Thursday, March 06, 2008

Maha Siva Ratri - "Om Namah Sivaya"

Maha Shivratri or Maha Sivaratri or Shivaratri or Sivaratri (Night of Shiva) is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha of the month Maagha (as per Shalivahana) or Phalguna (as per Vikrama) in the Hindu Calendar. The most significant practices on this day are offerings of Bael (Bilva) leaves to the Lord Shiva, fasting and all night long vigil. In North India and Nepal many people consume bhang lassi, which they believe is lord Shiva's favorite drink.

Here is the wikipedia link for Maha Siva Ratri

Here is a link to an awesome website that tells us about the significance of Maha Shiva Ratri. I would like to appreciate the effort, for a website with all the details of a Hindu Festival makes me happy.

I miss being in India this day, because all the fervor with which we used to celebrate Maha Siva Ratri in our family was truly awesome. Daddy performs a special pooja to the Lord. Then almost for the greater part of the day, the Rudram Namakam Chamakam is played on the tape. The temples near-by also used to play "Lingastakam" that the legendary singer Dr. S. P. Bala Subrahmanyam rendered. We all have a head bath and probably visit a temple. The Siva temple adjacent to the Sai Baba temple in Dilsukhnagar used to be very crowded. All the lights that are lit in the temple present an awesome spectacle. One just has to witness the festival to experience it. This was all in my childhood when our residence was in Huda Complex. All our family offers fasting on this day. I am performing this since I am 8 years old and it now turned into a habit. After the 'nakshatra darsanam', we used to have Idlis prepared by Amma in the night somewhere around 9-10 pm. To tell you the truth, those Idlis used to be so delicious.

Now that we have moved to LB Nagar, there is a near-by Sivalayam ( Siva Temple ) which is called by the name " Sri Uma Nagalingeswara Aalayam". The Siva lingam in this temple is one which I hold very dearly because when I am in India I performed abhishekam for this Siva lingam atleast 10-15 times. It is a great feeling which you experience in your heart. The purity that this imparts cannot be put in words. I am uploading a picture of the same "Siva Lingam" which I often prayed to. The image you see above is the one I am talking about.

I guess, after reading my post, now you all do realize how much dear "Maha Siva ratri" is to me. No wonder, I miss this day terribly!

Wishing you all a very happy "Maha Siva Ratri".

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