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Maha Sivaratri
March 10, 2013


The glory of Siva is beyond the beginning, the middle and the end of time.  Since the time of the Vedas, Siva temples became famous and the delightful glory of Siva came into existence as “jyotirlingas” (symbols or “marks” of Divine light) and have been worshipped.

 

The meaning of the entire worship of Siva and the essence of the Siva Purana (1) is that in all living and non-living entities, Ishwara is present as the all-pervading spirit in soul form and that the Infinite power of God is One.

 

Ishwara is formless and is beyond all forms.  He is in the form of beacons of light.  The form of the Siva lingam is the light of millions of suns in a natural state. Since time immemorial, both in India and around the world, the worship of Siva has been performed.  Sri Rama Chandra who lived over 1.75 million years ago established many Siva lingams and, according to the Ramayana (2), worshipped Lord Siva.  In Egypt, where one of their ancient deities was named “Isis”, Siva was also worshipped on the banks of the River Nile. The Mesopotamian peoples also worshipped Siva as Ishwara.

 

The Indian sages spent years in the forest doing severe austerities to increase their knowledge and brilliance to integrate the grace of Parameswara (3) and become enlightened beings.  On the sacred day of Maha Sivaratri (4), Siva’s brilliance comes into existence as infinite brightness.  For those devotees who fast the entire day and stay awake the entire night of Sivaratri worshipping Lord Siva, their karma will be removed and they will gain knowledge and salvation.

 

On the morning of Maha Sivaratri at the Penusila Kshetram in Manidwipa Maha Samsthanam (5), the sacred Sri Narmadeswara Siva lingam will be anointed continuously eleven times by Vedic priests with sacred waters and eleven sacred substances during the chanting of the Sata Rudriyam including Chamaka Hymns (6), the Purusha Suktam (7)and the Maha Mrutyunjaya and Gayatri mantras, always remembering Siva’s name in their heart. 

 

Before the early morning dawn, the Siva lingam will be anointed with 11 types of worship, including the chanting of the Sri Rudram eleven times. For each abhishekam (8) , one Rudra takes approximately 45 minutes to complete. This way the priests will chant eleven times, offering eleven different substances.

Items used for Abhishekam                                  Results

 

1.  Pure quality cow ghee                                          Divine brightness.  Good intellect and knowledge for one's children
2.  Cow’s milk                                                         All grief, sorrows and lack of peace will be removed

3.  Yoghurt                                                              Abundance of peace, growth, prosperity and contentment

4.  Sugar                                                                  Strong intellect, growth of wisdom and cheerfullness are gained

5.  Gingili (sesame) Oil                                              Victory over inner enemies, mental distress, ill-health, pain from disease,

                                                                                dissatisfaction, and negative effects of planet Saturn will be removed

6.  Sugarcane juice with 11 kinds of fruit                    Lord Siva, who loves the juice of sugar cane, will grace one with blissful
                                                                                 happiness and many blessings

7.  Honey                                                                  Wealth will be abundant

8.  Sandal Paste                                                         Unfavorable circumstances in society will be removed and one will gain                                                                                  respect and renown.

9.  Sacred Ash                                                           Eight wealths (9), knowledge, asceticism will be obtained. Ishwara’s grace will                                                                            be attainable.

10.Water soaked with gold  ornaments,                     One will become free of all types of sins.  Divine glory, vast knowledge
nine gems, betel
eaves, and lotus flowers                    words will be respected by others and no one will offer insults.

11. By inviting the water of the Ganges, and                Ishwara will grant salvation.
all rivers and the
 Seven Seas into a jar, then

adding 27 spices and chanting certain incantations,
the water
 is transformed into Holy Water.    

Worshipping Siva with flowers                                Results

1.  Lotus flowers                                                        All whole luxuries and riches.

2.  Betel leaves                                                           Siva’s grace in the form of salvation
3.  100 thousand lotuses                                             Freedom from incarceration 
4.  Water Lily                                                             Valor, braveness and courage
5.  Jasmine flowers                                                     Wealth and riches
6.  Flax flowers                                                           Parameswara’s grace
7.  Nirgundi flower                                                     Eradication of all sins
8.  Acacia Sirisa flowers                                             Enjoyment of divine bliss

9.  Sugandhimula flowers (Vetiver)                            All kinds of wealth
10.Nandi Vardhanam flowers                                    Inner beauty
11.Sage Agastya flowers                                             Name and fame
12.Worship with 2,500 white lotus flowers                  Fulfillment of all wishes
13.Fresh green Holy grass                                           Untimely death and ill-health will be avoided. Complete lifespan will be

                                                                                   fulfilled.  Brahma’s brilliance will be granted.

Based on the availability of flowers, Lord Siva will be worshipped in the form of Parameswara on Sivaratri day.

 

From 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., eleven priests together for eleven times will do Maha Rudra Homa chanting divine word “swaha” meaning “let it be offered”, then the ritual will become “Sampurna Rudram(10).  For this homa they make special offerings of fruits, pongal (porridge), betel twigs and leaves, paddy (cooked rice), and gingili seeds (sesame).  By participation in this homa, one’s life span will increase, Parameswara’s grace will be received and, through awakening of internal power, beauty and knowledge of the soul will be obtained.  All your wishes will be fulfilled.  Valor and brightness will be improved.  By the grace of Ishwara, salvation will be obtained.

 

The devotees will fast for that afternoon. In the evening time of Pradosa at 6 pm the ritual will begin. The eleven offerings used for the Siva lingam abhisekam are milk, yoghurt, honey, ghee, sugar, sacred ash, gingili (sesame) oil, sandal paste, Mother Ganga water, sugar cane juice with fruits, and a water combination of gold water, flower water and betel leaf water.  They use one item for chanting one complete Rudram.  This way they will do abhishekam with all 11 items for 11 times from 6 p.m. until midnight when a new Siva lingam will be born.

In this Kali Yuga, there is no worship better than the worship of the Siva lingam on Maha Sivaratri day.  Worship of the Siva lingam will favor complete freedom by washing away all karmas and will provide blessedness and peace, both in this world and the other worlds as well.

 

May Lord Siva, the embodiment of good fortune, the auspicious One who has the sun, moon and fire as eyes, the triple-eyed One who smears sacred ash on His forehead, the One who bears the Ganges on His head, the One who wears serpents on His body as ornaments, and the God of Gods, let Him grant compassion and may His grace be on all of us.

 

We heartfully invite all of you to participate in the above functions at Manidweepa Mahasamsthanam, Sri Penusila Kshethram on Maha Sivaratri Day.

Sponsorship Details:   Maha Sivaratri Rudra Abhishekam, please click here.

                                      Maha Sivaratri Rudra Homa, please click here.

                    

 

                        

 

                                                                           Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

1)  Siva Purana:  one of the Puranas dedicated to Lord Siva containing 24,000 slokas.
2)  Ramayana:  one of the great epics of India, a story of Sri Rama as told by the great sage Valmiki.

3)  Parameswara:  Sanskrit word meaning Lord of All.

4)  Maha Sivaratri:  “The Night of Siva" when Siva is said to have performed the Tandava or the dance of
     primordial creation, preservation and destruction.

5)  Manidwipa Maha Samsthanam: means that the energy of Manidwipa (the celestial abode of Sri Lalita
     Parameswari) itself is contained in the Sri Lalita Parameswari Temple at Penusila Kshetram.

6)  Chamaka Hymns:  prayers to Siva found in the Yajur-veda asking Lord Siva for the fulfillment of all wishes.

7)  Purusha Suktam: a hymn from the Rig Veda.

8)  abhishekam:  sacred bathing ceremony.

9)  Eight wealths: in the context of Ashta-Lakshmi, means eight earthly forms of wealth like money, grain,
     courage, education, success, progeny, luck and elephant, making life blessed.
10) Sampurna Rudram:  means that which is complete or whole. Can denote something that human beings of
      all times and in any culture have experienced as contributing to their sense of inner harmony and fulfillment.

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