Shivaratri is around the corner and many of us are excited for public holidays or the worshipping of Lord Shiva. It is the time before the arrival of spring of every year which happens around February or March. It is mainly celebrated by Hindu religion people who reside in Nepal and India. Although, there may be variations in the traditions and customs according to places and beliefs. This day is considered a sacred day for spiritual growth as well as material attainment. Shiva Tattva is present within us all and Ratri means Night. So, Shivaratri is the night to seek respite in the Shiva Principle. There are a lot of interesting facts about Lord Shiva.
Interesting Facts About Lord Shiva:
- There are about 1008 names of God Shiva to describe his attributes.
- The word “Shiva” is made of three senses: Sha + ee + va
Sha = Shareer or Body
Ee = eeshwari or life-giving energy
Va = Vayu or motion
Thus, Shiva represents the body with life and motion.
- Shiva is sublime. To elaborate more, Shiva is called “Vishwaroopa” meaning the entire universe is his form.
- Shiva is called “Rudra” and “Bholenath” as it represents Fierce and the most innocent one respectively. Shiva is present in all opposing values.
- There is a beautiful story about Lord Shiva:
Once, Brahma (Creator of the Universe) and Vishnu (Preserver of the Universe) wanted to know “Who is Shiva?” so they decided to search for him. Bishnu went to search for his head and Bishnu went to search for his feet. For thousands of years, they kept on searching and couldn’t find it. Finally, they both met in the middle and agreed that they couldn’t find Shiva. This is what Shivalinga is about as it is a symbolic representation of the infinite Shiva.
Stories Behind Shivaratri:
Shivaratri is believed to be the night when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava Nritya, the dance of primordial creation, preservation, and destruction.
Shiva drank poisonous negativity to protect the world. During Samundra Mantan, poison emanated from Vasuki, the serpent worn by Shiva. This poison can destroy the world unless it is stopped. Only Shiva can only stop it therefore, he drank the poison but his wife, Parvati stopped it in his throat leading him to be known as Visakantha meaning the one who holds poison on his throat. Although, he didn’t die but turned his neck blue.
Goddess Parvati and Lord Shiva married again on this very special day. On this auspicious day, the Shiva and Parvati temples are decorated and the wedding anniversary is celebrated.
How it is celebrated in Nepal?
Special puja is held at homes and temples. In Nepal, Pashupatinath Temple, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in Kathmandu welcomes a huge mass of devotees, saints, and people on this day to celebrate the day of Lord Shiva. Sadhus from India and Nepal flock here to meditate and worship Lord Shiva. Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Lingam which is commonly known as “Linga” which symbolizes the union of mind and soul. If we look at the physical structure, the upper part symbolizes the phallus or the penis and the lower part represents the yoni or the vulva. Collectively, it indicates that the union of these leads to the creation of another body.
Devotees who mark this day will start their fasting at night before the Shivaratri day and stay awake the whole night to give tribute to Lord Shiva. Also, devotees visit Shiva Temple all over the country to worship Shiva. Also, at night, people get together and start a campfire. It is also believed that a campfire will welcome spring and it is the beginning of warmer days. Bel leaves and flowers are given as offerings to Shiva.
Don’t in this day:
- Try to avoid Black clothing as it is considered inauspicious. It is believed that Red, yellow, green, and light colors are preferred in this day.
- Fasting in the day is highly recommended and avoid non-veg items if you are worshipping.
- Respecting elders and loving Youngers is never going trend. Always follow the instructions of elders and love the Youngers.
- Tulsi is never offered to Lord Shiva as this holy basil is given to Bishnu only.
- The offerings or Prasad offered to Shivalinga are not eaten and offered as it symbolizes bad luck and also, unmarried women are not allowed to touch the Shivalinga.
- Turmeric is not offered to Lord Shiva as it represents female essence.
- Champa and Ketki flowers are not used in worship as these flowers are cursed by the Lord himself.
- During this day, no grains, pulses, and vegetables are eaten.
These are the few things that happen in Shivaratri and although it is hyped over weed, bhang, and all, we should know this day is not for huge celebration but the day to reach out our spiritual feelings and faith to Lord Shiva. This sacred time is the perfect time to meditate and attain an enriching spiritual experience. If you have any more interesting stories regarding Shiva, then you can comment down below.