Shivratri was celebrated last month. Books have been written on Shiva by Amish Tripathi who is described as a literary pop star. He has gone on to describe Lord Shiva as a fun loving God. Lord Shiva is the only God out of the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) who stays on earth (Mount Kailash). Tripathi goes on to describe lord Shiva as great fun, who respects and loves his wife a lot, who dances brilliantly and is a fierce warrior who drinks Bhaang. He has portrayed Lord Shiva with all his faults.
He is the only Indian author who has been given a sum of rupees 5 Crores in advance for his next book. He has made mythology very popular among the youth. It was my grandma who narrated the stories of Ramayana and Mahabharatha to me. I may not remember it all, but a book like this is the one which can enlighten the youth about mythology. The author has gone to describe that evil serves the purpose sometimes, and thus he has gone on to describe Shiva as the destroyer of evil. I loved the book and would ask everyone to take a glance at all the three books. The book is to be made into a movie by Dharma Production. Thus he has brought Lord Shiva to many households.
There is also an Indian serial Devon Ke Dev Mahadev shown on Life OK. And I personally find Mohit Raina (the actor who plays the role of Mahadev) very sexy.
Here is a look at some of the important stories associated with Shivratri
1) The story of Shivratri based on a hunter unknowingly dropping Bilva leaves on a Lingam.
There once lived a tribal hunter who was a Shiva devotee. One day he lost his way while hunting and was trapped in the forest at night. Soon wild animals started to gather around him and he climbed a Bel or Bilva tree. In order to keep himself awake, he started plucking Bilva leaves and dropped it down repeating ‘Om Namah Shivaya.’ In the morning, he discovered that he had been dropping the leaves on a Shivalinga. And the word spread that he was saved by Lord Shiva. People started celebrating the day as Shivratri. The story is mentioned in Mahabharata by Bhishma while on the bed of arrows. The hunter was born as King Chitrabhanu in his next birth and he had the power to remember his previous births. He discussed the importance of Shivratri with a sage and
people came to know about the holiness of the night of Shiva.
2) Story of Shivratri based on Vishnu and Brahma searching for the Origin of Linga
Lord Vishnu and Brahma wanted to know who was superior and this led to a fight. Lord Shiva intervened and said that whoever can find out the origin or end of Shivalinga is superior. Lord Shiva appeared before them in the form of a huge pillar of fire. Lord Vishnu went down searching and Brahma went up searching. Both travelled and travelled but never reached the beginning or end. After the futile search, Lord Vishnu and Brahma prayed to Shiva and appeared before them in the form of Jyotirlinga and this day of the appearance of Lord Shiva is celebrated as Shivratri. This Linga form of Shiva is also known as Lingodabhavamurti.
3) The Story of Shivratri based on Samudra Manthan
This is a famous legend on Shivratri and happened during the churning of ocean (Samudra Manthan) by Devas and Asuras to get ‘Amrit.’ While churning the ocean, a highly toxic poison known as Halahala came out and Lord Vishnu asked the Devas and Asuras to approach Lord Shiva to escape from the poison. Shiva agreed immediately to help them and drank the poison. In order the poison to have no effect, Lord Shiva should not sleep. So the Devas and Asuras kept praying the whole night. Pleased with the devotion Lord Shiva said ‘whoever worships me on this day will get their wishes fulfilled.’
May Lord Shiva shower you with his blessings.