Lord Shiva Puja Specifications
Lord Shiva is an indispensable part of the great holy Trinity, Brahma (the Creator), Vishnu (the Preserver) and Mahesh/Shiva (the Destroyer). Lord Shiva is worshipped with great devotion by his followers and it is believed that he can be pleased very easily. People believe that by worshipping Lord Shiva with good intention and a clean heart, one can attain salvation. People chant mantras like Om Namah Shivay! From the root of Lord Shiva originated the word Om, so when a person recites Om, he/she is worshipping Lord Shiva. Even though there aren’t too many rituals, there certain Lord Shiva Puja Specifications.
There are specific festivals related to Lord Shiva where the puja is performed in specific ways, there are some general guidelines that one should keep in mind while worshiping Lord Shiva.
Monday is the day for Lord Shiva, thus many unmarried girls fast on Mondays. The fast is known as 16 somwar and it is observed by unmarried girls for 16 consecutive Mondays. As Lord Shiva is considered to be the ideal husband, unmarried girls pray to Lord Shiva to bless them with considerate and loving husbands just like him. Married women fast for Lord Shiva too and pray for the wellbeing and long life of their husbands.
Usually, while performing puja on any of the festivals of Lord Shiva, devotees offer the lord, Panchamrit. It is a special mixture that contains milk, gangajal (water of the river Ganges, which is considered sacred), water, saffron and sugar/honey.
Some of the basic Lord Shiva puja specifications are as follows:
- Offer milk from a steel container to the Shivling (a representation of Lord Shiva in Hindu Temples).
- Offer water from a bronze container to the Shivling.
- Put sandalwood tilak on all the idols of Lord Shiva’s family, namely, Lord Shiva himself, Parvatiji (his wife), Lord Ganesha and Lord Karthikey (his sons), Shesh Naag (Snake king who coils around Shiva’s neck), and Nandi (the ox who is Shiv’s Vahan) and in temples serves as the Dwarpalak (the guardian) to the shrine.
- It is believed that Shivji likes white flowers, so after the tilak various kinds of white flowers are offered to the deity.
On special occasions and Shiva festivals there are various other offerings that devotees make. These include Bel leaves, Bel (fruit), Gangajal, Rice grains, Ber (fruit). After all the offerings are made to Lord Shiva, devotees usually recite the Shiva Chalisa. In many cases it is observed that his followers recite various mantras as well as the Shiva Chalisa every Monday.
Some experts believe that there are many benefits that a person gets when s/he worships Lord Shiva; the most common of them are listed below:
- It is said to purify a person’s soul
- By making offerings to Lord Shiva, one can attain a satisfactory life
- By lighting a lamp in the name of Lord Shiva, a person is said to become knowledgeable and intelligent
- If a person bathes the Shivling in curd, Lord Shiva may bless him/her with a vehicle
- If a person bathes the Shivling with Gangajal (the sacred water of river Ganges), he can attain moksha or salvation
- If the person makes offerings in the form of honey, ghee and sugarcane he would be blessed with wealth and prosperity
If you worship Lord Shiva with true dedication and devotion you shall be blessed with good life and ultimate salvation.
Om Namah Sihavaya!!!