Shivratri, is one of the most significant festivals for holding a fast for Hindus that falls on the 13th night in Phalgun month. Most temples on this day, have a big festival of Shiva Kathan where the pujari narrates different stories related to MahaShivratri. The legend goes that long ago, both, Shiva’s marriage to Sati and Shiva’s marriage to Parvati (incarnation of Sati) too, occurred on this very day. But, through these marriages there is an interesting story that explains how Lord Shiva was born and why Lord Shiva is associated with Shakti.
Everybody knows the more popular story – that of the marriage of Shiv and Parvati which takes place on Shivratri. Goddess Parvati prayed to Lord Shiva to be his bride. Incidentally, for this sole occurrence, everyone celebrates Shiv Parvati marriage.
However, very few know that an era prior to this day, Shiv and Sati were also wedded on the same day. Therefore, the two most significant events marked in the life history of God Shiva occurred on Shivratri. But that is not all.
For these marriages to take place, we need to understand the story behind the Birth of Lord Shiva and why is Lord Shiva always associated with Shakti/Sati/Parvati.
‘The history of God Shiva dates to the times when The Universe was nowhere in existence. Even before the world was created, The Holy Empress was the only energy in existence. She ruled darkness, space, nature and everything that lives within. ‘The Holy Empress’ or ‘The Mighty Adi Shakti’ as the world knows her is the most pious, pure and the tranquil of everything that exists. Legend has it that she is present in everything and is everywhere. With her immense power and energy, she can create and maintain anything; and if time comes, she can even destroy everything.’ The Mighty Adi Shakti has created the Light, The Sun, the atmosphere, the mankind, the animal kingdom, the waters. To control them all and have an able ruler for the universe she propagated the most powerful energy and dispersed her power into ‘The Holy Trinity- Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva.’
As the Holy Trinity was created, she explained to them the inception of their existence- “This world is a work of everything that is pure, true and a sanctum of Holiness. Everyone will know the meaning of life and death through your power, energy and your creation. From now on you will be called as GOD- Generator, The Great Lord Brahma; Observer- Laxmi Pati and the most affectionate Lord Vishnu, Destroyer- The most honest and powerful of all- Lord Shiva” With her teachings, The Holy Trinity started following the path laid down by The Mighty Adi Shakti. Being happy with her creation she then manifested herself into Mother Nature forever.
Seeing the manifestation of Mighty Adi Shakti, the Holy Trinity accustomed themselves with her creation and her set path for them. However, Adi Shakti was not convinced with the responsibilities given to the Holy Trinity. To test her new creation, Adi Shakti transformed herself into a hideous looking deformed being and went to the palace of The Holy Trinity. Seeing such a hideous being, Lord Brahma as well as Lord Vishnu turned their heads away and did not entertain her. However, Lord Shiva calmly looked towards her with great love and care. Seeing such unconditional love, The Mighty Adi Shakti transformed into her true self and blessed Lord Shiva to be the God of the Souls. Being happy with the deed of Lord Shiva, she further exclaimed “Dear Shiva, you have made me very happy and contented. You have truly attested to the reason of my creation. From now on, a part of me will always remain with you forever. I will soon be incarnated as Sati and will be wedded to your soul.” Hearing this, Lord Shiva smiled and prayed to Adi Shakti for her blessings.
Thus, the history of God Shiva and Shiv Parvati marriage is associated with the boon given by ‘The Mighty Adi Shakti’ after creating Lord Shiva.
There are many versions of the birth and marriage of Lord Shiva and the history associated with Lord Shiva’s powers or as to why Shivratri is celebrated. But, this happens to be the most believable story for the association of Shakti and Shiv. To add to this day, the fast for Shivratri is not the usual kind. Lord Shiva, is particularly choosy and very strict about his habits, therefore, even the fast dedicated to Lord Shiva is of a certain taste. The Shivratri fast includes special fruits and vegetables like wood apple(kauth), Belphal Juice etc. Thus, Shivratri is celebrated in
the remembrance of Shiv Shakti union and with an offering to Lord Shiva of his favourite fruits.
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