Om Shivaya Namaha
Om Maheshvaraya Namaha
Om Shambhave Namaha
Om Pinakine Namaha
Om Shashishekharaya Namaha
Om Vamadevaya Namaha
Om Virupakshaya Namaha
Om Kapardine Namaha
Om Nilalohitaya Namaha
Om Shankaraya Namaha
Om Shulapanaye Namaha
Om Khatvangine Namaha
Om Vishnuvallabhaya Namaha
Om Shipivishtaya Namaha
Om Ambikanathaya Namaha
Om Shrikantaya Namaha
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Om Bhaganetrabhide Namaha
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Om Sahasrakshaya Namaha
Om Sahasrapade Namaha
Om Apavargapradaya Namaha
Om Anantaya Namaha
Om Tarakaya Namaha
Om Parameshvaraya Namaha


Maha Shivratri, the night of the worship of Lord Shiva, occurs on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Phalguna. It falls on a moonless February night, when Hindus offer special prayer to the lord of destruction. Shivratri (Sanskrit 'ratri' = night) is the night when he is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya or the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction. The festival is observed for one day and one night only.

Origin of Shivratri:

According to the Puranas, during the great mythical churning of the ocean called Samudra Manthan, a pot of 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, he in order to protect 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.

Samudra manthan
(the Churning of the Ocean)

During the samudra manthan (the churning of the ocean) by the Gods and demons, haalaa-hala, a poison, came out of the ocean. It was so toxic, it could have wiped out the entire creation. At this juncture, on the advice of Lord Vishnu, the gods approached Lord Shiva and prayed to him to protect their lives by consuming this poison. Pleased with their prayers, and out of compassion for living beings, Lord Shiva drank the poison but it was so intense that something was required to cool its effects as his throat became blue. Help was taken from Chandra (Moon God) and finally a snake was placed around his neck which cooled the effect of the poison and the throat became blue. Thus Lord Shiva is also known as Neelakantha.This hari-dasa story involving Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva is often depicted in Hindu households.

A Festival Significant

Shivratri is considered especially auspicious for women. Married women pray for the well being of their husbands and sons, while unmarried women pray for an ideal husband like Shiva, who is the spouse of Kali, Parvati and Durga. But generally it is believed that anyone who utters the name of Shiva during Shivratri with pure devotion is freed from all sins. He or she reaches the abode of Shiva and is liberated from the cycle of birth and death.

Shivarathri Pooja

Special pujas are performed at the temple on the occasion of Maha Shivaratri. Pooja is conducted strictly according to the method prescribed in Shiva Purana, according to which, Shiva Linga should be given ceremonious bath and puja should conducted every three hours on Mahashivratri. Abhisheks are done using milk, yogurt, honey, ghee, sandalwood paste and rose water. Each item is poured over the Shiva Linga, to symbolize different meanings. Milk stands for piousness, while yogurt symbolizes prosperity. Abhishek is done with honey to acquire a sweet speech, while ghee is used to represent victory. It is said that sugar symbolizes happiness and water is the symbol of purity. After the Abhisheks are performed, the Shiva Linga is adorned with a stalk of three Bilwa leaves, to mark the culmination of the previous ritual. Thereafter, kumkum (vermilion) is applied on the Shiva Linga. Apart from Bilwa leaves, one can see devotees offering beetle leaves to the deity. Jujube fruit is a favorite of the deity, and hence, it is also offered by the devotees. In the mean time, the devotees indulge in immense chanting of 'Om Namah Shivaya'. Sounds of bells add to the festive mood in the temples. The air is filled with the aroma of incense sticks and dhoop.