Hyderabad: There is a difference of opinion among the archaks, panchangkarthas and the purohits over celebrating the Mahashivaratri this year.
While those following the Purva Siddhanta said that the annual festival dedicated to Lord Shiva falls on February 13, others argue that it should be celebrated on February 14, pointing out to the Drik Siddhanta.

The Telangana Vidhwatsabha – set up recently to end the confusion over Hindu festival dates  — has announced February 13 as the Mahashivaratri festival date.
Gauribhatla Ramakrishna Sharma, general secretary of Vidhwatsabha, pointed out that governments in the both Telugu states have declared February 13 as holiday.

The chaturdashi muhurat starts on February 13 night and extends till February 14 night. This results in diverse views.  The auspicious time is only for a few hours on Tuesday night, but it remains almost full day next day.

Mr Gauribhatla said that the chaturdashi coming along with the trayodashi is the most suitable time, according to the Shastras. Shrines at Srisailam, Vemulawada, and Yadadri have have selected February 13 as the festival date.

L.Subramanya Siddhanti, Asthana Siddhanti for Kanchi Peetham, pointed out that the Jyothirlinga shrines at Kashi, Somanath, Ujjaini and Kedarnath are celebrating the festival on February 13.

This confusion prevails only in the Telugu-speaking states, he noted.
“Lingodhbava (emergence of Linga) timing is 12.27 am at  midnight on February 13 and February 14. While there is only guna on February 13, the following day has three gunas — Pradosha, Nishida and Maha Nishida and so the guna is more.  Hence February 14 is the ideal date,” he said.

The Rashtriya Panchang, issued by the Centre in 14 languages, shows February 14 as Mahashivartri.

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