The devotees may forget the Lord but the Lord never forgets them. Similarly Sai baba used to remind his devotees of His presence and offered them blessings. Once Babasaheb Tarkhad, who was a ‘prarthana samaji’ earlier was a humble devotee of Sai baba. His wife and son were also surrendered in the worship of Baba and adored Him judiciously.
Once in summers Babasaheb Tarkhad suggested his wife and son to pay a visit to Shirdi for seeking Sai baba’s blessings. The son was doubtful and didn’t agree to leave Bandra as he was afraid that the worship of Baba will not be performed properly in his absence. As his father was ‘Prarthana Samaji’, it is possible that he would not be able to pay complete attention. After receiving assurance from his father, finally the mother and son went to Shirdi.
According to his promise Babasaheb got up early morning and after taking bath, he prayed to Sai baba and told him- “O Baba! I will worship you exactly the same way as my son has been worshipping you, but please do not limit it up only to bodily labour”. After worshipping Sai Baba, he offered the oblation of ‘mishri’ and then distributed the Prasad. He judiciously worshipped Sai baba for another few days but one day he found that there was no Prasad in the plate and his cook forgot to offer it.
He got perturbed and immediately bowed in front of Sai baba idol and asked his apology. He wrote the entire incident in detail to his son and requested to place the letter in the feet of Baba and ask him to forgive.
This incident happened in Bandra almost during the noon and at the same time when noon arti was going to begin in Shirdi, baba told Shrimati Tarkhad- “Mother I went to your house at Bandra to eat the Prasad but I could not find anything. So I returned hungry.” She could not comprehend the context of Baba’s words but his son understood everything. He wanted permission of Sai baba for returning to Bandra but Baba told him to worship in Shirdi for few days. The son also wrote a letter to his father to explain the incident in Shirdi and requested his father to be careful in future. Both the letters reached next day and the son and father became careful in adoring Sai baba from then.
‘Shiv’ means the destroyer of bad karmas and ‘linga’ means to mark or sign which symbolize the Supreme God. So literally ‘Shivling’ is referred as the sacred symbol of Lord Shiva. In real terms, Shiv-Linga is a symbol or sign of duality (dual character) of the pious Shiva and his cosmic universal energy. It is a process defining the creation of mortals within the omnipresent and omnipotent Universe.
Shivling is known for its purity, thus it consists of immense energy and radiates it when adored. The worshipping of shivling by washing it with water and chanting the mantras is commonly called as Rudrabhishiek or Shivling Abhishek Puja. This is especially done from pure milk, curd, ghee, sugar, mustard oil etc; significantly during the Hindu month of Shravan.
Why to perform Rudrabhishiek Puja?
The Shivling releases frequencies of Knowledge (dhyan), devotion (bhakti) and detachment (vairagya) which is experienced during puja. It is said that this energy has been gathered through ‘sagar manthan’ in which Lord Shiva consumed the dangerous poison Halahal to save the humanity from destruction.
Performing Rudrabhishek Puja and chanting Maha Mrityuanjay mantras dispels ignorance by spreading the light of knowledge, and blesses the beings with wisdom and happiness.
How to perform Rudrabhishiek Puja?
Devotees worship Lord Shiva and his ‘Shivling with devotion and faith to seek the grace and happiness. Let’s make the Shivling Abhishek easy for you by just following few steps.
- The size of lingam for home puja should not exceed the breadth of your three right hand fingers joined together, accompanied with snake and Nandi.
- The place from where the water is poured on the shivling and is drained must be facing North or East.
- The devotee should start the puja by chanting ‘Om Namah Shivaye’.
- Use bel leaves and not tulsi while offering to the lingam.
- The panchamrit is offered made from any five ingredients out of- Gangajal, honey, sugarcane juice, milk, yogurt, ghee, sea water, coconut water, milk, fragrant oils, rose water or other precious liquids.
- After doing Panchamrit Abhishek, the lingam is cleaned by pouring Gangajal over it.
- Then trident is made on the shivling using normal sandal wood paste or asta gandha.
- After that sweets, coconut, flowers and fruits are offered to the Lord and camphor and incense sticks are also are lit and ‘arati’ is conducted.
- If you keep a Shivling at home it should be accompanied by a constant flow of water or jaldhara, to maintain the serene and cool environment around it.
- Finally, ringing of bells indicates the end of Puja and fruits, sweets and coconut are distributed as ‘prasadam.’
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The ultimate way to offer thanks to the ultimate source of energy ‘Surya Devta’ is a unique festival in this incredible India. Chhath is no more a regional festival of Biharis and Terai region Hindus, but is widely accepted by hilly origins and almost throughout India. Let us explore this Hindu thanks giving ceremony to God Sun.
- The auspicious tradition of Chhath puja was initiated by son of Surya, Karan who ruled over the Anga Desh (Munger district of Bihar) during the time of Mahabharata.
- Lord Rama and Mata Sita offered special prayers to lord Sun ad fasted after returning to Ayodhya from exile and begin the ritual of celebrating Chhath puja.
- The special powers were bestowed to Draupadi by Surya devta, which helped the Pandavas to regain back their kingdom of Hastinapur.
- To receive immense blessings and prosperity from Surya, Chhath is celebrated lively for four days period during the Hindu month of Kartik.
- First day is Nahai Khai i.e. ‘Nahai’ means ‘bathing’ and ‘Khai’ means ‘to eat’; the devotees take a holy dip in river or lake and holy water is taken at home to cook prasadam (offering food).
- The second day is Kharna, on which the worshippers perform ‘nirjalahaar’ vrat for about 8 to 12 hours. By the end of the day, the fast is eneded by adoring lord Sun and eating Prasad. Then another 36 hours fast is begins.
- The third day is the main festival of Chhath called Sandhya Argha. The devotees clad themselves in yellow coloured attire and offer the specially prepared food offerings to Surya Devta at the riverbank in the evening.
- The last day is Suryodaya Argha on which the devotees gives the early morning offerings at the riverbank and break their fast by having Chhath Prasad.
- This festival is a morning and evening affair on all the four days as the sunrise and sunset rays are most beneficial for human body and consists of low intensity of ultra violet rays.
- The traditional festival of Chhath showers you with positivity by detoxifying the mind, soul and body; and removes the negative energies by adoring the powerful Sun.
Contributed By: Meenakshi Ahuja