Maha Shivratri: While the entire nation is busy offering prayers on the holy occasion of Maha Shivratri, an interesting sight was seen at the Pataleshwar temple of the Sambhal region in Uttar Pradesh. Usually, the devotees treat Lord Shiva with Datura and Bel fruits besides his favourite Bilva leaves, water and raw milk but in Pataleshwar temple, believers offer brooms to Lord Shiva to seek his blessings. It might sound strange to few people but the people of Sambhal strongly believe that it can get their skin diseases cured.
Actually, devotees in this region believe that offering a broom to Lord Shiva can relieve them from skin ailments and that is why they seek his blessing in this unique manner. These people reportedly vow to offer a broom at the Pataleshwar temple if their diseases are cured.
Celebrated every year in the honour of the Hindu God, Shiva the meaning of the word ‘Shivratri’ literally translates to the meaning, ‘Great night of Shiva’. Dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva, Maha Shivratri is one of the most auspicious festivals for Hindus across India and abroad. Mostly on this night, Hindus chant prayers, keep fasts and meditates to honour Lord Shiva. Among most Hindus, it is believed that on this holy day, Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati got married, thus bringing together two great forces.
Hence, this day is also believed to be the convergence of Shiva and Shakti. And as Hindus from all over the country get enchanted with the discovery of the Hindu God, his values, ethics and virtues like self-restraint, honesty, forgiveness and others, it is believed that by worshiping this holy night of Shiva people get rid of their sins. Hindus further believe that Lord Shiva performs ‘tandav nritya’ on the night of Shivratri and offer honey, milk and water to the God.
Maha Shivratri usually falls on the 13th night and 14th day of the New Moon. Based on the Hindu luni-solar calendar, the festival is celebrated for three to ten days. Since it is celebrated in every lunar month of the year, there are 12 Shivratri every year. This year Maha Shivratri will be observed on the evening of February 24.