Shivratri

Shivratri

Shiva is the energy believed to make every living being alive. We are able to breathe, eat, walk and carry out our day-to-day activities because of Shiva. Not only does this energy drive living beings, but it also resides in non-living things - as their energy. Shiva, thus, drives existence.

Shiva-ratri means the night of Lord Shiva. In the Vedic month of Phalgun (February-March) there is a Maha Shivaratri. The ceremony takes place mainly at night. This festival is observed in honour of Lord Shiva, who was married to Parvati (Mother Durga/Mother Gauri) on this day.

Some devotees observe a strict fast on this day. They stay awake the whole night. The Shiva linga is worshipped throughout the night by bathing it every three hours with milk, yogurt, ghee, honey, etc., whilst chanting of the mantra “Om namah shivaya” continues. Bilva leaves are offered to the linga. These leaves are very sacred (as Tulasi is to Lord Krishna) and Lord Shiva becomes pleased with that offering. Many hymns glorifying Lord Shiva are sung with devotion.
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