Shiva is the epitome of faith for all Hindus. Being the principal deity of Hinduism, the benevolence and faith in him is tremendous. He is believed to be the destroyer of the evil and the transformer as well. However, to please him is very easy and that is why He is also called ‘Bholenath.’ Here is a list of things which Shiva likes the most and which should be offered on Maha Shivratri to appease the Lord.
1. Bael- The bel leaves or the trifoliate is offered to Lord Shiva as it signifies the three eyes and the three spokes of the Lord’s Trishul. It even denotes the three gunas and is believed to be a coolant which is why Shiva loves it the most.
2. Datura- Datura is said to have appeared from the cheat of Lord Shiva when he consumed the poison which had been churned out of the cosmic ocean by the demons and devas in order to spread welfare and peace in the world. Hence, the lord loves this as an offering to himwhich enables one to get rid of his ego, envy, foul language and wicked nature. It makes the offerer fully cleansed of all his sins and enables him to emerge as a pure soul.
3. Bhang- Bhang or the Akhanda flowers in blue, as they generally are known as, intoxicates the mind and is offered to lord Shiva primarily during his puja as it signifies the throat of the Lord which turned blue when he consumed the poison to save the world. Therefore, it is one of the main components of worship for lord Shiva.
4. Banana- The yellow banana fruit is considered extremely auspicious and hence is one of the favourites to Lord Shiva. It is mandatory to have a banana in your list of offerings to Bholenath.
5. Curd- White in colour and a by product of milk, curd is very commonly used in Shiva’s puja as it is very pure in form and even removes avidya.
6. Ghee- Again a pure and holy item, Ghee or clarified butter is obtained from the holy cow which itself is sacred to the Hindus and hence Ghee is offered in Shiva’s puja on Shivratri, and even otherwise, so as to get bestowed with prosperity of health, knowledge and wealth.
7. Milk- Cow is sacred to Hinduism. It is the vehicle or vahan of Goddess Parvati, Lord Shiva’s consort whom he loves and respects the most. Hence, decanting cow milk on the Shivaling brings in Shiva’s blessings for treating various ailments and for brining in good health.
8. Panch amrita- Panchamrita is a combination of five items namely milk, curd, ghee, honey and jaggery all mixed in equal quantities and offered on the Shivaling with a lot of faith and devotion.
9. Sandalwood- The lord dearly loves the essence and fragrance of sandalwood, as revealed in our scriptures. It cools down his rage and anger and hence smearing shivaling with sandalwood paste pleases the lord tremendously. It brings about fame, recognition and powering society for the devotee.
10. Honey- When honey is offered to the Lord, it is done with the hope that the latter would bestow the offerer with a tongue which is as sweet as honey so that he never hurts any human being by his words and that it brings about peace and calmness to the souls that hear him.
11. Sugar- While offering sugar on Mahashivratri to Lord Shiva, it is symbolical of requesting the God to make every cell of the offerer’s body like crystal and sweet enough to dissolve all bitterness.
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