India celebrates Maha Shivaratri with prayers for global well-being
A priest at the Shankaracharya temple said, "On the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri or 'Herath' today, we began the day by offering 'Puja' to Lord Shiva and praying for the well-being of the Indian students stuck in Ukraine amidst the ongoing crisis."
He added, "The biggest gathering is expected today at Shankaracharya temple, which overlooks the famous Dal Lake in Srinagar. Special 'Langar' stalls have been installed so that devotees are given refreshments."
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended wishes to all on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri.
Taking to Twitter, he said, "Best wishes to all of you on the auspicious occasion of Maha Shivaratri. May the God of gods, Mahadev, blesses everyone. Om Namah Shivay."
Maha Shivaratri is observed in several states of India like Uttarakhand, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, and Bihar.
Maha Shivaratri is considered especially auspicious out of the 12 Shivaratris observed in any given year. It is supposed to be the night of convergence of Shiva and Shakti, which essentially means the male and feminine energies that keep the world in balance. Shiva and Shakti are revered as the embodiment of love, energy, and unity.
On this auspicious day, followers and devotees of Lord Shiva observe fast and special puja is performed in several temples across the world. They offer milk to the Shivalinga and pray for Moksha.
It is believed that those people who perform puja, fast, and offer prayers to Lord Shiva are blessed with good luck. Many people also think that Maha Shivaratri fast reminds devotees that pride, ego and falsehood lead to downfall only. Also, this is a day when positivity wins over negativity.