The annual festival of Maha Shivaratri, one of the most significant dates in the Hindu calendar invoking the glory of Lord Shiva, falls this weekend and is being celebrated worldwide with an underlying spirit of praying for the wellbeing of humanity.
Lord Shiva is said to have performed his divine Tandav dance on this night, called 'Rudra Tandava' as per Hindu scriptures. For Maha Shivaratri, devotees often fast and seek the blessings of Lord Shiva. It is commonly believed that Lord Shiva was incarnated as Lord Rudra at midnight on this day and some also believe that it is the wedding day of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, thereby signifying the convergence of “Shiva and Shakti”.
In Hindu beliefs, it is known that Lord Shiva saved the world by drinking the poison that erupted during the churning of the great ocean (Samudra Manthan). Maha Shivaratri, therefore, marks the victory of good over evil.
Temples across the country hold religious ceremonies on this day, where devotees fast the entire day and offer their prayers at midnight. This year some significant ceremonies are taking place in the UK and virtually by several renowned organisations commemorating this powerful day for Yogic meditation and prayers.
Devotees worldwide can celebrate this auspicious day in the grace of Sadhguru and Yoga in 4-day or 2-day virtual programs. The Live streaming of the programs will take place from February 15 to February 18. This online event will allow attendees to participate in exclusive sessions with Sadhguru. Guided meditation and other Yogic processes can be learnt during the program. The program, 'In the Grace of Yoga With Sadhguru during MahaShivaratri' is tailored to purify and make use of the five elements for one's ultimate wellbeing.
The Art of Living
Maha Shivaratri 2023 celebration, 'Experience the Shiva Tattva Within' with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar from Art of Living International Center, Bangalore, will be live-streamed on February 18, 12:30 pm (UK time) onwards.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said: "Shiva is a principle, it is the 'Shiva tattva'. Shiva wasn't a person. Never ever limit Shiva to a body, space, or time. That's why he is called 'Mahakaal', the time of times, the cause of all causes. And the way Shiva is described is very interesting…They say that His body is permeating the entire universe. So He is that principle, that energy, that consciousness."
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Shiva Temple Manchester
Shiva Temple Manchester is a charitable organisation founded by a small group of people with a common goal of advancing the faith of Saivism and establishing a temple as per the Saiva Aagama Scriptures in Greater Manchester. The temple is the first of its kind in Greater Manchester, with traditional South Indian architecture and stone-carved idols of deities.
Maha Shivaratri, the temple organisers have arranged for a grand puja on February 18 Saturday at 10 am, at Manchester Health Academy on Moor Road. The event highlights programs like Linga abhishekam, Archanai to 11 Lingas, Bhajan by Kannada Sangha North UK Bhajan Mandali, Thirumurai Parayanam by Mrs Kalaivani & Dr Ashwin, and Rudram Chanting.
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Vishwa Hindu Parishad VHP - Bolton Branch
Organisers of VHP Bolton Branch, Shaileshbhai Patel and Induben Patel, have warmly welcomed everyone to join the Maha Shivaratri prayers and puja on February 18 at Veda Mandir, Bolton.
The Mandir will be open between 8:00am-midday for devotees who want to offer milk to Lord Shiva. Devotees can become yajmans and take part in the Rudrabhishek puja. After Rudrabhishek Puja, devotees will have the opportunity to have Ghee lotus darshan. Aarti will be performed at 7.30 pm followed by Bhajans till late.
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Meanwhile, in India, many devotees are thronging the Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain for the ongoing 'Shiv Navratri' festival. Out of the 12 Shivaratris observed every year, Maha Shivaratri is considered auspicious as it is supposed to be the night of convergence of Shiva and Shakti, which in essence, means the masculine and feminine energies that keep the world in balance.
"On the second day of the nine-day long Shiv Navratri festival, Baba Mahakal is decorated along with Sheshnag Shringar, looking like a bridegroom. The marriage ceremony is celebrated in the court of Mahakal. "After adorning Baba Mahakal, evening aarti is performed, with prayers for everyone's wellbeing. Shiva' and 'Shakti' are revered as the embodiment of love, power, and oneness, " said Ashish Sharma.
*With ANI inputs