Maha Shivratri 2018: Devotees throng Shiva temples on this auspicious occasion
Maha Shivaratri 2018 is one of the biggest festivals in the Hindu calendar. The date celebrates several myths surrounding Lord Shiva. Thousands of devotees of Lord Shiva thronged the famous Shiva temples across the city, where special arrangements had been made for prayers.
Mahashivratri literally translates to the 'Great night of Shiva'. It falls in the Hindu month of Phalgun.
Mahashivratri 2018 Puja Date and Time
Mahashivratri Puja Timings this year have been given as starting at eight minutes past midnight on February 14th and ending at one in the morning, the same day. In the morning, the auspicious timing for Shiva Puja is 7.30 a.m. to 3.20 p.m. The Puja can be performed once or four times during the night, depending on how staunchly devoted one is to the deity. Traditionally, the fast is broken only after the Puja is over and after bathing in the morning.
Devotees perform special prayers
On this occasion, devotees offered Chandan, milk, 'bellpatri', 'dhatura', 'tila' and flowers to the 'Shiv-ling.' Groups of North Indians had organised ''puja'' and made an arrangement of ''Prasad'' and ''Bhakti-Geet Sandhya'' in different parts of the city.
A night dedicated to the Divine
Maha Shivratri is the night that celebrates the convergence of Shiva and Shakti that makes one 'Sampooran' (complete). Lord Shiva who otherwise is described as a Yogi, a celibate, a 'Virakt' (unattached), also has another dimension for his followers, the one who embodies as 'Ardhnareshwar' and hence symbolizes how man and woman are equal partners for a fruitful life. Devotees stay awake all night, singing hymns and prayers, to seek Lord Shiva's blessings.
How do people honour the festival?
Major temples are attended during Maha Shivaratri, and the Mandi fair is a particularly famous celebration, held for seven days.
Maha Shivratri on 13th or 14th February 2018
Amidst confusion whether Mahashivaratri falls on 13th or 14th February 2018, as per astrologers, the spiritual benefits of fasting on 13th February 2018 are tremendous as it is on 13th that along with Pradosh, Chaturdashi will begin at 10:22 pm and will continue till 12:17 on 14th February 2018. Whichever day you choose, let's celebrate Maha Shivratri 2018 on the night dedicated to the Divine.