Lord Shiva, in the most sacred terms, is considered as one of the most powerful deities in the Hindu customs and, an Adi Guru or First Guru from whom the mega Yogic tradition had originated and hence this night is also called as “the night of stillness”. To celebrate the grace of the Lord and for one to get indulged in the night-long prayers, there is a Shivaratri in every lunisolar month of the Hindu calendar that falls on the 13th night or 14th morning, but the one that comes once a year before spring is considered to be Mahashivratri which literally translates to the “The Great Night of Shiva”. It is a sacred festival for the millions of devotees of Lord Shiva that is celebrated to venerate the Lord and is believed that any person who performs the prayer with care and devotion on this auspicious day is absolved of sins and attains moksha.
Mahashivratri has an incredible significance in the Hindu mythology; a festival that signifies the defeat of darkness and ignorance and is said that on this day, due to the change in planetary positions there will be a natural upsurge of energy in the human system. From fasting to meditating to chanting prayers, this day is dedicated to the Lord’s values on morals and merits such as self-restraint, honesty, and forgiveness.
The devotees get themselves indulged in an all-night prayer and offer milk, honey, and water to the Shiva Linga. Mahashivratri holds the base for different myths. According to some folklore, Shivratri is celebrated as the day when Shiva saved the world by drinking the pot of poison that emerged from the ocean Samudra Manthan, whereas some commemorate the day as when Shiva punished Brahma and Vishnu by taking the form of a massive fire that spread across the length of the universe when they got into a major tiff about their supremacy, but for ascetics, it is this day when Shiva became one with Mount Kailash.
Shivratri celebrations are manifested with devotion and holy fervor. Joy can be seen in the faces of millions of devotees and they start planning for this festival in advance. Therefore, in this Mahashivratri, visit the famous Shiva’s temples at Srikalahasti or Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh or Kapaleeshwar temple in Chennai where this festival is observed with extreme enthusiasm.
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