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Coming Date Maha Shivratri

Maha Shivratri is Coming on 13 March 2013 and According to Gujarati months Shivaratri is celebrated on the 6th night of the dark Phalgun (Feb or March) every year.

About Maha Shivratri

Shivaratri or Mahashivaratri (Night of Shiva) is a Hindu festival, celebrated all over the country with great enthusiasm.
The festival falls every year around 13th night or 14th day in the Krishna Paksha of the monthof Magh (as per Shalivahana) or Phalgun (as per Vikrama) in the Hindu calendar.
The festival is exclusively dedicated to Lord Shiva who is known by hundreds of names. Mahashivratri is the day to rejoice and pray to the almighty for wellness. On this day, Hindu people offer prayers to the Lord Shiva and also observe fasting (vrata) throughout the day. You can see huge crowd of devotees outside the Shiva temples where they come for early morning prayers.

The prayers continue throughout the night of Mahashivratri and Lord Shiva’s followers offer coconut, Bilva leaves, fruits and specially prepared sacred food for the occasion.
As this is a dark fortnight, devotees light candlesand diyas (a lamp made usually of clay, with wick made of cotton and dipped in ghee) throughout the night. This is signified as a symbol of spiritual manifestation.
Mahashivratri is one of the major festivals in India and everybody from kids to old-age people like to participate in one way or the other. Lord Shiva is also known as a ‘Destroyer’ or ‘Transformer’according to the Hindu religion and he is worshiped not only in India but also in other neighboring countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Maha Shivratri Pooja

Pooja At Home

After waking up early in the morning on Mahashivaratri, the devotees of Lord Shiva would take a ceremonious bath, using warm water and seeds of black sesame. It is a popular belief that by bathing in warm water, with few seeds of black sesame, the body is purified. After wearing new clothes, the devotees would smear bhasma (holy ash) on their forehead. One may worship Lord Shiva at home by offering Bilwa leaves to the deity and by chanting mantra - 'Om Namah Shivaya'. Apart from Bilwa leaves, flowers and garlands can also be offered to the deity.

Pooja In Temples 

Special pujas are performed at Lord Shiva temples on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri. In many temples the pooja is conducted strictly according to the method prescribed in Shiva Purana, according to which, Shiva Linga should be given ceremonious bath and puja should conducted every three hours on Mahashivratri. Abhisheks are done using milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, sandalwood paste and rose water. Each item is poured over the Shiva Linga, to symbolize different meanings. Milk stands for piousness, while yogurt symbolizes prosperity. Abhishek is done with honey to acquire a sweet speech, while ghee is used to represent victory. It is said that sugar symbolizes happiness and water is the symbol of purity.

After the Abhisheks are performed, the Shiva Linga is adorned with a stalk of three Bilwa leaves, to mark the culmination of the previous ritual. Thereafter, kumkum (vermilion) is applied on the Shiva Linga. Apart from Bilwa leaves, one can see devotees offering beetle leaves to the deity. Jujube fruit is a favorite of the deity, and hence, it is also offered by the devotees. In the mean time, the devotees indulge in immense chanting of 'Om Namah Shivaya'. Sounds of bells add to the festive mood in the temples. The air is filled with the aroma of incense sticks and dhoop.

Pooja Items

The main items needed for Shiva Puja on Mahashivratri include vermilion, haldi (turmeric powder), Aguru (holy perfume), Vibhuti/Bhasm (sacred ash made using dried cow dung), Rudraaksha Mala (prayer beads made of the dark berries of Elaeocarpus ganitrus, to chant Om Namah Shivaya), Akshata (uncooked rice) and a stalk of Bilwa (Bael) leaves. Incense sticks, fresh flowers and camphor are other requisites for the pooja. Earthen lamp and lota (container filled with holy water) is also required for the puja.

Maha Shivratri Celebration

The devotees of Lord Shiva should preferably do the following things on this day.
1. Observe fast on this day, taking only fruits & milk.
2. Perform elaborate puja of Lord Shiva, and perform Rudrabhisheka. Chant various hymns & bhajan of Lord Shiva.
3. Use this day to bring to your mind the infinite ways your life has been blessed. In our obsession with thinking on what all I dont have we fail to see the infinite ways in which we are so positively blessed. The fact that you can read right now is a great blessing, ask someone who cannot see. Feel truly blessed & gratified and express your thanks & devotion at the feet of Lord by chanting the mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ as many times as you can.
4. Practice Dhyana for longer periods than the usual routine. Be one with your loving God, and revel in utter fulfillment.
5. Remain more introvert on this day contemplating about the truths of life.
6. Go for darshan of Lord Shiva where he is properly & regularly worshipped.
7. Try to get darshan & satsang of some learned Mahatmas. Offer sewa at Ashrams & Temples.

Lord Shiva Images-Maha Shivratri Images