He is both static and dynamic and is both creator and destroyer. He is the source of fertility in all living beings. He has gentle as well as fierce forms. He is the
greatest of renouncers as well as the ideal lover. He destroyes evil and protects good. He bestows prosperity on worshipers although he is austere. He is omnipresent and resides in everyone as pure consciousness.
He is the Lord of mercy and compassion. He protects devotees from evil forces such as lust, greed, and anger. He grants boons, bestows
grace and awakens wisdom in His devotees. He is the third member of the Hindu Trinity, the other two being Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu. Owing to His cosmic activity of dissolution and recreation, the words destroyer and destruction have been erroneously associated with him.
He dissolves the universe for creation of the next cycle so that the
unliberated souls will have another opportunity to liberate themselves from bondage with the physical world. Thus, he protects the souls from pain and suffering that would be caused by a dysfunctional universe.
He is inseparable from Shakti - Parvati the daughter of Himavaan - Haimavati. There is no Shiva without Shakti and no Shakti without Shiva, the two are one - or the absolute state of being - consciousness and bliss.
The names of the deified faces with their elements are Mahadeva (earth), Bhairava (fire), Nandi (air), Uma (water) and Sadasiva (space). Panchamukha lingams have been seen from the 2nd century onwards.
His Lingam form is what is held in reverence in temples all over the subcontinent. The Lingam is a symbol. It is a symbol of that which is invisible yet omnipresent. It is hence a a visible symbol of the Ultimate Reality which is present in us and in all objects of creation .
Energy can neither be created nor destroyed & the Linga symbolises this scientific fact. The Linga denotes the primeval energy of the Creator. At the end of Creation all Gods find their resting place in the Linga.
METHOD OF WORSHIP OF LORD SHIVA
1. Linga alone should not be worshipped. Linga combined with Yoni should be worshipped.
2. His worship should be done by facing Northern direction, Shiva Linga should be installed in the Eastern direction i.e. face of the Linga and idol
or photo should face the Western direction, because this direction lies just in front of him. Do not sit in the Northern side of Linga, because
this side is his left portion, where Goddess is seated. Do not sit on the Western side of Linga, because this side lies on the back portion of Shiv.
3. The ‘Saadhaka’ should smear ‘Tripunda (smearing of the holy ash in three horizontal lines)’. Wear a rosary of Rudraaksha while doing the worship.
4. Use Bilva leaves, which should be neat and unbroken.
5. Saadhaka should do pooja by himself .
6. Do not offer flowers, leaves, fruits etc. by facing downward. Bilva leaves should be offered by reversing the side and stem of Bilva petal should be cut before offering.
7. Flowers and leaves should not be washed before offering. In other words, offering should be done straight from the plant.
8. Following flowers are recommended for offering:
i) Kamal (lotus);
ii) Gulaab (Rose);
iii) Kaneer (Oleander);
iv Madaar (Calotrapis gigantea);
[These flowers and leaves can be brought one day in advance and used in pooja. It is not forbidden].
9. It is not necessary to recite the mantra in Samskrtham, if the Saadhaka is not familiar with the mantras while doing pooja of Shiv one can do the pooja even mentally by expressing.
10. When a female who worships him , delivers a child, she should not worship till 43 days are elapsed after the delivery. She can mentally offer her obeisance.
11. Young girls can worship him from a tender age onwards for getting a good husband.
12. After the marriage, each lady should worship Linga and Yoni for the protection of her husband, on Chaitra Shukla, Thritheeya day.
13. Half parikrama (going around half way of the Shiva temple) only should be done. Normally we take complete round of the Sanctum Sanctorium of a Shiva temple. It is not correct. In other words, going behind the Sanctum Sanctorium is forebidden. Go upto the half portion of the Sanctum Sanctorium and come back and go over to the other half portion. Then again come back. Like that continue to do half ‘parikrama’ for eleven times. The purpose of undertaking half ‘parikrama’ for eleven times is to please the eleven Forms of Rudra.
14. Offerings made to Shiva Linga should not be eaten.
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