Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Shivratri- Maha Shivratri Significance, Puja Vidhi, and Benefits

What is Shivratri?

Shivratri is popularly associated with a Famous Hindu Festival known as Maha Shivaratri.

The real meaning of "Shivratri" is keeping the company during a night of the day before New Moon with "Shiva" or one's own Self.

It is the fourteenth day of the second fortnight of each month as per the Lunar Calendar of Hindus that is associated with Shivratri. So, all the twelve months, actually have one night each associated with Shivratri.

But, the Chaturdashi preceding New Moon that falls in the month of Phalguna (during the period February- March as per English Calendar) that is given a special status by the Vedas and Puranas that is more importantly celebrated as the Maha Shivratri.   

Maha Shivratri is believed to be more auspicious for all people as one's energies are more open to reaching the transcendental state of attaining spiritual union with God on that particular night.

The Significance of Shivratri Jagran

It is stated in our scriptures that one who keeps awakening throughout the night of this Maha Shivratri meditating upon the "Om" sound and keeps awakening his inner soul so that it is able to realize the union with Nature and Illumination of Supreme Being attains Moksha. 

It is recommended that by keeping oneself awake in a sitting position and meditating upon God, enables the uprise of the Kundalini Shakti that is in a sleeping mode in our bodies. This upsurge makes one become energetic and rationally more intelligent in order to grasp the reality of all this material and spiritual bondage of the soul and realize the ultimate purpose of life. One realizes that everything that appears to him is only temporary and momentary which is not the reality of a person's identification. He realizes that the real identification of one's self is with the Supreme Self itself.

How to Perform Shivaratri Puja

On the day of Shivratri, one gets up early before sunrise and takes the oil-bath and wears clean clothes. He, then, performs the morning Puja by offering a bath to the Shivlinga or any identity of the God. The bathing items include pure water, coconut water, milk, ghee, etc. An Oil light is lighted and prayer is done chanting some Shiva slokas like the Panchakshari mantra. You can offer flowers also during the procedure. Naivedyam can be any pudding made for that purpose or any fruit or even milk, sugar, etc. may also be offered.

After the Puja is over, you can take an oath or determination to keep fast throughout the day until the Jagran is completed.

At times, like this year of 2018, the Shivratri Jagran falls a night before the day of actual Shivratri.
The Chaturdashi night maybe starting at 9 pm or 10 pm. So, there won't be the night time on the actual day of Chaturdashi to perform Jagran.

In such cases, the day before is kept as the Jagran night. You will observe Shivratri Jagran the previous night itself when the actual time of Chaturdashi begins. 

So, the worship of the Shivlinga may be done in the evening or night immediately after the Chaturdashi tithi starts. The night awakening is done after this worship is over, chanting the "Om" throughout the night until the morning.

Fasting is to be done throughout the night of awakening in this case. So, you may need to take the oath or determination of performing fast and Jagran at the morning of that day itself. In that case, keep fasting from the day-time itself, if possible, or you may keep fast from the evening to next morning. 

Everything depends on your affordability and willingness to do. You shouldn't compel or force yourself. Everything becomes a waste if you perform the fasting or Jagran without a peace of mind or free-will. 

After the Jagran period, you will take bath in the morning and perform the morning puja again as stated above or in any simple way that you prefer.

Now, you can break your fast and eat anything or, if you desire, you can continue the fast till the end of the Chaturdashi time and then break your fast. Keep yourself spiritual minded as long as you continue the fast to obtain the full results and benefits of the Shivratri Puja.

Better keep reciting the "Om" sound until the end of your fast or meditation period.

You will experience a great satisfaction and spiritual elevation of your body and mind by performing this ritual.

Your concentrations powers will improve and there will be peace of mind to face any kind of tensions in your life with great prudence and smartness. You can experience a pleasant atmosphere everywhere.