It is an auspicious festival which is also known as the 'Great night of Lord Shiva' and celebrated in several forms. Do you know the origin of Maha Shivratri and its significance?
On this day devotees do fasting, rudra abhishek, and worship Lord Shiva to seek his blessings. This year it is celebrated on 11 March (Thursday).
It is said that Shivratri is the amalgamation of two strong forces in the universe is Shiva and Goddess Shakti.
Shiva is known as the God of death and Goddess Shakti as a power who vanishes evil powers.
According to the South Indian calendar, Chaturdashi Tithi during Krishna Paksha in the month of Magha is known as Maha Shivratri.
And according to the North Indian calendar, Masik Shivratri in the month of Phalguna is known as Maha Shivratri.
One story says, during Samudra Manthan, a pot emerged from the ocean which consists of poison. All the Gods and demons were terrified that this will destroy the entire world and so, Gods ran to Lord Shiva for help.
To protect the entire world from the evil effects, Shiva drank the entire poison and held it in his throat instead of swallowing it.
Due to this, his throat becomes blue and so he is also known as Neelakantha. Shivratri is celebrated as an event due to which Shiva saved the world.
Another story which is mentioned in the Shiv Purana is: Once upon a time Brahma and Vishnu were fighting among themselves that who is superior among the two.
Other Gods were terrified and so they went to Lord Shiva to intervene in the war. To make them realise the futility of their fight, Shiva took the form of a massive fire that spread across the length of the universe.
By seeing the magnitude, both the Gods decided to find one end each to establish supremacy over the other.
So, for this Brahma assumed the form of a swan and went upwards on the other hand Vishnu assumed as Varaha and went into the earth.
But the fire has no limit and they searched thousands of miles but couldn't found the end. On the journey upwards, Brahma came across a Ketaki flower.
He asked Ketaki from where she had come; Ketaki replied that she had been placed at the top of the fiery column as an offering.
Brahma could not find the upper limit and took the flower as a witness and came.