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  • Writer's pictureKailash Mansarovar Yatra

The Origin of Maha Shivratri

Maha Shivratri is the celebration of the holiest of the holy deities, the god of all gods, the destroyer, Lord Shiva. It is basically a Hindu festival celebrated largely in India and in Nepal. The Maha Shivratri translates to “the great night of Lord Shiva” and there are many mythological tales that relate to the origin behind the celebration of this auspicious and divine day. Today, we will discuss some of those various legends stating how and why the Maha Shivratri started to be celebrated.

According to a very popular legend, after the Earth was faced with dangerous and imminent destruction, Goddess Parvati among other gods pleaded to Lord Shiva to save the world from the chaos. Pleased with the prayers, Shiva agrees to save mother earth but on one condition that all the people of Earth would have to worship him with dedication and passion. From that day onwards, it is said, the night came to be known as Maha Shivratri and people began to worship Lord Shiva with great passion till eternity.

Another mythological legend explains the all-night worship of Shiva on this day. The story goes that there was a poor tribal man once who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Once he went deep inside the dark forest for collecting some firewood and lost his way back. It got dark really quick and the wild animals’ growls could be heard. Terrified, he climbed on a nearby wood apple tree for shelter until the next morning arrives. He rested on a branch of the tree but couldn’t sleep due to being afraid he would fall off the tree. To stay awake he started to pluck the leaves of the tree one by one and throw them down while chanting Bholenath’s name. When the dawn finally came, the man saw that he has dropped a thousand leaves on the ground onto a linga beneath the tree. His unwitting all-night worship of the lord pleased him and Lord Shiva came in front of the man. By the grace of the lord, the man was granted eternal divine bliss. This story is often recited on the day of the Maha Shivratri by devotees who are on fast. After observing the all-night fast, devotees eat the Prasad offered to Shiva.

Mahashivratri cannot be defined as just a ritual; it actually is much more than that. It is a cosmic definition of the Hindu culture and universe. It dispels the ignorance from each one of our minds and fills it with the light of knowledge and makes us aware of our own universe.

We at ComfortMyTravel wish you and your family a great and blissful Maha Shivratri. May the divine blessings of the Mahadev be on you and fulfil all your wishes.

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