Today is Maha Shivaratri and the crescent moon that appears on this the 14th day after the New moon in February/ March every year is especially powerful to those who chant Mantras. The crescent moon is so identified with Shiva and so this morning I got up at 4:00 a.m. to shoot the waning moon.
Any Mantra you perform on Maha Shivaratri will be multiplied by 1,000 times! Especially those that honor Shiva or Parvati/Lakshmi.
Every month, Shivaratri is the 14th day after the new moon, as I mentioned, it is said on this day that Shiva and Shakti unite. Once a year however, the 14th day that lands either in February or March depending on the Hindu calendar (during the month of Maagh), is especially important and it is called the Maha Shivaratri.
This is the day to honor Shiva and His spouse Parvati (Lakshmi).
I was driving in the car today and suddenly out of nowhere I started chanting the Markendeya Mantra. I was surprised as I have not been chanting it lately and then I remembered it was Maha Shivaratri and smiled to myself, as this Mantra is one of the most powerful Shiva Mantras there is:
MARKENDEYA / MRITYUNJAYA MANTRA
OM TRIYAMBAKAM YAJAMAHE
SUGANDHIM PUSHTI VARDHANAM
URVAR UKAMIVA BANDHANAN
MRRITYOR MUKSHIYA MAMRRITAT
(Rig Veda: Mandala 7, Hymn 59, Verse 12)
We worship the Three-eyed one (Lord Shiva) who is naturally fragrant, immensely merciful, and who is the protector of His devotees. Worshipping Him, may we be liberated from death for the sake of immortality, just as the ripe cucumber easily separates itself from the binding stalk.
Chant this Mantra as much as you can for the rest of the day and every 14th day after the new moon.
It is especially powerful for healing systemic illnesses and prolonging life. If you are dealing with a serious condition I would chant this Mantra as much as you can.
When I started chanting Mantras for serious, out of all the Mantras I knew of, this was the one I chose to be my first 40 day discipline. I suppose I felt first things first – live a long life:-)