(CHAKRA) Maha Shivaratri is an auspicious festival in Hinduism celebrated by millions of devotees around the world. In Hinduism, the significance of Maha Shivaratri is due to Lord Shiva being married to Sri Parvati on this day. Maha Shivaratri literally means ‘The Night of Shiva’ when translated to English and therefore religious ceremonies and celebrations take place during the night. Shivratri is also the night when Lord Shiva is said to have performed the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction – also called the Tandava.
Lord Shiva is one of the most significant Gods in Hinduism and is also known as Mahadeva (meaning Great God). Shiva is the Supreme God within Shaivism, one of the three most influential denominations in contemporary Hinduism. Lord Shiva is known as the “Destroyer” or “Transformer” among the Trimurti, the Hinduism Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine.
Shivaratri is celebrated all over the world, although mainly celebrated in India. Some other nations where large Maha Shivaratri is celebrated include Canada, Australia, Nepal, UK, Australia and America.
People repeat the Panchakshara Mantra ‘OM NAMAH SHIVAYA’ as it is said he who utters the Names of Shiva during Shivaratri, with perfect devotion and concentration, is freed from all sins. He reaches the abode of Shiva and lives there happily. He is liberated from the wheel of births and deaths. Many pilgrims flock to the places where there are Shiva temples. Many hindu fast during Shivaratri which can include fruits and non-raw foods such as fried pooris.
The auspicious celebration of Shivaratri is not all happiness, positive and joy everywhere. In Pakistan and Bangladesh, Hindus have complained that they celebrate Maha Shivaratri (as well as other hindu festivals) in constant fear with almost no security from government officials and violent threats from Muslim mobs and Islamic extremist groups. Also, this year in 2015, the Bothell Hindu temple was vandalized in Seattle, USA.
The Chakra team wishes all Hindus and devotees of Lord Shiva ji a Shubh & Happy Shivaratri! Om Namah Shivaya! Har Har Mahadev!