Shiva, according to Hindu mythology, is believed to be the unbounded, formless cosmic energy around which life revolves
Shiv and Ratri, the night of Shiva. Shiva, according to Hindu mythology, is believed to be the unbounded, formless cosmic energy around which life revolves. To put it in simple words, Shivratri is the worship of that life energy. The best way to worship Lord Shiva or to celebrate Shivratri is to revere, cherish and be grateful for the energy that flows through each one of us.
All human beings regardless of their gender, sexuality, orientation have masculine and feminine energy within themselves. The union of Shiva and Shakti, which is a form of Adi shakti is the union of masculinity and feminity. The best way to worship all the forms of Shiva is to revere all the forms of energies that flow through us and channelize those energies for the greater good.
Shiva is believed to be multi-layered and so is his worship. People fast on this day, as fasting deeply cleanses and detoxifies the human body and boosts their mental strength, it also helps to concentrate better. Some people observe strict fasting while others eat only fruits or foods that are simple and easy to digest. The idea behind is not only to fast for Lord Shiva but to take care of one’s own body, it is believed that god or godliness is an attribute that lies deep within each one of us. Therefore, we worship the Shiva within us by taking care of ourselves.
Sadhak or worshipers spend the night chanting Vedic mantras, as it increases self-awareness, bestows a sense of calmness and oneness. It helps in cultivating compassion and gratitude. The mantras, their meaning and the sound that it produces have a very powerful vibration that can destroy negativity if chanted mindfully.
Sadhaks meditate throughout the phase of Mahashivratri. There are many forms of meditation that are practiced, breathing meditation, concentration meditation, trance meditation, and many more. The objective of all forms is yet the same, to worship that one form of life that we call Shiva. Meditation is considered the highest form of worship. There are countless benefits of meditation but the most important thing is that it helps us get closer to the godliness that is deep within all of us. Mahashivratri is the most powerful night to take a step closer within ourselves.
People belonging to the Hindu religious faith offer belpatra leaf to Shivlinga. Offering belpatra is the symbolic meaning of offering the three Gunas or aspects of oneself to him or surrendering the three Gunas, which are: Rajsik, Tamsik, and Satvik.
(Rajsik is associate with active energy, Tamsic with inactive energy and Satvik is balanced or a state of equanimity)
There are many mythological stories around this auspicious day of Maha Shivratri. Some say that this day makes the union of Shiva and Shakti. While other stories suggest that the formless Sadashiva appeared in the form of Lingodhbhava Murti at midnight and that it was on this day that Lord Shiva consumed the poison that emerged from Samudramanthan, which turned his throat blue. One more legend is that Devi Ganga came down on earth through the matted hair locks of Lord Shiva.
There can be numerous other stories related to this day, but all the stories share the same core and mark this day important for worshipers across the globe.