Maha Shivratri 2022: What Is This Festival All About?

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Team Astroyogi By Team Astroyogi
Maha Shivratri 2022: Why Is This Festival Considered Significant for Devotees?

Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival that happens every year in honor of the divine Lord Shiva. The festival holds great significance for devotees who wait for this day to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva! Read on here to know all about this auspicious festival. 

Predominantly a prominent Hindu festival, Maha Shivratri, is observed each year in reverence of Lord Shiva, the divine Hindu God of destruction. It is known as the "great night of Lord Shiva," and it is one of the critical occasions in India's spiritual calendar. It is believed that on this pious festival, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati fulfill every wish of their devotees. 

Let’s get to know more about Maha Shivratri 2022.

What Is The Maha Shivratri 2022 Date And Timing?

The festival of Shivratri is celebrated annually in honor of the divine Lord Shiva. This is a solemn festival that is done in remembrance of overcoming darkness in life. The Maha Shivratri 2022 date is 1st March 2022 (Tuesday). 

The important timings are given below. 

  • Chaturdashi Tithi (Starts) - 03:16 AM, 1st March 2022
  • Chaturdashi Tithi (Ends) - 01:00 AM, 2nd March 2022
  • Nishita Kaal Timing for Puja - 12:08 AM to 12:58 AM, 2nd March 2022
  • Shivaratri Parana Timing - 06:45 AM, 2nd March 2022
  • Ratri First Prahar (Puja Timing) - From 06:21 PM to 09:27 PM
  • Ratri Second Prahar (Puja Timing) - From 09:27 PM to 12:33 AM, 2nd March 2022
  • Ratri Third Prahar (Puja Timing) - From 12:33 AM to 03:39 AM, 2nd March 2022
  • Ratri Fourth Prahar (Puja Timing) - From 03:39 AM to 06:45 AM, 2nd March 2022

If you want to know how to make the most of Shivaratri 2022, get in touch with astrologers on Astroyogi. 

What Is The Significance of Maha Shivaratri?

Maha Shivaratri is celebrated on the thirteenth night and fourteenth day of every lunar month. According to the North Indian calendar, the Shivaratri that occurs in the month of Falgun or Phalguna is known as Maha Shivaratri. As per the South Indian calendar, the Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in Magha month is known as Maha Shivaratri. Both North and South Indians observe Maha Shivratri on the same day. This festival happens to take place before the arrival of Spring, which is around February or March as per the Gregorian Calendar. 

The festival of Shivratri is celebrated every month. But, this festival becomes even more symbolic when it falls in Phalguna or Magha as per the Panchang. This sacred festival of Lord Shiva falls during the dark half of the lunar month of Phalguna, which is clad in darkness, and this holds great importance for the divine lord of destruction. Devotees strongly believe that Lord Shiva performed the famous 'Tandav Nritya' (dance) on the night of Maha Shivaratri. This is believed to be a cosmic dance of destruction, preservation, and creation. Many devotees also believe that on this night, Lord Shiva's blessings can help you overcome your sins and walk on the path of righteousness, allowing any individual to achieve Moksha. 

Maha Shivratri is a pious and famous Hindu festival that celebrates a convergence of Lord Shiva and the divine Shakti, due to which the powers and energies of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti come together. Devotees also believe that the universe can evoke spiritual energies much more easily on this day. Maha Shivaratri is marked by fasting, praying, meditating, and visiting the temples of Lord Shiva. 

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What Importance Does Maha Shivratri Hold For The Devotees?

Maha Shivratri is a major festival of Hinduism and holds deep meaning for all the devotees of Lord Shiva. This festival holds major significance for people who are on a spiritual journey. Some with worldly ambitions view this occasion as the day when Lord Shiva gained victory over all his enemies. Those involved with household and family duties in their lives also observe this holy day to celebrate this occasion as Lord Shiva's wedding anniversary to the incarnation of Shakti, Goddess Parvati.

Furthermore, for the ascetics, this is the day when Lord Shiva becomes a Yogi, i.e., becoming one or amalgamating with the majestic Mount Kailash. As per Yogic traditions, Lord Shiva is considered the Adi Guru, which means the first guru from whom Yoga originated. Therefore this festival of Maha Shivratri becomes significant as it is a great night to observe stillness for the ascetics. 

Rituals Associated with Maha Shivratri 

Maha Shivaratri, or the 'night of Lord Shiva,' is a Hindu festival that honors Lord Shiva. On this day, devotees observe a Shivaratri fasting for day and night and worship Lord Shiva. Unlike any other Hindu festival, Shivratri is one unique festival observed during the night. On this festival, the devotees fast, pray, and pay reverence to the Lingam or Shivling, which is considered a symbol of Lord Shiva. People offer milk to the Shivling on this day and pray for salvation or Moksha. Many ardent followers and devotees of Lord Shiva also perform the special Maha Shivratri Puja alongside observing the fast. 

The Maha Shivratri Puja is performed during the Nishita Kaal Muhurat, which is considered quite auspicious. Devotees can worship Lord Shiva in any of the four Prahars of the night or perform it four times. They observe a fast throughout the day and only break it the next day after taking a bath. Devotees performing the rituals should take a bath and wear clean clothes while doing so.  

Now, let’s get to know the rituals. 

  • One day prior to Shivaratri Vratam, devotees should eat only one time. On Maha Shivaratri, once you are done with your morning rituals, you should take Sankalp to keep a full day fast on Shivaratri, and you'll consume food the next day. 
  • Before you begin worshiping, apply Tripund on your forehead. Tripund has huge significance while worshiping Lord Shiva. To do this, apply sandalwood or Vibhuti on three fingers and apply it from the left side of the forehead to the right side. 
  • A special ritual of 'Rudrabhishek' of Shivling should be done, where people bathe Lord Shiva with milk, curd, ghee, honey, and Gangajal (water from the Ganges). It is believed that the divine Lord Shiva gets pleased when he is anointed by these items. You can also mix Gangajal in normal water and anoint Lord Shiva. After consecrating Lord Shiva, you must also apply Tripund to him. 
  • Then you can offer him sweets and prayers. 
  • You should keep chanting the Mahamrityunjaya mantra while doing the Abhishek. 
  • To Lord Shiva, you should also offer Bel leaves, Aak-Datura flowers, akshat, fruits, flowers, rice, perfume, etc. The bathing of Shivling with water and milk and then offering Bel leaves epitomizes soul purification. The Shivling should be decorated with flowers for the occasion. 
  • Then apply sandalwood tilak on the Shivling. After that, light an incense lamp or sticks for Lord Shiva.
  • During worshiping Lord Shiva, you should chant the mantras of Lord Shiva and read the Shiva Chalisa
  • Perform the Puja aarti. Offer Kheer, fruits, and bhog prepared using a satvic recipe for Lord Shiva. 
  • If possible, try staying awake throughout the night to worship Lord Shiva. This is the reason why the devotees organize Jaagrans. Moreover, if there is no Lord Shiva's temple near you, you can worship Lord Shiva by making a clay Shivling at home and praying to it.

Apart from the rituals, you should know that there are some significant elements that should be used in the Maha Shivratri Puja as they are an indispensable part of the worship. 

  • Bel Patra or Bel leaves signify the purification of the soul, which is why they are an integral material while worshiping Lord Shiva. Bel Patra and Datura are considered Lord Shiva's favorites. This is why devotees offer these in large numbers at the temples.
  • Bathing the Shivling with milk is another critical part of the ritual as it symbolizes purification.
  • Sindoor or vermillion is a symbol of virtue.  
  • Incense sticks are burnt before Lord Shiva to acquire wealth. 
  • Fruits and rice are offered while worshiping Lord Shiva to pray for a long life and to fulfill desires. 
  • Lighting lamps in front of Lord Shiva epitomizes the attainment of knowledge. 
  • Betel leaves are offered to Lord Shiva as they denote satisfaction from worldly desires. 

On this occasion, many devotees pray the whole night and chant mantras to impress and praise the divine Lord Shiva. It is commonly believed that the people who observe the fast, offer prayers, and perform the Maha Shivratri Puja, Lord Shiva blesses them with good luck. Many women devotees pray to Lord Shiva to be blessed with a good husband and a blissful married life. Many spiritual experts advise the devotees to practice meditation and chant 'Om Namah Shivaya' on this day. Even the temples are filled with 'Om Namah Shivaya' chants, and one can hear devotional songs sung in praise of Lord Shiva.

Mahashivratri Celebration in India

In India, the auspicious festival of Maha Shivratri is celebrated in different ways in different regions. But festivities, cultural programs, and fairs are a common sight in many temples on this occasion. Lord Shiva is worshiped with utmost reverence throughout India by the devotees. On this pious day, a massive crowd of devotees takes a dip in the holy Ganges to purify their soul, body, and mind. According to Hindu mythology, Goddess Parvati, the wife of Lord Shiva, offered prayers to repel evil that might befall her husband on this day. This is why this day is considered auspicious for women. Women devotees bathe the Shivling with milk and pray for the well-being of their husbands and sons. 

There are many temples around India where the festival is celebrated with incredible zeal and gusto. Sri Shidlingappa′s 'Mela' is organized in Karnataka on this auspicious day to mark the festivities associated with this festival. Lord Shiva is worshiped in notable temples such as the Umananda Temple in Assam, Bhootnath Temple in Mandi, Himachal Pradesh, Tarakeswar temple in West Bengal, etc., with reverence and throngs of devotees visit these temples to worship Lord Shiva.

Story of Maha Shivratri: Find Out Here! 

Maha Shivratri is an occasion that is celebrated with a lot of pomp by devotees. There are many mythological beliefs and legends about this festival. One of the stories associated with Maha Shivratri is the marriage story of the two divine deities- Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. According to the Puranas, it has been claimed that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati were married on Maha Shivratri.  

According to the mythology, Goddess Parvati wanted to marry Lord Shiva. All the gods were also of the same opinion that Goddess Parvati should marry Lord Shiva. The gods sent the marriage proposal of Goddess Parvati with Kandarpa to Lord Shiva, but he destroyed him with his third eye. This didn't deter Goddess Parvati as she had already made up her mind to marry Lord Shiva, so she decided to do severe penance. Due to her penance, there was an outcry in the three worlds. This news reached Lord Shiva, and he was incredibly impressed with Goddess Parvati's tenacity. He appealed to Goddess Parvati to marry a prosperous prince, as living with him, an ascetic, won't be easy. But Goddess Parvati was adamant, and she made it clear that she would only marry Lord Shiva. Impressed by her insistence and infinite love, Lord Shiva decided to marry her.

According to the mythological legend, when Lord Shiva came to marry the Goddess, he was accompanied by ghosts, witches, Dakinis, etc. Seeing this unique procession, everyone was stunned. Being an ascetic, Lord Shiva was not aware of how to prepare for marriage. The witches adorned his body with ashes and made him wear a garland of bones for the marriage. Goddess Parvati's mother could not accept Lord Shiva's strange form and refused to give her daughter's hand. Fearing that the situation would deteriorate, Goddess Parvati urged him to come dressed as per the traditions and customs of marriage. Lord Shiva accepted this request and asked the other deities to help him get ready as the groom. After that, when Lord Shiva arrived in this divine form as the groom, Goddess Parvati's mother was immediately impressed and accepted him. The sacred marriage of Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva happened in the presence of Lord Brahma. According to mythology, this date is believed to be Maha Shivratri. This is why this occasion is celebrated as the anniversary of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.

Hands down, Maha Shivratri, is one of India's most sacred and pious festivals. On this day, the devotees' hearts are filled with reverence, devotion, and sanctity in honor and respect for Lord Shiva. 

If you want to know more about Maha Shivratri or how this occasion can impact your life, Astroyogi astrologers can be of huge help

Astroyogi wishes you a Happy Maha Shivratri! 

By- Team Astroyogi

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