Home     About Us     Search     Contact Us    Blogs    Indian Gifts 


Your Text Ad Here





   Have a Question?

 Live Help Click Here !  


 Indian Cuisine Made EZ

Indian Recipe Box

Non-Vegetarian Cuisine

Curries, Kebabs and More  !

Vegetarian Cuisine

Wonderful easy vegetarian recipes !

Indian Herbs, Spices and Ingredients

 Learn about Indian Herbs and Spices !

Glossary of Indian Food Terms

Do you know what they mean?

Indian Food Terms !

Indian Kitchenware 


"Indian Spice Box"

Indian Kitchenware

Food Measurements and Conversions
Need a quick conversion...go here !

Indian Tea 

 The Chai Page ! Click here !

Having a Party ? Plan Your Party Here 

Party Planning and More !

Fun Cocktails

Cocktail Recipes !

Star Chefs 

Read in-depth interviews on your favorite Indian Chefs

Indian Cooking 101

Learn The Basics !

Indian Cooking Classes

Sign up for the new session....March, April, May 2002

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Great Kitchen Tips !

Managing time when cooking Indian food

Time Management Tips !

Cooking With Your Kids

Hints and Tips !

 Indian Culture Made EZ

Getting to know India

India : A Nation

Indian Money

Join our open discussion about  Indian Cuisine and Culture

Click to Subscribe

Powered by www.yahoogroups.com
Custom Search

The Festival Of Maha Shivratri 

Every month in the Hindu calendar has listed the thirteenth day of the darker half of the month as Shivaratri i.e. 'Shiva's great night'. The word "ratri" means night in Hindi. The Shivaratri (moonless night) that falls in the krishna paksha, in the month of Magha (lunar month) is celebrated all over the country as 'Mahashivaratri'.Lord shiva

As the name indicates this festival is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva, the third God of the Hindu Trinity. On this auspicious day, devotees observe an all day fast and keep vigil all night.  

What does this night signify? 

It is believed that on this day Lord Shiva was married to the godess Parvati. It is also believed that Lord Shiva performed ‘Tandava’, the dance of the primal creation, preservation and destruction on this auspicious night of Shivaratri. Another popular legend from the scriptures of the "Linga Purana" says that this was the night that Lord Shiva manifested himself as the "Linga" for the very first time. Did you know that many consider Lord Shiva as the ideal husband and bachelorettes pray to him to get the perfect husband. 


Celebrations : Devotees of Shiva fast during the day and maintain an all night vigil during the night. In temples all across the country, bells ring, sacred texts are chanted and traditional offerings of leaves and milk are made to the Shiv lingam, the phallic symbol of the god.

Devotees recite "Om Namah Shivay". Here is another short prayer for Shiva.

Om Sarva Mangal Manglaye Shivay Sarvaarth Sadhike
Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayaani Namostu Te

Oh the divine couple Shiva Parvati !
O ! Thee, the protectors of this universe,
Along with Lords Brahma and Vishnu
We pray to You for our well-being, prosperity and the enlightenment of our souls.

On the day of Shivratri, the lingam is bathed with the five sacred offerings of a cow, called the panchagavya - milk, sour milk, urine, butter and dung. Thereafter the five foods of immortality - milk, clarified butter, curd, honey and sugar - are placed before the lingam. Dhatura and jati, though poisonous fruits, are believed to be sacred to Shiva and thus offered at his temple. Aarthi and bhajans in praise of Lord Shiva are also sung to invoke his blessings. 

Special celebrations are held at important Shiva temples at Chidambaram, Kalahasi, Khajuraho and Varanasi. In Kashmir, the festival is held for 15 days; the thirteenth day is observed as Herath, a day of fast followed by a family feast.

Recipes for Mahashivratri  

Although many fast through out the day without eating any thing at all, many others eat fruits, nuts and milk. Yet others allow themselves to eat special "fasting food" like sago and potatoes. Spices like green chilies and cumin are allowed when fasting. Ghee not oil is used especially during a fast. 

According to Hindu mythology, observance of the  Mahashivratri Vrat or fast with discipline helps a devotee control the two great natural forces that afflict a man, rajas guna (the quality of passionate activity - lust, anger and jealousy) and tamas guna (the quality of inertia). 

Devotees of Lord Shiva believe consider the Mahashivratri fast to be extremely auspicious and rate it equal or more than performing an Ashwamedha Yagna. Some believe that a devotee who observes a Shivaratri fast with sincerity and utters  - Om Namah Shivay - in praise of the Lord Shiva with perfect devotion is absolved from all sins. 

Shiva the “Great God”

Shiva is one of the three gods of the Hindu Holy Trinity. The other two are Lord Brahma (creator) and Lord Vishnu (the preserver). Lord Shiva is worshiped in his "linga" (phallus) form. His name means "the auspicious one". 

Shiva’s family is composed of his wives Uma (Sakti) and Parvati (Gauri, Durga, Kali) and their two sons Ganesh and Kartikeya (Subrahmanya). Their respective mounts are the bull, the lion, the mouse and the peacock. 

He creates and destroys, he sustains the world, he at times obscures by his power of illusion (maya), or offers grace to the suffering world. These are the fivefold activities of Siva, symbolized by the five faces of the god (Pancanana). He sees the past, the present and the future by means of his three eyes (Trilocana). 

Why is Shiva blue? According to mythology, Lord Shiva once drank poison to save the earth. The poison made him and his throat dark-blue (Nilakantha). 

Shiva's Form : A moon’s crescent sits around or above his central eye (Candrasekhara), clad in a tiger-skin, he holds a trident (Pinaka) in his hand; he rides the bull Nandi. Some of his images represent him as a four-armed person-age, two of the hands holding a battle-axe (khadga) and a deer, the two other hands in poses signifying assurance of safety and liberality; in some other representations, he carries a bow, a thunderbolt, an axe, a skull-capped staff, a drum.”  

Male and Female

 In the full figure of Siva the male and female principles are united, and he himself is said to be half man and half woman. The emblem under which he particularly delights to be worshipped is the lingam or phallus, which is always erect. Lingam and yoni (the female organ) represent the totality of his nature and the totality of all created existence. 

Shiva Linga

mahashivratra2.jpg (24045 bytes)

The emblem under which he particularly delights to be worshipped is the lingam or phallus, which is always erect. 

Twelve Jyotirlingas

The Shiva Linga is the most common object of worship all over India. But twelve such stones are considered more important and are known as Jyotirlinga. They are situated in the following places:

    Omkareshwar in Madhya Pradesh
    Rameshwar in Tamil Nadu
    Bhimashankar in Daminyal near Pune in Maharashtra
    Mahakaleshwar in Ujjain in Madhya Pradesh
    Somanath in Saurashtra
    Nageshwar in Dwarka
    Mallika1 in Uttar Pradesh,
    Kedarnath in the Himalayas,
    Dhushmeshwar in Ellora near Aurangabad
    Trimbakeshwar near Nashik
    Vishvanath in Benares and
    Vaidyanath in Parli in Marathvada.




Web www.CuisineCuisine.com











Guest Book      Contact Us     Rate Us


Advertising Info    Disclaimer    Viewing Tips   

Click   if you would like to save this page in your favorites folder for later.

Copyright © CuisineCuisine.com All rights reserved