Mahashivaratra (Magha Krushna Paksha 14 [1st March 2022]) Science in the worship of Deity Shiva

To benefit most from the Shiva Principle on this day, chant II Om Namaha Shivaya II and worship Him with bhav !

Supreme Shiva is the conductor of the five actions in the Universe – Srushti (Creation), Sthiti (Sustenance), Samhar (Annihilation), Anugraha (Grace) and Vilaya (Dissolution). This Universe is a reflection of the Supreme Shiva. Shiva is Absolute, Self-radiant. He remains radiant and illuminates the Universe. 

Let us understand some special spiritual aspects in worshipping Deity Shiva that will strengthen our faith in Him.


On the day of Mahashivaratra, Deity Shiva’s Principle is a thousand times more active when compared to other days. To benefit most from the Shiva Principle on this day, chant II Om Namaha Shivaya II as much as is possible and worship Deity Shiva with bhav (Spiritual emotion).

Science in the worship of Deity Shiva on Mahashivaratra

The function of the ‘Shivapindi’ 

A. Emitting waves of Knowledge, Devotion and renunciation : Predominantly Sattva (Spiritually pure) waves of knowledge, Raja waves of devotion and Tama waves of renunciation are emitted by the Shivapindi. During Mahashivaratra, the emission increases by 30 per cent.

B. Emission of subtle vibrations of Chaitanya (Divine consciousness), Anand (Bliss) and Shanti (Peace) : The Shivapindi emits subtle vibrations of Chaitanya, Anand and Shanti. During Mahashivaratra, the emission increases by 25 per cent. This helps purify the subtle-body of the one who worships the Shivapindi on this day. The Sun or the Moon channels in the body get activated as per the need. The capacity to absorb the Sattva component and Chaitanya also increases. Due to the presence of the unmanifest Shiva Principle in the Shivapindi and the vibrations of Shanti emitted, the Shivapindi remains cool, and the mind too experiences Shanti. Worship of the Shivapindi with devotion activates the dormant Shiva Principle.

C. Receiving the tarak-tattva or marak-tattva as required : There is a confluence of the manifest and unmanifest Principles along with the tarak-tattva and marak-tattva in the Shivapindi (Tarak – Saviour; Marak – Destroyer). This is how worshippers receive the required Principle. The temperature of the Shivapindi rises due to the emission of the marak-tattva and then, one experiences Anand. When tarak-tattva is emitted, the temperature drops and one experiences Shanti and Anand.

Spiritual science underlying offering bel leaves to Shiva 

The basic nature of a worshipper corresponds to the tarak form, and hence, worship of Shiva’s tarak form not only blends with their nature, but also helps in their spiritual progress. To benefit from the tarak waves of Deity Shiva, worshippers should offer bel leaves with the stalk towards the pindi and the upper portion (tip) of the leaf towards themselves.

When we offer a bel leaf with its stalk towards the pindi and the tip towards us, the spread of Shiva Principle through the tip of bel leaf is more. One obtains the benefit of the Shiva Principle at the samashti (Society) level. Conversely, when the bel leaf is offered with its stalk towards us and the tip towards the pindi, the Shiva Principle is obtained only by the individual who offers the leaf. Here, the benefit of the Shiva Principle is obtained at the vyashti (Individual) level.

When the bel leaves are offered upside down on the Shivapindi, the vibrations at the unmanifest level are emitted to a larger extent from them. The worshipper gets maximum benefit from the bel leaves.

If fresh bel leaves are not available, old leaves can be used; however, the bel leaves plucked on a Monday cannot be used the next day.

Tulsi (Holy basil) leaves are not offered to Shiva. However, tulsi leaves offered to a Shaligram or an Idol of Shri Vishnu first, may be offered to Shiva. (Shiva considers Shri Vishnu to be His Guru. He is a devotee of Shri Vishnu. So, He adores the tulsi leaves offered to Shri Vishnu.)

The constantly falling stream of water

Since Shiva and Shakti are together in the pindi, a tremendous amount of heat is generated. To prevent the emitting radiance from having adverse effects on the pavitrakas (Subtle particles) of the pindi and on its worshippers, a continuous stream of water is made to fall upon the pindi. This stream of water generates the sound of ‘Om’ (A symbol of the unmanifest Brahman) of a low note.

When a continuous stream of mantras falls on a jivatma (Embodied soul that is performing spiritual practice), it opens the kalapinda (A subtle-body [pinda] that has crossed the limitations of time) of the jiva. This indicates that one can go up to the unmanifest Brahman.

Special characteristics of rudraksha

Rudraksha (seed) takes its radiance from the atmosphere and converts it into oil. If we start chanting II Om Namaha Shivaya II sitting under a rudraksha tree, fragrant oil will constantly flow from the rudraksha. This oil will spill out if we blow into the hole of the rudraksha. The oil has a pleasant fragrance and can be extracted from its tree. The rudraksha transforms light waves of Deities in the Universe into sound waves of the human body and vice versa. As a result, man can absorb the waves of Deities and human thoughts can get converted into the language of the Deities.

Circumambulation of the Shalunka

Path of circumambulation – 1 to 7

Circumambulation of Deity Shiva is like the crescent, that is, Somasutri. The channel which runs northwards towards the Som (Moon) from the shalunka till the boundary of the temple is known as the Somasutra. We should begin circumambulating from the left side and continue till the channel of the shalunka from where the water offered during the Abhishek flows. Without crossing it, we should complete a circumambulation, by moving in the reverse direction up to the other side of the channel (Also known as the strota). This rule applies only if the Shivalinga has been installed or created by man; it does not apply to a Swayambhu or a Chalalinga which is placed in the house. The flow of a shalunka is not crossed, since it is the flow of Shakti. When we cross it, the legs are spread. As a result, formation of semen and the five vayus (Internal vital energies) are adversely affected.

(Ref. : Sanatan’s Text – Holy festivals, Religious festivals and Vowed religious observances)

Some prayers to be made to Deity Shiva

1. O’ Mahadev ! Let the spiritual emotion of detachment be created in me as it is in You.

2. O’ Shivashankar ! Protect me from the distress being caused by negative energies. I pray at Your Holy feet that a protective sheath created by Your Name chant be present around me always !

Sanatan’s Text on spiritual science underlying worship of Deity Shiva

Every Deity has a specific Science of worship, meaning, there is an underlying science in each specific step of the worship. Performing each action of the worship in an appropriate manner after understanding the science helps the worshipper benefit to the maximum extent.

With this perspective, various steps such as how should a worshipper apply bhasma (Sacred ash) to himself before worshipping Deity Shiva, which rangoli should be drawn in front of Him, which flowers should be offered to Him and in what numbers, the incense-stick of which fragrance is to be waved in front Him, which fragrance must be offered to Him, etc. have been elucidated in this Spiritual text. This will help not only the devotees who worship Deity Shiva daily, but also devotees who observe vrats (Vowed religious observances) and celebrate festivals such as Solaha-Somvar, Shravan-Somvar, Shivamutha, Haritalika, Mahashivaratra.

Some important aspects : Applying bhasma, wearing rudraksha, Shrunga-darshan (viewing the Shivalinga through Nandi’s horns), For direct darshan of the pindi, not standing or sitting between the pindi and Nandi, but standing beside the line joining the pindi and Nandi, Ritualistic worship of the pindi, Prohibition on use of turmeric and kumkum, Why offer bel to Deity Shiva, etc.