Mahashivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated annually in honour of Lord Shiva, one of the deities in the Hindu trinity. It is observed on the 13th night/14th day of the Hindu lunar month of Phalguna, which usually falls in February or March. The festival holds immense spiritual significance for Hindus and is observed with devotion, fasting, and all-night vigils in Shiva temples
Meaning Mahashivratri translates to "the grand night of Shiva," Hindu legend holds that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati wed on this night, and as a result, this day is seen as lucky for weddings and new beginnings
Worshiping Lord Shiva On this day, one receives happiness and fortune. On this day, it is suggested that you fast since not eating too much allows you to meditate, which enhances attention and aids in the fulfilment of desire. On this day, Shiva Tatva makes it simple to accomplish even modest requests. According to Dharmikshree ji, Shiva Tatva touches earth during Mahashivratri. The soul of everything is said to be Shiva. It represents calmness, beauty, infinity, spirituality and ratri denotes seeking safety. Therefore, Mahashivratri means turning to Shiva, or to celebrate and recognise the Shiva Tatva inside oneself. It is a period of deep relaxation for the body, mind, and ego is appropriate for sadhana. the profound sleep that makes a devotee aware of the fullest understanding of the Shiva Tattva.
SIGNIFICANCE OF MAHASHIVRATRI FOR WOMEN
Women regards this festival with utmost importance. In order to satisfy Goddess Parvati, who is also known as "Gaura," or the one who bestows marital bliss and a long and prosperous married life, both married and single women observe fast and perform Shiva Puja with dedication. A husband like Lord Shiva, who is regarded as the perfect husband, is something that single women also pray for. <strong>Dharmikshree ji</strong> explains about the <strong>Spiritual Significance</strong> of Mahashivratri as: Mahashivratri is considered a night of intense spiritual significance and is observed as a time for introspection, purification, and devotion. Devotees observe fasts and perform various rituals such as worship, japa, and meditation to attain blessings from Lord Shiva. Lord Shiva is revered as the embodiment of pure consciousness and the ultimate reality, and therefore, this festival is seen as an opportunity to connect with the divine and attain spiritual liberation. Fasting on this day is believed to purify the mind, body, and soul and bring blessings from Lord Shiva. Devotees break their fast the next day after worshiping the Lord.
SOCIAL AND CULTURAL SIGNIFICANCE
Dharmikshree ji affirms that Mahashivratri is not just a religious festival but also has social significance as it brings people together in devotion and helps to strengthen bonds of community and friendship. Many Hindu communities organize mass gatherings in Shiva temples, where people come together to offer prayers, sing hymns, and participate in various cultural programs. The festival is an opportunity for people to come together, celebrate, and forget their differences, promoting unity, peace, and harmony. The festival is celebrated with great fervour and devotion in many regions of India and is an important cultural event in Hindu society, according to Guruji, who explained the holiday's cultural significance. The festival is marked by various cultural events such as dance, music, and dramas that are performed to celebrate the event. Many Hindu communities also perform traditional dances, such as the 'Tandav Nritya' that Lord Shiva is believed to have performed after the creation of the world.
Things one can follow for discovering his inner self during this festival
Dharmikshree ji suggests different activities for each zodiacs to observe on the occasion of Mahashivratri
Aries (March 21-April 19): You can visit a local Shiva temple and offer prayers to Lord Shiva. You can also perform the traditional "abhishek" ceremony, where you pour milk and honey over a Shivling to symbolize purification and blessings.
Taurus (April 20-May 20): To observe Mahashivratri, you can spend time in solitude, meditating and connecting with your inner self. You can also fast for the day and break it with a simple meal of fruits and nuts in the evening.
Gemini (May 21-June 20): You can spend the day in service of others, volunteering at a local temple or helping those in need. You can also participate in kirtans and bhajans, singing devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva.
Cancer (June 21-July 22): You can spend the day in introspection, reflecting on your past actions and making resolutions for the future. You can also participate in the "Rudrabhishek" ceremony, where prayers are offered to Lord Shiva to seek his blessings and protection.
Leo (July 23-August 22): You can spend the day in devotion, offering prayers and performing puja rituals to Lord Shiva. You can also spend time with family and friends, sharing the significance of the festival and spreading joy and positivity.
Virgo (August 23-September 22): You can spend the day in silence, practicing yoga and meditation to connect with your inner self. You can also spend time in nature, surrounded by the peace and calmness of the outdoors.
Libra (September 23-October 22): You can spend the day in charity, making donations to a local temple or helping those in need. You can also participate in group puja ceremonies and sing devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21): You can spend the day in introspection, reflecting on your past actions and seeking forgiveness. You can also participate in the "Rudrabhishek" ceremony, where prayers are offered to Lord Shiva for purification and blessings.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21): You can spend the day in adventure, exploring local temples and learning about the rich cultural heritage of Hinduism. You can also participate in the "Mahashivratri Mela", a fair organized in many parts of India to celebrate the festival.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19): You can spend the day in simplicity, focusing on the essentials and simplifying your life. You can also perform the traditional "abhishek" ceremony, pouring milk and honey over a Shivling to symbolize purification and blessings.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18): You can spend the day in creativity, participating in art and music performances that pay homage to Lord Shiva. You can also participate in group puja ceremonies and sing devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva.
Pisces (February 19-March 20): You can spend the day in contemplation, reflecting on the deeper meaning of life and seeking guidance from Lord Shiva.
Astrological perception of mahashivratri
In Hindu astrology, the festival of Mahashivratri is considered to have a strong astrological significance. According to Dharmikshree ji, the alignment of the stars and planets on this day holds special meaning and can have a powerful impact on individuals' lives. Here are some of the astrological perspectives associated with Mahashivratri:
It's important to note that while astrology can provide insights and offer guidance, it is just one aspect of Hinduism and should not be relied upon solely. It is ultimately up to individuals to make choices that align with their own beliefs and values, and to seek the guidance of their own conscience and intuition.
Hindus attach a significant amount of spiritual, social, and cultural significance on the holiday of Mahashivratri. The event honours the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati and provides an opportunity for worshippers to offer prayers, carry out rituals, and establish spiritual connections. The event encourages harmony, peace, and unity while bringing people together to honour the sacred and set aside personal differences. Mahashivratri is a holiday that honours the force of the divine and the capacity for human transformation, whether you observe it as a religious or cultural event. The festival of Mahashivratri holds a special astrological significance in Hinduism, and is believed to provide opportunities for spiritual growth, improved karma, and increased blessings in one's life. Whether through worship, rituals, or reflection, the festival provides a time for individuals to connect with their inner selves and the divine, and to seek guidance and insight for the future.