Maha Shivaratri is the most auspicious day dedicated to Lord Shiva and is popularly known as the night of Siva. Shivaratri 2019 date is March 4, Monday as per the calendars used in India – called panchang.
Most Hindu festivals are noted for their mirth and color but Shivaratri is a night dedicated to prayers and contemplation. Of course, when Lord Shiva is worshipped there is joy all around but it is not just joy but bliss that is achieved through realisation of Brahman – When Lord Shiva is seen in all animate and inanimate.
When we realize that it is his Tandava that creates each cell and it is his Tandava that is responsible for the transformation of each cell – we attain Moksha.
The significance of Shivaratri is closely associated with ‘amavas’ – the no moon night or full dark night as per traditional Hindu Calendar. Amavas symbolically represents Kali yuga (the age of Iron or spiritual ignorance). Lord Shiva appeared just before the beginning of Kali yuga to rid the world of evil and ignorance. Therefore Shivaratri is celebrated to get rid of evil and ignorance.
On the Shivaratri day, Lord Shiva is worshipped in a special form of Linga called ‘Lingodbhavamurti.’ It is a lingam in the form of fire which has neither a beginning nor an end. It must be noted here that ‘linga’ means ‘sign.’ And it is merely an attempt to capture the formless divinity (which in fact has no shape or form) called Brahman.
Mantras to be Chanted on Shivratri
Some of the important mantras that are chanted on the day include:
Shiva Panchakshari Mantra (Om Namah Shivaya)
Chanting the sacred names of Lord Shiva
Mahamritunjaya Mantra etc.
People also listen to Lingashtakam and Bilwashtakam.
brahmamurāri surārcita liṅgaṃ
nirmalabhāsita śobhita liṅgam |
janmaja duḥkha vināśaka liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 1 ||
devamuni pravarārcita liṅgaṃ
kāmadahana karuṇākara liṅgam |
rāvaṇa darpa vināśana liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 2 ||
sarva sugandha sulepita liṅgaṃ
buddhi vivardhana kāraṇa liṅgam |
siddha surāsura vandita liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 3 ||
kanaka mahāmaṇi bhūṣita liṅgaṃ
phaṇipati veṣṭita śobhita liṅgam |
dakṣa suyaṅña nināśana liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 4 ||
kuṅkuma candana lepita liṅgaṃ
paṅkaja hāra suśobhita liṅgam |
sañcita pāpa vināśana liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 5 ||
devagaṇārcita sevita liṅgaṃ
bhāvai-rbhaktibhireva ca liṅgam |
dinakara koṭi prabhākara liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 6 ||
sarvasamudbhava kāraṇa liṅgam |
aṣṭadaridra vināśana liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 7 ||
suraguru suravara pūjita liṅgaṃ
suravana puṣpa sadārcita liṅgam |
parātparaṃ paramātmaka liṅgaṃ
tat-praṇamāmi sadāśiva liṅgam || 8 ||
liṅgāṣṭakamidaṃ puṇyaṃ yaḥ paṭheśśiva sannidhau |
śivalokamavāpnoti śivena saha modate ||
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