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Meaning of Maha Shivaratri: Significance of Tripurandaka, Vibhuti and Gangaajal

Maha Shivaratri is a festival of great spiritual significance to Hindus. Prayers are undertaken by devotees throughout the night. Yet how many of us understand what makes it a holy occasion? It doesn't have anyt marketing jazz or feel-great frenzy to it like many other festivals. Yet Maha Shivaratri is one of the most spiritually powerful festivals you just shouldn't miss.

According to Hindu scriptures, observing night long prayer has been declared by Lord Shiva himself. This is cited as His answer when Parvati Devi asked him which rituals performed by his devotees pleases him most. It is also believed that those who observe Maha Shivratri correctly will be greatly blessed and that they will attain moksha.



Here are some interesting points to explain the spiritual significance of Maha Shivaratri, .taken from various discourses rendered by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

1. Shiva means 'auspiciousness.' Maha Shivaratri should be spent in the constant contemplation of God.

2. According to Hindu scriptures, the moon is the presiding deity of the mind. It keeps waning. That is why all the Chaturdashis (14th days of the dark half of every month) are called Shivaraathris. The Chaturdashi of the Magha month is called Maha Shivaratri. This is a day of special dedication to Lord Shiva. 

3. On Chaturdashi day (14th day after the full moon), the moon sheds fifteen of its sixteen digits/aspects. This makes it a most auspicious time for contemplating on the Eternal Divine. 

4. Maha Shivaratri is an auspicious night because the mind can be made to lose its hold on man by night long prayer. The energy that is received by the devotee is tremendous and divine, particularly at midnight. 

5. The three horizontal ash lines across Lord Shiva's forehead has a spiritual significance for humanity. These lines are called Tripurandaka. As mentioned in the Brihajjabaalopanishad, the three lines represent the Trinity, the three fires and the three worlds.

6.  Vibhuti (sacred ash) is the mark of Lord ShivaAs per Hindu scriptures, Lord Shiva smeared himself with ash after he reduced Manmadha (demi god of Desire/Kama) to ashes.When one wears Vibhuti, the belief is that He (Lord Shiva) has applied it to our brow to remind us that we are Divine by nature and we should burn away material desires and ego.  

7. Also, wearing Vibhuti is a gentle reminder to give up desires, ego, sense of ownership over possessions/relationships and to prepare oneself for Moksha.

 8. The significance of Gangaajal is that it represents the controlled outpouring of life-sustaining holy waters for the benefit of all creatures in the Universe. 

♥♥  I thank you with all my heart for reading my post. I dedicate this post with love and gratitude to all those who chant the Mahamrirtyunjaya mantra with sincerity and faith. REQUEST: Please SHARE this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people who are in various phases of finding their own mantras to move and grow in life. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥

Comments

Ajith said…
nice writeup .Last yr i attended webcast of Sivarathri celebrations over nite and stayed till 3 AM ...Even via the webcast it was a profound experience as they were doing overnite chanting starting from 8 PM till next day morning 6 AM


https://www.facebook.com/events/1416161218632190/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
Ajith said…
Link for the web cast is https://www.facebook.com/events/1416161218632190/?ref_dashboard_filter=upcoming
Pooja said…
Beautiful blog. I love the way you have brought out everything about Bholenath and Mahashivratri in whole. In a world where people give very less thought to devotion and everything. Here you are writing about it all Swapna. Thought I would share a few words about how I carry out my pooja. Every pooja is incomplete without aarti and every aarti is incomplete without the essence of incense sticks that has been prevalent since the ancient times. I light incense sticks not only because of my devotion towards God but also because it keeps me positive spirited throughout! Try out chandanam essence as a routine while you pray, you'll feel the difference! Happy Mahashivratri Swapna. :)
Asha said…
a very holy post, dear swapna. Loved the spiritual significance of vibhuti and the tripurandaka( did'nt know it was called so). I got to know so many things in this post. Thanks to you.

We make 'puttu' at home, we offer bilva leaves to god, visit temples and do puja. Generally, we go for the night concerts where bhajans and carnatic music is sung. But today we will avoid since the final exam of my children are starting from saturday.

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