Mahashivratri

Generally I like writing topical blogs and traditions and folklore concerning Festivals is an area of special interest. Therefore, I ran series of blogs on Diwali and then on Christmas. Mahashivratri has lots of religious significance but is not a festival in a sense Diwali, Holi and Christmas are! However, one of my readers actually enquired whether I would be writing a blog on Mahashivratri and also very generously sent me some material on the significance of the day! I thank my blog follower, an erstwhile colleague and a friend Sanjit for his coaxing me and inspiring me to writing this blog!

Lord Shiva or Bholenath, Shankar, Mahesh, Shambhu, Mahadev and hosts of other names by which he is known as and worshipped by his devotees, is amongst the most popular of the Gods. Forming part of the holy trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh, who are creator, operator and destroyer respectively, the question arises that why is the destroyer most popular and more popular than creator and operator? Because he is not destroyer in the sense we understand destruction. He is destroyer of everything negative – energy, thoughts, karma. He is also the easiest to please and therefore fondly addressed as Bholenath or Bholebaba for his this innocence.

Interestingly, Mahashivratri is celebrated not only to herald birth of Lord Shiva, but also his marriage to Goddess Parvati that was solemnised on this day. The long queues out side Shiva temples bear testimony to his popularity amongst his devotees. In fact, Mahadev is a holistic god, who combines the truth and beauty for the larger good giving birth to the phrase Satyam Shivam Sundaram.

His enigma is his charm. While his abode in Himalaya on Mount Kailash is inaccessible (having never been climbed ever), his other abode at crematoriums ( where aghoris worship his destructive form through various rituals) only add to his enigma, endearing him more and more to his devotees.

All the festivals, apart from their religious significance and folklore associated with them, give us a message of peace, sacrifice, brotherhood, frugality and unity and the underlying message should not be lost in the frivolities of celebrations.

9 thoughts on “Mahashivratri

  1. On a lighter vein, unmarried women worship Shiva in order to be blessed with a husband like him – strong , powerful, passionate, yet modest, gentle ,easy to please and a person of simple tastes. The exception is that no woman tolerates the other qualities of Shiva in their husbands. ..try returning home drunk or high on ganja and with a snake around your neck and you will find out soon enough…

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      1. Ha ha, really? Just goes to show that our religious, social and cultural beliefs are not really as logical or as consistent as we would like to believe.. Hence there are millions of inconsistencies like this. Take the most glaring example of deification of women in the form of goddesses and mothers and sisters at an intellectual plane and mistreating, raping and killing them at birth in real life. Why do women require special quotas in many walks of life if we were really treating them as equals? They even have to fight for the right to equal salaries.. The list goes on.. 😊

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  2. Respested Sir..I admire Your Goodself sharp recall and devoted writing on Mahashivratri a Powerful Night which is taken with much importance in families like of us. Since childhood my parents used to take me temple but lateron I knew its importance and started observing fast too.Today after reading I was overwhelmed that out of so busy life yourself keep on fetching us towards Hindu festivals and days of special imprtance like of Magh month. Mahadev be happy on thyself and bless always !

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  3. Apologies for the late comments. Thank you so much for the wonderblog on Shivaratri.
    It is interesting to note that Shiva’s family is full of opposites. Shiva’s snake can be dangerous for Ganesha’s mouse and Karthikeya’s peacock can eat up Shiva’s snake.
    Shiva’s vahan is Bull and that of Parvathi’s is lion which is again dangerous for the bull to survive.
    However inspite of these contradictions, his family lives happily together inspiring us to let go of our differences and move forward in life together, be it family life or corporate life.

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