21 February 2020
Bhubaneswar: One of the most religious celebrations as Hindu calendar is here where devotees all over the world observe a strict fast and do various religious activities to appease Lord Shiva. Devotees further, believe that by pleasing Lord Shankara on the auspicious Shivratri day, a person is absolved of past sins and is blessed with Moksha or salvation.
The day marks a remembrance of overcoming darkness and ignorance in life and the world. It is said that Maha Shivaratri or ‘Jagara’ marks the anniversary of the holy marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati.
On this day, devotees wake up early in the morning and observe a strict full-day fast. They seek the blessings of the God and chant prayers and mantras. Also, they take a second bath sometime in the evening and then visit the temple or sit down for prayer at home. Once the ‘mahadeepa’ is lifted atop the temple, the fast is broken.
Adequate security measures have been taken to ensure smooth ‘darshan’ for devotees in the Shiva shrines. The atmosphere rings with powerful chanting of Shiva mantras like Om Namah Shivaay (for eradicating fear), Om Namo Bhagwate Rudraay (to seek Lord Shiva's blessings) and Mahamrityunjay mantra (to increase longevity).
Besides India, the festival is also celebrated in Nepal.