Today (Feb 24 2017) is the auspicious day of Mahashivratri. In Phalguna 13th day is celebrated in the honor of Lord Shiva. The great night of shiva is an extremely important day for Shiva bhakts. People celebrate it by fasting throughout the day. Kashmir Shaivaites celebrate this day as Har-Ratri.
The Maha Shivaratri is mentioned in several Puranas, particularly the Skanda Purana, Linga Purana and Padma Purana. These medieval era Shaiva texts present different mythologies associated with this festival, but all mention fasting and reverence for icons of Shiva such as the Lingam.
Different legends describe the significance of Maha Shivaratri. According to one legend in the Shaivism tradition, this is the night when Shiva performs the heavenly dance of creation, preservation and destruction. The chanting of hymns, the reading of Shiva scriptures and the chorus of devotees joins this cosmic dance and remembers Shiva’s presence everywhere. According to another legend, this is the night when Shiva and Parvati got married. A different legend states that the offering to Shiva icons such as the linga is an annual occasion to get over past sins if any, to restart on a virtuous path and thereby reach Mount Kailasha and liberation.
We wish all our readers a happy Shivratri.