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Maha Shivaratri 2021: The do's and don'ts while observing Maha Shivratri Vrat

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New Delhi, Mar 10: Maha Shivratri is one of the most auspicious days for Lord Shiva devotees. This year, the festival is celebrated across the country on 11 March (Thursday).

It is observed on the Chaturdashi Tithi, Krishna Paksha of Phalguna month that signifies the defeat of ignorance and darkness. This year Chaturdashi Tithi begins at 5:20 pm on Friday (March 12) and will culminate at 7:02 pm on Saturday (March 13).

Maha Shivaratri 2021: The dos and donts while observing Maha Shivratri Vrat

The legends of Mahashivratri come from different stories, one is how Shiva swallowed Halahala poison to save the world, another is that Mahashivratri is the anniversary of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati's marriage. Devotees keep fast, chant prayers and keep an all-night vigil on Maha Shivratri.

Though, there are no strict rules for praying to Bholenath. However, there simple things that one must avoid on this auspicious occasion:

  • Wake up early, take a bath and wear clean clothes for puja
  • Chant OM Namah Shivaya as many times as possible.
  • It is advisable not to wear black for Mahashivaratri poojas. Hence, if you are fasting or going to the Shiva temple, choose colours such as red, pink and yellow.
  • It is advised to fast with fruits or foods (Kheer or Halwa) that are easily digestible. t is advisable if devotees stay away from food items such made from rice, wheat, and pulses.
  • One should especially make sure that the elders in the house are not hurt. Make extra efforts to help them and try to avoid confrontations with them.
  • Do not offer vermillion (sindoor/kumkum) to the Shiva Linga.
  • According to the ancient Hindu scriptures, one must never offer Tulsi (holy basil) to Lord Shiva. The reason is that Tulsi is considered to be an auspicious offering made only to Lord Vishnu. Hence, Tulsi is forbidden from Shiva poojas.
  • Lord Shiva had cursed these flowers, hence both Champa and Ketki must never be used in Shiva prayers instead offering Bel Patra is a part of worshipping the 'Shivling'.
  • Do not consume tobacco or alcohol.
  • Don't do a full parikrama of the Shiva Linga. Go around in a semi-circle and return to where you started from.
  • Do not offer coconut water to Shiva Linga.

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