Sunday, March 6, 2016

Maha Shivratri 2016 on 7th March, Monday

Maha Shivaratri is being celebrated on the krishna paksha trayodashi of Hindu calendar Phalgun (Feb / March) every year. On this auspicious day, devotees observe fast and keep vigil all night. Mahashivaratri marks the night when Lord Shiva performed the ′Tandava′. It is also believed that on this day Lord Shiva was married to Parvati. On this day Shiva devotees observe fast and offer fruits, flowers and bel leaves on Shiva Linga. All through the day, devotees visit Shiva temples and chant the sacred panchakshari mantra "Om Namah Shivaya".

Lord Shiva has many names and "Shankara/Shamkara" is one of the most favorite. The word "Shankara" is the combination of two words "Shan" and "kara". "Shan" means good and "kara" means doer and therefore "shankara" means doer of good deeds or giver of boons (shan karothi shankara). "Shamkara" also means the creator of harmonious or melodious sounds. Indeed, Lord Shiva is verily the source of all sounds and musical notes as symbolised by the dhamaru he holds in his hands. Origin of dance is also associated with Lord Shiva. "Shankarabharanam" is a famous raga in Carnatic music and the name meaning is "ornaments of Shankara" which also represents the seven notes of Carnatic music ie. Sa - Sarpam(serpent), Ri - Rudraksham, Ga - Ganga, Ma - Man(deer), Pa - Pushpam (flower), Dha - Dhamaru (a musical instrument), Ni - Nishakara (Moon). Shankaraabharanam although has some vague semblance to Hindusthani Raag Bilaval and western major scale do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti, is much more replete with gamaka possibilities and a technically disciplined raaga with an ancient tradition. Bilaval hardly matches the magic well defined bhaavam of Carnatic Sankaraabharanam with its remarkable serpentine grace and rich gamaka-s. Shankaraabharanam(Dheera-Sankaraabharanam) is the twenty ninth Melakarta Raaga of Carnatic music.

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