Shivratri Fast is measured to be the most important fast for the devotees of Lord Shiva. Shiva Purana goes on to say that if a devotee observes shivratri Vrata with sincerity, pure devotion, and love he is blessed with the godly grace of Lord Shiva. Every year devotees observe Maha shivratri fast with devotion and authenticity. Though many go on a diet of fruits and milk, some do not eat even a drop of water all through the day and night of shivratri Festival.
According to Hindu Purana, the ceremony of Maha Shivratri Vrat with order helps a devotee to control the two great natural forces that afflict a man, rajas guna (the quality of loving movement) and tamas guna (the quality of apathy). When a devotee spends an entire day in the Feet of Lord and worships with honesty, his motion is controlled and evils like lust, annoyance, and envy, born of Rajas are ignored and subdued. Besides, when a devotee observes vigil right through the night (jaagran) he manages to defeat the evils of Tamas Guna too.
It has also been mentioned that when a devotee monitors around of worship every three hours, the Shivaratri Vrata becomes perfect.
What are the traditions of shivratri fast
According to the tradition, devotees who are on a strict fast on shivratri take bath with the water that is boiled with black sesame seeds to wash away physical impurities. After putting on fresh new clothes, a devotee goes the nearest Lord Shiva temple to perform the ceremony Shiva Linga bath with milk, honey etc. While bathing the Lingam a devotee prays, “O Lord ! I will bathe Thee with water, milk, etc. Do Thou gently bathe me with the milk of knowledge Do Thou kindly wash me of all my sins, so that the fire of worldliness which is baking me may be put out once for all, so that I may be one with Thee-the One single-handedly without a second.”
Next the sacred bath, devotee applies haldi-kumkum on the lingum and place a wreath of white and pink lotus flowers on it. Bel leaves are also placed at the peak of the Lingum. Aarthi and bhajans in praise of Lord Shiva are also vocal to invoke his blessings. Devotee also light annoy stick and ring temple bell to appeal to the blessing of the large-hearted Lord Shiva.
It may be noted that unlike most other festivals, where after performing the Puja of the goddess a feast follows, a Shivratri fast continues all through the day and night. Devotees watch an all-night vigil while chanting the mantra, “Om Namah Shivaya” and singing devotional hymns and songs. Even during the night, Shiva Lings is given the holy bath every 3 hours. And the offering of fruits is also made to the god. There is also the tradition to listen to the concert of various myths and stories related to Shivaratri and Lord Shiva and to appreciate its deeper meanings. It is only on the following morning that a follower breaks the fast by consuming the prasad presented to Lord Shankar.
shivratri fast Diet
Shivratri is a day most of the people will be in fast so we decide to give the best diet for those who are going to do fasting.But a full fasting on the day is not possible for many people due to different reasons like a job, business, traveling, illness etc. So there are several devotees who eat assured types of food on shivratri.
The majority of Hindus who watch shivratrifast opt for a fruit go on a diet – they eat fruits and drink lots of water on the day. Some populace also drinks milk.
Some devotees eat a mid-day meal (noon) consisting of breakfast cereal food such as boiled potatoes which are made into a curry without onion, garlic, ginger or turmeric.
In several regions, people eat Sabudana (Tapioca) Khichdi or Upma.
Some Hindu community eats a particular meal known as ‘phalar’ at midday.
an additional food eaten on the day is pakori or Kutt Singahri ki puri.
No food will be taken after sunset on shivratri day.
Next meal will be taken in the morning of Amavasya (next day sunrise) after doing pooja and generous alms.
Shivratri bhakti and Devotional songs