Maha Shivratri Festival Today-Mahashivratri Images

Today ,The Great night of Lord Shiva ,devotees stay awake throught out the night offering prayers to Lord Shiva.They offer special food made from the fruits of the season,root vegetables and coconuts to the Lord.Special celebrations are the held in some of the major Shiva temples Varanashi,Kalahahasti(Andhra Pradesh), Somnath(Gujarat),and Chidambaram(Tamil Nadu) and jyotirlinga Temples.
This is an important today for the devotees of Shiva ,who stay awake throughout the night,praying to him.Today grand day ans auspicious occasion of mahashivratri, from the very early morning, Shiva temples are full of devotees, mostly womwn,who come to perform the traditional worship of Shivalinga.
Throughout the day, devotees abstain from eating food brake their fast only the next morning,after the nightlong worship.The day is considered especially anspicious for women.Married women pray for the well being of their husbands and sons ,while unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva,who is considered the ideal husband.
Hymns in praise of Lord Shiva are chanted with great fervour and devotion.People repeat the Panchakshara Mantra ,' Om Namah Shivaya'.It is belived that one who utters the name of Shiva during Shivratri with proper devotion is freed from all sins.He reaches the abode of Shiva and lives happily there getting liberation from the cycle of birth and death.Many pilgrims flock to the places where there are Shiva temples.
Shiva being an ascetic god, Maha Shivratri is very popular with ascetics.Thandai , drink made with cannabis,almonds, and milk, is essentially drunk by yje devout. This is so because cannabis is said to have been very dear to Shiva.The Purans contain many stories and legends describing the origin of this festival.
According to the legend asociated with it, during the Samudra Manthan, a pot of poision emerged from the ocean.This terrified the gods and demons as the poison was capable of destroying the entire world, and they ran to Shiva for help.To protect the world from its evil effects, Shiva drank the deadly poison but held it in his throat insted of swallowing it.This is why, his throat turned blue, and he was given the name Nilkantha, the blue-throated one.Shivratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva sved the world.

Maha Shivratri Festival Images

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