March 07 2016: On the eve of Mahashivratri today, people are feeling more blessed and prosperous, since after 12 years, the festival has fallen on Monday (Somvar) which is considered to be an auspicious day to worship Lord Shiva.
Mahashivratri is considered to be a significant festival for Hindus as they believe that on this day, Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati and performed Tandav, his sacred dance form.
On this day, devotees are seen fasting and performing Puja. On the other hand they chant ‘Om Namah Shivay’ and perform different rituals during Puja.
Chanting ‘Mahamritunjaya mantra’ on this day is considered to be of utmost significance. Basically, Bhel (bael) leaves are offered to lord Shiva and as stated in the Shiv Purana, the rituals must consist of 6 things, each having its own importance.
Firstly, Shiva Linga is bathed with milk, honey, water, with bhel leaves to purify the soul. Next, the devotees apply Vermilion paste to Shiva Linga after which fruits are offered for gratification and longevity.
The next step is burning incense sticks which yields wealth. Lastly, devotees are supposed to offer betel leaves as a symbol of satisfaction of worldly desires. Devotees are of the belief that by sincerely observing Shivratri Puja, they would be liberated of all sins. Check Maha Shivratri quotes here.
Hindu women, whether married or unmarried wait for this festival and perform Puja with great faith and devotion in order to get good husbands, prosperous married life and marital bliss. Women enthusiastically observe fast and dedicatedly perform the rituals.
A drink known as ‘Thandai’ made up of milk, almonds and cannabis is drunk by devotees these days. This is because devotees believe that the drink was taken by Lord Shiva during deep meditations.
People greet each other on Whatsapp and other messenger services on Shivrathri. Check out the Greetings and messages here.