Joined: 03 February 2006
Today is Maha Shivaratri/ Which is celebrated on 14th day of Magha(4th month of hindu calender). A day to worship Lord Shiva known by other names like Mahadev, Shiv, Shankar, Nilkanth, Bholenath, bhootnath, Natraj, Nateshwar etc. He is worshiped by offering him milk flowers and billi patra(leaves) while chanting the mantra
Om Namah Shivaya
and keeping fast from grains and legumes this day.
bhang is used after shivaratri pooja in some parts of India as shivaji's prasadi which is not consider pious by many people .
Wish you all Happy Maha Shivaratri.
Some stories related to Shivaratri
One story suggests the whole world was once facing destruction and the Goddess Parvati worshiped her husband Shiva to save it. She prayed for the Jivas (living souls) remaining in space like particles of gold dust in a lump of wax during that long period of pralaya (deluge) night, should, upon becoming active again and in the enjoyment of their short day and night, have his blessings, but only if they worshiped him just as she did then. Her prayer was accordingly granted. Parvati named the night for the worship of Iswara by mortals Maha-Sivaratri, or the great night of Siva,
After creation was complete, Parvati asked Shiva of which rituals pleased him the most. The Lord replied that the 14th night of the new moon, during the month of Maagha, is my most favourite day. It is known as Shivaratri. Parvati repeated these words to her friends, from whom the word spread over all creation.
The Shiv Puran relates a story of Maha Shivaratri's glory.
In ancient times, a Bheel (forest inhabitant) named Gurudruha trudged through a forest to hunt deer. At night, without having sighted a single animal, he unknowingly climbed a bili tree on the banks of a lake. Later at night, a doe arrived to drink water. Gurudruha aimed his bow and arrow at her. While aiming, he unknowingly dropped some bili leaves and his drinking water below on a Shivaling. The deer then requested him to allow her to entrust her fawns to her husband, after which she would return. After much haggling he agreed. While awaiting her return, he stayed awake by aimlessly plucking leaves and dropping them below. Again they fell on the Shivaling. Thus he unknowingly performed its puja while remaining awake all night.
Finally the doe returned with her family, She informed him that along with her, he'd have to kill her family too. As he aimed, some more leaves fluttered down on the Shivaling. The collective punya (spiritual merit) accrued from the puja performed unknowingly, eradicated all his sins. This purified his heart. He set the deer free. As he sat repenting, Lord Shiv manifested in front of him and granted a boon, "You shall be born in a town known as Shrungver, as a man named Gruha. Lord Vishnu will grace your home as Lord Rama and redeem you."
Shivji also blessed the deer which attained a better destiny.
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Happy Maha Shivaratri to it's celebraters
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