Maha Shivratri 2023: Shivratri marks a very auspicious day on the Hindu calendar. Maha Shivratri translates to Maha- great, Shiva- Lord shiva and Ratri- Night, meaning the Great Night of Lord Shiva. It marks the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. All the Shiva devotees on this day perform the rituals to impress their diety. Fasting, praying and milk, bael and other foods loved by Shiva are offered on this day. Every year on that day of Maha Shivratri, Shiva temples are cramped up with worshippers from all over the place.
Maha Shivratri 2023 will be celebrated on Saturday, 18th February. Read further to know the proper Tithi (date), Muharat (time) and Vidhi (procedure) of Maha Shivratri 2023.
Maha Shivratri 2023 Date
To mark the festival, the Hindus perform vigil and fasting scheduled according to the Hindu calendar, Panchangam. There are some important rules one should remember before proceeding with the fasting (Vrat) process.
Devotees of all ages, gender, and sex fast this day faithfully. Statues and Linga of Shiva are presented with Dudhabhishek (pouring of milk over the diety) and Jal Abhishek (pouring water over the deity). Offerings of sweets, Bael Patra (Aegle Marmelo leaves), Dhatura (jimsonweed), and bhang (cannabis) leaves are made as Shiva is fond of them. Rudraksha tree is said to be grown out of the tears of lord Shiva therefore rudraksha is also offered to the lord. People take a dip in the Ganga, the holy river for the Hindus, to purify their body, mind, and soul because Shiva is the symbol of purity, knowledge, and penance.
Things to remember while fasting on Maha Shivaratri 2023
Since Maha Shivratri 2023 is marked on the 18th of February, the fasting follows the next day on the 19th of February. (The fast should be taken after consulting the doctor, if under medications or health-related issues).
- The next day for the fast, devotees should wake up early before sunrise, during the bhrahama muhrata.
- As praying for purity and devotion, hygiene is important therefore one should take bath and wear new/ clean clothes.
- Then, after making the Sankalp (oath) of fasting a full day, the devotee should pray and sit in a yogic posture, by keeping their spine straight.
- During the fast, one should strictly avoid non-vegetarian food, and other edibles containing onion and garlic. Also, wheat, pulses, and rice are not to be taken during the course of the Vrat.
- If possible visit the temple and offer bel, dhatura, bhang, and milk to the shiv linga.
- Meditate and chant “Om Namah-Shivay” to keep focusing on your Sankalp throughout the day.
- In the evening, before the puja, shiva followers should take a second bath and wear clean white clothes.
- The fast shall be broken the next morning, after taking bath and before the end of the Chaturdashi tithi.
Maha Shivratri 2023 Puja Vidhi
Maha Shivratri is a once-in-a-year occasion and has great significance in the personal and spiritual growth of an individual. Devotees should perform the rituals in a specific manner and avoid making mistakes.
- To begin with the puja, you should make a proper worshipping place by keeping a statue or shiv linga on a chowki (a wooden platform), if there isn’t one, you can make your own shiva linga with mud.
- Light the Jyot on the right of the idol on the chowki and take some water in your palm and drink it as achamana.
- In an earthen pot fill Ganga Jal, milk, and honey, and pour it into the idol.
- Put tilak and clean white clothes on the idol.
- Offer bel patra, dhatura, bhang and some sweets (Navaidhyam).
- Light an incense stick and revolve around the idol starting from your left (parikrama).
- Whether or not you have taken the fast, to perform the puja or remember God you should sit in a proper posture with your spine straight and meditate.
- At the end of your prayer sing Shiva Arti and toss some flowers.
- It is required to stay awake the whole night of Maha Shivratri for the best results from your Tapasya (penance), chanting of “Om-Namah-Shivay” or “maha mrityunjaya Jaap” are considered best for the vrat.
Maha Shivratri 2023 Puja Muharata
|Chaturdashi Begins||8:12 pm||18th February 2023|
|Nishita Kaal Puja||12:16 am – 1:06 am||19th February 2023|
|Shivaratri Parana||6:57 am- 3:33 am||19th February 2023|
|Ratri first Prahar||6:24 pm -9:32 pm||19th February 2023|
|Ratri third Prahar||12:31 am- 3:39 am||19th February 2023|
|Ratri fourth Prahar||3:49 am- 6:57 am||19th February 2023|
|Chaturdashi Ends||4:18 pm||19th February 2023|
Significance of Maha Shivratri 2023
Since the Hindu calendar is based on the lunar cycle, Maha Shivratri is celebrated on different dates every year according to the western calendar around the month of February-March (Phalguna). The day falls on the 14th day (Chaturdashi) of the lunar month, the darkest day of the month, marking the union of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvati.
According to the legends, Parvati had suffered a lot of struggle and penance to achieve Lord Shiva as her husband therefore by fasting on this day young girls pray for a gentle husband while the married women pray for a long life and well-being of their husbands. There is also a belief according to which both husband and wife should take the vrat, as Shivaratri is the marriage anniversary of the great lord. It is the union of Shakti (power) and ascetic of Parvati and Shiva respectively and hence praying together builds a strong bond between the husband and wife devotees.
There is an astronomical perception of the auspicious festival of Maha Shiva Ratri, according to which Lord Shiva has the moon on his forehead and is the Lord of the Chaturdashi tithi. During the 14th day of the lunar month, the power of the moon is diminished which affects our birth charts and our fate is at risk. By worshipping Lord Shiva on the Chaturdashi tithi we begin a pathway of receiving benedictions from the moon to protect us from the unexpected journey ahead, as the Falguna (Jan-Feb) is the time of changing seasons.