Upon their failure, Shiva appeared out of the lingam and proclaimed that he was the creator of them both, and should, thereafter, be worshiped in phallic form rather than in bodily form.

Shivratri is also especially important for women, as married women use this day to pray for their sons and husbands. Unmarried women pray that they might receive a husband who is as like Shiva as possible.

The Most Important Hindu Festival

The Maha Shivratri festival is well-attended by hundreds of thousands of people each year, and, for many, it is the most sacred of all Hindu festivals, with devotees who perform sincere acts of worship for Shiva being absolved of all sins, attaining moksha—the escape from the cycle of death and rebirth.

This, for Hindus, moksha is one of the four primary goals of human life, alongside virtue, prosperity, and fulfillment, and so we can see why Maha Shivratri is so widely celebrated and revered.

Above all, this is the night and day when darkness is cast out of the human mind and heart, and illusions are destroyed by the cleaving sword of Lord Shiva, driving humanity out of its blindness and into the light.