Maha Shivaratri 2018: What to do and what to avoid on this auspicious day

Monday, February 12 2018

Maha Shivaratri 2018: What to do and what to avoid on this auspicious day

11. Aparajita or shankhpushpi 12. Dhatura flowerIt is said that Lord Shiva is mainly fond of white flowers. However, he is also worshipped with red hibiscus, cotton flowers and roses, depending on the objective to be attained by the ritual. What not to offer Lord Shiva According to Shiva Mahapurana, Lord Shiva never accepts the following offerings: Tulsi leaves are barred from being used in the worship of Lord Shiva. Saffron, turmeric, vermilion and coconut water are the other items that are barred during the worship of Lord Shiva. Although coconuts are used in worshiping Lord Shiva, coconut water is strictly forbidden. Champa flower is known by several names and is considered auspicious in the worship of Goddess Lakshmi. This flower is never offered to Lord Shiva. According to the Shiva Mahapurana, Sage Narada had cursed the tree. There was once a time when Lord Shiva accepted champa flowers during worship. In fact, he could not resist the fragrance and would shower blessings on those who made the offering. Until, one day, Sage Narada once saw a brahmin plucking champa flowers in the forest. The brahmin did not have good intentions. He was seeking the lord's blessings in order to carry out misdeeds. After a while, Sage Narada walked by. He asked the tree whether anyone had plucked its flowers. The champa tree denied. However, Saga Narada learnt the truth when he saw a shivling nearby covered in champa flowers. An angry Sage Narada cursed the tree for having misled a sage. He said, henceforth, no one shall offer the flowers to appease Lord Shiva. This is why Lord Shiva stays away from one of his favourite flowers! Ketaki flowers are forbidden in the worship of Lord Shiva because he had cursed the flower for telling lies along with Lord Brahma. Insect-ridden or damaged bael leaves should never be offered to Lord Shiva. Since bael leaves are considered an integral part of the rituals constituting Lord Shiva's worship, one should only offer leaves that are fresh and healthy. The use of bronze pots is barred in the worship of Lord Shiva. This is so because the milk, curd or panchamruta offered in a bronze pot is equivalent to wine. A copper pot should be used instead. SEARCH talking point on sify news Latest Features