Shivaratri comes every month but Mahashivaratri comes once a year. This festival is celebrated on the Chaturdashi of Phalgun month. This time this festival is on Monday, March 11. The significance of Mahashivaratri is because it is the night of the union of Shiva and Shakti. Spiritually it is described as the night of union of nature and man. Shiva devotees keep fast on this day and get their blessings. The program of Water bath in temples lasts throughout the day. But do you know why Mahashivaratri is celebrated, what is the incident behind it?
Shiva appeared for the first time
According to mythology, on the day of Mahashivaratri, Shiva appeared for the first time. Shiva’s appearance was in the form of Jyotirlinga, the lingam of fire. A lingam that had neither the beginning nor the end. It is said that to find out the Shivalinga, Brahma was trying to see the topmost part of the Shivalinga as a swan but he could not succeed. He could not reach the topmost part of the Shivalinga. On the other hand, Lord Vishnu was also looking for the basis of Shivaling by taking the form of Varaha but he too could not find the basis.
Shiv and Shakti met
According to another popular story, Lord Shankar and Mother Parvati were married on the day of Mahashivaratri. For this reason, in Nepal, three days before Mahashivaratri, temples are decorated like mandaps. Mother Parvati and Shiva are groomed and rotated from house to house and they are married on Mahashivaratri. Due to this story, it is believed that the fasting of Mahashivaratri by Kuwari girls leads to a hasty marriage.
Origin of Neelkanth
According to the third popular story, Mahashivaratri is celebrated to commemorate the incident of Lord Shiva drinking poison and saving the whole world from it. In fact, during the Sagar Manthan, when a war was going on between the gods and the demons for the nectar, the poison named Kalkut came out of the ocean before the nectar. This poison was so dangerous that the entire universe could be destroyed by it. But only Lord Shiva could destroy it. Then Lord Shiva kept the poison called Kalkoot in his throat. Due to this, his throat became blue. After this incident, Lord Shiva was named Neelkanth.
The appearance of Lord Shiva Shankar took place on this day, which had neither the beginning nor the end. According to another mythological belief, Shivalingas were born at 64 different places on the day of Mahashivaratri. However, information about only 12 Jyotirlinga out of 64 is available. They are known as 12 Jyotirlingas (12 Jyotirlinga). It is believed that for every devotee who chants the name of these Jyotirlingas with a sincere heart, all his sins are destroyed. It is said that only the philosophy of these sexes fulfills the desires and the person is freed from the bondage of birth. Briefly know about all these 12 Jyotirlingas:
1. Somnath Jyotirlinga
The first Jyotirlinga is located on the banks of the Arabian Sea in Saurashtra city of Gujarat state and it is known as Somnath Jyotirlinga. It is said about this Jyotirlinga that it has been located here in every universe. It is believed about Somnath Jyotirlinga that Prajapati Daksha cursed the moon i.e. Som to have tuberculosis. To get rid of this curse, Shiva devotee Moon did penance of Shiva on the banks of the Arabian Sea. Pleased with this, Shiva appeared and gave a boon to the moon. The Shiva lingam that was established and worshiped by the moon is called Someshwar i.e. Somnath with the blessings of Shiva.
2. Mallikarjun Jyotirlinga
Srimallikarjuna sits on Mount Srisail on the banks of the Krishna River in the Krishna district of Andhra Pradesh. It is called Kailash of the South. It is believed that by worshiping this Jyotirlinga, one gets as much fruit as Ashwamedha Yajna and all kinds of sufferings are eradicated.
3. Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga
The third Jyotirlinga Mahakal is in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh. This Jyotirlinga is famous as ‘Mahakaleshwar’. The special thing is that of all the 12 Jyotirlingas, the only Mahakaleshwar is Dakshinamukhi, that is, they are facing south. According to religious beliefs, the lord of the south is Lord Yamraj himself. In such a situation, it is believed that whoever worships and worships Lord Mahakaleshwar with a true mind, gets freedom from the tortures offered by Yamraj after death.
4. Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga
Along with Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga, there is also Mamaleshwar Jyotirlinga. These two Shivalingas have been counted in the same Jyotirlinga. It is located in the Malwa region of Madhya Pradesh. It is believed that all pilgrims bring water from all the pilgrimages and offer it at Omkareshwar only then all their pilgrimages are considered complete. Otherwise, the pilgrimage remains incomplete.
5. Kedarnath Jyotirlinga
Kedarnath Jyotirlinga sits on the top of the Himalayas in Uttarakhand. Shri Kedarnath is also known as ‘Kedareshwar’. There is a temple of Shri Badri Vishal in the eastern direction from here. It is believed that a visit to Badrinath is incomplete and fruitless without seeing Lord Kedarnath.
6. Bhimashankar Jyotirlinga
Bhimshankar Jyotirlinga is located in Dakini, Maharashtra. Dakini falls in the east of Mumbai and north of Poona. Bhimshankar Jyotirlinga is known as Motoshwar Mahadev. It is believed that the philosophy of this Jyotirlinga gets rid of all sorrows.
7. Vishwanath Jyotirlinga
Vishveshwar Jyotirlinga is present in Kashi Nagar in Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. It is also called Saptam Jyotirlinga. It is believed that Lord Shiva dwells in this ‘Jyotirlinga’. According to mythological beliefs, a person attains the ultimate light with the vision of Vishwanath Jyotirlinga. It is said that as much virtue is attained by having darshans of all the sexes, only one time one gets the vision of ‘Vishwanath’. It is believed that under the virtue of hundreds of births, there is an opportunity to see Vishwanathji.
8. Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga
Trimbakeshwar Jyotirlinga is 28 km from Panchvati in the Nashik district of Maharashtra. The Trimbakeshwar temple is very ancient. Three small Shivalingas in a small pit inside the temple. These three Shivalingas are known as Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. Shivpuran describes that on the prayer of Gautama Rishi and the Godavari and all the deities, Lord Shiva decided to reside at this place and became known as Trimbakeshwar.
9. Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga
Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is located in Santhal Pargana of Jharkhand state. The place where the temple of Shri Vaidyanath Jyotirlinga is called ‘Vaidyanathdham’. This Jyotirlinga is also called Manokamna Linga.
10. Nageshwar Jyotirlinga
Nageshwar Jyotirlinga is near Gomti Dwarka in the Baroda region of Gujarat. This place is also called Darukavan.
11. Rameshwar Jyotirlinga
Rameshwar Jyotirlinga sits in Rameshwar, Tamil Nadu. It is also called Dasam Jyotirlinga.
12. Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga
Ghrishneshwar Jyotirlinga is near village Beerulath, about 18 km from Daulatabad in Maharashtra. This Jyotirlinga is also called Ghushmeshwar and Ghushneshwar.
It is believed that whoever worships Lord Shiva on this day receives the blessing of Lord Shiva and attains Salvation. Fasting on this day can equal the benefits of a whole year’s rigorous prayer. The scriptures quote Lord Shiva as promising that whoever worships Him, and fasts on Mahashivratri will be dearer to him than his son Kartikeya!
Special care is taken in the worship of Shiva on Maha Shivaratri. It is considered auspicious to offer ash on shivling at the time of Shiva worship. Shiva loves bilva patra very much. Therefore shiva must offer a Bela leaf. Apart from this dhatura should also be used in shiva worshipping.