Maha Shivratri Puja Vidhi
Maha Shivaratri is celebrated in different parts of India with different rituals and traditions. The current Puja Vidhi includes visiting Shiva temple early in the morning. People make sure to finish Shiva Linga Puja before afternoon as the temple usually open only in the evening for Darshana not for performing Puja activities. While worshiping Lord Shiva in the morning, people offer milk, water and various other items including Dhatura, Bilva leves and fruits.
Here’s Lord Shiva Puja is performed by devotees during Maha Shivaratri as per various texts from religious scriptures:
- People believe that one should get up very early in the morning on the day of Maha Shivaratri. Ancient scriptures say that adding sesame seeds to the bathing water purifies it and bathing with this water not only purifies body but also the soul. If possible one should prefer bathing in Ganges.
- While taking bath one should take oath to keep fast for the whole day and to break the fast onluy on the subsequent day of Maha Shivaratri. One should seek the blessing of Lord Shiva to stick to their good ways of life and blend love in other’s lives.
- The fast of Maha shivaratri is very tough and devotees should abstain themselves from having food in any form during the fasting. Though in general cases people can have fruits and milk during the day time, in the strict form of Puja, people don’t even drink water throughout the day.
- In evening before going to the temple for Shiva Linga puja one should again take bath. Those who cannot visit temple for one reason or the other can perform Puja at home by shaping the mud in the Shiva Linga form and applying Ghee to it.
- According to the ancient texts and scriptures the Puja need to be performed with various materials like rose water, yogurt, Ghee, milk, honey, sugar, water and sandalwood. The Puja can be done either one time or four times in the whole day.
- People who perform Four Prahar Puja should do the Abhishek with water during the first Prahar, second Prahar with curd Abhishek, third Prahar with Ghee Abhishek and the fourth with honey Abhishek.
- After performing the Abhishek rituals, the Shiva Linga should be adorned with garlands of bilva leaves. The reason behind using the Bilva leaves is that they placate Lord Shiva.
- After adoring the Shuva Linga with Bilva garland, Kumkum and Chnadan is applied and Dhup isw lighted. Then other items like Madar flower, Vibhuti also called as Bhasm are offered to the Shiva Linga.
- Thought out the Puja one should keep chanting the Mantra, “Om Namah Shivaya”. The fast should be broken only on the next day of Shivratri after having bath before Chaturdashi Tithi ends and in that way most benefit of the Vrat is obtained.
- It is also recommended that one should have only one meal a day before Maha Shivaratri so as to make sure that there is no trace of any undigested food inside the body when you are on fast.