11th March 2021 will be observed as Mahashivratri 2021 by the Shiva bhakts devotees. As per the South Indian panchang, Krishnapaksha Chaturdashi of Phalguna is observed as Mahashivratri. Devotees keep fast, perform Shiv Puja, some devotees also perform chaar prahar puja of Lord Shiva, and observe jagran (staying awake for the whole night) as a spiritual or religious practice.
Mahashivratri is a very auspicious spiritual day for devotees of Lord Shiva (Mahadeva) that falls on 11th March. Shivratri is special for Mahadeva too. There are two stories linked to the Mahashivratri celebration.
As per the famous legendary story, Goddess Parvati got married to Lord Shiva on this auspicious day. Goddess Parvati conducted vigorous austerity (Tapasya) to get married to Lord Shiva.
Another story of Mahashivratri is based on Garud Puran. According to Garud Puran, a Nishad king went hunting in the forest accompanied by his dog. After day-long futile hunting, he decided to take some rest near the lake, where Shiva Linga was there under a bilva tree. Some bilva leaves (bilva patra/billi patra/bael patra) fell accidentally on Shiva Linga, while he was plucking it for his purpose. After he washed his feet with lake water out of that few drops of water unknowingly fell on Shiva Linga. While performing this work, his arrow fell, and in a bid to pick it up he bowed down to Shiva linga involuntarily. It is said during his final time he was rescued by Shiv Ganas from Yamdoot (Yamraj) because of his inadvertent Shiv puja on Shivratri with puja items.
How To Perform Shivratri Puja?
Devotees after performing routine works wear clean clothes. The devotees can add holy water of Ganga while taking bath. It is advisable to wear white or bhagva (orange/ pitambari) colored dhoti or kurta. The puja can be performed at home if you have Shiv Linga at home.
Shiv puja samagri that is required to perform the Shivratri puja is honey, milk, ghee, yogurt, water, and sugar.
Devotees have to perform abhishek with Shiv puja samagri that is honey, milk, ghee, yogurt, water, and sugar on Shiva Linga. These all are called dravya and its mixture is called Panchamrut.
After that devotees offer abhishek of holy water to Shiva Linga. Abhishek is followed by offering fresh flowers, flower garlands, bilva leaves (bilva patra), Sandalwood paste, Aarti with ghee wicks, and dhup (incense).
Devotees must chant Shiva’s favourite Shiva Mantra while performing Shiv pooja and aarti. Om Namah Shivaay is a panchaksar mantra, that is Shiva’s favourite mantra.
Along with Om Namah Shivaay, devotees can chant Mahamrtutyunjay Mantra, Dwadash Jyotirling Stotram, Shiv Stuti, Bilva Mantra, Shiv Tandava Stotram, Shiv Manas Puja, Shiv Panchakshara Stotram to perform Shivratri puja.
Shivratri puja samagri needs to be pure and fresh, it is advisable to get the puja samagri for Shivratri from an authentic store that provides pure and authentic puja items.
The shiv puja items for shivratri includes,
The devotees also perform char prahar puja on the auspicious day of Mahashivratri. The ideal time of char prahar puja starts in the evening. The prahar time may change as per the location as well as the sunrise time.
The most idealistic time for prahar puja is from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.
The ideal first prahar is from 6 p.m to 9 p.m. In the first prahar offer milk abhishek to lord shiva on Mahashivratri.
The second prahar uses Dahi (curd) as abhishek dravya to offer Shiva linga. Commonly considered time for the second prahar is 9 p.m to 12 a.m
The third prahar is from 12 a.m to 3 a.m. The devotee has to offer ghee to Shivling in this prahar.
The fourth prahar is from 3 a.m to 6 a.m. Abhishek is offered to lord shiva linga with honey in the fourth prahar.
The four prahar puja is considered very auspicious and powerful to receive Mahadev’s blessings. To perform it devotees have to observe jagran as well as brahmacharya on the Mahashivratri.
The most powerful and sacred Shiva mantra to chant on Mahashivratri is,
The Shiv puja items are available in the online store. To make the availability of pure and authentic Shiv puja samagri in the USA, Vivek flowers is offering the best service to Indians residing in the US. Vivek flower is the best city florist in the USA known for its best fresh natural flowers and authentic puja items.