Shiva and Shakti together symbolise the core energy of the universe. Lord Shiva is also known as Mahesh, one of the Tridevas (Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh). Goddess Parvati is the wife of Lord Shiva. She is also known as Adi Shakti, the source of divine energy of the universe. The combined strength of Shivashakti maintains the balance of the world. Masik Shivratri is the celebration of Shiva and Shakti coming together.
The Difference Between Masik Shivratri and Maha Shivratri:
Masik Shivaratri and Maha Shivratri are two different auspicious days of Hindu religions. In the Krishna Paksha, the months of the 14th Lunar Phase are known as Masik Shivratri or Masa Shivratri.
At the same time, the Masik Shivratri in the month of Phalguna as per the Purnimant Panchang is known as Maha Shivratri. The Amavasya Panchang suggests that a Masik Shivratri arriving in the month of Magha is also known as Maha Shivratri. This year Maha Shivaratri 2021 date is 11th March 2021, Thursday.
Masik Shivratri 2021 Date and Muhurat Timings:
|Month and Date||Days||Muhurat Timings|
|January 11st||Monday||12:02 AM to 12:56 AM, Jan 12|
|February 10th||Wednesday||12:09 AM to 01:01 AM, Feb 11|
|March 11st||Thursday||12:06 AM to 12:55 AM, Mar 12|
|April 10th||Saturday||11:59 PM to 12:45 AM, Apr 11|
|May 9th||Sunday||11:56 PM to 12:38 AM, May 10|
|June 8th||Tuesday||12:00 AM to 12:40 AM, Jun 09|
|July 8th||Thursday||12:06 AM to 12:47 AM, Jul 09|
|August 6th||Friday||12:06 AM to 12:48 AM, Aug 07|
|September 5th||Sunday||11:57 PM to 12:43 AM, Sep 06|
|October 4th||Monday||11:45 PM to 12:34 AM, Oct 05|
|November 3th||Wednesday||11:39 PM to 12:31 AM, Nov 04|
|December 2nd||Thursday||11:44 PM to 12:38 AM, Dec 03|
The Story Behind Masik Shivratri
There is an interesting story of a conflict between Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, two of Tridevas. The story is connected with the holy day of Masik Shivratri, as Lord Shiva transformed himself into a Shiva Lingam on this same day. Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu both presented an argument of being superior to each other. Later on, the debate took the form of a significant conflict between both.
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Meanwhile, when Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu were surprised to see a pillar between them. The pillar without an origin or end appeared in front of them. An agreement was mutually considered that whosoever would reach the pillar’s ending is better than the other. Lord Brahma took the form of a Swan and went on flying to find the pillar’s origin. At the same time, Lord Vishnu turned into a Boar to see the end of the pillar.
Both were unable to find the two ends of the pillar. Lord Brahma didn’t accept the fact that he failed to see the end of the pillar. He told a lie to Lord Vishnu that he has completed the challenge. Thus, Lord Shiva came in front of Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma and performed the Tandava Nritya in anger. He told them the pillar was Lord Shiva himself and cursed Lord Brahma for the lie. Due to the curse of Lord Shiva, there is no temple of Lord Brahma on the earth. The Day Lord Shiva appeared in the form of Lingam is the day of Shivratri.
The Importance of Masik Shivratri or Masa Shivratri
The Hindu Calendar suggests that on every 14th day of the Krishna Paksha, people and Shiv Bhakts or devotees celebrate Masik Shivratri. The word Masik Shivratri means the Night to worship Lord Shiva falling in each month. Maha Shivratri is just a single-day festival that people celebrate once a year. The Shiva-Shakti coming together is the day of Masa Shivratri. The 2021 Shivratri date is as per the Hindu Panchang.
On the auspicious day of Masik Shivratri, single females do fasting for an ideal husband. At the same time, married women do puja for their husbands and children’s healthy and happy life. Performing Rudraabhishek Puja on Masik Shivratri is the way to achieve salvation or Moksha from the rebirth and life-cycle. People understand the Masa Shivratri importance in Hinduism and do fasting. It helps them to receive prosperity and progress in life.
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The Legend of Samudra Manthan and Masik Shivratri
When the Devas and Asuras were busy churning the sea or Samudra Manthan for Amrit, the nectar of Immortality, the poison or Halahal, came out of the ocean. The Devas and Asuras were terrified after witnessing the poison that can destroy the entire world. They went to Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma, but it didn’t help. So they went to Lord Shiva for help.
On the request of the Devas and Asura, Lord Shiva appeared at the site of Samudra Manthan. A phenomenon that no Deva or Asura could forget happened. Lord Shiva took the pot of Halahal and drank the entire poison. Goddess Parvati then stopped the poison by putting her hand on Lord Shiva’s throat. The throat of Lord Shiva then turned blue due to the poison. Therefore, Lord Shiva is also known as Neelkantha, God with a blue-coloured throat.
Devotees of Shiva offer Milk and pure water on the Lingam on Masik Shivratri. They do it to honour Shiva as he saved the world from the destructive poison Halahal.
Masik Shivratri Vrat Vidhi
People celebrate the important day of Masik Shivratri with proper customs and traditions. They perform the Masik Shivratri Vrat Vidhi and follow the below-mentioned steps of puja.
Devotees wake up early in the morning, take a bath and start preparing the puja table.
A mix of water from the river Ganga, milk, curd, honey, ghee, turmeric, Belpatra, and vermillion is used for performing the Abhishek of Shiva Lingam.
People decorate the Lingam with Sandalwood paste and flowers.
- Devotee sings Aarti of Lord Shiva and uses the Shankh (Conch) and bells to add the divine music.
- After the Aarti, people give Prasad to others.
- The perfect time to do the Puja Vidhi is at midnight, and fasting is continued till dawn.
- Many people organise Jagran and Shiv Bhajan gatherings to enjoy the divine atmosphere of Masik Shivratri.
- The Puja Vidhi of Masik Shivratri is performed on any weekdays, but Tuesdays hold a special place.
- During the Puja Vidhi of Masik Shivratri, Devotees pray to Goddess Parvati and others as well. Also, many people follow the Pradosh Kall on the day of Masik Shivratri.
The Masik Shivratri is nothing less than a Bhakti festival for the devotees of Lord Shiva. It holds an important place in the different procedures of Shiva Puja. On this Masik Shivratri, let us all pray to Lord Shiva for the world’s prosperity and peace.