The Legends Behind The Origin Of Mahashivratri
Of the 12 Shivaratris that are observed in a year, the Maha Shivaratri is considered to be the most auspicious one. Maha Shivratri is known as “The Night of Shiva”, and this festival is celebrated for one day and one night. It occurs on the 14th night – Chaturdashi, of the new moon during the dark half of the month – Krishna Paksha of Phalguna, when Hindus offer special prayer to Lord Shiva. Mahashivratri 2021 falls on March 11 (Thursday) this year.
The Maha Shivaratri is mentioned in several Puranas and many legendary origin stories of how Maha Shivratri came into existence can be read in these Vedic scriptures:
- Some say that Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married on this day, after a very lengthy and tedious journey of severe penance undertaken by Goddess Parvati to win over Shiva. Sati took a re-birth as Parvati in the family of God Himalaya, after She jumped into the fire of the Yagna that her father had Daksha had organized, and immolated herself. Lord Shiva was overcome with grief and in his fury destroyed Daksha’s kingdom and then retired to the Himalayas to undertake rigorous penance in complete solitude. It is here that Goddess Parvati undertook severe penance to win over Shiva. Through her devotion and persuasion, She was finally able to lure Lord Shiva into marriage and away from asceticism. Their marriage was solemnized a day before Amavasya in the month of Phalgun. This day of union of God Shiva and Parvati is celebrated as Mahashivratri every year.
- The Vedic tale “Samundra Manthan” describes the emergence of the Halahala poison from the sea when Devas (Deities) and Asuras (Demons) churned it in order to obtain the nectar of immortality, as part of the truce exercise post the war between the Asuras and the Devas. Shiva saved the whole world by consuming the poison Halahala, however the poison was so toxic that it turned His throat blue and He became known as Neelkantha, the Blue Throated one.
- As per the Shiva Purana, Lord Shiva confesses to Goddess Parvati that it delights him the most when his devotees worship Him with Bel Patra leaf on the 14th day of the waning moon in the month of Phalgun. On this day, devotees observe strict spiritual discipline and worship Shiva in four different forms during each of the four successive three-hour periods of the night. Lord further said that the devotees offer him bel leaves on the day and that those leaves were precious to him than the precious jewels and flowers. Explaining the right way of worshipping to Shiva, the Lord said, devotees should bathe me in the milk during the first period, in curd at the second, in clarified butter in the third, and in honey in the fourth and the last period. Lord Shiva further added that next morning devotees must feed the Brahmins first and, only after following the prescribed ritual must he break the fast. Shiva further told Parvati that the rituals of Shivaratri could not be compared with any other.
- The Twin Stories: Story of Lubdhaka – The Tribal Man and the Story of Suswara – The Hunter, are stories of 2 different individuals from 2 different times, with similar narratives of taking shelter on a Bael tree in a jungle, to save oneself from wild animals at night and plucking bael leaves all night and dropping them on the ground while chanting the name of Lord Shiva to stay awake and avoid falling down from the tree in sleep. While his tears, which he had shed out of sorrow for his family, fell on the lingam and washed it. Besides, he had observed a fast all day and all night. Thus, Suswarna had unconsciously worshiped the Lord Shiva.
- According to Puranas, there was once a Terrible Duel of Egos between the other two of the triads of Hindu Gods – Brahma and Vishnu, fighting over each other’s prowess. Horrified at the intensity of the battle, the other gods asked Shiva to intervene. To make them realize the futility of their fight, Lord Shiva assumed the form of a flaming Linga in between Brahma and Vishnu and challenged both of them by asking them to measure the gigantic Linga (phallic symbol of Lord Shiva). Since it was on the 14th day in the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is extremely auspicious and is celebrated as Mahashivaratri – the grand night of Lord Shiva revealed His Lingam form. Hence devotees perform the Rudra Abhishekham at midnight of Mahashivaratri to worship the formless Sadashiv.
- According to another version of the legend, Goddess Parvati performed tapas and prayers on the auspicious moonless night of Shivaratri to ward off any evil that may befall her husband. Since then, womenfolk began the custom of praying for the well-being of their husbands and sons on Shivaratri day. Unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, who is considered to be the ideal husband.
Worshipping Lord Shiva and performing Maha Shivratri Puja is supremely auspicious and beneficial. The puja includes Shiva Abhishekam using water, milk, Gangajal, honey, sugarcane juice, pomegranate juice, and offering of belpatra, vermilion, fruits, oil lamp, incense, Betel leaves and Panchagavya which is one of the best ways to worship Lord Shiva. Devotees who worship Lord Shiva with true devotion on Maha Shivratri are freed from all sins and are blessed with health, wealth and success.
Maha Shivaratri Muhurta
Maha Shivaratri on Thursday, March 11, 2021
Nishita Kaal Puja Time – 12:06 AM to 12:55 AM, Mar 12
Duration – 00 Hours 48 Mins
On 12th Mar, Shivaratri Parana Time – 06:34 AM to 03:02 PM
Ratri First Prahar Puja Time – 06:27 PM to 09:29 PM
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time – 09:29 PM to 12:31 AM, Mar 12
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time – 12:31 AM to 03:32 AM, Mar 12
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time – 03:32 AM to 06:34 AM, Mar 12
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins – 02:39 PM on Mar 11, 2021
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends – 03:02 PM on Mar 12, 2021
Wearing & Buying Rudraksha On Maha Shivratri
This is the best time of the year to start wearing Rudraksha the mystical beads dearest to Lord Shiva. Rudraksha beads have emanated from the tears of Lord Shiva himself. Shiva says in Padma Purana that “I am Shiva because of Rudraksha”. It is also stated the even Rudra attained Rudrahood only after wearing Rudraksha beads. Saints achieve the ultimate truth and Brahma attains Brahamatava. Thus there is nothing higher than wearing Rudraksha beads in this world.
Rudraksha beads commonly come from 1 to 21 Mukhis, but Rudraksha of 1 to 14 Mukhis are commonly found. Rudraksha beads from 15 Mukhis to 21 Mukhis are extremely rare and mukhis above that are found in very few numbers every year. Of all these, 4,5 and 6 Mukhi Rudraksha beads are found easily and abundantly.
Rudraksha as per Zodiac Sign
Rudraksha is known to possess immense power to heal all the ills and misfortunes in one’s life. It is worn for good luck, good health, prosperity and spirituality. Following is the list of Rudraksha as per Zodiac Sign (Rashi).
|Zodiac Sign (Rashi)||Suitable Rudraksha|
|Aries (Mesh)||3 Mukhi|
|Taurus ( Vrish)||6 Mukhi|
|Gemini (Mithun)||4 Mukhi|
|Cancer (Kark)||2 Mukhi|
|Leo (Singh)||1 Mukhi and 12 Mukhi|
|Virgo (Kanya)||4 Mukhi|
|Libra (Tula)||6 Mukhi|
|Scorpio (Vrishchika)||3 Mukhi|
|Sagittarius (Dhanu)||5 Mukhi|
|Capricorn (Makar)||7 Mukhi & 14 Mukhi|
|Aquarius (Kumbh)||7 Mukhi & 14 mukhi|
|Pisces (Meen)||5 Mukhi|
We provide the most authentic and genuine Rudraksha beads and malas. Please get in touch with us for guidance on which Rudraksha Mukhi is best for you.
We always remain by your side as Your Personal Guide and Spiritual Companion and Divinity World wishes a very Happy Maha Shivratri 2021 to all!