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shivalingamMaha Shivratri, the night of the worship of Shiva, occurs in the Krishna Paksha (dark fortnight) on the 13th night or 14th day of Maagha or Phalguna (February or March) when Hindus offer special prayer to the lord of destruction.

The absolute formless God, Sadashiv appeared in the form of “Lingodbhav Moorti” exactly at midnight on Maha Shivratri. That is why all Shiva devotees keep vigil during the night of Shivratri and do “Shivlingam abhishekham” at midnight.

Anyone who worships Shiva on the day of Maha Shivratri is freed from all bondages and sins of Karma and moves on the path towards Moksha. Devotees who worship Lord Shiva with true devotion on Mahashivratri are freed from all sins and are blessed with health, wealth and success.

You need to get up in the early morning and take bath in warm water added with black sesame seeds. It is believed that taking bath in this water on the auspicious day of maha shivratri will purify your soul and body.

After taking bath devotees should take Sankalp  to observer full day fast and to break the fast on the next day. During Sankalp devotees pledge for self-determination throughout the fasting period and seek blessing of Lord Shiva to finish the fast without any interference. Hindu fasts are strict and people pledge for self-determination and seek God blessing before starting them to finish them successfully.

Shiva Puja should be done during night. Shivaratri Puja can be performed one time or four times during the night. The whole night duration can be divided into four to get four Prahar  to perform Shiva Puja four times. Devotees who want to perform single Puja should do it during midnight.

As per the pooja vidhi of maha shivratri, Shiva linga abisheka has to be done with six different materials. The materials are as follows,

* Milk is for the blessing of purity and piousness.

* Yogurt is for prosperity and progeny.

* Honey is for sweet speech.

* Ghee is for victory.

* Sugar is for happiness.

* Water is for purity.

After the Abhishek ritual, Shiva Linga is adorned with the garland made of Bilva leaves. It is believed that Bilva leaves cool down Lord Shiva.

After that Chandan is applied to the Shiva Linga which is followed by lighting lamp and Dhupa. The other items which are used to adorn Lord Shiva include flower of Madar (मदार) which is also known as Aak (आक), Vibhuti which is also known as Bhasm. Vibhuti is sacred ash which is made using dried cow dung.

The mantra to chant during Puja duration is ॐ नमः शिवाय (Om Namah Shivaya).

OR

|| Om Trayambakam Yajaamahe
Suganghim Pushtivardhanam

Urvaarukmiva Bandhanaan
Mrityor Mokshiya Mamritaat ||

[The meaning of the Mantra is as follows:]

I worship thee, O sweet Lord of transcendental vision (the three -eyed one or Lord Siva). O giver of health and prosperity to all, may I be free from the bonds of death, just as a melon (or cucumber) is severed effortlessly from its bondage or attachment to the creeper.

Devotees should break the fast next day after taking bath. Devotees should break the fast between sunrise and before the end of Chaturdashi Tithi to get maximum benefit of the Vrat.

NISHITA KAAL PUJA TIME = 24:26+ to 25:15+ ( Nishita time when Lord Shiva appeared on the Earth in the form of Linga)

Duration = 0 Hours 49 Mins

Next Day Maha Shivaratri Parana Time = 07:02 to 15:45 (the time window to break the fast on next day.)

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Yogesh K Dave
Vedic Astrologer
Vastu Consultant

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