MAHA SHIVRATRI 2023- 18 Feb
Maha Shivratri is a Hindu festival that celebrates the marriage of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. It is observed on the 14th night of the dark fortnight in the Hindu month of Phalguna (which typically falls in February or March).
On this day, devotees offer special prayers to Lord Shiva and observe fasts as a form of penance. It is believed that by doing so, one can attain spiritual enlightenment and blessings from Lord Shiva. The festival also has cultural significance as it highlights the importance of marital fidelity and the sanctity of marriage.
To impress Lord Shiva on Maha Shivratri, you can follow these traditional practices:
- Observe fast: Devotees often observe a strict fast on Maha Shivratri. Fasting is believed to help in purifying the body and mind, and in gaining spiritual strength.
- Worship Lord Shiva: Offer milk, honey, bilva leaves, and other favorite items to Lord Shiva in the form of Shiva Lingam, and recite mantras and prayers in his honor.
- Meditate: Spend time meditating on Lord Shiva and seek his blessings for your spiritual growth and well-being.
- Read stories: Read or listen to stories of Lord Shiva’s greatness and his various leelas (divine plays) to enhance your devotion and understanding of Lord Shiva.
- Practice kindness: Practice kindness and compassion towards all beings as Lord Shiva is also known as the protector and friend of all creatures.
- Listen to bhajans and chants: Listen to devotional songs, bhajans, and chants dedicated to Lord Shiva, and participate in group chanting sessions to amplify the positive vibrations.
Remember that the most important thing is to approach Lord Shiva with a pure and sincere heart, with a desire to connect with him and receive his blessings.
During Shivratri fast, devotees usually refrain from eating grains, pulses, and non-vegetarian food. However, there are several options for fasting food that can be consumed during this time.
- Fruits and dry fruits: You can consume various fruits and dry fruits like almonds, cashews, raisins, dates, figs, etc.
- Milk and milk products: Milk and milk products like paneer, yogurt, and buttermilk can be consumed.
- Sabudana khichdi: Sabudana (sago) khichdi made with peanuts and potatoes is a popular fasting dish during Shivratri.
- Vrat ke chawal: You can prepare rice dishes like samak rice (barnyard millet) or vrat ke chawal (special rice for fasting) and pair them with curries made with potatoes or arbi (taro root).
- Kuttu ki puri: Kuttu (buckwheat) ki puri with aloo sabzi is another popular fasting food option.
- Fruit juices and coconut water: Fruit juices and coconut water are good sources of hydration during the fast.
It is important to note that the purpose of the fast is to purify the body and mind and to focus on spiritual growth. Hence, it is important to choose foods that are light, easy to digest, and do not cause any discomfort or distraction.
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