As the occasion of Mahashivratri approaches, devotees want to observe Vrat and do the Puja. Read on to know more about Mahashivratri Vrat and Puja and the methods to do it.
Mahashivratri is an important occasion celebrated in obeisance of the Hindu God Shiva. He is also lovingly called by other names such as ‘Shivji’, ‘Bholenath’, ‘Maheshwara, ‘Rudradev,’ etc. Hinduism is the dominant religion of India with more than a billion followers. In Indian mythology, Lord Shiva is one of the three main deities who play a role in the cosmic functioning of the universe.
Who is Lord Shiva?
Lord Shiva is one among the three main deities in Hinduism along with Vishnu and Brahma. Lord Brahma is the creator, Lord Vishnu is the preserver and Lord Shiva is the destroyer. He destroys evil and knows everything happening in the world. It is said that when Lord Mahadev gets angry, he can destroy the whole universe within a split second. He is said to be hot-tempered, hence people offer bilva leaves to him on the day of Shivratri as it is meant to have a cooling effect. Women pray to Lord Shiva on the day of Shivratri for seeking a suitable husband. Lord Shiva has a blue throat because he consumed the poison and saved the world from destruction as per mythology.
Why Do People Fast on Mahashivratri?
Mahashivratri is celebrated in honor of Lord Shiva – the ultimate God
of destruction whose matted locks holds the river Ganges and who always has the crescent moon on his head. Like many other Hindu festivals, it is believed that fasting on this day and praying to Lord Shiva brings one good luck, prosperity and blessings. It is believed that fasting on this day brings you closer to God so you can experience oneness and union with your favourite deity. People break their fast the next day by partaking the Prasad which is also distributed to friends, family and devotees. The mind, body and soul are purified by fasting and praying on this important day.
How to Fast on Shivratri?
You can start the day before itself by only having a single meal. In ancient India, people would wake up early in the morning on this day and take a dip or bath in the holy Ganges. After that you are supposed to fast without drinking even a single drop of water. You can have specific foods like potato based dishes, sabudana, ragi, etc. Milk beverages like thandai or kheer can be eaten since Lord Shiva was fond of milk. Avoid onion, ginger, garlic and turmeric. The Mahashivratri
Vrat starts in the morning and concludes only next day as per correct time. Devotees are supposed to strictly avoid meals after sunset.
How to Perform Puja to Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri?
On the day of Shivratri, the devotees bathe the Shiv Ling with milk, water and honey. The festival goes on all through the night and devotees bathe the Shiv Ling after every gap of three or four hours. You have to be awake the entire night and offer your prayers
. You should take a bath early in the morning and once again in the evening before the commencement of the night Puja
. Shiv temples are generally open all through the night on the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri. The Shiv ling is bathed with milk, ghee, curd, sugarcane juice, flowers, etc.
Some Facts about Mahashivratri Vrat and Puja
- Those observing the Nirahar Vrat cannot consume any foodstuffs however others can have light foods like fruits and milk.
- Chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaya&rsquo during the day and night is very beneficial. You can meditate and absorb the positive vibes.
- On the day of Mahashivratri, you should eat a diet without rice, pulses or wheat. Use rock salt instead of regular salt and some people also substitute red chilly with black pepper.
Devotees sing bhajans and hymns all through the night in praise of Lord Shiva. You should visit a Shiv temple near your house and observe the fasts and prayers with devotion and discipline. You will then certainly gain his favour and he will bless you with happiness and positivity.What are the benefits of fasting on the day of Mahashivratri? How to do Puja of Shiv Ling on Mahashivratri? How is Mahashivratri Vrat observed? Discuss here.