Mahashivratri 2024: Date, Muhurata, Significance, and Mantra
Lord Shiva, also known as Bholenath or Mahadeva, is a highly respected god among Hindus. He is worshipped by many devotees across the country. Lord Shiva is called both the destroyer and the most kind-hearted god. A festival dedicated to him is called Maha Shivratri, or the Great Night of Shiva. Hindus celebrate this day with a lot of enthusiasm, strong belief, and love for Lord Shiva all over India.
Every year, usually between February and March, Hindus celebrate Maha Shivratri in honour of Lord Shiva. According to Hindu calendar, Mahashivratri falls on the fourteenth day (chaturdashi) of the shukla paksha (dark lunar phase) of Phalguna or Magha. The festival symbolizes the marriage of Shiva and Parvati, and it's also when Shiva performs his divine dance, called the Tandava.
In 2024, the festival of Mahashivratri will be celebrated on March 8th 2024.
Mahashivratri – Date and timing
-Chaturdashi Tithi starts at 09:57 PM on March 8th.
-Chaturdashi Tithi ends at 06:17 PM on March 8th.
Importance of Lord Shiva puja during Nishita Kaal
Nishita Kaal on Mahashivratri 2024 is very important as it is believed all your wishes come true by worshipping Lord Shiva in this auspicious muhurata. Nishita Kaal is the 8th part of the night. It is an auspicious time. For any festival to be celebrated, there has to be Nishita kaal on that tithi.
- Nishita Kaal puja timing - starting from 12:07 - 12:56 midnight.
What’s so special about Mahashivratri 2024?
Unlike other major Hindu festivals, Maha Shivaratri is observed at night. It's different from other festivals because instead of pomp and show and cultural celebrations, it's an occasion of self-reflection. People observe fasting, meditate on Shiva, reflect on themselves, visit Shiva temples, promote social harmony, and stay awake all night.
Shaiva Hindus celebrate Maha Shivaratri by keeping a jagaran, which means staying awake all night while offering prayers. The festival of Mahashivratri depicts overcoming darkness and ignorance prevalent in the world. People make offerings of bel patra leaves, fruits, milk, and sweets to Shiva. Some fast all day and worship Lord Shiva according to Vedic or tantric traditions, while others practice meditative yoga. Devotees recite the well known panchakshari mantra "Om Namah Shivaayaa" to meditate on Lord Shiva. They also read Shiv Chalisa to praise Lord Mahadeva.
Significance of Mahashivratri 2024
The significance of Mahashivratri has been mentioned in ancient texts like the Linga Purana, Skanda Purana, and Padma Purana.
Celestial Dance of Shiva:
- Maha Shivaratri represents the night when Shiva performs a celestial dance symbolizing creation, preservation, and destruction.
- Devotees participate by chanting hymns, reading scriptures, and praying, acknowledging Shiva's omnipresence.
Divine Wedding of Shiva and Parvati:
- According to another legend, Maha Shivaratri commemorates the divine marriage of Shiva and Parvati.
- This event symbolizes the union of masculine and feminine energies, representing harmony and balance in the universe.
- Some believe that offering prayers and worship to Shiva, such as offering to lingam, helps overcome past sins and start anew on a virtuous path.
- On Maha Shivaratri, it's believed that Shiva swallowed the poison produced during the Samudra Manthana, turning his neck blue.
- This act earned him the epithet Nilakantha, symbolizing his sacrifice for the world's welfare.
Puja Rituals for Mahashivratri
- One should wake up early in the morning and wear clean clothes after taking a bath.
- After that, clean your house, especially the puja room.
- Light a ghee lamp (diya) and worship Lord Shiva with full faith and reverence.
- Visit the Shiva temple and perform abhishekam with Panchamrit (milk+curd+honey+ghee+sugar), leaves, fruits and sweets.
- Take Sankalpa for a full day of fasting.
- Spend the day in reverence and worship of Lord Shiva.
- One can chant Shiva chalisa and Shiva mantras.
Worship Lord Shiva for wealth and prosperity
Lord Shiva is worshipped for prosperity due to several reasons:
- Destroyer and Creator: Lord Shiva destroys the universe's negativity and obstacles. By destroying the negative forces, he creates space for positive energy, growth, and prosperity to flourish.
- Benevolent Nature: Despite being the destroyer, Lord Shiva is known for his compassionate and benevolent nature. He is easily pleased and blesses his devotees with prosperity and abundance.
- Divine Couple: Lord Shiva and his consort, Goddess Parvati, represent the divine couple in Hindu mythology. Performing their puja together brings prosperity and harmony into one's married life.
- Shiva Lingam: The Shiva Lingam, a symbolic representation of Lord Shiva, is worshipped for prosperity and fertility.
- Lord of Yogis: Lord Shiva is considered the supreme yogi who transcends worldly desires and attachments. Devotees can attain inner peace, balance, and prosperity by following his teachings and practising yoga and meditation.
Lord Shiva Mantra for Mahashivratri 2024
Lord Shiva is popularly known as Mahadeva and Bholenath. As per popular beliefs, he can be appeased easily. Here are some powerful Shiva Mantras that help you attain prosperity.
- "Om Namah Shivaaya".
- "Om Namo Bhagwate Rudraaya".
- "Om Tat Purushaaya Vidhmahe Mahadevaaya Dhimahee Tanno Rudra Prachodayaat.”
- "Karpoor Gauram Karunaavataaram, Sansar Saaram Bhujagendraa Haaram
Sadaa Vasantham Hridayaarevinde, Bhavam Bhavaani Sahitam Namaami"
Why is it advised not to sleep on Maha Shivaratri?
Sitting upright and chanting mantras has numerous benefits. Therefore, it's advised to stay awake during the whole night of Maha Shivaratri.
Why should we worship on Shivaratri?
We should pray and chant Vedic mantras to seek blessings from Lord Shiva.
When can I break my fast on Mahashivratri?
The ideal time to break your fast is between sunrise and the end of the Chaturdashi Tithi.
How should I break my Shivratri fast?
You can break your fast by consuming regular fruits and milk.
What are the rules or guidelines to follow on Shivratri?
Avoid consuming non-vegetarian food and onions during Maha Shivaratri.