Maha Shiavaratri Specialty-What to do on Maha Shivaratri?
Maha Shivaratri is the festival dedicated to Lord Shiva. Unlike the festivals of other gods, this festival is observed at night time along with day time. There is a significant reason for this.
Lord Shiva is considered as a Supreme God who doesn’t have creator above him. He is mainly concerned with the purification of world i.e. removal of evil from old world to create new world. He is considered as ‘Layakaraudu’ that means, he is one responsible for destruction. Among the three gods (Thrimurthulu), lord Bramha is related to creation of life, lord Vishnu is related to sustenance and lord Shiva is related to destruction of life.
Lord Shiva will always be in dhyana mudra i.e. meditating form. He is often considered as a saint who applies ashes to his body, wears deer skin as cloth, and resides in Himalayas. So, devotees of Shiva celebrate the festival of Him, by doing meditation or pujas or bhajans or reciting or chanting Lord Shiva’s name, instead of celebrating in regular ways. Hence, this festival is commemorated in that way.
What to do on Maha Shivaratri?
Most of the people are aware that they shouldn’t take food and be on ‘Upavas’ on Maha Shivaratri. And they also know that they have to stay awake all the night. But many of us don’t follow it properly. Even if some people follow with devotion, they are doing it in the wrong way.
I mean, ‘Upvaas’ should be done properly by taking only fruits and liquids. Also, most important thing is that people are watching movies, or playing carrom boards, or doing some other activities to stay awake all the night. Some are awaking up to 12 night and then sleeping (of course, if their health condition doesn’t cooperate they can comfortably sleep).
But this is not the way to celebrate Maha Shivaratri. One has to be on ‘Upavaas’ with much devotion. He or she should take only fruits and liquids like milk, etc. For awakening all the night, one has to resort to Bhajanas on Lord Shiva, Pujas on Lord Shiva and other such devotional activities.
Some people also have the habit of sleeping till 6 pm in the evening and again sleeping after 6 am in the morning, after doing ‘Jagaran’ all the night. This is also not a good practice (of course, if you don’t have practice of staying awake all the night, you can go for sleep, but at least try to stay awake from next time onwards). It is good not to sleep 12 hours before jagaran and for 12 hours after the jagaran.
Happy Maha Shivaratri