What is Shivratri?
Shivarathri is a sacred occasion, considered auspicious for the worship of Lord Shiva. It is Shiva Rathri, that is, the Night of Shiva and is meant for the worship of the Lord. It occurs on every 13th or 14th night of the dark fortnight of Krishna Paksha, which also happens to be the night before Amavasya, the New Moon day. The greatest of such monthly Shivarathris is Maha Shivarathri. This falls in the Hindu month of Phalguna or the Tamil month of Masi (February-March).
What is Masik Shivratri?
The day is also known as Masik Shivratri or Monthly Shivratri, symbolizing the convergence of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti. It is an ideal day to worship Lord Shiva to seek his blessing. Masik Shivratri is celebrated every month on 14th Waning Moon (Chaturdashi) of the Krishna Paksha (Moon’s waning phase). When this falls on a Tuesday, it is considered highly auspicious.
Mythology of Masik Shivratri
According to the mythology, Shivratri is celebrated to commemorate the selfless act of Lord Shiva to save the world by drinking the deadliest poison which came out during the churning of Milky Ocean (Samudra Manthan). When the Devas (celestial beings) and Asuras (demons) were churning the Milky Ocean, one out of 14 things which came out was a pot of deadly poison. To save the Universe from its effect, Lord Shiva drank it. But, Goddess Parvati stopped the poison in Shiva’s throat which turned his throat into blue color. This earned him the name “Nilkanta”. To mark this event, Shivratri is celebrated.
Another legend says that, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married on a Shivratri. It is also believed that only on a Shivratri, Lord Shiva manifested as Shiva Lingam.
Significance of Masik Shivratri (Monthly Shivratri)
Masik Shivratri is considered the ideal day to worship Lord Shiva and seek his eternal blessings for inner peace. Both married women and unmarried women keep fasting and praying to the Supreme Lord on this day. Married women fast for good health and welfare of their husbands. Unmarried women worship to Lord Shiva to find their life partners.
Rituals of Masik Shivratri
The typical rituals followed on a Masik Shivratri is to keep fasting throughout the day. Some devotees end the fast on the next morning after Shiva Pooja. You can visit nearby Shiva temples or perform Shiva Pooja at home. An idol of Lord Shiva or Shiva Lingam is worshipped by performing Abishekam with holy water, milk, curd, ghee, honey, turmeric powder, vibhuti, and rosewater. Chanting “Om Namah Shivaya” is the surefire way to receive the Lord’s blessing.
Benefits of Masik Shivratri
- Seek never-ending blessings from Lord Shiva
- Overpower enemies and elude fear of death
- Cure from diseases
- Family welfare and career growth
- Wisdom, inner peace and path to salvation
- Shivarathri normally comes once a month and 12 times a year. We, at Astroved, have made a compilation of all such monthly Shivarathris and presented a complete list for the year including Maha Shivarathri, in our site for your easy reference. We request you to browse through the list, identify the dates, observe austerities, offer sincere prayers to Lord Shiva and get his blessings for your welfare.
The sacred scriptures prescribe fire ceremony, Abishekam (hydration ceremony), Pooja/Archana (Light and Sound ceremony), Yantra and Mantra (special sounds) as the ways to offer your prayer to the divine. Out of these, fire ceremony is the most evolved spiritual technology on earth to connect with the divine beings. Participate in the remedial services to clear your karma and receive the blessings.