Mahashivratri, is “the Great Night of Shiva” and is most auspicious festival celebrated in the honor of Lord Shiva. This time all Hindus across the world will be celebrating Mahashivratri on 13 February 2018.
Today, we will tell you some legends associated with this festival. But before that look at those things you should never offer to Lord Shiva.
Things that you should never offer to Lord Shiva or a Shivling.
* Although Tulsi is a holy plant but while worshipping the Shivling, never put tulsi (basil) leaves on it.
* Worshipping Lord Shiva’s symbol with KumKum is not considered auspicious.
* Turmeric / haldi should never be offered on a Shivling
* Don’t offer Ketaki flowers to Lord Shiva because it was cursed by Lord Shiva that it will never be used in worshipping his symbol, Shivlinga.
* You can offer coconuts to Lord Shiva, but should never worship Shivlinga with coconut water.
Shiva’s Favorite Things
* Chilled Milk
* Bhang Dhatura
* Fruit Sandalwood paste
* Bael Leaves
There are many legends related to the pure festival of Mahashivratri. Here are some popular legends of this festival
The legend of marriage of Shiva and Shakti
It is one the most famous legends related to Mahashivaratri. According to legend, the day Lord Shiva got married to Goddess Parvati is celebrated as Shivaratri – the Night of Lord Shiva.
Legend of Ganga
According to a legend, once king Bhagirath observed deep prayers and a penance to Brahma for a thousand years, requesting Ganga to come down to earth from heaven to purify the ashes of his ancestors who had been cursed by Kapila Muni.
It is said that when river Ganga was descended from the heaven it became uncontrollable and enormous on earth. To save the world, Shiva agreed to receive Ganga from heaven to the labyrinth of his hair and from there to be fallen on earth.
Lord Shiva released Ganga in seven streams and they are known as Bhagirathi, Janhvi, Bhilangana, Mandakini, Rishiganga, Saraswati and Alaknanda.
Legend of Shiva Linga
The legend of Shiva Linga is interestingly related to Maha Shivratri. Lord Vishnu and Brahma began to argue about their superiority. When the argument became heated, other gods asked Lord Shiva had to intervene.
Shiva created a pillar of light (Lingam) and Shiva said whoever can find the end of this light, will be superior. So, Vishnu went in one direction and Brahma the other. Vishnu did not find the end and gave up. But Brahma decided to trick Lord Shiva.
While he was on the search of the end, He found Ketaki flower and requested that flower to speak lie about reaching the top. The Ketaki flower agreed. Brahma said that he found a beginning. After this, the Pillar of light (Lingam) immediately changed into a form of Shiva who called Brahma a liar. Shiva said “nobody can measure the limits of infinity. Without my grace no one can reach the top of the Shiva Lingam.
It is believed that Lord Shiva first manifested himself in the form of a Linga. Since then, the day is considered to be very auspicious and is celebrated as Maha Shivratri – the grand night of God Shiva.
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