The festival of Maha Shivaratri in India is a major festival for the Hindus. This is a major festival dedicated to Lord Shiva. On the day of Falgun Krishna Chaturdashi, this festival of Shivratri (Shiva-nights) is celebrated in a very magnificent way.
There are 12 Shiv-festivals throughout the year, from which Mahashivratri is considered as the most important festival.
People keep fast on this day and consume meal only one time and chant Shiv mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’. On this day, they would abstain from food made with rice, pulses or wheat. However, the devotees may eat fruits and drink tea, milk or coffee during the fast, if they have not observed nirahar vrat (fast without the consumption of any form of foodstuff).
In the evening, after performing puja, they would break the fast by eating rotis made of singhare ka atta (kuttu ka atta) and sabu dana kheer (a dessert made of sago). Sendha namak (rock salt) is used to cook food for the fast.
Lord Shiva’s consecration is done on a holy occasion of Shivratri in different ways.
Jalabhishek: That is done by water (Jal).
Milk: Second milk is done.
Since morning a very long line of devotees is gathered outside Lord Shiva’s temples, they all come to worship Shiva lingam and pray to God for themselves and their loved ones.
All devotees go to the holy places at the time of the sunrise, such as in the Ganges or the Khajaraho Shiv Sagar or in any other holy water source. They bath and cleanses the body which is very important for all Hindu festivals. After bathing, they wear clean clothes (Laundered clothes).
All devotees take water inside the temple to do a Shiva lingam bath. All women and men pray to Lord Shiva and Vishnu, and you have to circumambulate 3 or 7 times of Shiva lingam, you can put water and milk in it too.
According to Shiv Purana, 6 items in Mahashivaratri Puja must be included which we have shared further.
1. We should do abhishek with water (Jal), honey and milk of Shiv Ling. Plum or plum leaves which represent the purification of the soul are used.
2. After bathing, shiv ling is applied with vermilion paste. It represents virtue.
3. Fruits, it reflects longevity and satisfaction of desires.
4. Money, burning incense, yield (grain).
5. Burning deepak, it is very suitable for the realization of knowledge.
6. Pan leaf is very important for worldly pleasures, it satisfies satisfaction.
If any devotee has any desire and he worships Lord Bhole with full devotion on the day of Mahashivaratri, it is believed that his desire is definitely fulfilled. So if this Mahashivaratri you want to fulfill your heart’s desire, then fast and worship according to the instructions. There is no policy-rule how to do puja, Lord Shiva is pleased even if he is worshiped in a simple way or just remembering him.