Author Topic: Maha Sivaratri - 10.03.2013.  (Read 1495 times)

Subramanian.R

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Maha Sivaratri - 10.03.2013.
« on: March 10, 2013, 08:49:40 AM »

Today is Maha Sivaratri, the holy night of Siva.  There will be special abhishekam, alankaram and arti in all Siva Temples, particularly
in temples of Chidambaram, Tiruvannamalai, Kalahasti, Tiruvarur, Kanchipuram and Tiruvanaikka.  There will be special pujas for
Sri Matrubhuteswara Lingam and Sri Ramaneswara Maha Lingam in the Asramam .  In Karnataka, where there is a large population
of Veera Saivas, this is celebrated in Siva temples of Nanjangud, Dharmasthala and in Bangalore City, in Kadamalleswarar and
Gavipuram temples.  The oblations and adornment take place at night four times, between 9 pm to next morning 4 am. People also
observe night vigil, that is, not sleeping at night.

Sri Arunachala Mahatmyam says:  "By doing puja to Me (Lord Siva) on this holiest day one gets the result of doing puja for a whole
year.  Even as the moon causes the rising of the sea, this sacred hour enhances the prowess of My manifestations."   

Sri Bhagavan's translated verse (second in Sri Arunachala Mahatmyam verses) says:  "The day on which Lord Siva took the form
of the mysterious Hill  Linga known as Adi Arunachala was the day of Ardra in the month of Margazhi and the day on which Vishnu
and other devas worshipped Him manifested in the Hill of Light was on the Magha  in the  month of  Masi."

Ceremonial pujas are also held in houses where Siva Linga is kept.  In late evenings, Abhishekam is done with milk, coconut water, curds, honey and ghee.

*****

Arunachala Sival.   

atmavichar100

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Re: Maha Sivaratri - 10.03.2013.
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 09:08:36 AM »
The following is the reply I got from David Godman on how Bhagwan Ramana conducted himself during Shivarathri and what was his Upadesa

I don't know how Sivaratri was celebrated in Bhagavan's day. There are very few mentions of the day, so I am assuming that there were few extra events beyond the usual scheduled ones. There is, of course, the famous occasion in 1923 when Bhagavan was asked to speak about Dakshinamurti's silent teachings on a Sivaratri evening. He responded by keeping quiet, and by keeping everyone's mind completely silent and sleep-free all night. I think there were five people present that night, including Ramaswami Pillai. I remember talking to him about this Sivaratri blessing in the 1980s, and he was still moved by this ex-pression of Bhagavan's power and grace some sixty years after it manifested.


Best Wishes    David Godman
However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Subramanian.R

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Re: Maha Sivaratri - 10.03.2013.
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 09:34:18 AM »
Dear atmavichar100,

I was only about to write that.  Viswanatha Swami remembers the Maha Sivaratri  of 1924. (Mountain Path, April 1972):-

Sri Bhagavan sat down at about 8 pm. near His couch where He used to rest. A small desk was in front of Him with a soft light
nearby and there were only a very few devotees seated in front of Him.  One of them requested Sri Bhagavan on behalf of
some others to explain the meaning of Sri Sankara's Sri Dakshinamurti Stotram, which Sri Bhagavan Himself had rendered into
Tamizh verses. Sri Bhagavan was silent with a very gracious, gentle smile. A few minutes passed.  The devotee repeated his
request to Sri Bhagavan.  There was no answer and Sri Bhagavan remained silent with the same expression of remarkable grace.
With in a few minutes all the devotees including the questioner understood that Sri Bhagavan was teaching them in silence what
Lord Dakshinamurti did ages ago to the four sons of Brahma, viz., Sanaka, Sanandana, Sanatkumara and Sanatsjuata.

The passing of the hours of that night went unnoticed by any of us as Sri Bhagavan had drawn our minds and kept them in tune
with Himself. Suddenly there was dawn and Sri Bhagavan got up smiling and went out with His kamandalu for His morning walk.
All of us came out of our wonderful Samadhi in the presence of Sri Bhagavan that whole of Maha Sivaratri night.

It may not be out of place here to say that everyday and every night was like that with Bhagavan. I have often experienced the
power of His dynamic silence, especially during the still hours of the night.  Sivaratri really means Absolute Pure Awareness of Lord
Siva in which all else gets dissolved.

*****

Arunachala Siva.
     
   
 

Subramanian.R

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Re: Maha Sivaratri - 10.03.2013.
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 04:49:22 PM »
This one is for the evening, before the evening puja at home altar commences:
This is from Tiruchazhal, Tiruvachakam:

கானார் புலித்தோல் உடைதலைஊண் காடுபதி
ஆனா லவனுக்கிங் காட்படுவார் ஆரேடி?
ஆனாலும் கேளாய் அயனுந் திருமாலும்
வானாடர் கோவும் வழியடியார் சாழலோ. 266

He is wearing the tiger's (that lives in forest) skin, in his head He has got flesh oozing kapala mAla , His place is cremation
ground.  If that be the case, who will pray and surrender to Him?  O my friend, listen, Brahma, Vishnu and Indra the head of
devas are His first devotees!

Arunachala Siva.         

atmavichar100

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Re: Maha Sivaratri - 10.03.2013.
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 06:15:21 PM »
Maha Shivaratri – The Great Night of Lord Shiva

    Maha Shivaratri is an important Hindu festival which is celebrated throughout the world with grand valor. Shivaratri, night of Lord Shiva is celebrated on the 13th or the 14th night of the new moon during Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Phalgun and it usually falls in February – March.

    Shivaratri has tremendous importance in Hinduism. Worshipping Lord Shiva on Shivaratri pleases lord the most. According to sacred scriptures, a devotee who worships Lord sincerely on this auspicious day is absolved of sins and attains Moksha. So, Hindu devotees all over the world celebrate it with utmost faith and galore.

    Maha Shivaratri – The Great Night of Lord Shiva


    Legends:

    During Shivaratri, devotees stay awake all night chanting the name of Lord Shiva. There are a number of popular legends related to this custom. Though the reasons behind worship vary, the motive is one, to “make Lord Shiva happy”.
    It is believed that on this day, Lord Shiva married Parvathi. Goddess Parvathi performed prayers on this auspicious day for well being of her husband. On this auspicious day, married women pray for the well being of their husband and children while unmarried women pray for an ideal partner. It is also believed that on this night, Lord Shiva performed the Tandav Nritya.

    Another popular legend associated with Maha Shivaratri is that of the Samudra Manthan or churning of the ocean. This explains why people stay awake all the night on Shivaratri. When devtas and asuras joined hands for the mythical samudra manthan, a pot of poison came out of the ocean. It was powerful poison and on the request of the Gods, Lord Shiva drank the poison and held it in his throat. The potent poison changed the color of His neck. That’s why Lord Shiva is also called Neelakantha. As part of the therapy, Lord Shiva was advised to awaken during the night. In an effort to keep Him awake, the Gods performed dances and played music. Pleased with their devotion, Lord Shiva blessed them all. Thus, Shivaratri is celebrated as the day when Lord Shiva saved the universe.

    Legend of Shivalinga is another popular fable associated with Shivaratri. According to the story, Brahma and Vishnu searched hard to discover the Aadi (beginning) and the Antha (end) of Lord Shiva. On this auspicious night, Lord Shiva manifested himself in the form of linga to reveal that there is no beginning or end to his being.


    Legend of Ganga is another popular legend. As per this story, on this day, Holy River Ganga descended from the heavens to earth with full force and Lord Shiva held out his thick matted hair to the river Ganga and the meandering through Shiva’s lock softened Ganga’s journey to the earth.

    Stories:
    Many stories are associated with the Maha Shivaratri festival. The most famous story is of the hunter. A hunter unknowingly dropped bael leaves on Shivalinga and attained Moksha. While hunting in the forest, Suswara the hunter shot a deer but could not return home as night fell on the forest. O pass the night, he climbed a bael tree. He kept awake whole night because of hunger and thirst. He shed tears thinking about his wife and children who would starve without food. To divert his mind, he engaged himself in plucking bael leaves and dropping them.

    This was happened on Shivaratri. There had been a Shiva Lignum under the tree and unknowingly, he worshipped Lord Shiva all the night. Moreover, he had fasted all day and night. Thus he received salvation. This fable was narrated by, Bhishma, discoursing on Dharma whilst resting on the bed of arrows while referring to the observance of Mahashivaratri by King Chitrabhanu. King Chitrabhanu of the Iksvaku dynasty was the hunter, Suswara, in his previous birth.

    Shivaratri in India

    Hindu devotees from across the country celebrated Maha Shivaratri with ritual bathing and prayers. Many devotees observe a strict fast on this day. Night long Shivarathri vigil is celebrated by singing hymns and songs on lord Shiva and devotees break fast only in the following morning by consuming Prasad offered to the lord.

    On this auspicious day, devotees throng Shiva temples. In the north, devotees can perform the Shivalinga Pooja. First they circumambulate the Shivalinga, three or seven times, and then pour water over it. Some also pour milk. Sounds of bells and shouts of ‘Shankarji ki Jai’ or (Hail Shiva) reverberate in the temple premises.

    Some of the famous Lord Shiva temples in India include Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Uttar Pradesh, Kedarnath Temple in Uttarakhand, Amarnath Temple in Jammu and Kashmir, Somnath Temple in Gujarat, Lingaraj Temple in Bhubaneshwar Orissa, Murudeshwar Temple in Karnataka, Srikalahasti Temple and Srisailam Temple in Andhra Pradesh and Ramanathaswamy Temple in Rameswaram.

    In temples, throughout the night, Shivalinga is worshipped and every three hours, shivalingam is given a special abhisheka with milk, yogurt, honey, sandalwood paste and rose water. Chanting of “Om Namah Shivaya” accompany the Pooja. After ritual bath, Shivalinga is decorated with garlands especially with Bilwa leaves. Bael leaves are considered very sacred and it is said that Goddess Lakshmi resides in them.

    Shiva Mahimna Stotra" of Pushpadanta or Ravana's "Shiva Tandava Stotra on various hymns in praise of Lord Shiva is sung with great devotion and fervor. It is believed that who utters the Panchakshara mantra during Shivarathri with full devotion is freed from all sins.

    “Om Hara Hara Mahadevaa”

However many holy words you read, however many you speak, what good will they do you if you do not act on upon them? - Buddha

Jewell

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Re: Maha Sivaratri - 10.03.2013.
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 06:51:40 PM »
Dear Sri Subramanian sir,dear Sri Atmavichar,

Thank You Very much for beautiful stories and informations about Shivraatri! It is very interesting. I am so excited. :)

With love and prayers,