Worship Lord Shiva on Maha Shivaratri
As you know Lord Shiva is easily pleased. Devotees can even impress Him by the Abhisheka (the sprinkling or pouring of water on the deity). That’s why He is known as Bholenath.
Today is Maha Shivaratri, one of the most auspicious days for the devotees of Lord Shiva.
Normally, devotees observe fasting the entire day and jaagaran throughout the night (all-night vigil) on Maha Shivaratri.
Yet, certain things are to be used to please Lord Shiva on this auspicious day.
Shiva Purana says six puja items are essential to worship the Lord on Maha Shivaratri.
These include bathing of Shivalinga with water, milk and honey, wood apple or bel leaves, application of vermilion paste on the Linga, offering of fruits and betel leaves, lighting of diyas and burning of incense sticks.
Each item has its own significance:
Bathing of Shiva Linga with water, milk and honey etc. symbolizes purification of the soul.
Application of vermilion paste signifies virtue, offering of fruits and betel leaves represent longevity and fulfilment of desires, lighting of diyas symbolizes the attainment of knowledge, and burning of incense sticks signifies the flourishment of wealth.
While observing jaagaran, devotees should perform pujas in the following ways:
- Perform Abhisheka to Shiva Linga with milk and offer lotus and moong dal rice as Prasad in the first quarter of the night.
- Perform Abhisheka to Shiva Linga with curd and offer datura flower and rice made with milk as Prasad in the second quarter of the night.
- Perform Abhisheka to Shiva Linga with ghee and offer bel leaves (bilva patra) and recipes made with sesame seed powder as Prasad in the third quarter of the night.
- Perform Abhisheka to Shiva Linga with honey and offer black lily and rice as Prasad in the last quarter of the night.
Installation of Shiva Linga and performing the holy wedding ceremony of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati on this day are also believed to impress Lord Shiva on Maha Shivaratri.
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