South Coast Hindus preparing for Mahashivratri on Monday

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South Coast Hindus will join the Hindu community around the world in celebrating the most auspicious day of Mahashivratri on 7 March, the day to get maximum blessings from Lord Shiva. The Maha Vishnu Temple in Port Shepstone invites you to celebrate Shivrathri in a 12-hour prayer consisting of song and chanting.

Maha Shivratri means ‘The Night of Shiva’ when translated to English. And in keeping with the wild and uncontainable nature of Shiva, the festival is celebrated through the night. Prayers and milk are offered to Lord Shiva in this pure occasion. It is believed that those who chant the name of Lord Shiva and ‘Om Namah Shivay’ from the heart will be freed from all sins.

Every one relates to Shiva in their own way. The yogis see Shiva as the Adiyogi or first yogi, or the Adi Guru or first Guru. Householders may relate to him in his form of Shambo, or Bholenath, or Rudra or even the fearsome Kalabhairava. Irrespective of what aspect of Shiva draws you, Mahashivratri has something to offer for everyone.

Why Celebrate?

Why is this night so important? Shiva is sometimes called the destroyer. For a spiritual seeker, Shiva is the destroyer of all one’s limitations and bondages. And Mahashivratri is the best time to call upon the destroyer. The festival is seen as a great opportunity to progress on the spiritual path.

For those uninitiated into specific practices, it is recommended that one stay awake and seated with an erect spine throughout the night. The planetary positions on this day are said to create a natural upsurge of energies, which can be properly directed and utilised if one’s spine in kept erect.

Where to Celebrate?

Over thousands of years, temples, ashrams and other sacred places to organise sathsangs or spiritual gatherings on this night, to help everyone stay awake and aware.
Either way, wherever you observe the festival, be sure to see it as fantastic opportunity to take one step towards higher perception.

Origin of Shivratri:
According to the Puranas, during the great mythical churning of the ocean called Samudra Manthan, poison emerged from the ocean. The gods and the demons were terrified as it could destroy the entire world. When they ran to Shiva for help, for protecting the world, drank the deadly poison but held it in his throat instead of swallowing it. This turned his throat blue, and since then he came to be known as ‘Nilkantha’, the blue-throated one. Shivratri celebrates this event by which Shiva saved the world. It is the mythological temple of Kankhal where since midnight, devotes throng in large numbers for ‘Jalabhishek’.

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