Maha Shivaratri

The "great night of Shiva" was this past weekend: Saturday overnight into Sunday.Because Shiva is a God of meditation, austerity, and contemplation, this festival is much less about frolicking than many others. This is a night for dedication and discipline. It is traditional to fast during the day and then stay up all night praying to Shiva. Interestingly, even though Shiva is very monk-like, he is also the God that women pray to for good husbands and a happy marriage.Some say that the o … [Read more...]

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The idea of fasting comes up in several different religions which makes me think that there's more to it than meets the eye.Ritual fasting in Hinduism seems to fall mainly into two purposes: pleasing the Gods and focusing the soul.A lot of the stories show the benefits of currying favor with the Gods. When people perform austerities to an impressive enough degree, they are rewarded with favors from the Gods.At the same time, the wise men suggest that these austerities, such as f … [Read more...]

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