Masik Shivratri is very important in Vedic culture. It is celebrated to commemorate the virtues of Lord Shiva, which includes saving the world from certain doom and his union with goddess Parvati. Worshipping Lord Shiva and observing fast during Shivratri is very common amongst traditional households in India. Women observe fast on Shivratri to find eligible husbands or for the welfare of their husbands and sons. It is believed worshipping Lord Shiva during the Shivratri brings happiness, prosperity, and grace in life. It also helps the devotee to escape from the cycle of birth and rebirth and to attain moksha. 

What is Masik Shivratri? 

Shivratri means the night of Lord Shiva. The 14th day during the waning phase of the moon (Krishna Paksha) is dedicated to the worship of Lord Shiva. In the western calendar, the date usually arrives in the first half of the month or Masa. The Shivratri coming on the month of Magha (February-March in the Western calendar) is the Maha Shivaratri

Masik Shivratri 2021 Dates

11th January

10th February

11th March (MahaShivaratri)

10th April

9th May

8th June

8th July

6th August

5th September

4th October

3rd November

2nd December 

Beliefs behind celebrating Masik Shivratri

It is believed that the union between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati took place on this day. It was the marriage of the ultimate ascetic to the ultimate worshipper.  According to Vedic astrology, the marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati is seen as the perfect marriage and they are seen as the ultimate power couple. Unmarried women observe fast during this day to get the perfect husband while married women observe fast to enjoy life with their husband as a perfect couple would do.  

Get free Couple’s Horoscope: A guide to a successful married life

This day commemorates the Nataraja, which is Shiva in the form of a divine dancer. Dance of Shiva is seen as the most basic form of vibrational energy that exists within the smallest subatomic particle during its short time of existence. This energy both creates the particle and destroys it. These subatomic particles are the building blocks of atoms. Atoms make molecules and molecules in turn form larger and more stable forms of existence. It is the dance of Shiva that runs the cycle of life that is birth to death to birth again. 

Another belief regarding Masik Shivratri is connected with the Samudra Manthan or the churning of the cosmic sea. During the churning process to obtain amruth, first came a deadly poison potent enough to destroy the whole world. The Devas and Asuras didn’t know what to do. They approached Lord Shiva. Being the God of Destruction, Lord Shiva could withstand the poison. So he swallowed it. It remained in his throat, giving it a blue color, giving Shiva the name Neelakanda. 

Yet another belief behind Shivratri involves the three trimurtis. The story goes that Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu once got involved in a fight to find who was more important. This fight between the titans scared the Devas. They approached Lord Shiva seeking a solution. Shiva manifested himself as a huge column of fire between Brahma and Vishnu. They decided that whosoever finds the end of the column will be declared the superior lord. Brahma sat on a swan and set out to find the top end, while Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar and set out to find the bottom. Both of them failed.

However, Brahma found a Ketaki flower which said it had been offered at the top of the column. So, upon returning, Lord Brahma lied that he had found the top of the column and held Ketaki as a witness to the event. The Ketaki flower seconded Brahma’s claim. This infuriated Shiva, who cursed Brahma saying he shall never be worshipped. Ketaki flower too was at the receiving end of Shiva’s wrath and was forbidden from being used for offering ever again. Anyway, the fight between the two lords had ended and Lord Shiva thus saved the day for Devas. This event is also commemorated during the Shivratri

How is Masik Shivratri observed – The PujaVidhi

Shivratri, as the name suggests, is observed during the night. The night is spent chanting the Shiva mantra Om Namah Shivaya, and worshipping the Shiva Lingam with a mixture of milk, water, honey, curd, turmeric powder and vibhuti (holy ash). Devotees observe fast during Shivratri. Married women observe the fast for their sons and husband, while unmarried women pray to attain a good life partner. 

Your life in 2021 – Detailed Predictions. Get now!

What are the rituals involved in Masik Shivratri?

  • Rudraabhisheka puja
  • Mahamrityunjayahoma
  • Chanting of Om NamahShivayaand MahaMrityunjaya mantras
  • Panchamritabhishekam on shivling
  • Fasting
  • Offering bhoj (food) to Brahmin priests
On Shivaratri, one should get up early before sunrise and take a bath ideally in water boiled with sesame seeds in it. Then start the day by going to a Shiva temple. Worshipping the Shiva Lingam is essential during Shivratri. As per astrology,  if the Shiva Lingam is not available then a picture of Lord Shiva decorated with sandal paste, vermillion and flower would suffice. Ideally, the puja is done at midnight during Shivratri. Sweets and a beverage laced with Bhan, made of the cannabis plant, is given away in the form of prasad. The devotees should observe fast during the day and night of the Shivratri. 

Benefits of observing Masik Shivratri

By observing fast and worshipping Shiva during Shivratri, the devotee gains blessings from Lord Shiva himself and will enjoy improved health and immunity power. It brings harmony and happiness into family life. The devotee will experience inner peace and attain the path to salvation. It will also help one gain control over anger, ill-wills and to overcome enemies.

During Shivaratri, the Sun and the Moon are in a particular alignment which elevates the mind to a realm of serenity and calmness. The Vata component of our body gets activated during this time. Vata, along with Pitta and Kapha form the three major constituents of the body. Anything related to the movement has a direct connection with Vata. 

Get detailed free Kundli predictions now!

At a physical level, Vata controls the movement of the body. At the cellular level, it controls the movement of nutrients in and out of the cell. At a psychological level, it enables the flow of memory. In the case of Vata imbalance, the person will experience issues like lethargy, pessimism, depression, aggression, and mood swings. The night of Shivratri is the best time to retain the balance of Vata in the body. 

One who does Vatakriya (action) during Shivratri gets the Vatas cleaned and lubricated. A person with a balanced and cleansed Vata will exhibit positive behavior and have a calm mind. During this time, the state of mind is most conducive for spiritual awakening. This is why it is recommended to stay awake during Shivratri and indulge in puja and chanting mantras. Immersing oneself in meditation or devotion to Shiva will cleanse the soul from negative energies and help one attain Moksha. 

in-depth horoscope