Maha Shivaratri

Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi (14th day) during Phalguna (12th month) 

Maha Shivratri 2021

Thursday, March 11

Maha Shivaratri 2021 date and time

  1. Maha Shivaratri Date: Thursday, March 11, 2021
  2.  Chaturdashi Tithi Begins: 02:39 PM on March 11, 2021
  3.  Chaturdashi Tithi Ends – 03:02 PM on Mar 12, 2021
  4.  Ratri First Prahar Puja Time: 06:27 PM to 09:29 PM
  5.  Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time: 09:29 PM to 12:31 AM, March 12 
  6. Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time: 12:31 AM to 03:32 AM, March 12
  7.  Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time: 03:32 AM to 06:34 AM, March 12
  8.  Shivaratri Parana Time: 06:34 AM to 03:02 PM 

Significance of Maha Shivaratri

There are several legends which are associated with Shivaratri. Few of 

the popular beliefs behind observing Maha Shivaratri are –

  • It is believed that during the creation of the universe, Lord Shiva was incarnated as Lord Rudra during the midnight of Maha Shivaratri with the grace of Lord Brahma.
  • It is believed that Lord Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati on the very same day. The festival is observed as the convergence of Shiva and Shakti. Hence, for many Shiva devotees, Shivaratri is observed as the marriage anniversary of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
  • As per Hinduism, the creation and the destruction of the universe is a cyclic process. When the time comes, Lord Shiva destroys the whole creation with the fire of His third eye while performing the cosmic dance known as Tandava. It is believed that it is the day of Maha Shivaratri when Lord Shiva does the Tandava. Hence, Maha Shivaratri marks the anniversary of cosmic dance performed by Lord Shiva.
  • It is believed that during the churning of the great ocean the poison also came out of the sea. It had the power to destroy the whole creation. Lord Shiva drank the poison and saved the whole world from annihilation. Hence, Maha Shivaratri is observed as the thanksgiving to Lord Shiva.
  • The day of Maha Shivaratri is considered the most favorite day of Lord Shiva. Hence devotees worship Lord Shiva and observe a day and night long fast to please and to seek the blessings of Lord Shiva on His favorite day.

Fasting on Shivratri

Be it Masik Shivratri or Mahashivratri, devotees follow the same fast procedure.

  1. First, they take a bath with sesame seeds as it helps them to remove body impurities
  2. After that, they visit Shiva temple and do abhishekam, hymns, bhajans, and prayers to please Lord Shiva
  3. People offer Cow Milk, Honey, Curd, Sugar, Ghee (panchamrutham) , Sandalwood paste, Rosewater, Fruit Juices, Sugar cane Juice and flowers to worship Shiva Linga.
  4. People also offer Aegle Marmelos (bel Patra), betel leaves (paan patta), rice, and fruits, to adorn the deity
  5. Diyas and incense sticks are lighted to invoke Lord Shiva’s blessings
  6. Devotees also apply sacred ash (vibhuti or bhasma) on their forehead
  7. The mantra Om Namah Shivaya is chanted throughout the day and night

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