiva” occurs on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna (Feb / March) when Hindus offer special prayer to the lord of destruction.
Why is Maha Shivratri celebrated?
Here are three reasons why celebrate Shivratri:
The absolute formless God, Sadashiv appeared in the form of “Lingodbhav Moorti” exactly at midnight on Maha Shivratri. That is why all Shiva devotees keep vigil during the night of Shivratri and do “Shivlingam Abhishekham” (coronation of the phallic idol) at midnight.
Lord Shiva was married to Devi Parvati on Shivratri. Remember Shiva minus Parvati is pure ‘Nirgun Brahman’. With his illusive power, (Maya, Parvati) He becomes the “Sagun Brahman” for the purpose of the pious devotion of his devotees.
It is also believed that on Shivratri, Lord Shiva became ‘Neelkantham’ or the blue-throated by swallowing the deadly poison that came up during the churning of “Kshir Sagar” or the milky ocean. The poison was so deadly that even a drop in the stomach, which represents the universe, would have annihilated the entire world. Hence, he held it in his neck, which turned blue due to the effect of poison. Shivratri is therefore also a day of thanksgiving to the Lord for protecting us from annihilation.
If you know any other reason why Maha Shivaratri is celebrated? Share in comments.