All the devotees wait for the whole year for the great festival Mahashivratri to get the infinite mercy of Lord Bholenath. Mahashivaratri is celebrated on the Chaturdashi date of Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month. While a total of 12 Shivratri come in the whole year. But Shivratri of Phalgun month has the most important among them, hence it is called Mahashivratri.
The virtue of worshiping Shiva is attained
It is said in the Shiva Mahapurana that a devotee who worships the linga form of Lord Shiva on the occasion of Mahashivratri gets the merit of worshiping Shiva for the whole year. The question arises as to why so much importance of Mahashivratri has been told, Lord Shiva himself has given the answer in Shiva Mahapuran.
According to Shivpuran, at the beginning of the creation, there was a dispute between Brahmaji and Vishnuji regarding superiority. Seeing their dispute, a pillar of fire appeared and there was a voice in the sky, the one who knows the beginning and end of this pillar of fire will be the best. Brahmaji and Vishnuji both could not know this secret even after trying for ages, then Lord Vishnu accepted his defeat and requested the fire pillar to reveal his secret.
Agni Shikha turned into divine Jyotirlinga
Lord Shiva told that in fact both of you are the best, but the best of all of you is I Parabrahm, who without beginning and end has now appeared in the form of a pillar of fire. Lord Vishnu and Brahma then worshiped that fire pillar. After that, the fire pillar turned into a divine Jyotirlinga. The day this incident happened was Mahashivratri. After being worshiped by Lord Vishnu and Brahma, Lord Shiva gave a boon that any devotee who worships his linga form on the day of Mahashivaratri will get the fruits of worshiping Shiva for the whole year. The place where this incident took place is said to be the stable Annamalai mountain in Tamil Nadu where the Arunachaleswara temple is situated.
Marriage of Lord Shiva and Maa Parvati
The importance of Mahashivaratri is not only because of this. It is also the day of union of Shiva and Shakti. Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married on this day. The marriage took place at night, hence the night has special importance in this fast. Mahashivratri is also known as the festival of union of Shiva and Shakti, therefore it is necessary to worship Goddess Parvati along with Lord Shiva on this day. By worshiping Shiva Parvati on this day, married women get good fortune while girls get a suitable life partner.
Worship of Lord Shiva and chanting of Mahamrityunjaya Mantra during the Nishith period at the midnight of Mahashivaratri has been described as of great importance in the Shiva Purana. According to the Puranas, the person who anoints Shiva and Shiva with milk, curd, ghee, honey, sugarcane juice, Gangajal at midnight on this night, all his wishes are fulfilled. The person who offers unbreakable rice to Lord Shiva gets wealth. The same fruit was also told of Abhishek with sugarcane. This year, after the midnight of 21st, it is Nishith Kaal from 12:09 to 1:00. This time is very good for Shiva Sadhana.
Worship like this
On this night, the person who wants the fruit of Shiva’s grace should chant Mahamrityunjaya Mantra at least 1 lakh times. It is told in Shivpuran that the person who chants Mahamrityunjaya Mantra 5 lakh times gets the benefit of the virtue of seeing Shiva. For love and an unbreakable relationship in married life, 7 wraps should be put on the idol of Shivling and Goddess Parvati with raw thread. Reciting Shiva Purana on this night is also considered very auspicious.