How to perform Shiva puja
Shiv puja or Shiva ling connects
a disciple considering the Supreme Organism – Lord (bhagawan) Shiva. The ling is
the sign of Lord (bhagawan) Shiva and the ling worship makes the follower in
thoughtful Lord (bhagawan) Shiva. The Lord (bhagawan) can't be described but
still we are saying he's with out a start and an ending and is without a form.
It is hard for a disciple to know this unformed nature. Consequently Lord (bhagawan)
Shiva appeared in the form of Jyotirlinga before Brahma and Vishnu. The Ling
thus is a logo of Lord (bhagawan) Shiva. All Ling pooja, step-by-step, needs the
follower to the eternal fact – that he/she is a part of the Supreme Human being.
By preparatory the pooja, the follower needs a shower and wear freshly washed clothing. Hymns praising Lord (bhagawan) Shiva or the mantra ‘om namaha shivayaa’ are repeated to create a mood for worship. Then, the devotee sits in front of the ling and blows conch or ring bells. This means the start of the pooja.
First it is the panchamrit abhishek - the libation of 5 holy liquids over the ling. The libation can include a few five of the next – water from river Ganga, honey, sugarcane juice, milk, yogurt, ghee, seawater, coconut water or milk, fragrant oils, rose water or other precious liquids. Usually, only milk of cow is used. While pouring the liquid, om namah shivaya is uttered. Several devotees utter the Lord (bhagawan)’s name 108 times and many 1008 times. There is no such thing as a fixed rule.
Later than the panchamrit abhishek, the ling is cleaned with water from Ganga. (That is may not be potential always so just normal water.) After this the ling is muddy with sandalwood paste and is decked with flowers. Water and sandalwood paste is helpful to keep the ling cool, as Lord (bhagawan) Shiva is actually in a highly flammable state. In several Shiva temple (mandir), cooling liquid constantly drops from pot hung above the Ling.
Next, sweets, coconut and fruits are offered to the Lord (bhagawan). Camphor and
incense are lit and ‘arati’ is performed. Several devotees fan the ling and sing
praises of the lord (bhagawan).
In conclusion, ringing of bells or blowing of conch shows the end of pooja. White ash (vibhuti) is rubbed on the forehead and additionally it is circulated. Fruits, sweets and coconut are distributed as ‘puja prasad.’