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Beliefs Related to Maha Shivaratri
Mahashivaratri is an important festival of Hindu religion. Lord Shiva appeared as Shivalinga in the midnight of Falgun Krishna Paksha Chaturdashi. Hence, this night is called the Mahashivaratri. Fast is observed when Chaturdashi occur in midnight. According to Narad Samihta, observing fast on the day of Chaturdashi which falls in the midnight Fasting and worshipping lord Shiva on the day of Falgun krishna paksha having Chaturdashi in the midnight gives auspicious results similar to Ashvamedha Yagya. The Mahashivaratri falling on Pradosh or Chaturdashi in midnight is considered auspicious. As per another concept, lord Shiva appeared from Brahma as Rudra in the midnight of the day beginning of universe. During Pradosh on this day, lord Shiva would have destroyed whole of this universe. There was an environment of holocaust in whole of the universe. hence, this night is also called Kal Ratri.
Ishan Samhita states that lord Shiva descended as Jyotirlinga on the day of Mahashivaratri. This day, Super Power Parvati opened the door of human creation.Many conceptions are related to Maha Shivaratri. One of them states that moon is weak or debilitated on the Chaturdashi of Falgun Krishna Paksha. On this day, supernatural powers come on earth through the debilitated moon. These supernatural powers increase the vitality. Moon is weak on this day, but as it is placed over the head lord Shiva, the negative powers are destroyed by Mahadev. If there are chances of any harm mentioned in Kundali of a person, then he should worship lord Shiva. According to ancient scripture, a person’s problems are removed if he visit the 12 Jyotirlingas.
Lord Shiva Description
Lord Shiva is always represented as a Yogi in all the picture or idols. He was a married man still he stays away from world. He is always surrounded with ghost and demons. He keep himself away from pomposity. Lord get pleased easily by slightest devotion. If a person knowingly perform Puja of lord Shiva, his wishes come true. Example of this can be seen in the story of hunter and deer. Lord Shiva is Bholenath. His looks are strange. He applies the ash of mortuary on his body. Snakes are like garlands to him. The poison which came out during Samundra Mantha was drunk by him which made his throat blue. Hence, he is called Neelkanth. Ganga flows from his hairs. The third eye on his forehead is the holocaust originating flame. He rides a bull known as Nandi. The looks of lord Shiva are fierce and horrifying, still he dose the welfare of every person. He get easily pleased by little devotion. Lord is the giver of happiness and wealth. Lord Shiva knows the feeling and consciousness of every individual.
Meaning of Abhishek
Devotees perform Jal Abhishek and Dugdha Abhishek of lord Shiva. Abhishek mean to have bath. Lord Shiva get pleased by this way and the desires of his devotees come true. Although there many ways of performing Abhishek but the Abhishek offered to Lord Shiva in the present time is called Rudra Abhishek. Lord Shiva is also known by the name of Rudra, hence, his Ahishek is called Rudrabhishek. Devotees perform Abhishek of Shivalinga by chanting mantras. According to the ancient scriptures, stream of water is very much liked by lord. People performing Rudrabhishek always have the blessing of lord.
Rudra mantras are described in Vedas. Rudrashtadhyayi contains many mantras together with the Rudramantra. Only water is used for Jal Abhishek. For performing special abhishek, milk is used. On Shiva festivals like Shivaratri etc., Abhishek of Panchamrit is offered which includes milk, curd, ghee, hone and sugar.
First Jalabhishek of Lord Shiva
In Uttrakhand, there is a place named Suryakund in Gangotri (from where Ganga comes out). Suryakund is a beautiful and spectacular place. According to the ancient scripture, first Jalabhishek was performed here. Jal before this is offered to Rameshwaram. At this place, Ganga is known by the name Bhagirathi. It falls in Suryakund with full speed. A Shivlinga is situated here. Shivlinga is clearly visible in winter season. Water of river Ganga fall here, hence it is said that the first Abhishek of lord Shiva is performed here. After falling in Surya Kund, the waves of Ganga move forward ghastly. The decsription of this Jalabhishek of lord Shiva is mentioned in Purans as well. Because of this Abhishek, Surya Kund has a special significance.
As per the scriptures, Parshuram Rishi was the first one to perform Jalabhishek of lord Shiva. After this, the tradition of offering water to lord Shiva was started. Devotees of lord Shiva travel long distances to bring Ganga Jal and offer it to lord Shiva. Worshipers fill the Kawar with Ganga Jal. There is a mythological story famous about Parshuram offering Ganaga Jal to Lord Shiva.
Jalabhishek Ancient Saga
According to the scriptures, Jamadagni was the father of Parshuram. He used to live in Kajri forest with his wife Renuka. Jamadagni was very calm natured. He always used to welcome his guests. Once a king named Sahastrabahu came to Kajri. Jamadagni welcome and honoured the king and his solider. King came to know that Rishi has a cow named Kamdhenu, because of which Rishi was capable of serving and honouring him. King asked for the cow, but, Rishi refused to give him the cow. On this refusal, king killed Rishi Jamadagni and took the cow with him.
Parshuram, son of Jamadagni Rishi, came to know about this event. He became angry and killed Sahastrabahu. This way his father came back to life. When Jamadagni heard about this, he told Parshuram to perform Jalabhishek of Shivlinga. In this manner he could perform the penance. Parshuram obeyed his father. He established a Shivalinga in Kajri forest. He brought Ganga Jal and performed the Maha Jalabhishek. The Kajri forest where the Jalabhishek was performed is near Meerut today. This place is known as Pura Mahadev.
After the Jalabhisehek performed by Parshuram, tradition of offering Ganga Jal to Shivalinga had begun. Devotees bring jal in Kawar and offer it to lord Shiva. The Abhishek performed using water is called Jalabhishek and the one performed with milk is called DugdhAbhishek.
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