Published On: Thu, Jan 25th, 2018

Mahashivratri 2018: The significance and benefit of the vratha or the spiritual obervences during the Shivaratri

Maha Sadashivaratri is the most auspicious night to realize “Mahasadashivoham,” to BE Mahasadashiva! On this night, an explosion of super-conscious energy happens on our planet. Vedic cosmology traces this explosion back to the Big Bang, the moment of the creation of our universe.

In the sacred Vedic text Arunachala Purana, this momentous happening is depicted as the Lord Sadashiva (symbol of cosmic energy) taking the form of an endless shaft of light spanning earth and sky. Every year, by a fortunate alignment of cosmic forces, a tiny reflection of the same explosion happens on our planet on this night.

The significance and benefit of the vratha or the spiritual obervences during the Shivaratri

In, Srimad Kamika Agama, Uttara Bhagah, Chapter 11 Magha Sivaratri Puja Vidhi
Verse 1-3, Sadashiva Says:

atha vakṣye viśeṣeṇa śivarātri vrataṁ dvijāḥ|
śṛṇvantu saṁyatā yūyaṁ vratānāṁ uttamottamam|| 1

O, the twice-born Sages!, now I will explain with specific details the process of performing the Sivaratri-worship. All of you listen to these instructions with concentrated mind since this specific worship(vrata) is considered to be the foremost among the superior kind of worship.

anuṣṭhitaṁ purā devyā yadanyairapyanuṣṭhitam|
mayā saha mudā sārdhaṁ ramantīpsitamāyayuḥ|| 2
na bādhyante yamādeśāt kiṅkaraiḥ krūradṛṣṭibhiḥ|
yamaṁ cāpi na paśyanti narakāṇi ca no yayuḥ|| 3

This vowed observance(sivaratri vrata) was duly accomplished earlier by Devi(Sivasakti) and was performed by others(deities and sages) according to the rules prescribed for that. Because of such accomplishment, Devi attained blissful state being united with me. Others were enabled to experience much delighted state, having obtained all those desired by them. Those who observe this supreme vow would not be bound with the ropes hurled by the servants of Yama who cast dreadful looks with their protruding eyes. They would not see even Yama. And, they will never go to the hellish worlds.

Shaastra Pramana (Scriptural Authority)

Sadashiva reveals in Mṛgendrāgamaḥ I vidya Pada(universal knowledge) in karmavicāra prakaraṇam

Transliteration :

svāpe vipākamabhyeti tatsṛṣṭāvupayujyate|
māyāyāṁ vartate cānte nābhuktaṁ layameti ca|| 5

Translation :

This karma attains maturity during the state of total absorption (pralaya). It becomes fit enough for providing the enjoyments at the time of next creation. It exists in maya stored in the form of impressions (samskara). Without being experienced, karma never goes out of existence.

This year Shivaratri is on February 13th.

Source: Srimad Kamika Agama
Translation: Dr. S.P. Sabharathnam Sivacharyar
Publisher: Himalayan Academy

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