In Reverence of Destruction and Regeneration
Maha Shivaratri celebrates Lord Shiva, God of Destruction and Regeneration and this day is celebrated across Hindu communities across the world, also known as the Great Night of Shiva, the last celebration before the advent of Spring.
This celebration remembers the time when Shiva danced the Tandava Nritya, starting the primordial creation’s first elements, that of preservation and destruction, and this dance was what saved the world from hutter annihilation, as the God gulped down gallons of negativity in order to protect the world and humanity.
The wisdom and message of this celebration is that of recalling that among our tasks is that of vanquishing darkness and ignorance, and that is why, symbolically this celebration occurs at night lighting the darkness with torches, lanterns and light, overcoming the darkness.
Celebrations include offerings of Bael tree leaves to Lord Shiva, strict fasting during the day, and all night vigil and contemplation, reciting the Om Maha Shivaya, Shiva’s mantra in temples and Pujas everywhere. This festivity has also a special connection to fertility and particularly popular among women wishing to become pregnant, celebrating the creation and regeneration of the world brought about by Lord Shiva.
Shiva’s workship has a specific Lingam, that is a Sansrit symbol, which is a column in a container which is to symbolise female energy and creativity, the union of the body and creation as a whole.
There is a legend that the Gods Brahma and Vishnu were having an argument on who was the most powerful God among them, at last Shiva showed himself in the shape of a massive fiery Lingam Brahma turned into a Swan and went on a quest to fly high and find where the Lingam ended and Vishnu turned into a boar to find where the Lingam started, both failed and had to acknowledge that Shiva is the most powerful of all.
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