Download Mahashivaratri - London Sri Murugan Temple

yes no Was this document useful for you?
   Thank you for your participation!

* Your assessment is very important for improving the workof artificial intelligence, which forms the content of this project

Document related concepts

Ramcharitmanas wikipedia , lookup

Hindu deities wikipedia , lookup

Parvati wikipedia , lookup

Vishnu sahasranama wikipedia , lookup

Shiva wikipedia , lookup

Ādityahṛdayam wikipedia , lookup

Ardhanarishvara wikipedia , lookup

Kartikeya wikipedia , lookup

Pratyabhijna wikipedia , lookup

Shaivism wikipedia , lookup

Tamil mythology wikipedia , lookup

Vandana Shiva wikipedia , lookup

LGBT themes in Hindu mythology wikipedia , lookup

Hindu mythology wikipedia , lookup

1-Mahashivaratri Festival. ..................................................................................................... 2
1.1-Why Celebrate Maha Shivratri? ............................................................................... 3
1.2-When is Shivaratri? ....................................................................................................... 4
1.3-Shivaratri Rituals. .......................................................................................................... 5
1.4-Shivaratri Pooja.............................................................................................................. 6
1.5-Shivaratri Celebrations. .............................................................................................. 8
1.6-Shivaratri Fast................................................................................................................. 9
1.7-Significance of Shivratri. .......................................................................................... 11
2-Mahashivaratri Legends. .................................................................................................. 12
2.1-Marriage of Shiva and Shakti. ................................................................................ 12
2.2-Samudra Manthan. ...................................................................................................... 14
2.3-Legend of Shiva Linga. .............................................................................................. 15
2.4-The Legend of Lubdhaka. ......................................................................................... 17
2.5-The Legend of Ganga. ................................................................................................ 19
2.6-Lord Shiva′s Assurance. ............................................................................................ 20
3-About Lord Shiva. ................................................................................................................ 20
3.1-About Goddess Parvati. ............................................................................................. 20
3.2-Shiva Tandava. .............................................................................................................. 22
3.3-Shiva Linga. .................................................................................................................... 24
3.4-Shiva Aarti. ..................................................................................................................... 25
3.5-Shiva Chalisa.................................................................................................................. 27
3.6-Shiva Prayer. .................................................................................................................. 31
3.7-Maha Mrityunjay Mantra. ......................................................................................... 33
3.8-Different Names of Lord Shiva. ............................................................................. 34
4-Shiva related links. ............................................................................................................. 39
1-Mahashivaratri Festival.
Mahashivaratri Festival or the ‘The Night of Shiva’ is celebrated with devotion and
religious fervor in honor of Lord Shiva, one of the deities of Hindu Trinity. Shivaratri
falls on the moonless 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun,
which corresponds to the month of February - March in English Calendar. Celebrating
the festival of Shivaratri devotees observe day and night fast and perform ritual
worship of Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva.
Legends of MahashivratriThere are various interesting legends related to the festival
of Maha Shivaratri. According to one of the most popular legends, Shivaratri marks
the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Some believe that it was on the auspicious
night of Shivaratri that Lord Shiva performed the ‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal
creation, preservation and destruction. Another popular Shivratri legend stated in
Linga Purana states that it was on Shivaratri that Lord Shiva manifested himself in
the form of a Linga. Hence the day is considered to be extremely auspicious by Shiva
devotees and they celebrate it as Mahashivaratri - the grand night of Shiva.
Traditions and Customs of ShivaratriVarious traditions and customs related to
Shivaratri Festival are dutifully followed by the worshippers of Lord Shiva. Devotees
observe strict fast in honor of Shiva, though many go on a diet of fruits and milk
some do not consume even a drop of water. Devotees strongly believe that sincere
worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Shivaratri, absolves a person of sins
and liberates him from the cycle of birth and death. Shivaratri is considered especially
auspicious for women. While married women pray for the wellbeing of their husband’s
unmarried women pray for a husband like Lord Shiva, who is regarded as the ideal
To mark the Shivratri festival, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath,
preferably in river Ganga. After wearing fresh new clothes devotees visit the nearest
Shiva temple to give ritual bath to the Shiva Lingum with milk, honey, water etc.
On Shivaratri, worship of Lord Shiva continues all through the day and night. Every
three hours priests perform ritual pooja of Shivalingam by bathing it with milk,
yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar and water amidst the chanting of “Om Namah
Shivaya’ and ringing of temple bells. Nightlong vigil or jaagran is also observed in
Shiva temples where large number of devotees spend the night singing hymns and
devotional songs in praise of Lord Shiva. It is only on the following morning that
devotee break their fast by partaking prasad offered to the deity.
1.1-Why Celebrate Maha Shivratri?
Maha Shivratri, the night of the worship of Shiva, occurs on the 14th night of the new
moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna (Feb / March) when Hindus offer
special prayer to the lord of destruction.
Here're three reasons to celebrate Shivratri:
1. The absolute formless God, Sadashiv appeared in the form of "Lingodbhav Moorti"
exactly at midnight on Maha Shivratri. That is why all Shiva devotees keep vigil during
the night of Shivratri and do "Shivlingam abhishekham" (coronation of the phallic
idol) at midnight.
Did You Know?
God in his manifestation as Vishnu made his appearance as Krishna at Gokul at
midnight, 180 days after Shivratri, commonly known as Janmashtami. Thus, the
circle of one year is divided into two by these two auspicious days of the Hindu
2. Lord Shiva was married to Devi Parvati on Shivratri. Remember Shiva minus
Parvati is pure 'Nirgun Brahman'. With his illusive power, (Maya, Parvati) He becomes
the "Sagun Brahman" for the purpose of the pious devotion of his devotees.
3. It is also believed that on Shivratri, Lord Shiva became 'Neelkantham' or the bluethroated by swallowing the deadly poison that came up during the churning of "Kshir
Sagar" or the milky ocean. The poison was so deadly that even a drop in His stomach,
which represents the universe, would have annihilated the entire world. Hence, He
held it in His neck, which turned blue due to the effect of poison. Shivratri is therefore
also a day of thanksgiving to the Lord for protecting us from annihilation.
The 14th shloka of Shivmahimna Stotra says: "O three eyed Lord, when the poison
came up through the churning of the ocean by the gods and demons, they were all
aghast with fear as if the untimely end of all creation was imminent. In your kindness,
you drank all the poison that still makes your throat blue. O Lord, even this blue mark
does but increase your glory. What is apparently a blemish becomes an ornament in
one intent on ridding the world of fear."
1.2-When is Shivaratri?
Shivaratri 2015 is on February 17, Tuesday
Auspicious festival of Mahashivaratri falls on the 13th or the 14th night of the new
moon during Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Phalgun. The Sanskrit term,
Krishna Paksha means the period of waning moon or the dark fortnight and Phalguna
corresponds to the month of February - March in English Calendar. Shivaratri Festival
is celebrated on a moonless night.
According to Hindu mythology, Shivaratri or ‘Shiva's Great Night’ symbolizes the
wedding day of Lord Shiva and Parvati. Many however, believe, Shivaratri is the night
when Lord Shiva performed the Tandava Nritya - the dance of primordial creation,
preservation and destruction. Celebrating the festival in a customary manner,
devotees give a ritual bath to the Lingam with thepanchagavya - milk, sour milk,
urine, butter and dung. Celebrations of Shivaratri Festival mainly take place at night.
Devotees of Lord Shiva throng Shiva temples across the country and spend ‘the Night
of Lord Shiva’ by chanting verses and hymns in praise of the Lord. The festival holds
special meaning for the ladies. They pray to Goddess Parvati also called ′Gaura′, the
giver of ′suhag′ for good husbands, marital bliss and a long and prosperous married
1.3-Shivaratri Rituals.
Devotees of Lord Shiva observe the Shivaratri Festival by following the prescribed
rituals with sincerity and devotion. All through the day, devotees abstain from eating
food and break their fast only the next morning, after the nightlong worship. Ritual
baths of Shivalinga in the numerous Shiva temples by Shiva worshipper, mainly
women, is another significant feature of Shivratri customs and traditions. Devotees
strongly believe that ritual worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Shivaratri
absolves them of past sins and they are blessed with Moksha.
Rituals observed on a Shivaratri Morning: As a tradition devotees wake up early
in the morning of the Mahashivratri day and take a ritual sunrise bath, preferably in
the holy waters of river Ganga. They also offer prayers to the Sun God, Vishnu and
Shiva as a part of a purification rite observed on all-important Hindu festivals. After
wearing fresh new clothes devotees visit the nearest Shiva Temple to give the
customary bath to the Shivalinga.
On a Shivratri day, Shiva temples are thronged by devotees, mainly women, who
come to perform the traditional Shivalinga pooja and seek blessings from the god. At
times there is so much rush in the temples that devotees have to wait for their turn
to observe pooja. At their turn for worship, devotees circumambulate the Shivalinga,
three or seven times, and then pour water over it. Some also pour milk. Sounds of
bell and shouts of ‘Shankarji ki Jai’ or (Hail Shiva) reverberate in the temple premises.
Ritual Bath of Shivalinga: Following the rituals prescribed in the Shiva Purana,
every three hours, Shivalingam is given a special bath with milk, yoghurt, honey,
sandalwood paste and rose water. Puja, meditation and chanting of ‘Om Namah
Shivaya’ accompany the ritual bath. Following the bath, vermilion paste is applied on
the linga. Traditionally, leaves of a forest tree Aegle marmelos (bilwa, maredu, wood
apple) are used for Shiva puja. Thereafter, Bilwa leaves, which have to be a stalk
with three leaves, is kept on top of the Shivalinga. Ber or jujube fruit is a special
offering to the god on this day. Beetle leaves are also offered by some. Some also
offer bilwa leaves in the belief that the Goddess Lakshmi resides in them. Others
believe it is offered for its cooling effects on the hot-tempered deity. Many devotees
also decorate the linga with flowers and garlands and offer incense sticks and fruit.
Significance of Puja Items
According to the Shiva Purana, there is a special significance of the six
essential puja items used in the Shiva worship.
Bathing of Shivalinga with water, milk and honey and wood apple or bel leaves
added to it, represents purification of the soul.
The vermilion paste applied on the linga after the ritual bath represents virtue.
Offering of fruits symbolizes longevity and gratification of desires.
Burning of incense sticks yields wealth.
The lighting of the lamp symbolizes attainment of knowledge.
Offering of betel leaves marks satisfaction with worldly pleasures.
All-Night Shiva Worship: Worship of Lord Shiva continues all through the night on
Shivaratri Festival. Devotees stay awake all night and spend the night in Shiva
temples in worship of Lord Shiva. Singing of hymns and verses in praise and devotion
of Lord Shiva besides the intense chanting of Om Namah Shivay, the mantra that
is said free people from all their sins, continue through the night on Shivaratri.
Special worship of Shiva by priests continues through the nightlong prayer vigil.
During this ritual worship, Lord Shiva is offered special food made from the fruits of
the season, root vegetables and coconuts. Those observing the Shivaratri
Fast break their fast the next morning by consuming the prasad offered to Shiva.
1.4-Shivaratri Pooja.
Shivaratri Pooja has been given tremendous significance in Hindu mythology. It is
said that ritual worship of Lord Shiva on a Shivaratri day pleases Lord Shiva the most.
Devotees further believe that by pleasing Lord Shankara on the auspicious Shivaratri
day, a person is absolved of past sins and is blessed with Moksha or salvation.
Merits of Shivaratri Puja: According to Shiva Purana, sincere worship of Lord Shiva
yields merits including spiritual growth for the devotees. It also provides extensive
details on the right way to perform Shivratri Puja.
Shiva Purana further says that performing abhisheka of ShivaLinga with six
different dravyas including milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar and water while
chanting Sri Rudram, Chamakam and Dasa Shanthi pleases Lord Shiva the most.
According to the mythology, each of these dravya used in the abhisheka blesses a
unique quality:
Milk is for the blessing of purity and piousness.
Yogurt is for prosperity and progeny.
Honey is for sweet speech.
Ghee is for victory.
Sugar is for happiness.
Water is for purity.
Besides, worship of Lord Shiva on Shivratri is also considered to be extremely
beneficial for women. While, married women pray to Shiva for the wellbeing of their
husbands and sons, unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, who is
considered to be the ideal husband.
Getting Ready for Shivratri Puja: To perform the worship of Lord Shiva on
Shivratri, devotees wake up early and take a ritual bath, preferably in the holy waters
of river Ganga. This is followed by worship to Sun God, Vishnu and Shiva in
accordance with the purification rite observed on all-important Hindu festivals.
Devotees then wear fresh new clothes and pay a visit to the nearest Shiva temple.
As a tradition, devotees observe a fast on a Shivaratri day. Some do not consume
even a drop of water.
Performing Maha Shivaratri Pooja: Following the method prescribed in Shiva
Purana, priests perform ritual puja of Shiva Linga every three hours all through the
day and night of Shivaratri Festival. During this pooja, chants of Om Namah Shivaya
and sounds of bells reverberate in the temple. Following the bath with milk, yoghurt,
honey, ghee, sugar and water that helps in the purification of the soul a vermilion
paste is applied on the Linga as it represents virtue. These six items form an
indispensable part of Shivaratri, be it a simple ceremony at home or grand temple
After this, Bilwa leaves, which have to be a stalk with three leaves, is kept on top
of the Shivalinga to cool the hot-tempered deity.Ber or jujube fruit is also offered to
Lord Shiva, as it is symbolic of longevity and gratification of desires. Some devotees
also offer the auspicious betel leaves to Lord Shiva marking satisfaction with worldly
pleasures. Garlanding of Linga with flowers and garlands is also a part of the ritual
Shivaratri Puja. Devotees also burn incense sticks as is said to yield wealth. Many
also light lamps to symbolize attainment of knowledge. It is said that by offering
water, hugging the Linga, lighting the diya and incense andringing the temple bells,
devotees call into focus all their senses, making them acutely aware of themselves
and the universe to which they belong.
This ritual worship of Lord Shiva continues through the day and night of Shivaratri.
Devotees stay awake and spent the night in Shiva temples by chanting ‘Om Namah
Shivaya’ and singing hymns and verses in praise of Lord Shankar. Devotees observing
vrat on Shivaratri break it only the next morning by partaking prasad offered to Lord
1.5-Shivaratri Celebrations.
Shivaratri Celebrations in India are marked with devotion and religious fervor. Joy
is writ large on the faces of millions of Lord Shiva devotees as they start preparing
for the biggest Lord Shiva festival in advance. Celebrations of Shivaratri began with
the break of the dawn on the Shivratri day and continue all though the night.
Devotees observe fast and spend the day in devotion and worship of Lord Shiva.
Many worshippers also participate in the jaagran or the night vigil organized in
various Shiva temples across the country. Devotees believe that sincere observance
of Shivaratri puja and all night worship of Lord Shiva will absolve them of all their
sins and liberate them from the cycle of birth and death.
Shivaratri Celebrations in TemplesAfter the ritual bath, preferably in the sacred
waters of river Ganga, devotees pay a visit to the nearest Lord Shiva temple
carrying the traditional puja items like milk, water, bel leaves, fruits, incense stick,
oil lamp etc. Due to massive popularity of the festival several stalls selling puja
items come up outside the temple and do a thriving business.
In the bigger and more popular Shiva temples there is massive rush of devotees.
Long queues can be noticed as devotees, mostly women, wait for their turn to
perform puja. Since, bathing of Shiva Linga with milk is part of the Shivaratri Puja
tradition; little rivers are formed due to the excessively overflowing milk and fruit in
the Shiva temples on this day.
Ritual worship of Shiva Linga is done by temple priests every three hours all
through the day and night of Shivaratri Festival. Shouts of ‘Shivaji ki Jai’, chanting
of the mantra, ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ and ringing of temple bells make the
atmosphere religious and devotional.
Nightlong vigil on Shivratri or the Jaagran is celebrated by singing of devotional
hymns and songs in worship of Lord Shiva. And, it is only in the following morning
that the devotees break their fast by consuming prasad offered to the Lord.
Shivaratri Celebrations by WomenShivratri Festival is particularly awaited by
Hindu women. On Shivaratri, married and unmarried women perform puja with
great faith, as Goddess Parvati who is also called ′Gaura′, is regarded as the giver
of ′suhag′ - good husbands, marital bliss and a long and prosperous married life.
One can therefore see find women enthusiastically observing the fast and
performing the rituals Shiva Pujas on the day.
Tradition of Drinking ThandaiSince Lord Shiva is regarded as an ascetic god,
Maha Shivratri is very popular with ascetics. Thandai, a drink made with bhang
(cannabis), almonds, and milk, is essentially drunk by the devout on the day as
cannabis is said to have been very dear to Shiva.
1.6-Shivaratri Fast.
Shivaratri Fast is considered to be the most important fast for the devotees of Lord
Shiva. Shiva Purana goes on to say that if a devotee observes Shivaratri Vrata with
sincerity, pure devotion and love he is blessed with the divine grace of Lord Shiva.
Every year devotees observe Maha Shivaratri fast with devotion and sincerity. Though
many go on a diet of fruits and milk, some do not consume even a drop of water all
through the day and night of Shivaratri Festival.
Merits of Mahashivratri Vrat: According to Hindu mythology, observance of
mahashivratri Vrat with discipline helps a devotee to control the two great natural
forces that afflict a man, rajas guna (the quality of passionate activity) and tamas
guna (the quality of inertia). When a devotee spends an entire day in the Feet of Lord
and worships with sincerity, his motion is controlled and evils like lust, anger and
jealousy, born of Rajas are ignored and subdued. Besides, when a devotee observes
vigil throughout the night (jaagran) he manages to conquer the evils of Tamas Guna
too. It has also been mentioned that when a devotee observes a round of worship
every three hours, the Shivaratri Vrata becomes perfect.
Devotees of Lord Shiva believe consider Shivratri fast to be extremely auspicious and
rate it equal or more than performing an Ashwamedha Yagna. Some believe that a
devotee who observes a Shivaratri Fast with sincerity and utters the name of Lord
Shiva with perfect devotion is absolved from all sins. Such a devotee reaches the
abode of Lord Shiva and lives there happily. He is also liberated from the cycle of
birth and death.
Customs and Traditions of Shivaratri Fast: As a tradition, devotees who are on
a strict fast on Shivaratri take bath with the water that is boiled with black sesame
seeds to wash away bodily impurities. After putting on fresh new clothes, a devotee
visit the nearest Lord Shiva temple to perform the ritual Shiva Linga bath with milk,
honey etc. While bathing the Lingam a devotee prays, "O Lord! I will bathe Thee with
water, milk, etc. Do Thou kindly bathe me with the milk of wisdom. Do Thou kindly
wash me of all my sins, so that the fire of worldliness which is scorching me may be
put out once for all, so that I may be one with Thee-the One alone without a second."
Following the sacred bath, devotee applies haldi-kumkum on the lingum and place a
garland of white and pink lotus flowers on it. Bel leaves are also placed at the top of
the Lingum. Aarthi and bhajans in praise of Lord Shiva are also sung to invoke his
blessings. Devotee also light incense stick and ring temple bell to invoke the blessing
of the large-hearted Lord Shiva.
It may be noted that unlike most other festivals, where after performing the Puja of
the deity a feast follows, a Shivratri fast continues all through the day and night.
Devotees observe an all-night vigil while chanting the mantra, "Om Namah Shivaya"
and singing devotional hymns and songs. Even during the night, Shiva Lings is given
the holy bath every three hours. An offering of fruits is also made to the deity. There
is also the tradition to listen to the recital of various legends and stories related to
Shivaratri and Lord Shiva and to understand its deeper meanings. It is only in the
following morning that a devotee breaks the fast by consuming the prasad offered to
Lord Shankar.
1.7-Significance of Shivratri.
Festival of Mahashivaratri is the most important festival for the millions of devotees
of Lord Shiva. The festival has been accorded lot of significance in Hindu mythology.
It says that a devotee who performs sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious
day of Shivratri is absolved of sins and attains moksha.
Significance of Shivaratri in HinduismFestival of Mahashivaratri has tremendous
significance in Hinduism. According to sacred scriptures, ritual worship of Lord Shiva
on Shivratri festival that falls on the 14th day of the dark fortnight in the month of
Phalgun pleases Lord Shiva the most. This fact is said to have been declared by Lord
Shiva himself, when his consort Parvati asked him as to which ritual performed by
his devotees pleases him the most.
Even till date, devotees of Lord Shiva perform the ritual worship of Shivratri with care
and devotion. They observe day and night fast and give sacred bath to Shiva Linga
with honey, milk, water etc. Hindus consider it extremely auspicious to worship Lord
Shiva on a Shivaratri as it is believed that worship of Lord Shiva with devotion and
sincerity absolves a devotee of past sins. The devotee reaches the abode of Lord
Shanker and lives there happily. He is also liberated from the cycle of birth and death
and attains moksha or salvation.
Significance of Shivaratri for WomenMahashivratri Festival is also considered to
be an extremely significant festival by women. Married and unmarried women
observe fast and perform Shiva Puja with sincerity to appease Goddess
Parvati who is also regarded as ‘Gaura’ - one who bestows marital bliss and long
and prosperous married life. Unmarried women also pray for a husband like Lord
Shiva who is regarded as the ideal husband.
2-Mahashivaratri Legends.
2.1-Marriage of Shiva and Shakti.
The legend of marriage of Shiva and Shakti is one the most important legends related
to the festival of Mahashivaratri. The story tells us how Lord Shiva got married a
second time to Shakti, his divine consort. According to legend of Shiva and Shakti,
the day Lord Shiva got married to Parvati is celebrated as Shivaratri - the Night of
Lord Shiva.
The Legend: Legend goes that once Lord Shiva and his wife Sati or Shakti were
returning from sage Agastya’s ashram after listening to Ram Katha or story of Ram.
On their way through a forest, Shiva saw Lord Rama searching for his wife Sita who
had been kidnapped by Ravana, the King of Lanka. Lord Shiva bowed his head in
reverence to Lord Rama. Sati was surprised by Lord Shiva’s behavior and inquired
why he was paying obeisance to a mere mortal. Shiva informed Sati that Rama was
an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Sati, however, was not satisfied with the reply and
Lord asked her to go and verify the truth for herself.
Using her power to change forms, Sati took the form of Sita appeared before Rama.
Lord Rama immediately recognized the true identity of the Goddess and asked, "Devi,
why are you alone, where′s Shiva?" At this, Sati realized the truth about Lord Ram.
But, Sita was like a mother to Lord Shiva and since Sati took the form of Sita her
status had changed. From that time, Shiva detached himself from her as a wife. Sati
was sad with the change of attitude of Lord Shiva but she stayed on at Mount Kailash,
the abode of Lord Shiva.
Later, Sati’s father Daksha organised a yagna, but did not invite Sati or Shiva as he
had an altercation with Shiva in the court of Brahma. But, Sati who wanted to attend
the Yagna, went even though Lord Shiva did not appreciate the idea. To hre great
anguish, Daksha ignored her presence and did not even offer Prasad for Shiva. Sati
felt humiliated and was struck with profound grief. She jumped into the yagna fire
and immolated herself.
Lord Shiva became extremely furious when he heard the news of Sati’s immolation.
Carrying the body of Sati, Shiva began to perform Rudra Tandava or the dance of
destruction and wiped out the kingdom of Daksha. Everybody was terrified as Shiva’s
Tandava had the power to destroy the entire universe. In order to calm Lord Shiva,
Vishnu severed Sati′s body into 12 pieces and threw them on earth. It is said that
wherever the pieces of Shakti’s body fell, there emerged a Shakti Peetha, including
the Kamaroopa Kamakhya in Assam and the Vindhyavasini in UP.
Lord Siva was now alone undertook rigorous penance and retired to the Himalayas.
Sati took a re-birth as Parvati in the family of God Himalaya. She performed penance
to break Shiva’s meditation and win his attention. It is said that Parvati, who found
it hard to break Shiva’s meditation seeked help of Kamadeva - the God of Love and
Passion. Kaamadeva asked Parvati to dance in front of Shiva. When Parvati danced,
Kaamadeva shot his arrow of passion at Shiva breaking his penance. Shiva became
extremely infuriated and opening his third eye that reduced Kaamadeva to ashes. It
was only after Kamadeva’s wife Rati’s pleading that Lord Shiva agreed to revive
Later, Parvati undertook severe penance to win over Shiva. Through her devotion
and persuasion by sages devas, Parvati, also known as Uma, was finally able to lure
Shiva into marriage and away from asceticism. Their marriage was solemnized a day
before Amavasya in the month of Phalgun. This day of union of God Shiva and Parvati
is celebrated as Mahashivratri every year.
Another Version of the Legend According to another version of the legend,
Goddess Parvati performed tapas and prayers on the auspicious moonless night of
Shivaratri to ward off any evil that may befall her husband. Since then, womenfolk
began the custom of praying for the wellbeing of their husbands and sons on
Shivaratri day. Unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, who is considered
to be the ideal husband.
2.2-Samudra Manthan.
This very popular Shivaratri legend from Puranas explains why people stay awake all
night on Shivaratri. Besides, it also tells us why Lord Shiva is also known as
Legend Behind Samudra Manthan: Once Indra - the King of Gods, while riding on
an elephant came across Durvasa Muni who offered him a special garland. Indra
accepted the garland but put in on the trunk of the elephant. The elephant was
irritated by the smell and it threw the garland on the floor. This enraged the sage as
the garland was a dwelling of Sri (fortune) and was to be treated as prasada. Durvasa
Muni cursed Indra and all devas to be bereft of all strength, energy, and fortune.
In battles that followed this incident, devas were defeated and asuras (demons) led
by Bali gained control of the universe. Devas sought help from Lord Vishnu who
advised them to treat asuras in a diplomatic manner. Devas formed an alliance with
asuras to jointly churn the ocean for the nectar of immortality and to share it among
them. Lord Vishu told Devas that we would arrange that they alone obtain the nectar.
The Churning of the Ocean: The churning of the milk - ocean was an elaborate
process. Mount Mandara was used as churning rod and Vasuki, the King of
Serpents, became the churning rope. Lord Vishnu himself had to intercede in so many
ways to aid the Devas. All kinds of herbs were cast into the ocean and many great
beings and objects were produced from the ocean and were divided between asuras
and gods. It is said that following things emerged from the Samudra Manthan
Sura or Varuni - Goddess and creator of wine
Apsaras - various divine nymphs
Kaustubha - a rare diamond said to be the most valuable jewel in the world
Uchhaishravas - the divine white horse
Kalpavriksha - the wish-granting tree
Kamadhenu - the wish fulfilling cow
Airavata - the white elephant
Lakshmi - the Goddess of Fortune and Wealth. Vishnu and Her were reunited
after having been separated for many ages.
Haalaa-Hala - the PoisonDuring the Sagar Manthan by the gods and demons,
haalaa-hala, a pot of poison also came out of the ocean. This terrified the Gods and
demons as the poison was so toxic that it effects would have wiped out the entire
creation. On the advice of Lord Vishnu, Gods approached Lord Shiva for help and
protection as only he could swallow it without being affected. On the request of gods
and out of compassion for living beings, Lord Shiva drank the poison. However,
Parvati - Lord Shiva’s consort pressed his neck so that the poison does not reach his
stomach. Thus, it stayed in his throat neither going up nor going down and Shiva
remained unharmed. The poison was so potent that it changed the color of Lord
Mahadeva’s neck to blue. For this reason, Lord Shiva is also called Neelakantha (the
blue-necked one) where ‘Neela’ means blue and ‘Kantha’ means neck or throat.
As part of the therapy, doctors advised gods to keep Lord Shiva awake during the
night. Thus, Gods kept a vigil in contemplation of Lord Shiva. To amuse Shiva and to
keep him awake, the gods took turn performing various dances and playing music.
As the day broke out, Lord Shiva, pleased with their devotion blessed them
all. Shivaratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world. Since
then, on this day and night - devotees fast, keep vigil, sing glories of Lord and
Churning Out Divine NectarAt last, Dhanvantari - the Divine Physician appeared
with a pot of Amrita (nectar of immortality) in his skilful hands. Fierce fighting ensued
between devas and asuras for the nectar. To protect the nectar from asuras, devas
hid the pot of nectar at four places on the earth - Prayag (Allahabad), Haridwar,
Ujjain and Nasik. At each of these places, a drop of the nectar spilled from the pot
and since then, it is believed that these places acquired mystical power. Grand Kumbh
Mela is celebrated at the four places after every 12 year for this reason.
Eventually, Lord Vishnu took the form of a beautiful woman, Mohini. While her beauty
bewildered the asuras, Mohini seized the nectar and returned it to the Devas, who
drank it immediately.
2.3-Legend of Shiva Linga.
The legend of Shiva Linga or Lingodbhavamurthy is deeply related to Mahashivaratri.
The legend narrates the story of vain search by Brahma and Vishnu to discover the
Aadi (beginning) and the Antha (end) of Lord Shiva. The legend thus proves the
supremacy of Lord Mahadeva over other Hindu Gods and explains why the lingam is
believed to be one of the most potent emblems in Hindu ideals. The story is stated
in the three of the puranas - the Kurma Purana, the Vayu Purana and Shiva Purana
The Legend: According to Puranas, once the other two of the triads of Hindu Gods,
Brahma and Vishnu were fighting over each other’s prowess. Horrified at the intensity
of the battle, the other gods asked Shiva to intervene. To make them realize the
futility of their fight, Lord Shiva assumed the form of a flaming Linga in between
Brahma and Vishnu and challenged both of them by asking them to measure the
gigantic Linga (phallic symbol of Lord Shiva).
Awestruck by its magnitude, Brahma and Vishnu decided to find one end each to
establish supremacy over the other. Lord Brahma took the form of a swan and went
upwards while Lord Vishnu assumed the form of Varaha - a boar and went into the
earth towards nether land. Both searched for thousands of miles but neither could
find the end.
On his journey upward, Brahma came across Ketaki flower. Exhausted and
bewildered with his search to find the uppermost limit of fiery column, Brahma made
Ketaki assent to lie that he had seen the top of the column where the flower had
previously resided. Accompanied by his accomplice, Brahma confronted Vishnu and
asserted that he had indeed discovered the origin of the cosmic column.
At this point, the central part of the pillar split open and Shiva revealed himself in his
full glory. Overawed, both Brahma and Vishnu bowed before him accepted lord
Shiva’s supremacy. Lord Shiva also explained to Brahma and Vishnu that both of
them were born out of him and that the three were then separated out into three
different aspects of divinity.
However, Lord Shiva was angry with Brahma for making a false claim. The Lord
cursed Brahma that no one would ever pray to him. (This legend explains why there
is hardly any Brahma temple of significance in India.) Lord Shiva also punished the
Ketaki flower for testifying falsely and banned her from being used as an offering for
any worship.
Since it was on the 14th day in the dark fortnight of the month of Phalguna that Shiva
first manifested himself in the form of a Linga, the day is extremely auspicious and
is celebrated as Mahashivaratri - the grand night of Shiva. To celebrate the occasion,
devotees of Lord Shiva fast during the day and pray to the Lord throughout the night.
It is said that worshipping of Lord Shiva on Shivaratri bestows one with happiness
and prosperity.
2.4-The Legend of Lubdhaka.
The legend of Lubdhaka is deeply related to Mahashivaratri and explains the popular
custom of all-night worship of Lord Shiva on the festival. As a tradition devotees
recite the legend of Lubdhaka while they observe fast in worship of Lord Shiva on
Mahashivaratri. And, it is only after observing an all-night fast that devotees eat the
prasad offered to Shiva.
There is yet another version of this legend, which is popular as the legend of King
Chitrabhanu. This legend has been narrated by Bhishma in Shanti Parva of the
Mahabharata and has been discussed later in this article.
Story of Lubdhaka: Story goes that Lubdhaka - a poor tribal man and a devout
worshipper of Lord Shiva once went into the deep forests to collect firewood. As the
darkness engulfed the jungle, Lubdhaka lost his way and could not find his way home.
He became extremely terrified as deep growls of animals began to fill the jungle.
Seeking protection till daybreak, Lubdhaka climbed the nearest bel tree and sought
safety and shelter in its branches. Since Lubdhaka was perched on the branch of a
tree he was afraid that if he dozed he might fall off from the tree. To keep himself
awake all night, Lubdhaka decided to pluck one leaf from the bheel tree and drop it
while chanting the name of Shiva. By sunrise, the devout tribal realized that he had
dropped thousands of leaves on to a Shiva Lingam, which he had not seen in the
darkness. Lubdhaka’s all night worship pleased Lord Shiva and by his divine grace
tigers and other wild animals went away. Thus, Lubdhaka not only survived but was
also rewarded with divine bliss.
According to Puranas, ever since that day, the story of the tribal Lubdhaka has been
recited every year on the night of Mahashivaratri. This popular legend also form the
basis of the popular custom of offering bhel (Aegle marmelos) leaves to Lord Shiva
on Shivaratri.
Different Version of the Legend - Story of King Chitrabhanu: Shanti Parva of
the Mahabharata, talks about the legend of King Chitrabhanu observing the festival.
The story, as told by Bhishma while resting on the bed of arrows and discoursing on
Dharma, says that once King Chitrabhanu of the Ikshvaku dynasty who ruled over
the whole of Jambudvipa was observing a fast with his wife, it being the day of Maha
Shivaratri. The sage Ashtavakra came on a visit to the court of the king and inquired
the king about reasons for keeping a fast.
Answering the sage’s query, King Chitrabhanu who had the gift of remembering the
incidents from his previous birth said that in the past birth he was a hunter in Varanasi
and his name was Suswara. His livelihood was to kill and sell birds and animals. One
day while he was roaming through the woods in search of animals, he was overtaken
by the darkness of the night. To seek shelter from wild animals, Suswarna seeked
shelter in the branches of nearest tree, which happened to a bael. Suswarna has also
shot a deer that day but had no time to take it to home. So he bundled it up and tied
it to a branch on the tree. Hunger and thirst tormented Suswarna and kept him awake
all night. Feeling sad that his poor wife and children were starving and must be
anxiously waiting for his return, Suswarna began to shed profuse tears. To pass away
time, Suswarna engaged himself in plucking bael leaves and dropping them down
onto the ground.
Having passed the night thus, next morning, Suswarna sold the deer and bought
some food for himself and his family. But, the moment he was about to break his
fast, a stranger came to him begging for food. Humbly, Suswarna served food to
stranger first and then had his own.
Later, at the time of his death, Suswarna saw two messengers of Lord Shiva who
were sent down to conduct his soul to the abode of Lord Shiva. It was then that
Suswarna learnt for the great merit he had earned by the unconscious worship of
Lord Shiva during the night of Shivaratri. The divine messengers told Suswarna that
there was a Lingam at the bottom of the tree on which he spent the night. The leaves
he dropped therefore fell on the Lingam. While his tears, which he had shed out of
sorrow for his family, fell on the lingam and washed it. Besides, he had observed a
fast all day and all night. Thus, Suswarna had unconsciously worshiped the Lord
Concluding the story, the King said that he lived in the abode of the Lord and enjoyed
divine bliss for long ages. Now, he has reborn as Chitrabhanu.
2.5-The Legend of Ganga.
The legend of Ganga’s descent from the heavens into the earth has been narrated in
the Hindu mythological epic of Ramayana. The legend explains the popular custom
of giving bath to Shiv Linga on Shivaratri festival.
The Legend: Once King Sagar - the ruler of Ayodhya and an ancestor of Lord Rama
successfully performed the Ashwamedha Yagya for 99 times. Each time, he sent the
horse around the earth it returned to the kingdom unchallenged. However, Indra the King of God’s became jealous of King Sagar’s success. So when King Sagar
performed the sacrifice of the 100th time, Indra kidnapped and hid the Yagya horse
in the hermitage of Kapila Muni
In search of the horse, sixty thousand princes from Ayodhya reached Kapil Muni’s
hermitage. They mistook the sage to be the abductor and attacked him. An enraged
Kapila Muni burnt the 60,000 princes to ashes. On hearing about the plight of his
father and uncles, King Bhagiratha - one of the grandchildren of King Sagar requested
Kapila Muni to grant a solution to the problem. Kapila Muni advised that the waters
of the river Ganga would miraculously bring back the dead princes to life.
King Bhagirath left his kingdom and began to mediate for the salvation of the souls
of his ancestors. It is said that Bhagirath observed a penance to Brahma for a
thousand years, requesting Ganga to come down to earth from heaven and wash
over his ancestor′s ashes to release them from a curse and allow them to go to
heaven. Pleased with the devotion, Brahma granted Bhagirath’s wish but told him to
pray to Lord Shiva, as he alone could sustain the weight of her descent.
Accordingly, Lord Shiva held out his thick matted hair to catch the river as she
descended. The meandering through Shiva’s lock softened Ganga’s journey to the
earth and the holy waters of river Ganga thus washed away the ashes of Bhagirath’s
ancestors. A modified version of the legend says, what reached the earth were just
sprinkles from Lord Shiva’s hair. The Ganga, thus, became an attribute of Shiva. This
manifestation of Shiva is known as Gangadhara.
The legend is re-enacted by devotees of Lord Shiva as they give a bath to the linga
during worship. And for this reason, many devotees prefer to take a dip in the holy
water of river Ganga on a Shivaratri day.
2.6-Lord Shiva′s Assurance.
The legend of Lord Shiva’s assurance explains the popularity of Shivaratri festival
amongst the devotees. Besides, it also tells us why we observe fast in the name of
the Lord and perform ceremonial baths on a Shivaratri day.
The Legend: Story goes that after creation was complete, Lord Shiva began to live
on top of the mount Kailash with his consort Parvati. One day, Goddess Parvati asked
Shiva that his devotees perform many rituals to please the Lord, but which one
pleases him most. To this, Lord Shiva replied that the 14th night of the new moon,
during the month of Phalgun is his favorite day. The day is celebrated as Shivaratri.
On this day, devotees observe strict spiritual discipline and worship Shiva in four
different forms during each of the four successive three-hour periods of the night.
Lord further said that the devotees offer him bel leaves on the day and that those
leaves were precious to him than the precious jewels and flowers. Explaining the right
way of worshipping to Shiva, the Lord said, devotees should bathe me in the milk
during the first period, in curd at the second, in clarified butter in the third and in
honey in the fourth and the last period. Lord Shiva further added that next morning
devotees must feed the Brahmins first and, only after following the prescribed ritual
must he break the fast. Shiva further told Parvati that rituals of Shivaratri could not
be compared with any other.
Goddess Parvati became deeply impressed with Lord Shiva’s speech and she narrated
it to her friends. Through them the word spread all over the creation. Hence, Shiva
devotees began to celebrate Shivaratri by fasting and by performing the ceremonial
baths and making an offering of bel leaves.
3-About Lord Shiva.
3.1-About Goddess Parvati.
Goddess Parvati is regarded as the power and divine consort of Lord Shiva - the
Destroyer. Like her consort Shiva, Goddess Parvati is said to have both mild and
terrible aspects
Goddess Parvati is known by different names like Lalita, Uma, Gauri, Kali, Durga,
Haimavati etc. Two of her fierce but very powerful forms are Durga (Goddess beyond
reach) and Kali (Goddess of Destruction). As the mother of the universe, Parvati is
known as Amba and Ambika, which means ′mother′. As Lalita, she represents the
aspect of beauty.
Appearance of Goddess Parvati
When shown along with Shiva, Goddess Parvati has only two hands, the right one
holding a blue lotus and the left hanging loosely by the side. When represented
independently, Parvati Ma is shown with four hands, two hands holding red and blue
lotuses and the other two exhibiting the varada and Abhaya mudras.
Goddess Parvati has a charming personality. Married women adore Parvati for her
happy married life. Picture of Lord Shiva, Parvathi and their sons Ganesha and
Kartikeya depicts an ideal example of family unity and love.
Parvati as Sati or Dakshayani: According to Puranas, in her first incarnation,
Parvati Devi was Sati or Dakshayani, the daughter of Daksa and was married to Lord
Shiva. Once, Daksha performed a great yagna or sacrifice and insulted Lord Shiva by
not inviting him or Sati. Even then, Sati went to attend the yagna. To her great
disappointment, Daksha did not acknowledge her presence and did not offer prasad
for Lord Shiva. Utterly depressed by the treatment meted out to her, Sati ended her
life by igniting herself through the fire of yagna.
After the death of Sati, Lord Shiva became very sad and depressed. He renounced
the world and went into deep meditation in the snow-covered peaks of the Himalayas.
Meanwhile, the demons lead by Taraka, rose from the netherworld and drove devas
out of the heavens. The gods sought a warrior who would help them regain the
celestial realm. Lord Brahma said, only Shiva can father such a warrior, but he is
oblivious of the world.
At the persistence of the Gods, Sati agreed to take a re-birth as Parvati, the daughter
of Himavan and Mena. It was only after performing intense austerities that Goddess
Parvathi succeeded in pleasing Shiva and making him accept her again as his consort.
The Divine Homemaker: With Parvati by his side, Shiva became a family man.
Inspired by her beauty, Shiva became the fountainhead of the arts, dance and drama.
But he did not abandon his ways as a hermit and continued to meditate. His carefree
attitude and his refusal to shoulder household responsibilities sometimes angered
Parvati. But then she would come to terms with his unconventional ways and make
peace. The consequent marital bliss between Shakti and Shiva ensured harmony
between Matter and Spirit and brought stability and peace to the cosmos. Parvati
thus became Ambika, Goddess of the household, marriage, motherhood and family.
Ten Aspects of Parvati
Given here are the ten aspects of Parvati, termed as Dasamahavidyas. These
are the representations of transcendent knowledge and power.
The first is Kali who is the goddess of time that destroys everything.
The second one, Tara is the power of golden embryo from which the universe
evolves. She also stands for void or the boundless space.
The third one Sodasi literally means ′one who is sixteen years old’. She is the
personification of fullness and perfection.
The fourth, Vidya Bhuvanevari represents the forces of the material world.
The fifth one, Bhairavi stands for desires and temptations leading to
destruction and death.
The sixth Vidya Chinnamasta represents the continued state of selfsustenance of the created world in which is seen continuous self-destruction
and self-renewal, in a cyclic order. She is a naked deity holding her own
severed head in hand and drinking her own blood.
Dhumavati, the seventh one personifies the destruction of the world by fire,
when only smoke (dhuma) from its ashes remains.
The eighth, Vidya Bagala is a crane - headed goddess. She represents the
ugly side of living creatures like jealously, hatred and cruelty.
Matangi, the ninth Vidya is the embodiment power of domination.
The tenth and the last Vidya Kamala is the pure consciousness of the self,
bestowing boons and allaying the fears of the supplicants. She is identified
with Lakshmi, the Goddess of Fortune.
3.2-Shiva Tandava.
Lord Shiva is also known as Nataraj, the Dancing God. This divine art form is
performed by Lord Shiva and his divine consort Goddess Parvati. The dance
performed by Lord Shiva is known as Tandava. Shiva’s Tandava is a vigorous dance
that is the source of the cycle of creation, preservation and dissolution. Tandava
depicts his violent nature as the destroyer of the universe.
Characteristics of Tandava Dance: According to scholars, ‘Characteristics of the
Tandava Dance’ have been described in the fourth chapter of Bharat Muni’s Nata
Shastra, which is referred to as fifth Veda and an expression of Lord Shiva’s eternal
dance - Tandava. It says that Shiva’s Tandava is embellished with 108 karanas and
the 32 anghaharas - the composite parts of the dance. Bharat Muni further says
that Lord Shiva conceived the dance, as he was very much fond of dancing every
evening. Shiva further mentioned that 108 karnas included in tandava could be
employed in the course of dance, fight, and personal combats and in other special
movements like strolling.
Types of Tandava: Some scholars believe that there are seven different types of
Tandava. The tandava performed with joy is called Ananda Tandava and that which
is performed in violent mood is called Rudra Tandava. The other types of tandava
identified are Tripura Tandava, Sandhya Tandava, Samara Tandava, Kaali Tandava,
Uma Tandava and Gauri Tandava. However, there are few people who believe that
there are 16 types of Tandava.
Significance of Shiva′s Tandava Nritya: According to religious scholars, the
cosmic dance of Shiva, called ′Anandatandava,′ meaning, ‘the Dance of Bliss’
symbolizes the cosmic cycles of creation and destruction, as well as the daily rhythm
of birth and death. The dance is a pictorial allegory of the five principle manifestations
of eternal energy - creation, destruction, preservation, salvation, and illusion.
According to learned scholar, Coomerswamy, the dance of Shiva also represents his
five activities namely,
′Shrishti′ - creation, evolution
′Sthiti′ - preservation, support
′Samhara′ - destruction, evolution
′Tirobhava′ - illusion
′Anugraha′ - release, emancipation, grace
The overall temper of the image is paradoxical, uniting the inner tranquillity, and
outside activity of Shiva.
Lasya: The dance performed by Goddess Parvati is known as Lasya. In Lasya, the
movements are gentle, graceful and sometimes erotic. Some scholars call Lasya, the
feminine version of Tandava. Lasya is of two kinds - Jarita Lasya and Yauvaka Lasya.
According to the Puranas, Shiva dances a wild and vigorous (tandava) dance in the
cremation grounds at night but dances a soft and graceful (lasya) dance in the
tranquillity of the twilight.
3.3-Shiva Linga.
Shiva Linga is the holy symbol of Lord Shiva that is considered sacred by the devotees
of Lord Shiva. The word, ‘Lingum’ in Sanskrit means, ‘symbol’. Shiva Lingum,
therefore means symbol of Lord Shiva and is therefore considered most sacred by
Shaivaites. Siva Linga has been worshipped in Hinduism since ages. Worship of Shiva
Linga is regarded sacred and superior Shiva Mahapurana. This is because the form
makes worship simple while maintaining the truth that God does not have any definite
Structure of Shiva Linga: Most prevalent icon of Shiva and virtually found in all
Shiva temples, Shiva Linga is a rounded, elliptical, an-iconic image that is usually set
on a circular base or peetham. According to some scholars the Peetham represents
Parashakti, the manifesting power of God.
Shiva Lingas are usually made of stone that may either be carved or naturally existing
- svayambhu, such as shaped by a swift-flowing river. Shiva Lingas may also be made
of metal, precious gems, crystal, wood, earth or transitory materials such as ice.
Some scholars say that transitory Shiva Linga may be made of 12 different materials
such as sand, rice, cooked food, river clay, cow dung, butter, rudraksha seeds, ashes,
sandalwood, darbha grass, a flower garland or molasses.
Various Interpretation of Shiva Linga: Besides regarding Shiva Linga as the
symbol and form of Lord Shiva, religious scholars have given various interpretations
of Shiva Linga. Here is the brief description of some of the popular theories and
interpretations related to Shiva Linga and its origin:
Worship of the Phallus: According to some scholars, worship of Shiva Linga in
effect means worship of the reproduction function. For, they say that the other
meaning of the Sanskrit word ‘Linga’ is gender in general and phallus (the male
reproductive organ) in particular. They believe that the base of the Lingam
corresponds to the Yoni which mean vagina or the female reproductive organ.
Correspondence of Linga and Yoni in a Shiva Linga is therefore interpreted as the
representation of the process of copulation. Scholars further opine that the Kalash
(container of water) that is suspended over the Shiva Linga from which water drips
over the Linga also correspond to the idea of intercourse.
Connecting the origin of Shiva Linga to the early Indus Valley civilization, scholars
opine that tribes of the Indus Valley took to the togetherness of Lingam and Yoni in
a Shiva Linga as the point of energy, creation and enlightenment.
Interpretation in Tantra: According to Tantra, Lingam is a symbol of Shiva′s
phallus in spiritual form. They say, the lingam contains the soul-seed within which
lies the essence of the entire cosmos. The lingam arises out of the base (Yoni) which
represents Parvati according to some or Vishnu, Brahma in female and neuter form
according to others.
Interpretation in Puranas: Puranas, especially the Vamana Purana, Shiva Purana,
Linga Purana, Skanda Purana, Matsya Purana and Visva-Sara-Prakasha attribute the
origin of Shiva Linga to the curse of sages leading to the separation of and installation
of the phallus of Lord Shiva on earth. Some also refer to the endlessness of the
lingam to be linked to the egos of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma.
Interpretation of Shiva Linga as an Abstract Symbol of God Some scholars of
the Hindu scriptures say that Linga is merely an abstract symbol of the God. They
point towards several legends in Hinduism where a sundry rock or even a pile of sand
has been used by as a Lingam or the symbol of Shiva. Citing a particular instance
they say, Arjuna once fashioned a linga of clay when worshipping Shiva. Scholars of
Puranas, thus argue that too much should not be made of the usual shape of the
Lingam. Scholars say that the interpretation of Shiva Linga as an abstract form of
God is also consonant with philosophies that hold that God may be conceptualized
and worshipped in any convenient form. The form itself is irrelevant, as the divine
power that it represents is all that matters. Scholars thus say that Sivalinga represent
the formless Nirguna Brahman or the formless Supreme Being.
3.4-Shiva Aarti.
Recite Lord Shiva Aarti on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri to invoke divine
blessings of Lord Shiva. For better understanding, meaning of the Shiv Arti has been
provided in English along with the verses.
Jai Shiv Onkara Har Shiv Onkara,
Brahma Vishnu Sadashiv Arddhagni Dhara.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...
Meaning: Glory to you, O Shiva! Glory to you, O Omkaara! May Brahma, Vishnu
and the assembly of other gods, including the great LordShiva, relieve me of my
Ekanan Chaturanan Panchanan Rajai,
Hansanan Garudasan Vrishvahan Sajai.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...
Meaning: Being the Absolute, True being, Consciousness and Bliss, you play the
roles of all the three Gods - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. As Vishnu, you have but
one face, as Brahma four and as Shiva five. They gladden the sight of all who
behold them. As Brahma you prefer the back of the swan for your seat, as Vishnu
you like to ensconce yourself on the back of Garuda (A large mythological eagle like bird believed to be the vehicle of Lord Vishnu) and as Shiva you make the
sacred bull your conveyance; all these stand ready. O Great Lord, pray rid me of
my afflictions!
Do Bhuj Char Chaturbhuj Das Bhuj Te Sohai,
Tinon Roop Nirakhta Tribhuvan Jan Mohai.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...
Meaning: As Brahma, you possess two arms, as Vishnu four and as Shiva
(Dashabaahu) ten, all of which look matchlessly lovely. No sooner do the inhabitants
of the three spheres behold you than they are all enchanted. O great Lord Omkaara,
pray rid me of my afflictions.
kshaymala Vanmala Mundmala Dhari,
Chadan Mrigmad Sohai Bhale Shashi Dhari.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...
Meaning: You are, O great Lord Omkaara, wearing a garlandof Rudraaksha,
another of forest flowers the third of skulls; your forehead, glistening in the
moonlight which it holds, is smeared with sandal-paste and musk. Pray rid me of
my afflictions.
Shvetambar Pitambar Baghambar Ange,
Sankadik Brahmadik Bhootadik Sange.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...
Meaning: O great Lord Omkaara, your body is attired in white and yellow silken
clothes and in tiger skin, while in your company are troops of goblins, gods like
Brahma and divine seers like Sanaka. Pray rid me of my afflictions.
Kar Men Shreshth Kamandalu Chakra Trishooldharta,
Jagkarta Jagharta Jag Palankarta.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...
Meaning: O great Lord Omkaara, you hold akamandalu (the mendicants water-jar)
in one of your hands and in another a trident; you bring joy to all, destroy all
distress and sustain the whole world. May you rid me of all my afflictions!
Brahma Vishnu Sadashiv Janat Aviveka,
Pranvakshar Ke Madhye Yah Tinon Eka.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...
Meaning: The ignorant (unwise and stupid) know Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva as
three individual gods, but they are all indistinguishably fused into a single mystic
syllable ‘OM’. Pray rid me of my afflictions.
Trigun Shiv Ki Aarti Jo Koi Nar Gave,
Kahat Shivanand Swami Manvanchhit Phal Pave.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa..
Meaning: Says Swami Shivananda, “He who recites this Arti to the Lord of the
three gunas-sattva, rajas and tamas - attains fulfillment of his heart’s desire―. O
great Lord Omkaara, may you rid me of my afflictions.
3.5-Shiva Chalisa.
Shiva Chalisa is a prayer for Lord Shiva - one of the Gods of Hindu trinity, the other
two being Brahma and Vishnu. Shiva Chalisa praises the Lord and asks for his help
in removing hardships and obstacles in devotee′s life. It is said that devotees seeking
blessings of Lord Shiva must recite Shiva Chalisa with devotion and sincerity. It is
suggested that devotees should focus their mind on Lord Shiv or his image and then
recite Shiv Chalisa.
Here, Lord Shiv Chalisa is presented along with English Translation for better
Lord Shiv Chalisa
English Translation
Jai Ganesh Girija Suvan
Mangal Mul Sujan
Kahat Ayodhya Das Tum Dev
Abhaya Varadan
Glory to Lord Ganesh, the Divine Son of
Goddess Girija, the cause of all
auspiciousness and intelligence. Ayodha
Dass (the composer of these verses)
humbly requests that every one be blessed
with the boon of being fearless.
Jai Girija Pati Dinadayala
Sada Karat Santan Pratipala
Bhala Chandrama Sohat Nike
Kanan Kundal Nagaphani Ke
O Glorious Lord, consort of Parvati You are
most merciful. You always bless the poor
and pious devotees. Your beautiful form is
adorned with the moon on Your forehead
and on your ears are earrings of snakes′
Anga Gaur Shira Ganga Bahaye
Mundamala Tan Chhara Lagaye
Vastra Khala Baghambar Sohain
Chhavi Ko Dekha Naga Muni
The holy Ganges flows from your matted
hair. The saints and sages are attracted by
Your splendid appearance. Around Your
neck is a garland of skulls. White ash
beautifies Your Divine form and clothing of
lion′s skin adorns Your body.
Maina Matu Ki Havai Dulari
Vama Anga Sohat Chhavi Nyari
Kara Trishul Sohat Chhavi Bhari
Karat Sada Shatrun Chhayakari
O Lord, the beloved daughter of Maina on
Your left adds to Your splendid appearance.
O Wearer of the lion′s skin, the trishul in
Your hand destroys all enemies.
Nandi Ganesh Sohain Tahan
Sagar Madhya Kamal Hain Jaise
Kartik Shyam Aur Ganara-U Ya
Chhavi Ko Kahi Jata Na Kauo
Nandi and Shri Ganesh along with Lord
Shiva appear as beautiful as two lotuses in
the middle of an ocean. Poets and
philosophers cannot describe the wonderful
appearance of Lord Kartikeya and the dark
complexioned Ganas (attendants).
O Lord, whenever the Deities humbly
Devan Jabahi Jaya Pukara
sought Your assistance, You kindly and
Tabahi Dukha Prabhu Apa Nivara graciously uprooted all their problems. You
Kiya Upadrav Tarak Bhari Devan blessed the Deities with Your generous help
Sab Mili umahi Juhari
when the demon Tarak outraged them and
You destroyed him.
Turata Shadanana Apa Pathayau
Lava-Ni-Mesh Mahan Mari
Apa Jalandhara Asura Sanhara
Suyash Tumhara Vidit Sansara
O Lord, You sent Shadanan without delay
and thus destroyed the evil ones Lava and
Nimesh. You also destroyed the demon
Jalandhara. Your renown is known
throughout the world.
Tripurasur Sana Yudha Machayi
Sabhi Kripakar Lina Bachayi
Kiya Tapahin Bhagiratha Bhari
Purva Pratigya Tasu Purari
O Lord, Purari, You saved all Deities and
mankind by defeating and destroying the
demons Tripurasura. You blessed Your
devotee Bhagirath and he was able to
accomplish his vow after rigorous penance.
Danin Mahan Tum Sama Kou
Sevak Astuti Karat Sadahin
Veda Nam Mahima Tab Gayaee
Akatha Anandi Bhed Nahin Payee
O Gracious One, devotees always sings
Your glory. Even the Vedas are unable to
describe Your greatness. No one is as
generous as You are.
Pragate Udadhi Mantan Men
Jarat Sura-Sur Bhaye Vihala
Kinha Daya Tahan Kari Sahayee
Nilakantha Tab Nam Kahayee
Lord, when the ocean was churned and the
deadly poison emerged, out of Your deep
compassion for all, You drank the poison
and saved the world from destruction. Your
throat became blue, thus You are known as
When Lord Rama worshipped You, He
became victorious over the king of demons,
Pujan Ramchandra Jab Kinha
Ravana. When Lord Rama wished to
Jiti Ke Lanka Vibhishan Dinhi
worship Thee with one thousand lotus
Sahas Kamal Men Ho Rahe Dhari
flowers, the Divine Mother, to test the
Kinha Pariksha Tabahin Purari
devotion of Shri Ram, hid all the flowers at
Your request.
Ek Kamal Prabhu Rakheu Joi
Kushal-Nain Pujan Chaha Soi
Kathin Bhakti Dekhi Prabhu
Bhaye Prasanna Diye-Ichchhit
O Lord, You kept on looking at Shri Ram,
who wished to offer His lotus-like eyes to
worship Thee. When You observed such
intense devotion, You were delighted and
blessed Him. You granted His heart′s
Jai Jai Jai Anant Avinashi
Karat Kripa Sabake Ghat Vasi
Dushta Sakal Nit Mohin Satavai
Bhramat Rahe Mohin Chain Na
Glory be unto You O Gracious, Infinite,
Immortal, All-pervading Lord. Evil thought
torture me and I keep on travelling
aimlessly in this world of mundane
existence. No relief seems to be coming my
Trahi-Trahi Main Nath Pukaro
Yahi Avasar Mohi Ana Ubaro
Lai Trishul Shatrun Ko Maro
Sankat Se Mohin Ana Ubaro
O Lord! I beseech Your help and seek your
divine blessing at this very moment. Save
and protect me. Destroy my enemies with
Your Trishul. Release me from the torture
of evil thoughts.
Mata Pita Bhrata Sab Hoi
Sankat Men Puchhat Nahin Koi
Svami Ek Hai Asha Tumhari
Ava Harahu Aba Sankat Bhari
O Lord, when I am in distress, neither my
parents, brothers, sisters nor loved ones
can relieve my suffering. I depend only on
You. You are my hope. Eliminate the cause
of this tremendous torture and bless me
with Your compassion.
Dhan Nirdhan Ko Deta Sadahin
Jo Koi Janche So Phal Pahin
Astuti Kehi Vidhi Karai Tumhari
Kshamahu Nath Aba Chuka
O Lord, You bless the downtrodden with
prosperity and grant wisdom to the
ignorant. Lord, due to my limited
knowledge, I omitted to worship Thee.
Please forgive me and shower Your grace
upon me.
Shankar Ho Sankat Ke Nishan
Vighna Vinashan Mangal Karan
Yogi Yati Muni Dhyan Lagavan
Sharad Narad Shisha Navavain
O Lord Sankar, You are the destroyer of all
miseries. You remove the cause of all
obstacles and grant Your devotees eternal
bliss. The saints and sages meditate upon
Thy most beautiful form. Even celestial
beings like Sharad and Narad bow in
reverence to You.
Namo Namo Jai Namah Shivaya
Sura Brahmadik Par Na Paya
Jo Yah Patha Karai Man Lai
Tapar Hota Hai Shambhu
O Lord, prostration to You. Even Brahma is
unable to describe Thy greatness.
Whosoever recites these verses with faith
and devotion receives Your infinite
Riniyan Jo Koi Ho Adhikari
Devotees who chant these verses with
Patha Karai So Pavan Hari
intense love become prosperous by the
Putra-hin Ichchha Kar Koi
grace of Lord Shiva. Even the childless
Nischaya Shiva Prasad Tehin Hoi wishing to have children, have their desires
fulfilled after partaking of Shiva-prasad
with faith and devotion.
Pandit Trayodashi Ko Lavai
Dhyan-Purvak Homa Karavai
Trayodashi Vrat Kare Hamesha
Tan Nahin Take Rahe Kalesha
On Trayodashi (13th day of the dark and
bright fortnights) one should invite a pandit
and devotedly make offerings to Lord
Shiva. Those who fast and pray to Lord
Shiva on Trayodashi are always healthy
and prosperous.
Whosoever offers incense, prasad and
performs arti to Lord Shiva, with love and
Dhupa Dipa Naivedya Charhavai devotion, enjoys material happiness and
Anta Vasa Shivapur Men Pavai
spiritual bliss in this world and hereafter
Kahai Ayodhya Asha Tumhari
ascends to the abode of Lord Shiva. The
Jani Sakal Dukha Harahu Hamari poet prays that Lord Shiva removed the
suffering of all and grants them eternal
Nitya Nema kari Pratahi
Patha karau Chalis
Tum Meri Man Kamana
Purna Karahu Jagadish
Om Shivaya Namaa
O Universal Lord, every morning as a rule I
recite this Chalisa with devotion. Please
bless me so that I may be able to
accomplish my material and spiritual
Om Shivaya Namaa
3.6-Shiva Prayer.
For the devotees of Lord Shiva here is a collection of Lord Shiva Prayers with
meaning! Devotees seeking blessings of Lord Shiva must recite Shiv Prarthana with
sincerity and faith.
Lord Shiva Prayer –
IOm Sarva Mangal Manglaye Shivay Sarvaarth Sadhike
Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayaani Namostu Te
Meaning:Oh the divine couple Shiva Parvati!O! Thee, the protectors of this universe,
Along with Lords Brahma and Vishnu We pray to you for our well-being, prosperity
and the enlightenment of our souls.
Lord Shiva Prayer - IIThis mantra is a prayer to Lord Shiva who is addressed as
Sankara and Trayambaka. Sankara means giver of blessings: (sana = blessings, Kara
= the Giver). Trayambaka is the three eyed one, where the third eye signifies the
giver of knowledge, which destroys ignorance and releases us from the cycle of death
and rebirth.
Om Namastestu Bhagavan
Visvesaraya Mahadevaya
Trayambakaya Tripurantakaya
Trikagni - Kalaya
Kalagni - Rudraya Nil - Kanthaya Mrityunjaya
Sarvesvaraya Sadadhivaya
Sriman Mahadevaya Namah.
Meaning: Om. I bow down to Lord Shiva, who is the creator and protector of the
universe, who is the greatest among Gods, who has three eyes, who is the annihilator
of all the three worlds, one whose throat is blue, who is the conqueror of death, who
is the Lord of all, who is propitious who is possessed of all marks of greatness and
who is the greatest among Gods. To him my prostration.
Lord Shiva Prayer –
IIINaagendra haaraaya thriloochanaaya bhasmaangadhaaraaya
Nityaaya shudhdhaaya digambaraaya tasmai nakaaraaya namahshivaaya
Meaning:Salutations to Shiva who wears a serpent as garland, who is three-eyed,
whose bare body is covered with ashes, who is forever pure and the very
embodiment of sacrifice.
Shiva DhunShivo Bhokta, Shiva Bhojya
Shivo Karta, Shivah Karma
Shivah Karanatmakah
Meaning: Shiva is the experiencer and the highest object of experience. Shiva is the
goal of Sadhana. There is nothing apart from Shiva. There is nothing other than
Shiva. Whatever there is, is Shiva. There is nothing, which is not Shiva. There is no
place, which is not Shiva. There is no time, which is not Shiva. To be aware of this is
to be aware of Shiva.
3.7-Maha Mrityunjay Mantra.
The Maha Mrityunjay Mantra or Lord Shiva Mantra is considered extremely powerful
and significant by the Hindus. Also known as the Moksha Mantra of Lord Shiva,
chanting of Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is said to create divine vibrations that heals.
Devotees of Lord Shiva further believe that Maha Mrityunjay evokes the Shiva within
human beings and removes the fear of death, liberating one from the cycle of death
and rebirth.
Significance of Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
Devotees strongly believe that proper recitation of the Maha Mrityunjaya
rejuvenates, bestows health, wealth, long life, peace, prosperity and contentment.
It is said that chanting of Shiva Mantra generates divine vibrations that ward off all
the negative and evil forces and creates a powerful protective shield. Besides, it is
said to protect the one who chants against accidents and misfortunes of every kind.
Recitation of the mantra creates vibration that pulsates through every cell, every
molecule of human body and tears away the veil of ignorance. Hindus believe that
recitation of the mantra ignites a fire within that consumes all negativity and
purifies entire system. It is also said to have a strong healing power and can cure
diseases declared incurable even by the doctors. Many believe Maha Mrityunjay
Mantra to be a mantra that can conquer death and connect human beings to their
own inner divinity.
The Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra: The following Maha Mrityunjay Mantra has been
taken from the Sukla Yajurveda Samhita III. 60. The Mantra is addressed to Lord
Shiva and is a centuries old technique of connecting one to pure consciousness and
Om Tryambhakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam |
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat ||
Om. We worship The Three-Eyed Lord Shiva who is fragrant and who increasingly
nourishes the devotees. Worshipping him may we be liberated from death for the
sake of immortality just as the ripe cucumber easily separates itself from the binding
The mantra is a prayer to Lord Shiva who is addressed as Sankara and Trayambaka.
Sankara is sana (blessings) and Kara (the Giver). Trayambaka is the three eyed one
(where the third eye signifies the giver of knowledge, which destroys ignorance and
releases us from the cycle of death and rebirth).
Best Time to ChantChanting the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra with sincerity, faith and
devotion in Bramha Muhurata is very beneficial. But one can also do Maha
Mrityunjaya japa anytime in a pure environment with great benefit and discover the
happiness that′s already within.
3.8-Different Names of Lord Shiva.
One of the most important Hindu deities, Lord Shiva is known by several names. The
Shiva Purana list 1008 names for Lord Shiva. Each of these names in Sanskrit
signifies certain attribute of the Lord. Given here are 108 names of Lord Shiva with
their meaning.
108 Names of Lord Shiva
Lord Shiva Name
One who fulfills wishes instantly
God with limitless attributes
Without any fault
Of infinite vision
One who revels all the time
Imperishable Lord
Lord of terror
One who has an eye in the forehead
Kind hearted Lord
Lord of ghosts and evil beings
Lord of the earth
Protector of the ghosts
Master of the moon
One who has moon as a crest
Lord of the Lords
Lord of Wealth
Icon of meditation and concentration
Lord of Brilliance
One who has the skies as his clothes
Difficult to be known
Lord of River Ganga
Consort of Girija
Acceptor of Gunas
Master of All
Remover of Sins
Master of the Universe
Redeemer from Afflictions
One who has matted hair
One Who Bestows Peace
Lord of Mount Kailash
Master of Mount Kailash
Lotus-eyed Lord
One who wears a necklace of skulls
One who has the missile khatvangin in
his hand
One who wears earrings
One who has an eye in the forehead
Lord of the Lingas
Lord of the Lingas
Creator of the Three Worlds
One who takes care of the world
Extremely intelligent
Greatest God
Lord of All Times
Of great illusions
Great victor of death
Great storehouse
One who has boundless energies
Greatest of all Gods
Supreme Lord
Lord of Gods
One who has serpents as ornaments
King of the art of dancing
The one with a blue throat
Ever beautiful
Lover of Dance
Creator of OM
One who protects everyone
Parameshwara First among all
First among all gods
Greatest splendor
Lord of all living beings
One who has a bow in his hand
Originator of the syllable of OM
Favorite of the devotees
Of loving vision
One who gives nourishment
One who has eyes like flowers
Having sun as the eye
The terrible
One who has eyes like Rudra
Eternal God
Eternal Lord
Preceptor of All
Always Pure
Scorcher of All
Source of Everything
Lord of All Gods
Abode of Joy
Giver of Joy
Always Pure
One who has a trident
Of glorious neck
Illuminator of the Vedas
One who has a pure body
Preceptor of Skanda
Lord of All Gods
Bestower of happiness
Well pleased
Having Gods as attendants
Lord of All Gods
One who spreads illumination
Three-Eyed Lord
Master of all the Three Worlds
Enemy of Tripura
One who has a trident in his hands
100 Umapati
Consort of Uma
101 Vachaspati
Lord of Speech
102 Vajrahasta
One who has a thunderbolt in his hands
103 Varada
Granter of Boons
104 Vedakarta
Originator of the Vedas
105 Veerabhadra
Supreme Lord of the Nether World
106 Vishalaksha
Wide-eyed Lord
107 Vishveshwara
Lord of the Universe
108 Vrishavahana
One who has bull as his vehicle
4-Shiva related links.
Lord Siva The First Siddhar - Tamil ---->12.30 mins.
Who is Shiva? 1of4 Truth about God-Supreme Soul-Ocean of Peace Love Purity
Happiness Power Bliss ----> 10.30 mins
Shiva Suprabatham Tamil---> 20.47 mins.
Lord Shiva Suprabhatham in tamil--> 4.07 mins.
Popular Shri Rudram Chamakam & Mantra videos 200 in this link
Popular Vedic chant & Shri Rudram Chamakam videos 37 in all in this link
Shiva Rudram Full Namakam-Chamakam Devanagari Sanskrit --->13 videos in this
Rudram chamakam---> 16 videos
Sri Rudram, Chamakam And Sukthas---> 11 in this link
Lord Shiva Tamil Songs - Siva Sthuthi -01 hr 25 mins
Lord Shiva Songs - Nama Sivaaya - S.P.Balasubramaniam - 01 hr 30 mins
Lord Shiva Tamil Songs - Siva Mayam ---->01 hr 44 mins.
Siva Stuthi Jukebox (Sivan) - Songs Of Lord Siva - Tamil Devotional Songs----> 01
hr 54 mins
Lord Siva Slokas ---> 53 in all in this link
Lord Shiva Tamil Songs - Kalabhairava Ashtakam - Varios languages lyrics
too...09.13 mins.
Lord Shiva Songs - Chandrasekhara Ashtakam - Various language option Lyrics ---> 7.19 mins
Popular Omkareshwar & Jyotirlinga videos--->68 videos
Shri Mahakaleshwar Jyotirling--->14 videos.
Bhasma Aarti Full Shri Mahakal Jyotirling Temple Ujjain with Shringar, Poojan, &
Aarti---->01 hrs 27 mins
Indrakshi Stotram and Shiva Kavacham ---> 03 videos in this link
Indrakshi Stotram | Sanskrit Devotional Song | Thanjavur S Radhakrishna
Sastrigal-->10.55 mins
12 JYOTIRLINGA DARSHAN----> 50 videos
Shiva Tandava Stotram
M S Subbulakshmi Siva panchakshari stothram--->3.07 mins.
Yesudas on Shiva ashtothram etc --> 50 videos
Shiva Ashtottara Shatanamavali - 108 Names of Lord Shiva
Shiva Ashtothram.wmv
SHIV SAHASRANAAM {1008 Names}--55 mins
Omkara bindu shiva sadakshari stotram TAMIL Lyrics - Lord Shiva--> 4.04 mins.
Lord Shiva Songs - Arulum Annamalai - Tamil ---->55 mins.
Lingashtakam Lyrics - Telugu - Hindi - English - Tamil - BHAKTHI
Sivan kavasam Tamil--->20.24 mins.
Lord Shiva Songs - Bilvashtakam - Tamil lyrics--->10.00mins.
Sulamangalam sisters songs -----> 99 in this link
Shiva Panchakshari Stotram With Tamil Lyrics - Lord Shiva--->6.04 mins.
Lord Shiva Songs - Shivashtakam with Lyrics in Tamil---> 3.37 mins.
Om Jai Shiv Omkara Aarti by SP Balasubramaniam - Shiva Aarti - With Lyrics - Sing
Along--->5.42 mins.
Shiv Aarti | Lata Mangeshkar, Shanker Mahadevan--> 5.20 mins.
Shiv aarti---> 8 videos
"Om Jai Shiv Omkara" - Lord Shiva Aarti---> 5.35 mins
ABOORVASS Dr Paramasivam speech about pradosham-->23 mins
Most Important Day to Remove Karma- Maha Pradosham in English ---> 9.26 mins.
Pradosham 06.10.2014 at BMaha Periyava "Brindavanam" lasting 02 hrs 55 mins.
Pradosham at Changi Village Ramar Temple,Singapore.---> 39 mins.
Pradosham at Thanjavur - December 2012---> 25 mins.
Pradosham related chants..---> 12 videos
Pradosham related ---> 7 videos
Pradhosha Mahimai - Sri. Suki Sivam----> 59 mins.
Pradhosham Song by Veeramanidasan ---> 14 mins
Popular Pradosha & Shiva videos 55 in all in this link
Popular Mylapore & Kapaleeshwarar Temple videos---> 190 in this link