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Mahashivratri is one of the most revered Indian festivals and is celebrated with great devotion and fervor by Hindus in honor of Lord Shiva. Shivratri, literally, means the Great Night of Shiva, and is celebrated to mark the day Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvathi.

Mahashivratri – the Great Night of Shiva – falls on March 8th 2024.

On the occasion of Mahashivratri, devotees observe a day-long fast and worship Lord Shiva with great ardor. The Mahashivratri fast begins on the morning of the festival and ends the following morning. Fasting rules are the same for all Shivratris (there is a Shivratri every month), including the Mahashivratri.

What is special about the mahshivratri fast?

It is believed that whoever worships Lord Shiva on this day receives the grace of the Lord and attains Salvation. Fasting on this day can equal the benefits of a whole year’s rigorous prayer! The scriptures quote Lord Shiva as promising that whoever worships Him, and fasts on Mahashivratri will be dearer to him than his own son Kartikeya!

So, are you all set to soak deep in Bliss by fasting and praying on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri?

Here are a few fasting tips to help you stay healthy, hydrated, detoxified, and rejuvenated: physically and spiritually.

Useful tips for mahashivratri fast

1. Prepare yourself mentally

Since you are observing a fast towards a sacred and pure cause, staying happy, calm and prayerful will help you sail smoothly through the day. Be stress-free and happy, so you can feel energetic and keep your prakruti (innate nature) in balance – this will help you maintain your fast more easily.

2. Keep yourself hydrated well

Drink at least eight glasses of water while you are fasting to purify your body – it will help wash away toxins and waste. If you are fasting on water alone, increase the amount of water to match your body’s requirements. This will also help you stay energized and avoid getting tired and hungry. However if your pitta (acidity) levels are too high, it would be better to follow a light diet along with water since this body type tends to release toxins too quickly.

3. Avoid heavy or strenuous physical activity

While you are fasting, it would best to avoid a heavy workout or any physically challenging work/activity to maintain your rate of metabolism and stay active all day. Instead, choose more sedentary pastimes such as working at your desk, reading spiritual books, listening to devotional music or, simply, meditating to rest your body and mind.

4. Choose liquids for detox

Fasting with a variety of liquid foods is a healthier option for people who find it tough to go hungry, or have health issues to consider. For example, pregnant women, and people with diabetes, digestive issues, severe weakness and such ailments.

You could include juices, milk, milkshakes, herbal tea, yogurt, or buttermilk in your diet to help you get through your fast successfully.

5. Eat light (if you must)

If you choose to include fruits and light meals to your fast, make sure the food is soft and in limited quantities. It would help to avoid raw, chewy foodstuff, or simply too much food or fruits. This is because the physical act of chewing sends a signal to the stomach to activate the digestive system and release digestive juices initiating hunger pangs

  • Pulses, rice, wheat, and table salt may be replaced with tapioca, potatoes, yams, fruits such as bananas, papaya, and melons in your Shivratri vrat
  • Use rock salt to maintain taste in your diet.

Do check with an Ayurveda doctor to know if your body type is suitable for fasting or not.

Useful tips to break your shivratri fast

Before you enter the fast, make sure you have small and frequent meals in preparation. When you are about to break your fast, ensure that you choose to eat small portions of easily-digestible food that is high in fiber and protein, and low in calories. These healthy fasting tips can enable you to cleanse yourself inside out. Your focus can then be on the crux of your fast – achieving a focused meditative state to, ultimately, be one with the Divine!