Do you want to know how to worship Lord Shiva? In this article we discussed the procedure to worship of Lord Shiva, abhisheka, mantra, tantra, kriyas, and mudras.
Purpose of Shiva Puja
The purpose of Shiva Puja and fasting is to prepare the body and mind to get the blessings of Lord Shiva. Shiva Puja, night vigil and fasting are the three key aspects of Shiva worship. The worship of Shiva is quite diverse. One can worship a Shiva Statue or Lingam. However, according to Shiva Purana, worshiping Shiva in the form of infinite column or Shiva-Lingam is considered to be more virtues than worshipping the form of statue. Here, we discussed some of the basic rules for the Shiva Worship daily as well as during Shivaratri.
Shiva – Lingam is the subtle form of Lord Shiva. It is Aadi and Anantha, which means eternal and infinite. The worship rituals are explained both in Skanda Purana and the Shiva Purana.
Shiva loves Abhisheka, which is the way to offer holy water to Shiva. In many Shiva temples, there is a vessel hung over the Lingam called “Thaara Paathra”, that continuously drips water or other offerings onto the Lingam to fulfill Shiva’s love for Abhisheka. Taking Tripundra vibhudhi (three lined ash) on the forehead, is one of the key aspect of Shiva Puja.
Shivratri fasting is extremely auspicious. There are two types of fasting strict form of fasting and light form of fasting. The strict form of fasting consists of abstaining from food, drinks and water. The milder form of fasting allows consuming milk, water and fruits.
It is said that Lord Shiva is very fond of milk. Each year Shiva devotees offer milk to the Shiva lingam. Milk is also consumed widely during the vrat. Both milk and milk based foods are popular during the vrat.
The most important aspect of the fasting is abstaining from bad thoughts, bad company and bad words. The devotee must practice virtues and keep away from all evils.
When the devotee observes a fast with discipline and spends the entire day at the feet of Lord Shiva, his/her mind is controlled. Fasting with sincerity and uttering the names of Lord Shiva with perfect devotion purifies the soul and five energy bodies. It is believed, that such a devotee reaches the abode of Lord Shiva and lives there happily and get liberation from the cycle of birth and death.
Prayer and Night Vigils
Prayers and night vigils go on throughout the night of Maha Sivaratri, what also makes the festival special is the whole night worship and celebration. The fasting on Shivratri starts at dawn and continues over the day and night. The fasting must conclude only on the next day morning.
The specialty of this Shivaratri is that the marriage of Shiva and Parvati was completed on this day. And so on this day married men and women worship Shiva by fasting without water to spend their married life happily. Also unmarried women fast to get a good husband like Shiva.
Om Namah Shivaya Mantra: Meanings, Glory and Adoration
Namah Shivaya means “Adoration to Lord Shiva.” The separate words that make up this beautiful mantra are as follows:
- Om: The Primodial Sound of Creation. The first vibration that emerged out of the void and silence that existed before creation. It is also the root of all the sounds, words and mantras.
- Namah: my salutations, or I bow or I surrender to the Supreme Beauty.
- Shiva: to Shiva, the auspicious, the peaceful, the absolute Truth, and the most beautiful one. We call “satyam shivam sundaram”. Shiva specifically means, auspicious, propitious, gracious, benign, kind, benevolent, friendly.
- Aya: means “to” or “for” the word that it is attached to.
The Om Namah Shivya is a five-syllable mantra. The five five-syllables are: Na ma si va ya. Om is beyond everything and includes everyhing. Hence, Om is not counted in the manta syllable counting. Here, Na represents earth, ma water, si fire, va air, and ya ether.
Four Separate Mantras to Worship Lord Shiva
Shivaratri is observed in the night in four ways, in the four parts of the night. When Shivaratri is observed in right way with devotion, the result is obtained. Worship Lord Shiva on this day with four separate mantras. Know all those rules.
1. In the first part, worship with milk with the mantra “Hring Ishanaya Namah”.
2. In the second part of the night, worship with curd with the mantra “”Hring Aghoriya Namah”.
3. In the third part of the night, worship with ghee with the mantra “Hring Bamdevaya Namah”.
4. At the end of all, in the fourth, morning, worship Lord Shiva by bathing with honey with the mantra “Hring Sadyojataya Namah”.
Chanting the names of Lord Shiva and listening to the glories of the Lord are the most beneficial activities advised for the devotees.
Summary of Shiva Puja
1. You have to wake up in the morning, take a bath in sesame water in the morning and cleanse yourself.
2. Worship Shiva by fasting, without water all day long. If you can’t fast alone, you should eat fruits and milk..
3. At four parts of the night, Shiva is bathed four times with milk, curd, ghee, and honey with proper mantra.
4. Mahadev will be satisfied if you give belpata, akanda flower, kusum, sandalwood for puja.
5. Milk and milk products should be offered to Shiva.
Shivratri fasting and night vigil and puja is extremely auspicious.
The five face of Shiva represents the five branches of Saiva Tantra. In Hindu astrology, Shiva is considered as the ruler of the planets and the mind and thus worshipping Shiva gives greater mental strength, vitality and vigor.
Shiva loves Abhisheka, which is cleanse with holy water. Shiva is the God of all compassion when it came to saving the world from the serpent Vaasuki’s poison during the Samudra Manthan. Lord Shiva saved the world from poison, which is symbolic. Lord Shiva is continuously saving us from the negative energies.
May Lord Shiva Bless you all!
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