Maha Shivratri 2024: Auspicious Time And How To Perform Puja

Maha Shivratri 2024 Date: The Maha Shivratri will be celebrated on March 8, 2024. On this day, devotees organise elaborate puja to worship Lord Shiva.

Maha Shivratri 2024: Auspicious Time And How To Perform Puja

Maha Shivratri 2024: Central to Maha Shivratri puja is the sacred bath, or 'Abhishekam'.

Maha Shivratri, celebrated in honour of Lord Shiva, is part of a rich tradition and involves several sacred rituals to deepen the spiritual connection between devotees and the divine. It is observed generally in the months of February or March, based on the correct tithi in Hindu calemdar - the fourteenth (Chaturdashi) day of the dark half of the lunar month of Phalguna or Magha. This year, that day falls on March 8, 2024. Maha Shivratri has immense spiritual significance and is celebrated in many states across the country.

On March 8, 2024, the Chaturdashi Tithi will begin at 09:57 pm and end at 6.17 pm on March 9. The Nishita Kaal Puja Time will begin at 12:07 am and end at 12:56 am on March 09.

Part from this, the auspicious time on March 8 during the first phase (pahar or span of three hours) will start at 6.25 pm and continue till 9.28 pm. In the second phase, the auspicious time will begin at 9.28 pm on March 8 and continue till 12.31 am on March 9.

The puja begins with meticulous preparation, as devotees purify their minds, bodies and surroundings to create an auspicious ambiance.

Some devotees also adorn their houses with fragrant flowers, incense sticks and sacred symbols, while engaging in fasting and abstain from worldly indulgences to purify their souls and invoke the blessings of Lord Shiva.

Central to Maha Shivratri puja is the sacred bath, or 'Abhishekam', wherein the Shiva Lingam is bathed with milk, yogurt, honey, ghee and holy water, symbolising purity and divine grace. Each offering carries profound symbolism, evoking the divine attributes of Lord Shiva and invoking his blessings for spiritual growth and fulfilment.

Devotees offer bilva leaves, known as the 'Bilva Patra', with deep reverence, as these leaves are believed to be dear to Lord Shiva. The three leaves symbolise the three aspects of consciousness - waking, dreaming and deep sleep - and offering them to the Shiva Lingam signifies the surrender of the ego and the attainment of spiritual awakening.

Similarly, the Rudraksha beads hold immense significance in Maha Shivratri rituals, as they are believed to embody the tears of Lord Shiva. Devotees chant sacred mantras and perform meditation, counting each bead with devotion, seeking to attune their consciousness with the divine vibrations of Lord Shiva.

In some places, devotees engage in 'Jagaran', the night vigil, chanting hymns, singing devotional songs and narrating stories of Lord Shiva. Offerings of fruits, sweets, and "Prasad" are distributed among devotees.

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