|This year Mahashivratri falls on on 2nd March2011. when the Shiva principle descends to Earth a thousand times more than usual. On this day, to obtain the full benefit of Lord Shiva’s principle, one should chant ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ as much as possible.|
Shivratri is the time when Shiva takes a rest. Shiva rests for one 'prahar' (three hours) of the night. This 'prahar' is referred to as the Shivratri. When Lord Shiva takes rest, the function of 'Shivtatva' (Shiva Principle) ceases, i.e. Lord Shiva goes into a meditative state. Shiva's meditative state is the time when He is engrossed in His own spiritual practice. During that time, the 'Shivtatva' does not accept any tamogun (most base of the 3 elements in us - sattva, raja & tama) or any halahal (venom churned from the ocean) coming from the Universe. As a result, the ratio of halahal or the pressure of the negative energies increases. For protection from this pressure, things like 'bilva patra', white flowers, 'rudraksha' beads etc are offered to Lord Shiva. These things attract the 'Shivtatva' from the atmosphere, thus providing protection from the increasing effect of the negative energies. The Earth is a gross object. Gross objects have very low velocities i.e. they require more time to cover a specific distance in space. Gods on the other hand, are subtle hence they are capable of traversing space within a few seconds. That is why one year on the earth is equivalent to just one day of heaven.
The function of the 'Shivpindi'1। Emitting waves of Knowledge, Devotion and renunciation
Predominantly 'sattva' waves of knowledge, 'raja' waves of devotion and 'tama' waves of Renunciation (Vairagya) are emitted by the 'Shivpindi'. During Mahashivratri, the emission increases by 30 percent.
2. Emission of subtle vibrations of chaitanya, bliss and peace
The 'Shivpindi' emits subtle vibrations of chaitanya, bliss and peace. During the Mahashivratri, the emission increases by 25 percent. This helps purify the subtle-body of one who worships the Shivpindi on this day. The 'sun' or the 'moon' channels in the body get activated as per necessity. The capacity to absorb the sattvaguna and chaitanya also increases. Due to the presence of the unmanifest Shiva principle in the Shivpindi and the vibrations of peace emitted, the Shivpindi remains cool and the mind too experiences peace. Worship of Shivpindi with devotion, activates the dormant Shiva principle. An offering of puffed rice and milk reaches Lord Shiva in the subtle form.
3. Receiving the 'tarak or marak tatva (element)' as required
There is a confluence of the manifest and the unmanifest elements along with the 'tarak and marak tatva' in the Shivpindi. (Tarak = Saviour; Marak = Destroyer). That is how worshipers receive the required element. The temperature of the Shivpindi increases due to the emission of the marak tatva and there one experiences bliss. Similarly, when the tarak tatva is emitted, the temperature drops and one experiences peace and bliss.
Related Article: Why are svayambhu pindis situated below the ground level?
Bilvapatra (Bel leaves)
Bilvapatra contains 2% Shiva tatva. By offering bilvapatra to the Shivpindi on Mahashivratri, the manifest Shiva tatva near the stalk of the bilvapatra gets activated. Due to this, waves of chaitanya as well as Shiva tatva are emitted by the bilvapatra. The bilvapatra attracts 20% of the Shiva tatva present in the Shivpindi towards itself. By immersing this bilvapatra in water or by placing it in grains, the Shiva tatva present in the bilvapatra is transmitted to them. The Shiva tatva in the bilvapatra is activated to a larger extent on Mondays when it transmits 10% of the Shiva tatva and sattvikta. On other days only 1% of the Shiva tatva is activated in the bilvapatra.
Offering bilvapatra to the Shivpindi and chanting the mantra 'Om Namah Shivaya' with each offering is known as bilvarchan. Continue offering the bilvapatra until the pindi is completely covered. Offer the bilvapatra from the lower part of the pindi. By starting from the feet of the idol, more benefit is derived and the idol can be covered completely. - Brahma-tatva (22.02.2004, 9.30 p.m.)
Om represents an unmanifest state beyond the 3 gunas (elements of sattva, raja & tama). We bow to Lord Shiva, from whom Om was created.
Naampatti made by Sanatan Sanstha Seekers to remind Naamjap
What does the word 'Shiva' mean?
a.The word Shiva has been derived by reversing the letters of the word vash. Vash means to enlighten; thus the one who enlightens is Shiva. He remains radiant and also illuminates the universe.
b. He is the auspicious and prosperity-bestowing principle.
1. Physical attributes
a. Ganga : Just as the sun is the focal point of the solar system and the soul that of the body, the focal point of divine consciousness (chaitanya) in every object and pure particles (pavitrakas) is ga-aum. The flow from which ga-aum originates is gan gaha = Ganga. Ga-aum flows from Shiva's head. This is called the descent of the Ganga from Shiva's head. Since the river Ganga has a fraction of the principle of the spiritual Ganga, no matter how polluted it becomes, its purity is perpetually retained. Hence, when compared to any other water in the world, the water from the Ganga is the purest. This is realised not only by those who can perceive the subtle dimension but also by scientific researchers.
b. Moon : Shiva adorns the chandra (moon) on His forehead. The point where the three frequencies - affection (mamata), mercifulness (kshamashilata) and motherly love (vatsalya) originate is referred to as the chandra (moon). Thus, one can conclude that chandrama (the moon principle) is the state in which the three attributes of affection, mercifulness and motherly love are present.
c. Third eye : Shankar is three-eyed, i.e. He can perceive events of the past, present and future.According to the science of Yoga the third eye means the Sushumna nadi (channel).
d. Serpent : One of the Names of Lord Shankar is Bhujanga-patihari. Bhujang means a serpent or pure particles (pavitrakas), pati means the nurturer and hari means one with a garland around His neck. Bhujangapatihari thus means the One who nurtures pure particles and wears them like a garland. Various serpents represent groups of pure particles. Though externally they appear like serpents, internally they are a kind of ladder. To make spiritual progress one has to climb up holding onto the tail of the serpent. Lord Shankar adorns serpents at nine points on His body - one on the head, one around the neck, one on each arm, one on each wrist, one around the waist and one on each thigh. This implies that His body is comprised of pure particles or that serpents of pure particles play all over the body of Lord Shankar who has the universe as His form.
2. Spiritual attributes
a. One performing severe austerities and the great yogi
Shiva is always seated in a bandha or a mudra. His temperature rises due to heat generated by performing severe austerities; Hence, He uses the Ganga, the moon and serpents which endow a cooling effect and lives on the snow-clad Kailas mountain.
b. Short tempered
If someone disturbs His meditation the radiance generated by spiritual practice will be suddenly expelled and whoever is in front of Him will not be able to tolerate it, and gets destroyed. This is referred to as being 'reduced to ashes by Shankar's opening of the third eye'.
c. One who is willing to undergo any distress for the sake of imparting happiness to others
The poison generated during the churning of the celestial ocean (samudramanthan) was burning the entire Universe but no deity came forward to accept it. At that time Shiva drank that poison and saved the world from destruction.
d. One who has both, deities and demons, as His worshippers
Neither did demons like Banasur, Ravan, etc. worship Lord Vishnu nor did Lord Vishnu bestow any boon upon any demon. However, they worshipped Lord Shiva who blessed them.
e. Master of the spirits
Since Lord Shiva is the master of spirits, His worshippers are generally not possessed by them.