Maha Shivaratri in the month of Magha, Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi is considered extremely crucial to the devotees of Lord Shiva. Skanda Purana describes the significance of devotion to Shiva on this day of Maha Shivratri with day –night fasts and all-night vigil along with Shiva Pooja and Shiva Mantra. It says Maha Shivaratri fasting is said to equate performing a hundred yajnas or fire rituals.
Opening of Sushumna Nadi- Reaching higher states of consciousness
- Lord Shiva is the Lord of Supreme Consciousness. He illuminates all three stages of consciousness – sleeping, waking, and dreaming. He helps a person transcend all the three states and achieve supreme consciousness and final liberation.
- Maha Shivaratri night is considered very important because it is said on this powerful night, all granthis or knots in the Sushumna Nadi are open to receive the tremendous flood of spiritual energy and blessings that pour into our minds, hearts and lives. In normal days, they do not allow energy to enter and are closed.
It is the day when nature is pushing one towards one`s spiritual peak. To allow this natural upsurge of energies to find their way is the fundamental of this night-long festival.
Merit of offering Bilwa leaves
Bilwa leaves contain the vibrations of divine energy. Each stalk has three leaves. These three leaves are representations of three nadis: Ida, Pingala, Sushumna, the nexus of these is known as Agna chakra. Offering these leaves to Shivalinga on Maha Shivaratri is said to raise the kundalini along the Sushumna channel from the Muladhara to Agna. Skanda Purana says the merit of worshipping Shivalinga with Bilwa leaves along with abhisekams is equivalent to 10,000 Ganga Snanaas (bathing in the holy Ganges).
Chanting of Om Namah Shivaya
Shiva is Adi Guru, soul, life itself. Worshipping him with `Adi Panchakshari Mantra` on Maha Shivratri along with OM, - `Om Namah Shivaya` is said to the beacon light, engulfing fire that brings great and grave sins to ashes.
Auspicious Sri Rudram Chanting
Abhisekams to Shiva Linga along with Sri Rudram chanting is said to bring immense merit to a devotee. Bad karmas are burnt; long- standing disputes are resolved. Mental peace, prosperity health, wealth, progeny and spiritual advancement are blessings that ensue. Rare energy floods the consciousness of the devotee and the atmosphere is filled with Lord Shiva`s pure consciousness and radiant light.