Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Comes March and the entire India will immerse in the sacred devotion of Lord Shiva. Every where one can hear the holy echoes of 'Om Namah Shivay'. This is the month when the celebrations of Maha Shivaratri one of the most important Hindu festival are in full swing. Also known as the 'Night of Shiva.'
According to ancient Hindu traditions Shivaratri is celebrated on the 14th day of the dark night of the month of Phagun, that was believed to be the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is also said that on this day Shiva performed the 'Tandava' dance of creation, preservation and destruction. In Shiv Puran it is said that Shivaratri is the day when Shiva transformed himself into the Linga form.
On this day the devotees observe strict fast and apply three stripes on their forehead made of the holy ash that symbolizes the three stripes of Lord Shiva. They also wear the chaplet made of rudraksha while worshiping in the temple. On Shivaratri people offer bael leaves, milk and panchamruta (milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey) on the Lingam to seek the lord's blessings. Married women follow special rituals on this day for the long lives of their husbands while unmarried girls pray to get good husbands.