Ratri means ‘to take refuge’. Shivratri is taking refuge in Shiva (the soul). It is celebrating the Shiva Tatva within oneself. By nature every month Shivratri occurs before the New Moon Day (Amavasya). Among all the twelve Shivratris that occur in a calendar year, Mahashivratri, the one that occurs in Falgun month is of the most spiritual significance. Mahashivratri 2023 falls on February 18th (Saturday) with puja Muhurta from 06:40 PM till 07:05 AM the next morning. This is a the darkest night of the year when the Sun and Moon are in a fraction distance from each other in the same sign. They create high tides with their combined pull and the emotions in the human body are at their peak. For the spiritual seekers, it is time to meditate and raise their energy up in order to merge the Moon (mind) with the Sun(soul). For those in the material world, this day brings in lot of emotions and negativity and if you are in a sleeping state, it ends up affecting you adversely. This is the day Lord Shiva drinks the poison that comes out of th Samudra manthan and becomes Neelkantha(the blue throated one). Also it is said that on Mahashivratri, Lord Shiva performs ‘tandava’ dance where he crushes the demon अपस्मार पुरुष who represents ignorance and inertia. In order to calm Shiva, he is offered soothing ingredients like milk and honey. This signifies, that this is the night where ignorance is destroyed and the soul dances in the bliss of the self.
Yogic lore says that the moon is waning till the chaturdashi of each month and so, on the shivaratri night, only a small fraction of the moon is visible, indicative of the fact that today is a conducive day for the vanquish of the mind. This is basically a war strategy – Attack the enemy when he is weakest.
This is the day, spiritual seekers wait for whole year to wake whole night, pray and meditate on Lord Shiva and seek His blessings of spiritual augmentation, removal of sins and connection with their true nature that brings Sri-Laxmi in all forms in their lives.
This is a Mahapuja not to be missed !