February 16, 2007

Maha Shivratri

The trinity of Brahma- the creator, Vishnu -the propgator and Mahesh or Shiva- the destroyer form the basis of the Hindu religion.

Shivratri (the Night of Lord Shiva) is celebrated every year in Hindu month of Falguna . There are many stories associated with the origin of Shivratri, but whatever the story might be, it is sure to involve the simple ways by which Lord Shiva can be pleased. All he demands from his followers is faith, maybe not the easiest thing to give but definitely not the hardest.

Lord Shiva is known by many names - Bhole Nath ( The simple Lord, because of the ease with which he is pleased), Neel Kanth (The one with the blue throat, because of the poison he drunk and held at his throat in order to save the gods or the Demons from drinking it and being destroyed), Destroyer (because it is believed that he has a third eye in the centre of his forehead, which remains closed normally but, if Lord Shiva is angered enough, it opens, causing destruction all around), Ganga Dhari (because it is believed that the Holy river of Ganges in India originates from the Jata on his head) and the list of names, and the stories associated with each name goes on.

Shivratri is celebrated by fasting for the whole day - some people eat once towards the end of the day while many go without a single meal for the day. Fasting is an important part of Hindu religion and most religious holidays are associated with holding fasts.

I feel that fasts are important for any person. For one, they are an exercise in self restraint. I have found that my desire to eat something increases atleast ten fold on the day I have decided to hold a fast. Sometimes I fall to temptation , sometimes I hold out.

Second, fasting is very good for the body especially in our modern lives, where everyday our body, and digestive system in particular, are subjected to a lot of toxins through the fast food we eat. A day of fasting helps the body flush out these toxins, especially if one drinks a lot of water on the day.

So, I am going to try and fast today, and hopefully last the day.


No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails