Shiva Ratri

Shiva Ratri

This celebration is typically held around Feb-Mar every year. It is said that those who participate in   celebrations  throughout the Shiva Ratri night according to prescribed text of Sanchipta Shiva Puran (Chapters 37, 38 and  39) of Kotirudra  Sanhita) achieve a level of blessing equivalent to praying for the whole year in that one   evening.

  1st draft by Bob Vireshwar Adhar.
  Verification by: TBA 

 

What is Shiva Ratri

A very special day for Shiva and his devotees. There are many special occasions which have made this important and special:

  1. Lord Shiva was married to Parvati on Shiva Ratri night. Who does not celebrate their wedding anniversaries these days?
  2. On Shiva Ratri Lord Shiva became known as Neelkantham by swallowing the deadly poison that came up from deep ocean during its churning. The poison was so deadly that even a drop on Earth could have annihilated the entire world. As a result of string the poison in his neck it turned blue hence the name Neelkantham. As such it is a day of thanks giving to the Lord for protecting us from annihilation.
  3. On this day Lord Shiva was able to stop the dispute between Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma by building a wall which had no end on either sides, that is bottom or top. He then accepted Lord Brhama and Lord Vishnu stuti to him and made that day a remembrance special day for puja and benefits for all.
  4. Lord Shiva predominantly on this night stays in the Shiva Ling and as such is the best time to pray for maximum efficacy.
  5. Praying on the one night of Shiva Ratri is as beneficial as praying for 12 months. Why would you not do puja on this day if the efficacy is so high?

Why celebrate Shiva Ratri

 During this day Shiva devotees pray to Lord Shiva for materialistic needs (bhogh) as well as complete freedom  from cycle of birth and death (Mocha). The efficacy on this night is 365 times more, that is, same as praying for 365  days. Praying on this night enables you to win Lord Shiva's favour and who can ever be unhappy if the Lord is on  his side?

 What should one do during Siva Ratri

According to Sanchipta Shiva Puran chapters 37, 38 and 39 of Kotirudra Sanhita the following is a summary of what one should do. Please note that the notes below are summarised so some mis-interpretation can occur. Interested people should also read the above chapters and consult their priest to get more in-depth information.

First thing in the morning of Shiva Ratri, that is around 6am or earlier you do your normal daily puja to Lord Shiva and other gods during which time one needs to make to Lord Shiva a promise that tonight you will be doing the Shiva Ratri puja and make a special request that you need his help so that your Shiva Ratri is successful and neither your job nor your enemies or anything else disturbs you on this special occasion so that you can complete the puja successfully.

Take the whole day to collect puja ingredients and strategise a firm puja execution plan in your mind. It is advisable to communicate the plan to immediate family members as well as others involved in praying with you. In the evening after shower and wearing your best clothes and either yourself or help of an experienced priest you are ready for puja as below. In the evening starting from 6pm to day break you need to do a total of 4 puja sessions to Lord Shiva. This can be spread every 3 hours as an approx. guide starting 6pm. Therefore, 1st is at 6pm to 9pm, 2nd at 9.01pm to 12pm midnight, 3rd at 12.01am to 3am, and 4th from 3.01am to 6am. In the morning (the next day) you would shower again and do usual puja at day break to Lord Shiva and gods, do havan and concluding shanti part. More details as per suggested reading.

For each session one would do Lord Shiva puja for both physical form (statue) and abstract form (Ling) as per normal or as per prescribed guidelines. Typically, you would call Lord Shiva, offer him a place to sit, offer him 16 or more different things such as flowers, dhup, mala, incense, light, kapoor, cooked food, fruits, milk, honey, yoghurt, bel partra, mantra, Jap, read his stories from Shiva Puran, bhajans, kirtans, dancing, etc.. Do shanti part to close the session. For the three remaining sessions above is repeated. Details are provided in suggested reading.

 

What are suggested Text and readings

Shiva Chalisa
Sanchipta Shiva Puran:

  1. Chapters 37, 38 and 39 KotiRudra Sanhita – Shiva Ratri details on what and how.
  2. Chapters 36 KotiRudra Sanhita on 1000 names of Lord Shiva

Ramcharitmanas Ramayan

  1. Uttar Kand Doha 108