Maha Shivaratri calls for a night devoted to worship of Lord Shiva.
This event happens to be on the 14th night of the new moon in the month of Phagun.
According to popular belief, Lord Shiva is said to have performed the
‘Tandava Nritya’ on this night. Many other legends and beliefs have
been associated with this day. Maha Shivaratri holds immense value
for Hindus and is a big day for the devotees of Lord Shiva.
Significance of Maha Shivaratri :-
Apart from the significant Tandava performed by Lord Shiva,
it is also believed that Lord Shiva married Parvati on this
night. It is said that on this night Parvati prayed fervently
for the wellbeing of Lord Shiva.
Another legend goes that on this day, when Lord Brahma and
Lord Vishnu had a dispute over the beginning and the end of
Lord Shiva, he manifested himself in the form of a ‘Lingum’
to portray that there is no beginning or end to his being.
According to Hindu mythology, when Parvati asked Lord Shiva
which ritual he liked best, Lord Shiva proclaimed that the
and rituals performed by his devotees on
the 14th night of the Phagun month delighted him the most.
Rituals of Mahashivaratri
The devotees take an early morning bath and swarm the nearby Shiva
temple in order to seek blessings from Lord Shiva and make
offerings to the deity.
The traditional Shiva-Linga puja is performed where the Shiva Linga is
given a solemn bath with milk, rose water, curd, ghee, honey and
sandalwood paste. The puja is carried out once in every three hours!
People also make offerings of milk, gangaajal (holy water),
incense sticks, bel leaves, fruits and flowers. The devotees strictly
perform all the rituals of Maha Shivratri as it is considered to be
an auspicious day to worship Lord Shiva,
and it is believed that they will be cleared of their past sins.
Celebrations of Maha Shivaratri are carried out with married women
praying for the wellbeing and long life of their husbands. Also,
since Shiva is believed to be an ideal husband, unmarried women
pray for a husband like Him.
Keertans and jaagrans (nightlong vigil) are a major highlight which feature chanting,
reading of the verses,and singing the praises of Lord Shiva. Chanting of the mantra
‘Om Namah Shivaya’ is very prominent on this day.
One is supposed to remain awake all through the night, on Mahashivra
tri and keep a night long vigil. Fasting is firmly observed throughout
the day and in the evening they have fruits, And the devotees break their fast
early next morning by eating the prasad that was offered to the idol.
Renuka or Yellamma or Ekvira (Marathi: श्री रेणुका/ येल्लुआई, Kannada: ಶ್ರೀ ಎಲ್ಲಮ್ಮ ರೇಣುಕಾ, Telugu: శ్రీ రేణుక/ ఎల్లమ్మ) is worshiped as the Goddess (devi) of the fallen, in the Hindu pantheon. Yellamma is a patron goddess of rural folk of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. Her devotees have revered her as the "Mother of the Universe" or Jagadamba. Legends say that Yellamma is the incarnation of Kali, who on one hand symbolizes the death of ego, and on the other hand is the mother who is compassionate about her children.Renuka is also worshipped in Maharashtra as Goddess Ekvira and is considered as the Kuladevata by the
Yellamma is worshipped mostly in South India, including Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Maharastra, where the deity is known by many names: Mahankali, Jogamma, Somalamma, Gundamma, Pochamma, Mysamma, Jagadambika, Holiyamma, Renukamata,Yellamma,Mariamma and Renuka Devi. - From Wikipedia.org
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