"The Great Night of Shiva." It's a major Hindu festival observed on the 13th or 14th day of the dark fortnight (Krishna Paksha)  month of Phalguna

Meaning and Celebration

Celestial Wedding:  The union of Lord Shiva and Parvati, symbolizing the balance of masculine and feminine energies.

Duality of Celebration

"Shivaratri" refers to the night Shiva drank poison to save the world, symbolizing his ability to overcome negativity.

Overcoming Darkness

The festival honors Shiva's cosmic dance (Nataraja). This dance depicts the cycle of creation and destruction within the universe and Shiva's role in maintaining cosmic balance.

Cosmic Dance of Shiva

Devotees often observe different types of fasts, ranging from complete abstinence to consuming only fruits and milk.  Fasting is seen as a way to cleanse the body and mind, fostering spiritual discipline and focus.

Significance of Fasting

Staying awake throughout the night is a common practice. Devotees engage in prayers, chanting mantras (like "Om Namah Shivaya"), and participating in devotional activities.

Night-long Vigil

A significant ritual involves bathing the Shivalinga (symbolic representation of Shiva) with milk, honey, ghee, and other sacred offerings. This signifies purification and renewal.

Sacred Bath (Abhisheka)

Chanting "Om Namah Shivaya" is a prominent feature.  This mantra is believed to bring peace, invoke Shiva's blessings, and promote inner transformation.

Power of Chanting

Rudraksha, a natural bead traditionally worn as malas, holds special importance. Rudraksha is believed to possess healing properties and connect the wearer to Shiva's protective energy.

Significance of Rudraksha

Maha Shivaratri's symbolism and rituals encourage self-reflection and spiritual growth.  By participating, devotees can strive for inner peace, overcome negativity, and awaken their potential, embodying the transformative power of Lord Shiva.

Inner Transformation

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