Shivratri 2016 - Maha Shivaratri 2016 - Mahashivratri 2016
Shivaratri 2016 Date
Shivaratri in 2016 is going to be celebrated on 07th of March. Shivratri is a Hindu festival celebrated to commemorate Lord Shiva. The word Shivaratri literally means the night of Shiva. Every year, Shivratri falls on the 13th night and 14th day of the Hindu month Maagh or Phalguna. On the contrary, the various regions of India have their own dates of celebrating Shivaratri because India is itself considered as a continent with numerous ethno-linguistic groups. However, according to the various Hindu calendar formats and scriptures, festival of Shivratri is meant to be celebrated on the dark fortnight of Maagha month.
As India has various communities, festival of Shivratri also have various names, like � Padma-raja-rathri, Maha Shivaratri, Shivarathri and many more.
Festival of Shivratri
On the day of Shivaratri, people offer the leaves of Bael, also known as Bilva or Vilvam to the Lord Shiva. It is believed that Lord Shiva loves these leaves. Apart from this, some other stuff is also offered to the God that pleases him. Some of them are � Datura (Thornapple), Ber (Zizyphus), some fruits, milk and many more. After a daylong fasting, people do an all night vigil for the Almighty. According to the ancient scriptures, it is believed that strong disciples perform penances on this day to fetch boons from the Almighty of summum bonum swiftly.
Hindu Rituals for Maha Shivaratri
While celebrting Shivratri in 2016, one should also know the rituals related to it. On the day of Maha Shivratri, temples of Shiva get flocked by uncountable devotees since early morning. Devotees bathe with sunrise, preferable at some pious water body like Ganga. For all Hindu festivals, this is the first thing that devotees do. After the holy shower, wearing clean clothes devotees march toward the temple of Shiva with a pot of water to give shower to the Shivalinga. Along with this, they offer prayers to Lord Sun, Vishnu and Shiva. Women wish for the wellbeing of the father, husband and son. On the other hand, unmarried women wish for a husband like Shiva. The temples echo with the sounds of bells and words like �Shiva Ki Jai�, which literally means �Hail Shiva�. Circumambulating three to seven times, devotees pour the holy water or milk or both on Shivlinga.
Shiva Purana (a Hindu scripture dedicated to Lord Shiva) describes the following elements as must during the Puja of Shivratri:
- Bathe the Shiva Linga with water, milk and honey.
- Offer Bel leaves and Thornapple to represent the purification of soul.
- After that, apply Vermillion and Sandal paste to the Shivling representing virtue.
- Offer fruits, it is the gratification of desires.
- Then burn incense as a remark of yielding wealth.
- Light lamp to signify the attainment of knowledge.
- Finally, betel leaves remarks the satisfaction from worldly pleasures.
Further, the worshippers make Tripundra (three horizontal stripes) on their forehead, which symbolize purity, penance and knowledge. Also, these stripes represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva. Apart from this, wearing a Rudraksha rosary is considered pious while worshipping Lord Shiva.
Legend Behind Shivaratri
While celebrating Shivaratrin in 2016, it is a good idea to know the legend associated with it. As per the Hindu mythology, there is a legend behind the festival of Shivratri, which has been mentioned in the ancient scriptures of Hinduism. The legend is about how Lord Shiva got the name �Neelkanth�. So, it is like that at the time of churning of ocean (Samudra Manthan), Asuras and Devaas joined their hands to churn out the Amrit (immortality nectar) from the depth of ocean. They used a mountain as a churn-dash and a snake as rope. During the process of churning, many things came out. One of them was most harmful, which came out as a pot of venom. This venom was so potent that it could destroy the whole universe in one go. It could not be discarded and one must drink it in order to make earth safe from its evil effects. But nobody came forward to the rescue as everybody believed that they are very precious to die. Finally, Lord Shiva came to their rescue after so many prayers. He drank all the venom and Maa Parvati strangled his throat to protect the universe, as the whole universe was posited in the stomach of Lord. Due to the venom, throat of Shiva turned blue in color. Since then, he is also known as Neelkanth. After drinking that poison, Shiva left to the Himalayas to meditate. Finally when the Amrit came out, Sura and Asura both started fighting to drink it. After a long battle, Sura succeeded to receive the gift of immortality. In all this process, Lord Shiva sacrificed himself.
Favorite Day of Lord Shiva
Another belief from the ancient legends tells that after the completion of the creation, Goddess Parvati asked Lord Shiva about his favorite devotees, rituals and some allied stuff. While explaining, God told her in between about his favorite day. He said that the 14th night of dark fortnight in the month of Phalgun is his favorite day. Parvati forwarded his words to her friends and hence the word spread everywhere.
This was all brief on this pious festival dedicated to the biggest power of Hinduism. With this article on Maha Shivratri 2016, we hope you get blessed with the boons of Lord Shiva.
Apart from this, AstroSage has brought you some other ways to stay connected with Lord Shiva. You may apply the Wallpapers of Shivaratri and Lord Shiva on your desktop or mobile phone to feel the presence of Almighty all the time. In order to share wishes of Shivratri, you may send Shivratri SMS to your loved ones.
Happy Maha Shivratri 2016!
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