Mahashivaratri is celebrated with devotion and religious fervor and surrender to Lord Shiva. Shivaratri falls on the moonless 14th night of the new moon in the Hindu month of Phalgun,
Masik Shivratri is celebrated on the 13th night or 14th day of each month, during the ‘Krishna Paksha’(waning moon).
I am not good at mantras and rituals, so i try to put forward what i know by shiva grace.
We do pray Shiva by many name and form daily, but on this day the cosmic energy are in line for us to get result of praying 100 days. So one shpuld utilise this day doing upwasa.
Here upwasa means
Staying close to Shiva
That means your day and night are spent in chantin, hearin of Shiva nama, stotra, katha so on. Fasting , you take fruit , vegetables with no oil cooking. I would go with fruit, raw milk, dry fruits. Idea is to not worry on food and concentrate on God and same time not starve oneself.
Here nighy awareness (Jagara) means
It means to stay focused on divinity in night and not straining yourself indulging in worldly things we do. One could meditate but try to not drift away and get maximum benefit of energies.
Linga itself means “The Form “. To elaborate, the all of cosmos is of matter/form and no form (say energy and others). These exchange their state time to time in creation and destruction. May be I could even pull Einstein’s theory .
So in simple words Linga is form given to one which are means and channel to the formless and form(having body)
Linga is combination of Rudra, Vishnu, Shakti and Brahma working as channel to for and energy creation, maintain and disolve. So just sitting in front of Linga without any prejudice or pre assumption also would make one experience the alingment of energy to all cosmos and hence a very devine experience.
How to celebrate Maha shivaratri?
Early morning before sunrise. If possible without heating water. Since I dont know mantra, I would invoke Ganga, sarawati, Godavari and chant Shiva naama and take a “Complete Headbath”.
No specific dress code . Actally men should try todo pooja only with dhoti and no cover torso any manner.
Best way to immerse your thoughts to lord is to hear his stories. Preseting 3 main stories.
Story 1: Marriage of Shiva Parvati
Shiva Parvati Stotra
Story2: Amrit Manthan
Click above image to have all knowing of Sagar Mathan.
Spiritual Essence of Mànthan
Story3: Gurudruhu Bhil
This is my favourite story. Here a hunter unkowingly, climbs Bilwa tree and in day and night long persuit of daily deeds,he unknowingly drops Bilwa patra over Shiv linga under the tree. The devine energy of linga develop compassion and he lets go deer which he could hunt to fill his family stomachs.
Spiritual Essence in my point of view
Tree in vedanta resemble knowledge and wisdom. Here the hunter climbs tree meanss has access to knowledge and wisdom.
Then he unkowingly throws Bilwa patra. Which has effect if doing omkar.
There is another intresting story how bilwa tree formed.