Shivratri, one of the greatest religious festivals of Shiv devotees of North India is around the corner (on 27th Feb. this year). Actually, it is celebrated on the 14th night of the dark fortnight (known as Krishan Paksha )of Hindu month of Fagun/Phagun .Some people believe that Shiv got married on this day, though there is a lot controversy about his marriage date. In Northern India, temples are already preparing for this great festival. Prabhat Pheries (Morning Festivities) have started . Groups of People sing Shiv bhajans (religious songs) early in the morning in the streets.
On this day many kinds of rituals are performed. The most important is Rudrabhishek. In this Shiv-ling pujan is done by first bathing it with panchamrit that is a mixture of milk curd ghee honey and gangajal and cold water followed by offerings of bilav patri, flowers and fruit etc. All this is done to please the deity. Lord Shiva is considered to be one of the most powerful Hindu Gods with tons of devotees.
Many People observe fast on this Day. In the evening, they sometimes eat special Vrat food or sometimes take part in special Shivratri meal which consists of fruits, nuts and Kheer. The whole day prayers and havans are performed . The simplest mantra of Shiv is OM NAMAH SHIVAY. Athough the mantra is simple but it is capable of giving great results. If you are feeling anxious, a simple chant of this Mantra will calm you down. It is believed that on this night (Shivratri) Shiv takes a round of the world with hIs wife Parvati and whomever he finds praying is blessed for the whole Year. In the Temples and even on the road sides free meals (langars )are offered to everyone. Langar usually consists of Dal, Roti, Kheer, simple preparation of vegetables and rice. Religious fervour is in the air.
Shiv means Kalyankari, one who wishes for your well being. The other name for shiv ‘Shankar’ means ‘ Giver of Bliss’. ‘Ashutosh’ means always satisfied and happy. ‘Bholenath’ means Lord of the innocents . He himself is considered very innocent, deity who can be pleased easily with simple offerings, simple prayers and simple mantras. One of the tales of his innocence goes like this ; their was a thief who used to earn his livelihood just by stealing. Once he couldn’t steal anything for days together and was very hungry. So he went to the temple to see if he could get anything to eat there but unfortunately he got nothing. Suddenly he saw the Brass Bell hanging above the Shivling and decided to steal it and sell it. He tried to pull it by standing beside the Shivling but did not succeed .Then he climbed on the Shivling to pull it. At that point Shiv appeared there and blessed him to fulfill all his wishes. By that time people had gathered there and asked Lord Shiv why he has blessed just a thief and not them as they have been praying for so many years. Shiv said that they have been offering him just flowers and fruits or whatever they had but since the poor thief didn’t have anything to offer, he offered himself hence he has been blessed. Such is the nature of our beloved God.
This Shivratri day pray with all your heart, ask forgiveness for your sins and show your gratitude for what you have. May Lord Shiva bless you with his choicest blessings. Happy Shivratri 2014 from EatEastIndian Team to all our friends, fans and viewers.