The Legend of Neelkanta:-
Puranas contain several stories and legends describing the origin of this festival. According to one, during the Samudra Manthan, a pot of poison emerged from the ocean. This frightened the Gods and demons because the poison was capable of destroying the complete world and that they ran to Shiva for help. To Protect the world from its evil effects, Shiva drank the deathly poison but held it in his throat rather than swallowing it. This made his throat turn blue, and he was given the name Neelakantha, the blue-throated one. Shivaratri is that the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world.
Shiva’s Birthday – the Emergence of Shivalinga:-
According to another legend within the Shiva Purana, once the opposite two of the triads of Hindu Gods, Brahma, and Vishnu, were fighting over who was the superior of the two. Horrified at the intensity of the battle, the opposite gods asked Shiva to intervene. To make them understand the futility of their fight, Shiva assumed the shape of an enormous column of fire in between Brahma and Vishnu. Awestruck by its magnitude, they determined to search out one finish every to determine ascendancy over the opposite. Brahma assumed the shape of a swan and went upwards and Vishnu as Varaha went into the planet. However light has no limit and though they searched for thousands of miles, neither might notice the top. On his journey upwards, Brahma discovered a Ketaki flower wafting down slowly. once asked wherever she had come back from, the Ketaki replied that she had been placed at the highest of the fiery column as an offering. Unable to search out the top limit, Brahma determined to finish his search and take the flower as a witness.
At this, the angry Shiva revealed his true form. He punished Brahma for telling a lie and cursed him that nobody would ever pray to him. The Ketaki flower too was banned from being used as an offering for any worship, as she had testified incorrectly. Since it had been on a the14th day within the dark half of the month of Phalguna that Shiva first manifested himself within the type of a Linga, the day is especially auspicious and is widely known as Mahashivaratri. worshiping Shiva on this present day is believed to bestow one happily and prosperity.
Why is Shivratri Celebrated:-
The Great Night of Shiva Celebrated on the phase of the moon night within the month of Phalguna (generally falls in early March), and is devoted to Lord Shiva. discovered particularly by married ladies to confirm the long life of their husbands, it consists of a full day’s fast and anointing the idol of Shiva with milk, water, and honey.
Literally ‘the great night of Shiva’, celebrated on the moonless night of the month of Phalguna, that is the fourteenth day within the dark half, this festival is specially dedicated to Shiva, the destroyer. This can be a very important day for the devotees of Shiva, who stay awake throughout the night, praying to him. In all major centers of Shivalinga worship, Shivaratri additionally referred to as Mahashivaratri, maybe a grand occasion. From the very early morning, Shiva temples are flocked by devotees, largely ladies, who come to perform the traditional Shivalinga worship and hence hope for favors from the god. during the day, devotees abstain from eating food and break they’re fast only the next morning, after the nightlong worship.
According to the Shiva Purana, the Mahashivaratri puja involves six steps Which are:
- Taking bath within the Gange for purification of soul, mind, and body. Bathing of the ShivaLinga with the holy water of Gange, then bathing with milk and honey. God Shiva loves bel patra (three leaves pedunculate in one) so every ritual added it to the puja.
- After bathing of the Shiva Linga, vermilion paste applied on that which represents the virtue.
- Offer fruits, flowers that are given to get long life and satisfaction of wishes.
- Burning enrages yields wealth.
- The lighting with Diya represents achieving more knowledge.
- Offering betel leaves offer satisfaction full of great pleasures.
Worshipers also apply three horizontal lines of holy ash on their forehead just like Lord Shiva that represents spiritual knowledge, cleanliness, and penance. They wear garland created from the Rudraksha (seed of Rudraksha tree) while worshiping Lord Shiva. It’s believed that Rudraksha tree was originated from the tears of Lord Shiva. Shivaratri is also considered as the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Mata Parvati…