New Delhi: The auspicious festival of Maha Shivratri is on March 11, this year. The pan-India festival is also widely celebrated by Indians settled abroad. The day marks the celebration of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati’s marriage. Devotees throng temples in huge numbers and offer their prayers.
In some parts of the country such as in Jammu and Kashmir, Maha Shivratri begins a day prior. This year, Kashmiri Pandits will celebrate it on March 10 and the festivity continues for days. The day is called Herath amongst the Kashmiri Pandit community.
Our country is home to various traditions and cultures and therefore, respecting each one of them, festivals hold greater significance for all. Celebrations and rituals may differ as you move from north to south or east to west, but the spirit with which is revered is the same.
Maha Shivaratri on Thursday, March 11, 2021
Nishita Kaal Puja Time – 00:06 to 00:55, Mar 12
Duration – 00 Hours 48 Mins
On 12th Mar, Shivaratri Parana Time – 06:34 to 15:02
Ratri First Prahar Puja Time – 18:27 to 21:29
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time – 21:29 to 00:31, Mar 12
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time – 00:31 to 03:32, Mar 12
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time – 03:32 to 06:34, Mar 12
Chaturdashi Tithi Begins – 14:39 on Mar 11, 2021
Chaturdashi Tithi Ends – 15:02 on Mar 12, 2021
(as per drikpanchang.com)
– Take a bath before doing Puja or visiting a temple.
– Purify home and puja area by sprinkling Gangajal.
– Light a brass or an earthen lamp.
– Sit down with your eyes closed and invite Lord Shiva to accept your offerings. (You or your family priest can do the Pran Pratishthan by invoking the God in your idol).
– Now, do Abhishek with water on Shiv Linga or Shiva’s Moorti. Chant ‘OM’ or ‘OM – Namah Shivaya’ while doing the Abhishek.
– Then do Abhishek with Milk, Dahi, followed by Honey, Ghee (clarified butter) and water again.
– Use a fresh piece of cloth to gently wipe the Shiv Linga or Idol.
– Use the sacred ash (Vibhuti) or bhasm and make a Tripundra on the Lord’s Forehead or on the Shiv Linga. (The Tripundra is the three famous horizontal mark).
– Put a Chandan tika in the centre of the horizontal line in the middle. And then add kumkum teeka. Add Bel or Vilva leaves and flowers.
– Light incense sticks and dhoop.
– Then offer fruits and dry fruits to God.
– Then chant the Shiva Chalisa or the 108 names of Lord Shiva or any simple Shiva Mantra.
– Meditate for a while.
– Conclude the Puja by singing the Shiva Aarti.
– Pray to Goddess Parvati as Shakti and Lord Shiva – seeking blessings of Shivashakti.
(The Puja Vidhi may differ from region-to-region)
Some devotees observe fast on the day and some keep it on the day prior to the puja.
Bhole Shankar and Devi Parvati’s blessings are sought by all and what better day than the celebration of Maha Shivratri.
Here’s wishing everyone a very happy Maha Shivratri!