Maha Shivratri is one of the most celebrated Hindu festivals observed annually to honor Lord Shiva. The festival usually falls in February or March; in 2023, it will be celebrated on February 18, i.e., Saturday. Here are some things to keep in mind and the best time to do the puja:
Best time for Maha Shivratri 2023 Puja
The best time for performing puja on Maha Shivratriis during the night, especially during the "Nishita Kaal" period. This is when Lord Shiva is said to have performed the Tandava Nritya, the cosmic dance of creation, preservation, and destruction. Nishita Kaal begins at 11:52 pm on February 18, 2023, and ends at 12:42 am on February 19, 2023. So, the best time for puja is during this period.
Things to keep in mind while performing Maha Shivratri 2023 Puja
Fasting during Maha Shivratri 2023
The traditional way of observing the Maha Shivratri fast is to abstain from food and water all day and night and break the fast the next day. However, it can be challenging for some people, especially those who have health issues or are not used to fasting.
Offerings to Lord Shiva during Maha Shivratri 2023
Offerings to Lord Shiva during Maha Shivratri can vary according to regional and cultural customs. However, some of the regular offerings to Lord Shiva during this auspicious occasion include Bilva leaves or bel leaves, fruits and sweets (bananas, laddoos, dates, coconuts, etc.), milk, dhatura, and bhang.
Maha Shivratri 2023 Puja and Chants
Recite the following mantras during the puja:
Om Namah Shivaya
This is the most popular and powerful mantra for Lord Shiva. It means "I bow to Shiva" and is believed to bring peace, happiness, and blessings to Lord Shiva.
Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra
This mantra is a powerful prayer for good health, long life, and freedom from fear and negativity. It goes like this:
"Om Tryambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam, Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityormukshiya Maamritat."
Shiva Gayatri Mantra
This mantra is a prayer for knowledge, wisdom, and spiritual growth. It goes like this:
"Om Tatpurushaya Vidmahe Mahadevaya Dhimahi Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat."
Shiva Tandava Stotram
This is a hymn by Ravana, the demon king, in praise of Lord Shiva. It describes Lord Shiva's cosmic dance and his powers. It is a powerful and melodic chant that can fill the mind with devotion and peace.
Offer Aarti to Lord Shiva by waving a lamp or candle in front of his picture or idol. Finally, seek Lord Shiva's blessings and express your gratitude to him.
Meditation during Maha Shivratri 2023
Meditation during Maha Shivratri is a powerful way to connect your inner self with Lord Shiva and seek their blessings. You must follow the appropriate steps to meditate.
Having positive intentions while performing the puja is essential. This will help you connect with Lord Shiva and receive his blessings. If you plan to light candles, incense, or diya during the puja, make sure you do it safely and keep it away from anything that can catch fire.