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Mahashivratri on February 23rd, 2009

Lord Shiva

The word Mahashivratri consists of three words, Maha – Shiv – Ratri, where Maha means Great, Shiv means Lord Shiva and Ratri means Night.

The Festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated on 6th night of dark Phalgun (Hindu month which falls between February to March) every year.

It is mentioned in Hindu scriptures that Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava’ on this day. Some scriptures also note the wedding of Lord Shiva and Parvati was conducted on this day.

Devotees of Lord Shiva observe a full day fast. They worship Lord Shiva with folowers and bel leaves and offer fruits. A special kind of prayer is performed in all temples of Lord Shiva across India.

The mythology of Mahashivratri

There are few mythological legends are associated with Mahashivratri. One common one is that on this day Lord Shiva and Parvati got married. Hence, this auspicious day is celebrated. Another legends say that Lord Shiva performed ‘Tandava’ – the dance only Lord Shiva can perform which is symbolises creation, preservation and destruction. It is also believed that on this auspicious day, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of a Linga.

Customs of Mahashivaratri

Devotees wake up early in the morning before sunrise. Take bath, in rivers if possible. Taking bath in the river ganges is considered to be very auspicious on this day. Devotees of Lord Shiva observe a full day fast on Mahashivratri. Some observe fast but eat only fruits and milk, while some do not even drink a drop of water which is considered to be a strict fast. In the morning, people worship Lord Shiva in temple, by offering water and milk of Shiva Lingam, offering flowers and bel leaves. Bel leaves are said to be very dear to Lord Shiva.

As the mythology of Mahashivratri is associated with marriage of Lord Shiva and Parvati, married women pray Lord Shiva for the well-being of their husbands, while unmarried women pray him for an ideal husband just like Lord Shiva.

On this day, all Lord Shiva temples in India remain crowded throught out the day.

As worshipping by Pandits (priest) is performed entire day at every interval of three hours, which is called Pooja. This ritual pooja consists of bathing Shiv Lingam with milk, honey, ghee, yoghurt, sugar and water.

Mantras are chanted throughout this ritual pooja. ‘Om Namah Shivay’ is one popular mantra of Lord Shiva, which is spoken by every devotee on Mahashivratri.

Because, Mahashivratri is a festival of night of Lord Shiva, devotees remain vigil whole night, worshiping, chanting mantras. At the morning they break fast by eating prasad which was earlier offered to Lord Shiva.
In Junagadh city of Gujarat, festival of Mahashivratri is celebrated highly. People from surrounding villages and cities get to gather in Junagadh. There is ‘Damo Kund’ in Junagadh, where devotees take bath by chanting mantras like ‘Om Namah Shivay‘ and ‘Har Har Bhole‘. On this day, a group of Naga-Bava (nude saints) perform various physically extreme yogic acts. They were no clothes. They have long hair. Some saints have hair long in few metres as well. They tie their hair to a truck, a bus and fetch the entire truck with their hair. Some put a sword on their penis. Some also tie a rope with their penis and fetch a vehicle full of passengers. This is something beyond science. Their performance attracts mass audience.

A special drink called ‘Bhang’ is prepared on Mahashivratri and is available at every templ of Lord Shiva. It is a bit of intoxicating drink.

This festival represents true Hinduism. A must attend festival. It is highly celebrated in various Indian places such as Kashi, Varanasi, Haridwar, Rushikesh, Allahabad and Junagadh.

108 names of Lord Shiva

OM SHIVAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Auspicious One

OM MAHESHVARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Great God Shiva

OM SHAMBHAVE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who exists for our happiness alone

OM PINAKINE NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva, who guards the path of dharma

OM SHASHISHEKHARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who wears the crescent moon in his hair

OM VAMADEVAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who is pleasing and auspicious in every way

OM VIRUPAKSHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God of spotless form

OM KAPARDINE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord with thickly matted hair

OM NILALOHITAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God splendid as the red sun at daybreak

OM SHANKARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the source of all prosperity

OM SHULAPANAYE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who carries a spear

OM KHATVANGINE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who carries a knurled club

OM VISHNUVALLABHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva, who is dear to Lord Vishnu

OM SHIPIVISHTAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord whose form emits great rays of light

OM AMBIKANATHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Ambika’s Lord

OM SHRIKANTAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to he whose throat is shining blue

OM BHAKTAVATSALAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who loves His devotees like new born calves

OM BHAVAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who is existence itself

OM SARVAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who is all

OM TRILOKESHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who is the Lord of all the three worlds

OM SHITAKANTHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the primal soul whose throat is deep blue

OM SHIVAPRIYAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the god who is dear to Shakti

OM UGRAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva whose presence is awesome and overwhelming

OM KAPALINE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God whose begging bowl is a human skull

OM KAMARAYE NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who conquers all passions

OM ANDHAKASURA SUDANAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who killed the asura Andhaka

OM GANGADHARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who holds the Ganges River in his hair

OM LALATAKSHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord whose sport is creation

OM KALAKALAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who is the death of death

OM KRIPANIDHAYE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who is the treasure of compassion

OM BHIMAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva whose strength is awesome

OM PARASHU HASTAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who wields an axe in his hands

OM MRIGAPANAYAE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who looks after the soul in the wilderness

OM JATADHARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who bears a mass of matted hair

OM KAILASAVASINE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who abides on Mount Kailas

OM KAVACHINE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who is wrapped in armor

OM KATHORAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who causes all growth

OM TRIPURANTAKAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who destroyed the three demonic cities

OM VRISHANKAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God whose emblem is a bull (Nandi)

OM VRISHABHARUDHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who rides a bull

OM BHASMODDHULITA VIGRAHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord covered with holy ash

OM SAMAPRIYAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God exceedingly fond of hymns from the Sama Veda

OM SVARAMAYAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who creates through sound

OM TRAYIMURTAYE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who is worshiped in three forms

OM ANISHVARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the undisputed Lord

OM SARVAGYAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who knows all things

OM PARAMATMANE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Supreme Self

OM SOMASURAGNI LOCHANAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the light of the eyes of Soma, Surya and Agni

OM HAVISHE NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who receives oblations of ghee

OM YAGYAMAYAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the architect of all sacrificial rites

OM SOMAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Moon-glow of the mystic’s vision

OM PANCHAVAKTRAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God of the five activities

OM SADASHIVAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the eternally auspicious benevolent Shiva

OM VISHVESHVARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the all-pervading ruler of the cosmos

OM VIRABHADRAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva the foremost of heroes

OM GANANATHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God of the Ganas

OM PRAJAPATAYE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Creator

OM HIRANYARETASE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who emanates golden souls

OM DURDHARSHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the unconquerable being

OM GIRISHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the monarch of the holy mountain Kailas

OM GIRISHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord of the Himalayas

OM ANAGHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who can inspire no fear

OM BUJANGABHUSHANAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord adorned with golden snakes

OM BHARGAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the foremost of rishis

OM GIRIDHANVANE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God whose weapon is a mountain

OM GIRIPRIYAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who is fond of mountains

OM KRITTIVASASE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who wears clothes of hide

OM PURARATAYE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who is thoroughly at home in the wilderness

OM BHAGAVATE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord of prosperity

OM PRAMATHADHIPAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who is served by goblins

OM MRITUNJAYAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the conqueror of death

OM SUKSHMATANAVE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the subtlest of the subtle

OM JAGADVYAPINE NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who fills the whole world

OM JAGADGURAVE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the guru of all the worlds

OM VYOMAKESHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God whose hair is the spreading sky above

OM MAHASENAJANAKAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the origin of Mahasena

OM CHARUVIKRAMAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva, the guardian of wandering pilgrims

OM RUDRAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who is fit to be praised

OM BHUTAPATAYE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the source of living creatures, including the Bhutas, or ghostly creatures

OM STHANAVE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the firm and immovable deity

OM AHIRBUDHNYAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who waits for the sleeping kundalini

OM DIGAMBARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva whose robes is the cosmos

OM ASHTAMURTAYE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who has eight forms

OM ANEKATMANE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who is the one soul

OM SATVIKAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord of boundless energy

OM SHUDDHA VIGRAHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to him who is free of all doubt and dissension

OM SHASHVATAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva, endless and eternal

OM KHANDAPARASHAVE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who cuts through the mind’s despair

OM AJAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the instigator of all that occurs

OM PAPAVIMOCHAKAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who releases all fetters

OM MRIDAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who shows only mercy

OM PASHUPATAYE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the ruler of all evolving souls, the animals

OM DEVAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the foremost of devas, demigods

OM MAHADEVAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the greatest of the gods

OM AVYAYAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the one never subject to change

OM HARAYE NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who dissolves all bondage

OM PASHUDANTABHIDE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the one who punished Pushan

OM AVYAGRAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who is steady and unwavering

OM DAKSHADHVARAHARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the destroyer of Daksha’s conceited sacrifice

OM HARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who withdraws the cosmos

OM BHAGANETRABHIDE NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who taught Bhaga to see more clearly

OM AVYAKTAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to Shiva who is subtle and unseen

OM SAHASRAKSHAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord of limitless forms

OM SAHASRAPADE NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who is standing and walking everywhere

OM APAVARGAPRADAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the Lord who gives and takes all things

OM ANANTAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the God who is unending

OM TARAKAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the great liberator of mankind

OM PARAMESHVARAYA NAMAHA

Obeisances to the great God

About

Devang Vibhakar is the Founder and Editor of www.SpeakBindas.com. He has interviewed more than 350 people. His effort was recognized by Limca Book of Records, twice. He has been to Scotland as well as Germany as part of vocational & cultural exchange programs and has compiled five books so far. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of entrepreneurs to avid readers of SpeakBindas. He can be reached here.

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About

Devang Vibhakar
Devang Vibhakar
(Editor, www.SpeakBindas.com)
SpeakBindas is a Limca Book of Awards winning blog. It's a PR3 blog with 1000+ articles & Interviews. Devang Vibhakar - Founder - has interviewed more than 350+ people and has been to Scotland, London & Germany. He's a writer, speaker, traveler & movie-goer !! He has also written four books. He's passionate about bringing forth interesting stories & interviews of people from various sectors of life to avid readers of SpeakBindas. You can reach him here .