Tag Archives: Goddess Parvati

Lord Shiiva and Devi Parvati

The festival of Mahashivaratri

Mahashivaratri festival

Lord Shiva, the god of destruction from the trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Mahesh is worshipped on this festival. This day falls in the month of falgun, fourteenth day of krishna paksha, as per the hindi calendar.

Lord Shiiva and Devi Parvati

Lord Shiiva and Devi Parvati

How puja is performed?

On this day,devotees visit the Shiva temples in their area. They bath in the morning and bring holy water such as gangajaal to bath the Shivalinga. Womens observe this festival for well being of their husband and children. Leaves of bel, Dhatura, Milk are deemed to be favourites of Lord Shiva and devotees bring them to offer to him. Unmarried girls pray and keep fast on this day for a husband like Shiva, who is considered to be the ideal husband. The temples are reverberated with words “Har Har Mahadev”. Devotees then take rounds of Shiva linga and then offer gangajal or milk. There  is also the custom of staying awake all night on Shivaratri while chanting the name of Lord Shiva which relates to Neelkanth.

Worship of Lord Shiva

Worship of Lord Shiva

 Legends of Mahashivaratri

A number of legends are associated with this festival. The most important is the legend of Neelkanth on consumption of poison.

Neelkanth – churning of ocean

During the churning of ocean, a pot of poison (halahal) came out of the ocean. This had the potential to destruct the whole universe. Lord Vishnu advised gods to request Lord Shiva to consume the poison.
To save the mankind, Lord Shiva drank the poison after requested by gods. Goddess Parvati pressed her neck to prevent the poison reaching to stomach. Thus, the poison remained in the neck and his neck became blue. Thus the name Neelkanth. In an effort to keep Lord Shiva awake at the night,gods danced and played music. As the day broke out, Lord Shiva, pleased with their devotion blessed them all. Mahashivaratri is the celebration of this event by which Shiva saved the world.

Neelkanth mahadev

Neelkanth mahadev

According to another legend, Mahashivaratri  is the celebraton of wedding of Lord Shiva with Parvati.

Fair and melas

A number of melas are organized and celebrated in the indian subcontinent. In Nepal, Pashupati Nath temple celebrates Lord Shiva’s birthday with grandeur. At midnight, all the four doors of the main temple of pashupatinath are opened for whole night. Rudra mantra is enchanted  and offerings are given to Lord Shiva. Nepal Army pay homage to Lord pashupatinath by volleys of gun fires at Tundikhel parade ground in Kathmandu.

In Mandi (‘Varanasi of the Hills‘), Himachal pradesh, the Shivaratri fair is celebrated for seven days. About 200 deities are assembled in this holy town. This festival has gained the importance of international festival.

Mandi during Shivaratri fair

Mandi during Shivaratri fair

Pachmarhi hosts Shivaratri mela every year. The religious festival celebrates the wedding of Lord Shiva with Parvati. This is done at Mahadev Temple, nearby Pachmarhi.

 

Wedding of Shiva and Parvati

Wedding of Shiva and Parvati

In 2013 – This festival will be celebrated on 10th March.

 

Clever Ganesha and Narada’s mango – Indian mythology

Ganesha, Kartikeya and Narada

Once, Narada took a mango to Lord Shiva and Parvati where the two sons of Lord were also present. He presented the mango to Parvati  and said that this mango is special and requested her  to accept the mango. Parvati intended to distribute the fruit between her two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya equally, but sage Narada intervened and said that this fruit cannot be cut into two and can be consumed by a single person only.

Narada suggested to have a competition between the two brothers, and the winner of the contest will be awarded the mango. Kartikeya enquired about the competition and after much thought, Narada suggested – ‘Whoever goes around the world three times first will win the mango’. Both brothers agreed to the condition put forth by Narada.

Mango by Sage Narada

Mango by Sage Narada

 

Hearing this, Kartikeya got on to the peacock and went to go around the world. Ganesha did not have a peacock or anything else he could ride so he thought for a while. He then went around Shiva and Parvathi three times and went to claim his prize saying. ‘ My Parents are the world for me. I have won the competition.

The competition between two brothers

The competition between two brothers – Kartikeya and Ganesha

Ganesha further said that Lord Shiva and Parvati are the first couple and whole universe is created with them. When he circled them three times, it was equivalent to circling the world three times. Thus he claimed his prize and started to eat the mango. When Kartikeya came back duly circling the earth three times, he found clever Ganesha eating the mango.

When he learnt that his elder brother had got the fruit by his fast thinking instead of running around, he accepted his defeat. On the other hand, Ganesha had won the contest by virtue of using his superior intellect and Kartikeya had to accept defeat in his favour.

The festival of Teej

Teej festival

Teej is a widely celebrated festival across India. People celebrate this festival in dedication to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This festival is celebrated for marital bliss, well-being of spouse and children and purification of own body and soul.

This festival is celebrated usually in the month of July-August, so it is also called as ‘Sawan festival’. Jaipur city of Rajasthan is very famous for its Teej celebrations and tourists specially come here to enjoy the celebrations of this Teej festival.

Teej is a hindi word means “third”. Therefore Teej falls on the third day after the moonless night (Amavasya) and the third day after the full moon night of every month. However, the third day after the new moon or Amavasya of Shravana (श्रावण) month is the most important Teej. As Shravana (or Saawan) month falls during monsoon or rainy season when the surroundings become green, the Shravana Teej is also called Hariyali Teej (Green Teej).

This festival is quite similar to Karwa Chauth, where married women observe fast and worship gods for well being of their husbands.

Legend behind Teej festival

Parvati was Sati in her earlier life and Sati died when her father has insulted Lord Shiva.
Shiva was very sad, so Sati appears before Shiva, in her divine form, and reassures him that she will return as the daughter of Himavan.

Teej celebrations originated from a legend of Goddess Parvati. Hindu mythology states that Goddess Parvati reunited with Lord Shiva on this day. She went through hard-core tapasya or penance and took 108 births on the earth. The myth also states that she failed to have Lord Shiva as her husband till 107th birth. In her 108th birth, Lord Shiva realized her devotion and love for him and accepted as his wife.

In this birth, Parvati remembered this and wanted Lord Shiva as her husband. For this, she had observed great penance and was living only on air. Even then, Lord Shiva tested her love for him before accepting her as a wife.

Teej Customs and Rituals

Teej customs and rituals make the festival more interesting and full of colors. Women who observe fast for their husband take proper care that no carelessness is committed while carrying out the rituals. Teej festival calls for performance of all rituals seriously if one wants to be blessed with marital bliss.

Shrinjhara

To celebrate the auspicious occasion of Teej, women perform some serious rituals. It is customary for married women to return to their parents’ home at the time of Teej. Married women and engaged girls get lot of presents from their father-in-law as per Teej customs. A traditional gift package called ‘Shrinjhara’ or ‘Sindhare’ is gifted to their daughter-in-law. This traditional name originated from the Hindi word shringaar meaning adornment. Shrinjhara package consists of Ghewar (sweet), traditional laheria dress (tie & dye), henna and lac bangles. All these items are used by the ladies to adorn herself.

Baya

Baya is another traditional package given to women observing fast on Teej. It includes dry fruits, mathris, new clothes, bangles and jewelry. It is given by mothers of the newly wed girls on the Teej Festival day.

Teej Fast

The most important ritual of Teej Festival is Teej Fast. Women and unmarried girls keep fast for long and healthy life of their husband. Teej fast goes for 24 long hours. It is the most rigorous fast in which a woman neither drinks nor eat.

Tradition of Lighting a Lamp

As per the ritual of Teej fasting, a woman should keep an oil lamp lit all night. If the oil lamp dies away, it is considered a bad omen.

Goddess Parvati

The most important ritual of Teej is to bedeck Parvati Mata and carry out auspicious processions on the streets. Idol of Goddess Parvati is decorated with fine jewelry and new colorful clothes. The fasting day of Teej is very vital as women pray to Goddess for marital bliss and happy life.

Women celebrating Teej

Women celebrating Teej

Swings

Last but not the least, swings are the common sight when Teej is near. Beautifully decorated swings are hung from trees in the garden and gaily dressed up women swing and sing traditional Teej songs. Some women also dance while singing the holy songs.