Which god worship on the occasion of Mahashivratri?
Lord Shiva worship on the occasion of Mahashivratri.
What are the other names for this puja? (If any)
Great Night of Lord Shiva and Shivratri are the other names for this puja.
History of the above occasion
There is an incident or story behind the origin of Mahashivratri which was said by Lord Shiva to Parwati and which then passed to the earth and then this puja started all over the world.
In ancient times, there was a Ruler Chitrabhanu and his wife who ruled over Jambudvipa kept a fast and the day is Mahashivratri. Same day, the sage Ashtavakra came to meet the ruler so he asked the reason for their fast. He replied him that he always remembers his past birth incidents and this is a gift of the same. He said that in his previous birth, he was a hunter and Suswara was his name. For his livelihood, first he kills the animals and birds and then sells them. Once in the forest he saw dear while searching for the animals but before he kill him, he noticed his family, he feel sad and let him go. Then he climbed over a Bael tree for rest. He was thirsty and hungry and thinking about his wife and children and meanwhile he pluck the leaves of Bael one by one and throwing them on the ground and they took the shape of lingam. His leaked canteen washed the lingam and he fast all day and night so he worshipped Lord Shiva without knowing anything. The night was of Mahashivratri and Bilva tree is favourite of Shivji. Next day when he returned home with some food and just about to break his fast, a beggar came to him and asked for some food, so he served his food first to him and then he ate. Over the years, during his death, Lord Shiva’s two messengers goes to him to take him to the abode of Shiva as Shiva was very happy with the hunter and blessed him. So, from here Mahashivratri begins.
What is the significance of the above occasion?
Mahashivratri has a great importance as on this day Lord Shiva married to Goddess Parvati, so people keep fast for the whole day to get blessings from Lord Shiva and Parwati and unmarried girls for good and desired husbands. The advantages of powerful Sanskrit mantra “Mahamrityunjaya Mantra” also increases especially on this night.
What are the things or material required for the worship of this puja?
Water and milk in a vessel, honey, bel leaves, wood, paste of vermillion, fruits- Ber, Carrot, incense, diya, betel leaves, tripundra.
What is the vidhi (method) of worship?
First of all people go to the temple of Lord Shiva and light diya and agarbatti to start the puja. They make him bath by pour water, milk and honey on their lingam. Then to purify their soul, leaves of bel, betel and wood are offered. Next, paste of vermillion is applied which represents virtue. Then fruit, carrot are offered. After this, Tripundra is applied on the forehead of lingam which is the three holy ash strips horizontal in nature. While doing puja, people chant “Om Namah Shivaya” mantra and some wear Rudraksha also as it serves as an ideal.
How to celebrate this occasion?
This occasion is celebrated by people by keeping fast for the whole day and by doing Jaagran all over the night. People chant “Om Namah Shivaya” for the whole day as this is a mantra devoted to Lord Shiva. Lingodbhava puja, an auspicious puja is also performed in all the temples of Lord Shiva on this day.
What are the timings to celebrate this puja or occasion in a year?
According to the Hindu calendar, Mahashivratri is observed in the Falgun month in Krishna Paksha on the 13th night or 14th day every year. As per the Gregorian calendar, it usually comes in February or March.
In which parts of the country, this puja is considered as more important?
All over the country this puja is done but in Ujjain, Jabalpur, Seoni and in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu this puja is considered as more important and celebrated on a wide scale.