Siva means mangalam , ‘auspiciousness’. Sivaratri means an ‘auspicious night’. On Sivaratri, we worship Lord Siva all through the day as well as the night for ajnana nivrtti (removal of ignorance of the Self). Devotees observe fast during the day and remain awake during the night, absorbed in nama japa and mantra japa (chanting the Lord’s names) and spend the night in a worshipful way. This helps one gain a certain mastery of the mind and sense organs. Pujya Swami Dayananda Sarasvati while referring to the mahima (greatness) of Sivaratri, has pointed out that spiritual practices undertaken on Sivaratri are especially effective and yield very good spiritual results.