Om Namah Shivaya
This year, Maha Shivratri falls on the 1st of March 2022 with the first puja starting at 18:21 to 21:27, IST.It is the day of Shiva and for Shiva. Many believe Shiva is a person but it is not so.Shiva is a culmination of the whole creation and is omnipresent. Simply put, Shiva is the Universe, is life and is present in every living being.
One can understand more about Shiva by going deep within, meditating and rejoicing: not outwardly but inwardly.One can tap into the infinite energy that is deep within oneself and merge with Shiva.
This particular day holds more importance as it is believed one’s mental health and spiritual faculties are further enhanced.
Let us now understand the importance of Maha Shivaratri
Lord Shiva drank the poison that came from the churning of the ocean with the Sun in Aquarius. Goddess Parvati in turn, prayed that he is protected against the poison. Her prayers were answered when Rishi Atri placed the moon on his head to cool him down.
People understanding the supreme sacrifice made by Lord Shiva preferred to fast the whole day and night of Shivaratri with many remain awake chanting Lord Shiva’s name in reverence and pure bliss.
The significance of Lord Shiva drinking the poison also takes another meaning as it is said Lord Shiva drank the sins of humans. One can relieveoneself from their karmic burden that accumulates over many lifetimes if they fast on this day with utmost sincerity.
Not many may know that, when one fasts during the day, he gains prosperity and wealth while, one who fasts at night gains purification and relief from karmic debts.
As an ardent devotee of Lord Shiva, I, Pushpam Appalanaidu have for decades steadfastly undertaken fasts on Maha Shivaratri, performing pujas and chanting the name of Lord Shiva in reverence, staying awake the whole night.
It is believed, anyone who chants the mantra, Om Namah Shivaya during this day and night also gains immense benefits as it is extremely effective.The more the number of times one chants the mantra, the more they gain.
As an individual, I, Pushpam Appalanaidu prefer performing simple rituals that I believe anyone can do at home with utmost sincerity and love for Lord Shiva.
I start the day thanking Lord Shiva and to bless me. I seek the divine grace to flow and remove all obstacles.
After lighting the lamp with ghee, I perform abhishekam on the Linga with water, pure milk, curd, and honey. I decorate the Linga with available flowers and if possible, Bel leaves. Enjoying the rituals and chanting the mantra, I sit and meditate on him.
At the beginning and at the end, do remember to always be grateful to the entire Universe while acknowledging Lord Shiva is the entire Universe.
Om Namah Shivaya