MahaShivratri (translated as Night of Shivaji in english) is a spiritual and religious festival in Hinduism celebrated by millions of Shiva devotees around the world. Under Hinduism, the significance of Maha Shivratri is due to Lord Shiva ji being married to Sri Parvati on this day of the Hindu calendar. MahaShivratri 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 symbolic dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction – also called the Tandava.
Lord Shiva is one of the most significant Gods in the Hinduism faith & way of life. It is also referred to 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 since majority of the World’s Hindus live in India. Some other nations where large Hindu communities are based also celebrate MahaShivratri such as USA, Canada, Trinidad, Guyana, Australia, various African Nations, Nepal, UK, Australia New Zealand.
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 Shivratri is not positivity and joy everywhere. In many nations with minority Hindu populations such as Pakistan, Malaysia and Bangladesh, Hindus have consistently complained over the years that they celebrate MahaShivratri (as well as other hindu festivals) in anxiety and great fear with almost no security from government officials after violent threats and attacks from Islamist groups. There was also an attack last year at the Bothell Hindu temple in Seattle, USA during Shivratri.
Here is a spiritual mantra devoted to Lord Shiva ji:
The ChakraNews.com team wishes all Hindus and devotees of Lord Shivaji a Shubh & Auspicious Shivratri! Om Namah Shivaya! Om Namah Shivaya! Har Har Mahadev!