Shiv Puja finds its mention in the oldest sacred Hindu texts and Vedas. One of the major text that describes its origin and rituals is Shiv Purana. Lord Shiva as a part of the holy trinity plays an important role to balance the life in cosmos. He is also known as a foremost Yogic guru who showed the path to yogic life, meditation and spiritual awakening.
Significance of Shiv Puja
Shiv Puja is performed to appease Lord Shiva, one of the supreme Gods in Hinduism. He plays a role of a destroyer or a transformer of the cosmos, to bring the much needed balance in the universe and remind the temporary nature of material things around us.
Shiv Puja is performed to seek his blessing along with spiritual transcendence and salvation from the worldly ties and sufferings. Shiva is always worshipped in the Lingam form. There are various legends attached to the story of how the form of a lingam came into being. The Shiv Lingam represents the union of Shiva and Shakti, i.e. Parvati. It also represents the cosmic pillar which is believed to be the originator of the entire universe. Hence worshipping Shiva signifies the reverence of the whole cosmos itself.
Another legend also states the trials Parvati had to go through in her life. She observed many Vrats and performed rigorous Tapasya while worshipping Shiv lingam. This pleased Lord Shiva, who married her later. This union is considered as the union of a perfect couple. Worshipping Shiva is said to bring marital harmony to the couples. Many unmarried women observe Solaah Somvaar Vrat or fast on Mondays to find a perfect life-partner.
Benefits of Performing a Shiv Puja
Worshipping Shiva relieves us of worldly ties and miseries. Some of the benefits of performing Shiv Puja are
- Wards off terminal illnesses. Keeps diseases at bay to help lead a long and healthy life
- Bestows professional success and happiness in general
- Brings harmony in marriages to help lead a happy married life
- Provides courage to bear and overcome the difficulties in life
- Improves overall concentration and health
- Protects from negative planetary influences that hinder your life
- Helps in attaining spiritual transcendence and salvation
Occasions to Perform Shiv Puja
As such, Shiv Puja can be performed everyday, which is also practiced by staunch devotees. Mondays are dedicated to Lord Shiva, hence most followers make it a point to visit Shiva temple on this day to offer puja and seek blessings. People who celebrate special occasions like Maha Shivratri or the Solaah Somvaar falling in the month of Shravan, follow it rigorously by observing Vrat and performing an elaborate Puja.
Shiv Puja Vidhi (Procedure)
If you have installed a Shiv Linga in your Puja Ghar, you can perform Shiv Puja even at home. Else, one can even visit a temple to perform a Shiva Puja.
- Devotees adorn fresh and clean clothes after taking a ritualistic cleansing bath in the morning before visiting temple.
- Puja begins with Dhyaanam, i.e.; meditating on Lord Shiva’s name and then chanting his name for Avaahanam, .e.; calling on him to witness the Puja
- The next step is performing Abhishekam on Shiva Lingam to appease Lord Shiva. The ritualistic abhishek is performed with various ingredients like Milk, Water, Panchamrut, Ghee and Vibhuti.
- Devotees then apply sandalwood and Vermillion(Kumkum) on Lingam and offer betel leaves to it.
- Flowers like Sankhapushpi and Jasmine are offered as they are also dear to Lord Shiva. They also offer fruits as bhog or Prasad.
- A ghee diya is lit along with incense sticks and placed before Shiva Linga. The puja is completed with performing Aarti and burning camphor to cleanse the surrounding.
- Devotees then meditate with their eyes closed, either chanting Mantras or performing ‘Jaapmalas’
Shiv Puja Shubh Muhurat
There are two muhurats which are considered auspicious not only for performing Shiv Puja but also carrying out other auspicious activities.
- Abhijit Muhurat – It is believed that the Lord Shiva killed Demon Tripurasur during this muhurat. Also Abhijit Muhurat is blessed by Lord Vishnu which helps destroy all Doshas. The Muhurat falls just 20 minutes before mid-day and ends 20 minutes after it. The exact time is calculated based on the sunrise and sunset timings which determines the mid- day time.
- Nishita Kaal – It is the counter part of Abhijit Muhurat that falls during the night.