Lord Shiva called by the name of “Mahadev” is one of the most important deities of Hindus. Mahashivratri reminds us of night long processions, enchanting of Om Namah Shivaya, Shiva bhajans filling the environment with great spirituality. It is a great day of celebration for the devotees of Lord Shiva. People express their devotion by worshipping, fasting, performing pooja, etc.
Significance of Fasting on Mahashivratri - Long Essay
Here is a long essay with the details of this festival and the significance of fasting on this day. I hope that this essay will help you in knowing about this festival, its rituals, and ways to celebrate it. It might be useful for the students to understand the importance of celebrating and fasting on Mahashivratri.
Why do People Keep Fast on Mahashivratri Essay (1100 Words)
An important festival Mahashivratri is celebrated once every year with great enthusiasm and spirituality. This festival usually falls in the month of February or March. Lord Shiva is entitled as the destroyer and constitutes the tridev with Lord Brahma and Vishnu who are referred to as creator and sustainer of Life. This year in 2021 we will be celebrating Mahashivratri on the 11th of March.
Mahashivratri - The Grand Night of Lord Shiva
Mahashivratri as the name itself conveys its meaning as a Grand Night dedicated to Lord Shiva. Shivaratri is observed in every lunar month but Mahashivratri is celebrated once a year. The 13th night or 14th day of Krishna Paksha in Phalguna Month of the Hindu calendar is celebrated as Mahashivratri. This auspicious day is celebrated with full enthusiasm and joy by the people of India and other nations. It is a great day for the devotees of Lord Shiva.
Commemoration of this Festivity
This great festival celebrated to worship Lord Shiva is not only celebrated in India but also in Nepal and some other countries of the world. The celebration of the festival begins in the night as it is regarded as the great night of Lord Shiva. The huge processions are carried out by the people in the night. These processions are referred to as the Baraat of Lord Shiva and the Groom representing Lord Shiva by sitting on an ox. The temples on this day are full of devotees and enchanting of the mantra Om Namah Shivaya echoes everywhere.
The Shivling in the temples is regularly offered with water and milk after every three hours from the night itself. The people in the early morning after bathing reach the temples dedicated to Lord Shiva. The temples become crowded by devotes and therefore every person gets a chance to worship by standing in a long queue. People offer water and milk on the Shivling followed by bael leaves, bhang, dhatura, etc., and worship Lord Shiva to get rewarded with enormous blessings.
Arrangement of Fairs - The small fairs are organized outside the temples on the day of Mahashivratri. People after offering their prayers enjoy the fair and buy toys for their children. Fairs are most enjoyed by the people of rural areas. There are many people sitting and begging outside the temples on this day. People give them money and prasad and receive blessings.
The Specificity of Mahashivratri - This Hindu festival is celebrated during the night. It has some religious significance behind this celebration. The people especially Shiva devotees are awake all night and conduct pooja in honor of Lord Shiva. Night Jagratas are also held at many places and people pray and enchant mantras related to Lord Shiva for the whole night. The festival requires sole participation in worshipping. It needs focus, meditation, fasting for worshiping Lord Shiva. This makes it different from the other festival celebrations.
Mythology behind Celebrating this Festival
- There are many prevailing stories that mark the significance of the celebration of this great festival. The first belief is that on this day Lord Shiva married Mata Parvati. The celebration is in the honor of the wedding ceremony of Lord Shiva.
- Another story reveals that this was the day when Lord Shiva performed the dance of destruction i.e. Tandav dance and opened his third eye. This led to the destruction of the whole universe.
- It is also believed at some places that Lord Shiva drank the poison produced during the Samudra Manthan and therefore saved the deities. His neck turned to blue color after drinking this liquid and he was popularly known as Neelkanth.
Significance of Fasting on Mahashivratri
The Mahashivratri is a great festival of Hindus and people worship the divine god Shiva on this occasion. Many devotees of Lord Shiva keep fasting on this day. Some of them are fasting by consuming no meal for 24 hours while others keep fast by consuming milk and fruits. It is believed that worshiping Lord Shiva on the day of Mahashivratri helps in forgiving our sins and ending all pain and suffering.
The unmarried girls fast on this day to be blessed with a husband like Lord Shiva. People worship day and night by keeping fast on this auspicious day to get blessings from Mahadev. Fasting is a great medium that helps us in making our prayers reach the divine power so that we get bestowed of blessings. It is beneficial as it provides:
- Free mind for worship - It is always said that fasting helps in cleansing and purifying our body and mind. It is the best way of making us healthy and fit. The fasting on the day of Mahashivratri fills us with greater power and devotion. It helps in attaining greater satisfaction in worshipping Lord Shiva. Thus fasting enables us in offering our prayer to reach Lord Shiva and attain his blessings.
- Enhancing of our concentration - During fasting there is no tension of the preparation of meals and eating. Some people do fasting waterless while others eat milk and fruits only. This routine gives us more time to concentrate on worship. Fasting reminds us of our devotion to Lord Shiva and helps us in meditating and worshiping.
- Less distraction - The routine of no meal is helpful in the reduction of the body's natural processes. Fasting makes us forget about our materialistic life and helps us in concentrating on the devotion and worshipping of Lord Shiva with full involvement of the soul.
Is Fasting on the Day of Mahashivratri a Great Way of Pleasing Lord Shiva?
It is the fact that Lord Shiva gets pleased easily by the devotion of his devotees. Therefore people worship Lord Shiva to be granted with a lot of blessing and wishes fulfilled. It is said that if we pray to Lord Shiva with full dedication he gets pleased and rewards us with blessings. Fasting helps us in developing spirituality. It makes us concentrate to worship the divine power with a clean mind and body. Thus people keep fasting on this day and pray with great devotion to make Mahadev happy by their spirituality and get blessed earnestly.
The festival of Mahashivratri symbolizes the victory of truth and knowledge over the darkness. The darkness signifies ignorance. Knowledge the only powerful weapon that can avail us from ignorance and knowledge is a fact and that is always true. The festival of Mahashivratri fills everyone with great devotion and spirituality.
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions
Ans. Lord Shiva in the dancing phase is termed Nataraja.
Ans. Milk and Bael leaves are mainly offered to Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri.
Ans. There are 12 Jyotirlingas of Lord Shiva in Varanasi.
Ans. Vasuki - The king of serpents is coiled around the neck of Lord Shiva.
Ans. Lord Shiva drank the poison during the ‘Samudra Manthan’ and his neck became blue and therefore called Neelkanth.