Mahashivratri is one of the most significant Hindu festivals annually observed in honor of Lord Shiva. The festival marks the union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Shakti.
Mahashivratri is the day to honor and celebrate Lord Shiva—honor life and celebrate existence. Most people spend the day of Mahashivratri in prayer, meditation, and celebration.
Mahashivratri 2021 Date:
Maha Shivratri will be observed on March 11, 2021
Maha Shivratri fast date: March 11, 2021
Mahashivratri 2021 Puja Time:
Chaturdashi Tithi begins: 2.39 pm on March 11
Chaturdashi Tithi ends: 3.02 pm on March 12
Ratri First Prahar Puja Time - 06:27 PM to 09:29 PM on March 12
Ratri Second Prahar Puja Time - 09:29 PM to 12:31 AM on March 12
Ratri Third Prahar Puja Time - 12:31 AM to 03:32 AM, March 12
Ratri Fourth Prahar Puja Time - 03:32 AM to 06:34 AM, March 12
Mahashivratri 2021 Pooja Vidhi:
The Maha Shivratri fasting will start on Trayodishi Tithi with a prayer to observe a full day fast without any hindrance. Devotees perform Puja and seek blessings from Lord Shiva before completing their fasts. As per the Hindu scriptures, the Maha Shivratri Puja is performed four times during the night on Chaturdashi.
These four times are also known as char prahars and it is believed that performing Puja during these timings frees the person from their past sins and blesses them with moksha. It is mandatory to do Shiv Puja during the night only and the Parana should be done after sunrise before the Chaturdashi Tithi ends on the next day. Devotees also chant Om Namah Shivaya 108 times during the Puja.
Maha Shivratri is also known as the day when Shiva was united with Shakti. Devotees also showcase a procession of Shiva-Parvati marriage at many places in North India. It believed that Goddess Parvati was the incarnation of Goddess Sati.
Maha Shivaratri 2021Fasting:
Fasting detoxifies the body and curtails the restlessness of the mind. A mind that is not restless slips into meditation easily. Therefore, fasting on Mahashivratri serves to detoxify the body and aid meditation. It is recommended to fast with fruits or foods that are easily digestible.
This fasting is different from those followed during other Hindu festivals, where devotees eat food after performing the Puja of the deity. On this great night of Lord Shiva, the fast continues through the day and night.
The story behind the Mahashivratri Fast
The Devas (gods) and Asuras (demons) were always at war with each other. However, in a rare show of solidarity, on the advice of Lord Vishnu, they churned the Ocean of Milk together for amrita, the nectar of immortality. As they used Vasuki, the serpent king, who sits on Lord Shiva’s neck, as a rope, the first thing that came out of it was the poison. The Devas and Asuras prayed to Lord Shiva requesting his help. The Lord drank all the poison and saved them.
His consort, Goddess Parvati, was worried that the poison would enter the Lord’s body and cause him pain. So, she held His throat to stop the poison from spreading, for one day and one night, which is why he turned blue (and earning the name Neelkanth). Since Parvati had maintained a fast the entire day and night, it has become an age-old tradition to fast and stay awake all night during Mahashivratri.