Maha Shivratri Festival 21st February 2020Date : January 18, 2017 | Author : Astrologer Pt Umesh Chandra Pant
Introduction and importance of the Maha Shivratri Festival
Since the ancient times, India has a culture of conserving the values of human welfare. These values are full of universal brotherhood. The rich tradition of India believes in Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, which means that the whole world is a family. The Vedas and Puranas are ever preaching the messages of cooperation, friendliness, compassion, forgiveness, courage, tolerance, and valor to all the beings of the world. In all thhinde ancient and authentic scriptures of Hinduism like Bhagwat Geeta, Ramayana, Shiva Purana, Linga Purana etc. believe in the core concept of karma and the results of these karmas based on the good or bad deeds of an individual. If not today then tomorrow, one would surely reap the fruits of the karmas done in the past. It is the integral nature of all the gods and demigods to always to the welfare of the beings of the earth and other worlds. Only by the grace of the gods, a human develops the feelings of kindness and generosity. Hindu festivals are based on various reasons related to the human welfare so that all people become happy, their thoughts become noble, they get healthy mind and body. It is based on the ideas that every individual reach the divinity, he gets rid of frustrations, guiltiness, fear, anguish, trauma, debts, and pains of the life. The religion guides every individual towards achieving enlightenment and achieve the final goal of the human birth which is Moksha. To make the human journey in the right direction, Hinduism has come into existence. Hence, various festivals and occasions came into existence for motivating people to progress in their materialistic as well as spiritual life. Various worships of the gods stay with different festivals of different seasons.
In the same way, the major festival of Lord Shiva, the Maha shivaratri is celebrated to receive the grace of Lord Shiva. Shiva has the divinity of all the gods, he is the giver of all the wisdom, and he is the father of the entire universe. God Shiva is also Ardhanarishwara, he is omnipresent and source of every creation. The entire creation resonates with Shiva. This is the reason why Lord Shiva is called as God of the Gods or Mahadeva. Shiva is the ultimate resort of everyone hence he is highly revered by all the gods. This is the reason why Maha shivratri is celebrated in all the regions of India as well as many other countries across the world. The great festival of Maha Shivratri is celebrated every year on the fourteenth fortnight of the waning moon during the month of Phalguna. This is because this day is very dear to Lord Shiva, he manifested as Shiva Linga on this day for the first time. God Shiva had married Goddess Parvati on this auspicious day. There are few more reasons for this day being celebrated as Shivaratri. Children, adults, elderly, men, women everyone can perform this Vrata with faith and devotion on this day. Various contexts of this day are found in many scriptures like Puranas.
Astrological significance of Maha Shivaratri
Vedic astrology is such a pronounced achievement of great Indian seers that it is like a mirror for the whole world. It carries out very large calculations from very minute ones in a very systematic and factual manner. It carries out the calculations of planetary motions and its effect on the human beings. Even the calculation of days and dates is done in a very precise and factual way. The connection of astrology and Maha shivaratri festival is because of the fact that Chaturdashitithi (14th day of waning moon) is directly linked with astrology. The owner of this tithi is none other than Lord Shiva. It is also believed that it was Lord Shiva who was responsible for revealing the astrological principles to the seers for the very first time. This way Lord Shiva is linked with astrology and Maha shivratri is calculated on basis of astrology. This day holds a unique importance in Vedic astrology. The planets and constellations are governed by Lord himself. Shiva holds the moon on his forehead. As per astrology, the moon signifies the mother as well as the mind. Hence, with the help of vrata and pooja, one can get rid of some of the malefic planetary effects in one’s horoscope. Individual gets rid of sorrows and pain besides gains desires results, progeny, wealth, fortunes, prosperity, and health. Because Maha shivratri is celebrated on Chaturdashi, which denotes number 5 (4+1), placed in the fifth house of the Kala Purusha chart. This house is directly related to one’s love, knowledge, and progeny. All these facts show a strong connection between the festival and Vedic astrology. You can book a special pooja for you on the 21st February 2020.
Lord Shiva and the twelve Jyotirlingas:
The appearance of Lord Shiva is very wonderful and special. Such magnificence is not only beyond the description of human words but even the celestial beings are not capable enough of describing it in words. Lord Shiva is as beautiful as millions of cupids (Kamadeva) and has all the powers (siddhis) and knowledge of the universe. He is eternal, indestructible,self-manifest, unborn and is completely free from aging, death, birth. He is the ultimate shelter of all the beings. He is the Ashutosh who is pleased very soon and giver of all the auspicious boon to the devotees. He is the giver of the peace of Nirvana. He is known as Nagendra as a snake is adorned on his neck. He has three bright eyes which signify three gunas and three major gods. His left side is the place of Goddess Parvati. He rides a white bull and protects the Dharma when needed. He resides in the cremation ground, he is beyond the time, and he is the one who holds the mighty trishula. He also takes up the form of fierce destructor during the end of the creation. He is the one who wears the rosary and the celestial Ganges flows through his head. He is the one who smears the ashes of the cremation and who holds the poison emerged from the churning of the celestial oceans in this throat for the welfare of the universe. Shiva wears the tiger skin and he is the one who is pleased by the sound of Damaru. He provides the quiescence to everyone and he dissolves the whole creation back to the origin by opening his third eye during the pralaya. He is the beginning and end of the world. We bow to mighty Lord Shiva again and again. We prostrate to the giver of boons and dispeller of all the fears. As Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Shiva Linga for the first time on this day, it is necessary to discuss the Shiva lingas too. Though there are thousands of such lingas whose unique characteristics and glory is mentioned in various scriptures, herein we are presenting with some information on twelve major Shiva lingams known as DwadashaJyotirlinga, their names, location etc. There is a lot of glory and significance of these twelve Jyotirlingas, Just by the soulful remembrance of these lingams, one gets freed from all the sins and fears and attains peace and joy. What more can be said about the worship and pilgrimage of these Lingams? They are the fulfillers of all the longings of the devotees. Only by the grace of Lord Shiva himself, a person gets the fortunes to visit these holy places in his lifetime.
Among the DwadashaJyotirlingas,
- The first Jyotirlinga is the Somnath, which is located in India in the PrabhasPatan in the Veraval region of the state Gujarat.
- The second Jyotirlinga is the Mallikarjuna which is situated in the Sri SailamMountains on the banks of river Krishna of Andhra Pradesh.
- Mahakaaleshwara Jyotirlinga is on the banks of Kshipra River in the Ujjain city of the Madhya Pradesh.
- Omkaareshwar Jyotirlinga is located on an island in the Narmada River named Mandhaata in the Madhya Pradesh.
- Kedarnath Jyotirlinga is situated in the abstruse locations of the Himalayas which is about 150 miles away from Haridwar.
- Bheemashankar the sixth Jyotirlinga is located in the Daakini region on the banks of river Bheema near Pune of the Maharastra state which is about 120 Km from Nashik. Another place in Assam is also referred as Bheemashankar According to another belief, the temple situated in the Kashipur area of Uttarakhand is also called as Bheemashankar.
- Vishweshwar(Kashi Vishwanath) Jyotirlinga is situated in the Varanasi city of the Uttar Pradesh at the banks of holy Ganges.
- Trimbakeshwar the eighth Jyotirlinga has situated about 26 km from Nashik of Maharashtra on the banks of river Godavari.
- Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is situated in the Parli district of Maharashtra state.
- Nageshwara Jyotirlinga is in the Darukavan region of the Ondya district of state Maharashtra. Another temple is also located in the Almora of the Uttarakhand.
- Sri Rameshwaram Jyotirlinga is at the Setubandha of Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu.
- The twelfth Jyotirlinga is the Grishneshwar (Ghushmeshwar) in the Aurangabad region near the Ellora caves.
The glory of the Jyotirlingams is highly sung in the Vedas and Puranas and other related scriptures. These are capable of granting the devotees happiness, wealth, property, knowledge, affluence, longevity, and all the desires. Finally also guides the devotees towards moksha.
Tale of Lord Shiva
The stories of Maha shivratri are very popular and found in many of the texts like Shiva Purana and associated Puranas. Most of the story is that of a hunter and the family of a deer. It shows that even the bad person also gets the fruits of being near the Shiva Linga and worshiping it. As per the Puranic legend, there used to live a hunter in the forest who used to do hunting for feeding his family. As a coincidence, he went for the hunting on the day of Mahashivaratri to the forest and did not consume any food or water since the morning. During the evening he climbed on a bilva tree near a lake unknowingly and started waiting for the prey during the evening time. While waiting for his prey, he used to pluck some bilva leaves at regular intervals and throw them to the ground where there was a Shivalinga which he was not aware of. During this time he encountered three female and a male deer one by one. They all pleaded him to let them go and meet their family once. They also promised that they would surely return back to the same place after a while.The hunter somehow lets them all go and kept waiting until the morning. As per the promise, the whole deer family presented before him in the morning, seeing which the hunter was astonished on the honesty of these animals. This was because that he unknowingly worshiped the Linga which brought about kindness and changes in his nature due to which he had let the deer go. The whole episode was also witnessed by the celestial gods. Pleased with the hunter’s kindness the gods showered the flowers from the heavens and blessed the hunter with prosperity and wealth. The deer also got their life boon. Due to the truthfulness of the deer and the worship of the hunter, God Shiva showered his grace on them and presented them the boon of liberation or moksha.
The magnificence of Lord Shiva’s worship
On the day of Maha shivratri, one gets the fruits of worshiping the whole Shiva family along with the worship of Lord Shiva. One gets rid of the bad karma and enriches his life with joy and prosperity. The devotees definitely achieve their desired goals. One receives the blessings as progeny, health, longevity, fortunes, wisdom, and freedom from hindrances. Hence every man and woman should try to do the pooja of Lord Shiva on Maha shivaratri during the four prahars of the day and four of the night with determination. As this is not a routine pooja, one must perform it with attention and faith. One should start the pooja in the morning after the daily chorus. Devotees can adopt any type of pooja like those with the 5 upacharas, 16 upacharas or with the 18 upacharas (articles). There is a tradition of performing the vrata throughout the day. Hence one should sincerely pray to Lord Shiva after the bath. One should wholeheartedly pray that O lord, the beginning and the end, O god of the gods, O Mahadeva, O Nageshwara I bow down to you, please bless me so that I can perform the whole pooja of 8 prahars throughout the day without any obstacles. One must worship Shiva with all the efforts throughout the day. During every prahara of the Vrata, one must recite the Vedic mantras or get it done by a Vedic priest and perform the Rudrabhisheka ritual. This abhisheka is extremely auspicious and dispeller of all the fear and diseases.
The detailed procedure of Lord Shiva’s Poojan
After finishing the morning routine, one should take the Sankalpa for the vrata and poojan. One should perform pooja, havan, abhisheka along with observance of brahmacharya. With devotion, faith, and determination one should worship Lord Shiva with articles such as fragrant flowers, bilva leaves, dhatura, barley, mandar flower, bhang, ber fruits, Bloomsbury, raw cow milk, sugarcane juice, yogurt, pure desi ghee, honey, Ganga Jal, pure water, scent, roli, mauli, sacred thread, sweets, camphor, incense, sandalwood power, fruits etc. One should also include the make-up articles, clothes, garments etc. to be offered to Goddess Parvati. You can book a special pooja for you on the 21st February 2020.
Sacred mantras of Lord Shiva:
Though there are numerous texts related to lord Shiva, there are endless names of Shiva too. But as per the major scriptures, to receive the grace of Lord Shiva, the most appropriate mantra is the panchakshari mantra “Om Namah Shivaya”. This mantra is considered very pure and potent of all. This maha-mantra has to be chanted as much as possible during the Maha shivratri vrata. It blesses the devotees with the desired results.
Mantras for offering Bilva leaves:
नमो बिल्ल्मिने च कवचिने च नमो वम्र्मिणे च वरूथिने च नमः श्रुताय च श्रुतसेनाय च नमो दुन्दुब्भ्याय चा हनन्न्याय च नमो घृश्णवे।।
दर्शनं बिल्वपत्रस्य स्पर्शनम् पापनाशनम्। अघोर पाप संहारं बिल्व पत्रं शिवार्पणम्।।
त्रिदलं त्रिगुणाकारं त्रिनेत्रं च त्रिधायुधम्। त्रिजन्मपापसंहारं बिल्वपत्रं शिवार्पणम्।।
अखण्डै बिल्वपत्रैष्च पूजये शिव शंकरम्। कोटिकन्या महादानं बिल्व पत्रं शिवार्पणम्।।
Namo billmine cha kavachine cha namo vamrmine cha varuthine cha namah Khshrutaya cha Khshrutasenay cha namo dundubbhyaya cha hannnyaya cha namo ghrrishnave||
darshanam bilvapatrasya sparshanam paapanashanam|
aghora papa samharam bilvapatram shivarpanam||
tridalam trigunaakaram trinetram cha tridhayudham|
trijanmapaapasamharam bilvapatram shivarpanam||
akhandai bilvapatraishcha pujaye shiva shankaram|
kotikanya mahadanam bilvapatram shivarpanam||
This year Maha shivaratri festival will be celebrated on 21st February 2020, Monday, on Phalguna Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi. You can book a special pooja for you on the 21st February 2020.
Sri Shiva Aarti:
Jaya shivaomkara, svami hara shiva omkara|
brahma, vishnu, sadashiva, adrdhangidhara| omjaya..
Ekanana chaturanana panchanana raje|
hansasana garudasana vrishavahana saje|| omjaya..
Do bhuja chaar chaturbhuj dasabhuja atisohe|
Triguna rupa nirakhate tribhunajana mohe|| omjaya…
Akshamaala vanamala mundamala dhari|
Tripurari kansari kara mala dhari|| omjaya..
Shvetambara pitambara baghambar aange|
sanakadika garunadika bhutadika sange|| Omjaya…
Karke Madhya kamandulu chakra trishula dhari|
sukhakari dukhahari jagapalanakari|| omjaya..
Brahma Vishnu sadashiva janata aviveka|
pranavakshara me shobhit ye tinoeka|| omjaya..
Kashi me vishvanath viraje, nandi brahmachari|
nita utha darshana pavata mahima atibhari|| omjaya….
Triguna svami ki arati jo koi nara gave|
kahata shivananda svami manavanchhita phala pave|| omjaya…
A golden opportunity for the devotees on the occasion of Maha Shivratri:
Like every year, this year Maha shivratri festival will be celebrated on 21st February 2020, Monday, on Phalguna Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi. You also can get this auspicious pooja done during this special occasion of Maha shivaratri by the Pavitra Jyotish Kendra. This will enable you to receive the immense grace of Shiva throughout the year. PavitraJyotish Kendra will organize a special Shiva Pooja for you on the occasion of Maha shivaratri. If you also desire to obtain the blessings of Lord Shiva on this auspicious day then you can book a pooja with us on 21st February 2020. If you register for the Maha shivratri pooja, you will also receive an energized Mahamrityunjaya Kavacha along with a Powerful Mahamrityunjaya Yantra empowered with Vedic mantras absolutely free of cost. After the pooja, these items along with some of the pooja materials will be sent to your residential address via post.