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Maha Shivaratri

Maha Shivaratri in 2010 is on Friday, the 12th of February.

Shivaratri (Maha Shivaratri) or the night of shiva as translated to hindi, is celebrated by the Hndus in India every year on the 13th night/14th day of the month Maagha or Phalguna in the Hindu Calendar . Fasting, all night long vigil and offerings of Bilva leaves to the Lord Shiva is among the most important practices on this day.

Many stories are related to this day. Parvati, who is the wife of Lord Shiva, asked him about the ritual that pleased him most after the creation of the universe was complete. Lord Shiva told her that it was the 14th night of the new moon in the month of Maagha that pleased him most and was his favourite day.This day came to be known as Shivaratri. These words of Lord Shiva were told by Parvati to her friends, who further spread it all over the Lords creation

Offerings of the Bevil leaves to Lord Shiva on Shivaratri started from the story that one of his devoteee, who was a hunter, unknowingly worshipped Lord Shiva on the day of Shivaratri. He also accidently dropped leaves of bevil on the Shiva Linga from the Bevil tree as he was fasting and hiding in that tree. Lord Shiva blessed him and forgave him all his sins.

Lord Shiva is the Destroyer according to the Hindu Mythology. Lord Brahma is the creator and Lord Vishnu is the preserver of the universe. This night of Maha Shiva ratri also marks the night when Lord Shiva danced the 'Tandav'

Amisha Patel
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