My mom-in-law almost had a nervous breakdown when she found out that I am crazy about Lord Shiva and love to light Agarbatti in front of his lustrous, 3D posters which I own at least 2-3 of them. I completely understand this sudden outbreak of emotions, considering, I clearly expressed my disinterest in regular Puja activities and reflected my extreme laziness towards Temple darshans. Miraculously, my atheist husband and super-duper atheist Father-in-law became my defenders and supporters.
So clearly, many, including my mom-in-law give me that strange confusing stare whenever they find out my dedication towards Lord Shiva. Even I myself don’t like to call myself an atheist. Coming back to my dedication, I don’t exactly remember from where did this addiction of Shiva got induced into me. I became so fond of him that I even started fasting during Maha Shivaratri every year from a very small age of around 12-13. I still remember, I almost fainted once when I was around 15 years old and people around me started laughing at me instead of feeling pity for me. The reason was, they believed a young teenager fasted for a nice groom. I had heard about this many a times but I was bit lazy to explain them that I myself do not know the exact reason behind my dedication. It was too complicated relationship 😉
It was maybe I grew up seeing my mom praying him. Not sure about the nice groom she got! (okay don’t want to bitch about my father now :P). But mostly, I was very fond of Hindu Mythology. Especially, stories of Lord Shiva are so cool. Every story of Lord Shiva is so interesting and it is reflected that he is one super cool Character. The birth of Lord Shiva, The story of Hanuman as incarnation of Lord Shiva, The Bhasmasur story, the unsuccessful attempt of Kamdeva to distract Shiva, Sati Killing herself due to the insult to her husband Shiva by her father and later Shiva going crazy for his deceased wife and so on and then the beautiful love story of Shiva and Parvati and the count of beautiful stories of Shiva goes on.
Origin of Shivratri also has interesting legends behind it. A few mark the day as wedding Anniversary of Lord Shiva and Parvati while a few others believe that in this day Shiva transformed himself into a Linga. Other set of Scholars believe that Shiva performed Tandava during Shivratri. There is also a legend behind Shivratri related to Samudra Manthan. A pot of Poison came out during the manthan which terrified Gods and demons as it was capable of destroying the World. When they ran to Shiva for help he held it in his Throat instead of swallowing due to which his entire body turned into blue and thus, obtaining a new name as Neelakantha. This night of saving the World was hence celebrated as Shivratri. Whatever the reason is, I would like to state that this is my first Shivaratri after my marriage and I am indeed thankful to be married to a super awesome husband whatever that means 😛 Nothing has changed as such. I still fast but without fainting. Little bit change can be seen in my intensity of Temple visit. It has decreased due to mixed factors like personal laziness and mechanical busy life.
Happy Shivratri to all. Have a freaking Friday night and rock your #Bhangparty 😉