Shivratri is an auspicious festival; it is a combination of Shiv and Shakti. As the name suggests. The Maha Shivratri that falls on the Magh Mass is known as Maha Shivratri, and it is celebrated once a year. The day is dedicated to the celebration and devotion of Lord Shiva. It is believed that on the day of Maha Shivratri, Lord Shiva does the Tandav Dance or the dance of Preservation and destruction.
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Maha Shivratri Story:
The celebration of the Maha Shivratri is based on the belief of the churning of the ocean or Samudra Manthan. It is believed that on this day Lord Shiva drank the deadly poison that came out of the ocean churning, this poison otherwise would have destroyed the entire humankind and universe.
Once upon a time on the 14th day of the Magha month, Vishnu and Brahma had a dispute to know who the supreme God of the entire universe was. To stop the fight Lord Shiva showed his Lingam form through which divine light was emitting hence declaring his supremacy over the world.
The churning of Ocean/ Samudra Manthan:
In a battle, the Devas or Gods were defeated and Asuras or devils gained control over them and the world. The Asuras even had control over heaven and destroyed everything. Out of there abode and no place to go, the Devas went to seek the help from Lord Vishnu, He advised to treat the Asuras in the most diplomatic manner. Both Gods and Devils came together for a peace treaty that said that the ocean contains Amrit or the nectar of Immortality, and share it among the two parties. The mountain Mandara was used as the churning rod and Vasuki became the rope of churning after some time of the pull and push came to the Poison called halalal, the poison was so deadly that just one drop would wipe the entire mankind, so the Devas and asuras went to Lord Shiva for seeking help. Lord Shiva drank the poison before God Shiva could gulp it down; Maa Parvati put her hand on his throat so that the poison does not trickle down. The act of consuming poison made his throat blue and hence was called NeelKanth. To commemorate this event Shivratri is celebrated.
Maha Shivratri Puja Vidhi:
On the day of the Maha Shivratri Vrath, it is prescribed that the devotees, take a dip and bath in the holy water. Set up the altar for placing the idol, the best time to do these activities should be done in the wee hours of the morning. If the Idol is available then the devotee can perform Abhishek, with articles like water, milk, Ghee, Curd, honey, turmeric, rose water and other fragrant elements. On the photo of Lord Shiva smear Sandalwood, Vermilion and offer flowers, burn Diyas, and incense stick. Make Prasad and do the puja and aarti, the puja should be done during the midnight on this day.
Maha Shivratri Puja Benefits: The worship of on this day brings in a lot of benefits like:
1) It makes the body free from diseases and cures even the age-old disease.
2) Relieves from pain and sufferings
3) Doing meditation on this day will bring in a high level of concentration and reduces stress
4) Freedom from Cycle of Rebirth is procured, the devotee attains Moksha.
5) The sins are reduced and removed.
6) It helps in getting rid of negativity and evils like jealousy etc.
7) This puja is performed for married women pray for the well being of their husbands.
8) This puja is also performed for unmarried women pray for an ideal husband like Shiva.
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