|Ratri means night. Shiva-Ratri means the night devoted to Bhagwan Shiva. On this day, Hindus fast the whole day and spend all the time during day and night in singing bhajans to Bhagawan Shiva. |
On Shiva's head is the crescent moon and it represents the nectar of life.
The Snake Garland This image of Lord Shiva shows that he is fearless.
Three-Eyed One Lord Shiva is trilochana, the three-eyed One. Third eye between the eye-brows, is the eye of wisdom. The other two eyes represent love and justice.
Ashes (vibhuti) on his body shows that our bodies are already dead, inert matter, which will turn to ashes one day. We should therefore rise above our identification with the body even while we are living. As long as our identification with body remains one can never become the master of situations.
Lord Shiva is also called nilakantha (Blue-Necked One). In ages past, when milky ocean was being churned by the gods and demons in order to get the nectar of immortality, the celestial snake, Vasuki, who was being used as the churning rope, began to vomit a fatal poison. None of the gods and daemons wanted it. In desperation they went to Lord Shiva and He took the poison and drank it. However he did not swallow the poison entirely, but kept it in his throat, which turned His neck blue. Only great and wise men will be able to swallow all the poison in life. He did not become poisonous or bitter himself. As he held it in his neck, it became an ornament for him.
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