View Full Version : MahaShivratri (March 10th, 2013) - The Supreme Vrata

05 March 2013, 07:50 AM
MahaShivratri Vrat Mahima

In the Ishana Samhita, Lord Shiva says to Maa Parvati, ''The fourteenth lunar day of the dark fortnight of the month of Falguna is a dark auspicious night known as Shivratri. Anyone observing a fast on this day successfully propitiates Me. A fast observed on this day is far superior to any other form of worship like bathing Me, and even offering clothes, incense and flowers to Me.''

The Skanda Purana states, 'The vrat of Shivratri is Supreme, there is none superior to it. The jiva who does not worship the Lord of all the three worlds on this day with ardent devotion, is bound to be mired in the vicious cycle of life and death for thousands of years.'

MahaShivratri is the festival to worship and propitiate Lord Shiva, the Lord of all riches, the Supreme Being, the all pervading, the very personification of Truth-Absolute, Consciousness-Absolute and Bliss-Absolute, the attribute-less, the formless, the Supreme Lord of the universe. It was on the auspicious day of MahaShivratri that jyotirlinga came into existence on earth; and this is the pious day of Lord Shiva's marriage too. As per the laws of Nature, it is the unique occasion when the stars and planets are conducive to the union of the individual consciousness of the jiva with the Supreme Consciousness of Shiva, and thus aid in the realization of their essential unity.

Shiva means beneficence. MahaShivratri is a night of Supreme beneficence. Jap, austerities and fast done on this day earn a thousand times more religious merits compared to that accrued from the same effort exerted on any other day.

MahaShivratri Festival - Message & Symbolics

The festival of MahaShivaratri awakens us to the idea that as Lord Shiva lives on the snow-clad mountain-top of cool equanimity, we too should, if we want to elevate our lives, establish ourselves at the pinnacle of sadhana, unmindful of the pairs of opposites like happiness and sorrow. Don't go headlong in enjoying pleasure; rather put it to appropriate use by sharing it with others. Don't be miserable in adverse circumstances. Instead, take advantage of such circumstances. Get rid of diseases through fasting and self-control. If a friend betrays you, know that the Lord wants to rid you of attachment and "my-ness" through this betrayal. All the troubles in the world are brought to you to deliver you from attachment. Make good use of them.

When you go to Lord Shiva's temple, you see Nandi, the ox. The stupid in the society are likened to an ox. They are deprecated. But the ox is given respect in Lord Shiva's temple. The implication is that even the one as dumb as the ox is worshipped, if he renders selfless service, worships the real God, the Ultimate Truth, and undertakes the Lord's work. What is Lord's work? Whatever is done for the good of all, for the happiness of all is Lord's work. "बहुजनहिताय, बहुजनसुखाय". One who worships Lord Shiva, that is, works for the good and for the happiness of others, intending to serve the Indweller Lord thereby, will be worshipped sooner or later, even if he is a dumb fellow in the eyes of the society - this is the message from worship of Nandi.

Lord Shiva has serpents around His neck. The Enlightened ones know the art of reforming even those evil people who are venomous like serpents, to make them useful for the society. Lord Shiva is called Bhole-Nath, i.e. He always protects the innocent. Those who want to cross the world of transmigration, but are tormented by the arrows of lust are protected by Lord Shiva when they remember Him.

Lord Shiva adorns the moon of the second lunar fortnight on His head. This is indicative that the Enlightened ones acknowledge even the smallest virtue in others.

The Ganga flows from Lord Shiva's head. Waves of knowledge flow from the head of those who have reached the heights of equanimity. That explains why a halo is always shown behind the head in the pictures of gods of Sanatan Dharma.

By reducing Cupid, the god of love to ashes, by opening His third eye, Lord Shiva gives the message, "O Man! The Shiva Consciousness is hidden in you too. Open your third eye of discrimination to reduce your desires, passions and bondages to ashes."

Lord Shiva remains ever immersed in the bliss of divine communion. Hence His aura is so powerful that even animals, which are born enemies of each other, remain established on the throne of equanimity in His presence. A single meeting between a lion and a bull, a serpent and a rat is enough to bring about the end of the latter in both cases, but in the presence of Lord Shiva, they forget their mutual enmity because of the equanimity in Lord Shiva's eyes. Hence, you too tread the path of experiencing the Self, so that you get rid of the feeling of hatred in you. Hatred pollutes the blood. So, Shivaratri is the festival that brings us the message that we should transform such mental modes which burn the heart, into the mode of Brahman, and realize our Brahmic Self.

Lord Shiva drank the poison Halaahal, during the churning of the ocean. He neither swallowed nor vomitted the poison; but held it in His throat and is hence called "Neelkanthh" (one with the blue throat). You too are the Lord Shiva of your family, your house. Whenever any good thing is brought to the house, give it to your children, wife/husband, family, etc.; and whenever there is Halaahal in the form of obstacles and troubles, hold it in the throat and you will remain ever ecstatic in Self-Bliss like Neelkanthh. The senior members of a family, neighbourhood, monastery, temple, institution, village, etc. should like Lord Shiva, take the initiative in any endeavour and let others take the credit for success.

If you are a wife, remember Ma Parvati, the universal Mother Jagadamba as to how she co-operates with Lord Shiva in His samadhi! You too should think how you can help your husband tread the path of Self-Realization. And if you are a husband, think how you can help your wife to become great as Parvati.

The festival of Shivratri brings us the message that the more we are selfless and compassionate, and the more we restrain ourselves from finding faults with others, and meditate on the Divine Supreme Being, the more will our Shiva Consciousness be enhanced, and lesser will we be influenced by pleasures and pains. We will awaken into our equanimous nature, our Divine Being, and our heart will overflow with bliss, love, courage and sweetness.

(This article has been prepared based on excerpts from the Satsang of Param Pujya Sant Shri Asaramji Bapuji. For more information about Pujya Bapuji, kindly visit – www.ashram.org (http://www.ashram.org))

05 March 2013, 05:50 PM
hariḥ oṁ

A friend ask me what can one do on maha śiva rātri ? Here was my response:

My recommendation is to be with śiva... now what can that mean? He is none other then one's own Self.

Any way one can be within one's Self is to be with Him. The clue is He is non-different from us, with or without enlightenment. We can never wonder away from Him because no matter where we go He is there already. We ( you are ) Him. This is the waking up that for many
takes a life-time to appreciate.

So, spend time with Him , be full of Him. This may mean silence or worship, He is there because He is you.

iti śivaṁ

05 March 2013, 07:12 PM
hariḥ oṁ


there may be some slight confusion on the title of this string:

"MahaShivratri (2nd Mar'10) - The Supreme Vrata"

Please note that maha śiva rātri is the 10th of March, 2013. Perhaps that was the intent of the orginal post/title.

iti śivaṁ

06 March 2013, 08:09 AM
_/\_ Yajvan

I agree with ur thoughts & thanxs for pointing the error.

The festival of Shivratri brings us the message that the more we are selfless and compassionate, and the more we restrain ourselves from finding faults with others, and meditate on the Divine Supreme Being, the more will our Shiva Consciousness be enhanced, and lesser will we be influenced by pleasures and pains. We will awaken into our equanimous nature, our Divine Being, and our heart will overflow with bliss, love, courage and sweetness.


Eastern Mind
07 March 2013, 07:42 AM
Vannakkam: 'Enjoy' Sivaratri, for those of you who will celebrate. In Mauritius 250 000 to 400 000 devotees will make it to the sacred lake, over this week and next, many by foot. Not bad, considering the island is only 1.3 million. My friends all wanted me to stay there.


Aum Namasivaya

07 March 2013, 08:33 AM
I wish to convey heartiest Mahashivaratri wishes to all friends here.

09 March 2013, 10:59 AM
I too wish all the forum members a Happy MahaShivaratri!

09 March 2013, 05:17 PM
Happy Shivaratri to all!

How will you all be celebrating?

It would be nice if members could post pictures of celebrations in their area. How wonderful it would be, if on every festival day each member posted pictures from their temples showing how the occasion was being observed.

09 March 2013, 05:38 PM
Namaste and Happy Maha Shivarathri Celebration to all Members!

10 March 2013, 12:11 AM

10 March 2013, 12:57 AM
Vannakkam and Happy Sivaratri,

Happy Shivaratri to all!

How will you all be celebrating?

There'll be fasting and minor milk pot processions in some temples. I'll be leaving to the temple in a while! Will update when I get back. :)

Aum Namah Shivaya

10 March 2013, 03:07 AM
Dear BholenAth Shambho,

Please bless me so that the surrender at Govind's Lotus Feet will be real, complete and sincere.

A Bel Leaf for You.

I thank prANanAth Shri KRshNa for directing a dumb jIva to Mahashivratri fast and its importance, by actually carrying her to KedArnAth, Your dhAm - first in dream and years later in waking. I meditate on the effect You cast on devotees as they slowly approach the dhAm. May the maun that lasts at the great height be preserved back into the world.


Today the beautiful Gopi (Gopeshwar Mahadev) will be worshipped with bel leaves in BarasAnA dhAm, the village in VrajamanDaL where RadhArAni appeared and grew up as the adopted daughter of VRshabhAnu and KIrtidA.

Jai Gopeshwar MahAdev
Om namah shivAya
om namo bhagavate vAsudevAya

10 March 2013, 05:11 AM
Happy Shivratri to everyone!

Har Har Mahadev!!

How will you all be celebrating?

Our local Shiva temple has a day-long Bhajan session. I woke up at 4 am and will spend most of the day there. I am also fasting today.

11 March 2013, 02:03 AM

Just to update what went on at the famous Sivan temple here.

There were four pujas from night till morning, the first starting at 9 pm, followed by another one at 12 am, then another at 3 am, and finally the last one at 6 am. All the pujas had their own abhishegams about an hour before for each.

Initially, I didn't plan to fast and stay awake till morning but somehow I felt this was a chance for me to do this now, because who knows when next? So I fasted and stayed awake the whole night. The puja for Sivalingam was beautiful and elaborate. And so were the abhishegams. It was extremely crowded, this being a Sivan temple and all.

During the third or fourth abhishegam, when the chief priest was chanting some mantras with the entire crowd quietly praying, a large, white butterfly suddenly appeared and fluttered straight into the sanctum sanctorum where Sivalingam was being bathed. That was a mysterious thing to witness, I feel.

After the 6 am puja there was a short milk pot procession to the temple from the temple hall.

Aum Namah Shivaya