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Hymn to Please Shiva, Shivarathri Hymn, Shiva Worship

Maha Shivarathri is the most auspicious of festivals dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. It is believed that on this day Lord Shiva appeared to the world in the form of a pillar of light, or Jyotirlinga. Lord Shiva, the primordial teacher, is believed to be easily pleased; thus, any worship offered to him – regardless of its simplicity or grandeur – is thought to bring about great merit. All across India, and in many Hindu communities around the world, nightlong vigils are observed in honor of Lord Shiva. Devotees offer abhisheka, or a ritual bath, to bronze and stone sculptures of Lord Shiva in his many forms. Among the most popular of the forms that receive worship on this day are the Shiva Linga, Lord Dakshinamurthy, Lord Bhairava, and Lord Somaskanda.

Worship of Shiva Linga
Worship of Shiva Linga

Since Shiva is easily pleased, offering milk, water, leaves, flowers, clothes, fruits, or even an oil lamp is commendable. Simply meditating upon the form of Shiva with a pure mind and utmost devotion is considered the highest form of worship. The sage Adi Shankara wrote Shiva Manasa Puja as an affirmation of this notion. In this beautifully composed hymn, Shankara performs the Puja of Lord Shiva with vivid and devout imagination. Reciting this hymn on the night of Maha Shivarathri is the best way to begin or end the night’s festivities!

ratnaiḥ kalpitamāsanaṃ himajalaiḥ snānaṃ ca divyāmbaraṃ

nānāratna vibhūṣitaṃ mṛgamadā modāṅkitaṃ candanam

jātī campaka bilvapatra racitaṃ puṣpaṃ ca dhūpaṃ tathā

dīpaṃ deva dayānidhe paśupate hṛtkalpitaṃ gṛhyatām

Oh ocean of compassion!

Oh lord of those bound by the noose!

I imagine a throne made of precious gemstones to seat you,

cool water trickling from the Himalayas to bathe you,

divine clothes embroidered with various jewels to adorn you,

sandalwood with the intoxicating fragrance of musk to anoint you,

flowers composed of jasmine, champak, and Bilva leaves,

divine incense,

and a bright oil lamp.

Oh Lord, please accept these offerings which I imagine in my heart for you!

 

sauvarṇe navaratnakhaṇḍa racite pātre ghṛtaṃ pāyasaṃ

bhakṣyaṃ pañcavidhaṃ payodadhiyutaṃ rambhāphalaṃ pānakam

śākānāmayutaṃ jalaṃ rucikaraṃ karpūra khaṇḍojjcalaṃ

tāmbūlaṃ manasā mayā viracitaṃ bhaktyā prabho svīkuru

Rice pudding and ghee in a golden bowl studded with the nine precious gems,

five dishes prepared with milk and curd,

plantains,

juice,

tasty water infused with herbs,

a piece of flaming camphor,

and the aromatic betal leaf,

These I have prepared in my mind with utmost devotion.

Please accept them oh Lord!

 

chatraṃ cāmarayoryugaṃ vyajanakaṃ cādarśakaṃ nirmalaṃ

vīṇā bheri mṛdaṅga kāhalakalā gītaṃ ca nṛtyaṃ tathā

sāṣṭāṅgaṃ praṇatiḥ stuti-rbahuvidhā-hyetat-samastaṃ mayā

saṅkalpena samarpitaṃ tava vibho pūjāṃ gṛhāṇa prabho

I offer a splendid umbrella to shade you,

fly whisks and a fan to cool you,

a spotless mirror to see you,

music from the vīṇā, bheri, and mṛdaṅga to please you,

sweet songs and dances to entertain you,

a full prostration to respect you,

and abundant forms of hymns to praise you.

Conceiving these in my heart, I offer them unto you.

Please accept my puja oh Lord!

 

ātmā tvaṃ girijā matiḥ sahacarāḥ prāṇāḥ śarīraṃ gṛhaṃ

pūjā te viṣayopabhoga-racanā nidrā samādhisthitiḥ

sañcāraḥ padayoḥ pradakṣiṇavidhiḥ stotrāṇi sarvā giro

yadyatkarma karomi tattadakhilaṃ śambho tavārādhanam

You are my soul,

Parvathi is my intellect,

your attendants are my five vital breaths,

my body is your abode.

My involvement in the world is nothing but worship unto you,

my sleep is a deep state of meditation upon you.

My roaming feet are constantly in the divine act of walking around you,

all my speech is in praise to you.

All the work I do is a form of worship to you, oh Lord!

 

kara caraṇa kṛtaṃ vākkāyajaṃ karmajaṃ vā

śravaṇa nayanajaṃ vā mānasaṃ vāparādham

vihitamavihitaṃ vā sarvametat-kṣamasva

jaya jaya karuṇābdhe śrī mahādeva śambho

Whatever may be the sins I have committed with my hands and feet,

those sins born of my speech and body,

or the sins arising from my work.

Whatever may be the sins born of my ears and eyes,

or of my mind,

or those sins arising from my doing of what has been prescribed and not prescribed.

Please forgive all of these sins, oh Lord.

Victory unto you, oh ocean of compassion, the greatest and most auspicious of gods!

Vijaya Dasami, the 10th Day of Navarathri

Today marks the tenth day of the annual Navarathri festival. This tenth day is called Vijaya Dasami, which literally means “triumph on the tenth.”

Goddess Durga standing on the head of the buffalo demon Mahishasura
Goddess Durga standing on the head of the buffalo demon Mahishasura

It is commonly believed that Goddess Durga vanquished the buffalo demon Mahishasura on this day.  This victorious day also marks the day that Lord Rama defeated the demon king Ravana and made his journey home to Ayodhya.  Some narratives of Rama’s story describe Rama as having invoked Goddess Durga through the powerful Chandi Puja, or worship of Durga in her passionate and furious form.  Since Rama’s triumph over Ravana and Durga’s triumph over Mahishasura were both on this day, Vijaya Dasami has become a day synonymous with good beginnings. Many people around the world begin business ventures, musical study, dance, and other undertakings on this day.  While Navarathri is a festival dedicated to the Goddess in her various forms, the tenth day of the festival is a day on which both Durga and Rama are worshiped.  In North India, re-enactments of Rama’s life are portrayed in vivid theatre performances called Ram-Leela.  At the end of the play, a larger than life effigy of the demon Ravana is burst into flames to signify Rama’s victory.  Another key component of this day is the Ayudha Puja, or worship of weapons and instruments.  Children place their books in front of their home shrine, while others pay respect to the implements that make their livelihoods possible.  Cars, kitchen utensils, knives, hammers, chisels, computers, and other objects are cleaned and venerated by those who use them. In South India, there is a custom of erecting a doll display, which is worshipped for the nine days of Navarathi.  On Vijaya Dasami, the dolls are symbolically put to sleep after last minute visitors come and admire their beauty. These dolls, mainly of gods and goddesses, represent the same gods and goddesses that gave their power, Shakti, to bring Goddess Durga to life.  After the gods and goddesses gave their power to Durga in order for her to vanquish Mahishasura, they became as lifeless as dolls.  On the tenth day, after Durga killed the buffalo demon, she restored the life to the gods and goddesses and become reabsorbed into them.  This idea is seen in action in Eastern India, where large idols of the Goddess Durga and her retinue are immersed on this day after five full days of worship.  Wherever you find yourself in India, or abroad, this day is one of enjoyment and happiness. It marks the triumph of good over evil, and reminds us that we must cultivate the good in our hearts, and have victory over our not-so-good tendencies.

 

~Svasti~

16 Step Puja Worship in Hinduism

puja worship
A Hindu brahmin priest performing puja on a bronze Nataraja in Kanchipuram, Tamil Nadu, India

There are numerous forms of worship among Hindus, of which Puja is one of the more popular. The most widely accepted and followed system of Puja is the Shodasa – Upachara Puja, or 16 – Service worship.

The main purpose of this type of Puja is two-fold. Primarily it is to uplift the five senses of the worshiper, and by doing so elevate him to a higher level of consciousness that will promote good thoughts and actions. Secondarily it draws upon the Indian traditions of honoring a guest, wherein each upachara is a service to the deity who takes presence in the sculpture for the duration of the Puja.

  1. DhyaanaMeditating on the deity that is being invoked.
  2. AavaahanaInviting the deity into the altar.
  3. AasanaGiving the deity a seat.
  4. Paadya Washing the deity’s feet with clean water.
  5. ArghyaOffering the deity water to rinse hands and mouth.
  6. AachamanaOffering the deity water to drink.
  7. SnaanaBathing the deity with various auspicious items.
  8. VasthraDressing the deity with clean clothes.
  9. YagnopaveethaOffering the deity a clean sacred thread.
  10. GandhaSpreading fresh sandalwood paste on the deity.
  11. Pushpa Offering fresh flowers while chanting the deity’s names.
  12. DhoopaSpreading incense smoke throughout the altar.
  13. DeepaWaving a lamp to illuminate the freshly decorated deity.
  14. NaivedyaOffering the deity food.
  15. Taambula ­– Offering the deity a refreshing mix of betel nut and leaves.
  16. Pradakshina & NamaskaraCircumambulating the altar and bidding farewell to the deity.

Among these sixteen services, five hold more importance than the rest. Together these five services are referred to as the pancha – upacharas, and include gandha, pushpa, dhoopa, deepa, and naivedya. Collectively, these five services engage the five senses.

  • Gandha – Touch
  • Sandalwood paste cools the skin and is a natural insect repellant.
  • Pushpa – Hearing
  • The recitation of the deity’s names that accompanies each flower engages the ears.
  • Dhoopa – Smell
  • Incense envelops the entire temple with a refreshing fragrance for the nose.
  • Deepa – Sight
  • The lamp illuminates the deity and brings out the beauty of the icon to the eyes.
  • Naivedya – Taste
  • Food that has been offered to the deity is eaten and entices the taste buds.
ganesh, puja ceremony
Bronze Ganesh in opening eye ceremony at the Cleveland Museum of Art

Mantras, Quotes, Hymns to Lord Shiva

Bronze Meditating Shiva Statue
Click to view this Bronze Meditating Shiva Statue

Lord Shiva is known as the Lord of Lords and even other Hindu Gods try to plead Lord Shiva with mantras. Lord Shiva is worshiped in two forms – The Shiva Lingam and the statue form.

Here, let us see some of the mantras (and their meaning), used by great sages, as well as common people to get the blessings of the Lord.

 

 

 

1. The Mool (Main) Mantra of Lord Shiva is a five syllable mantra, known as panchakshri mantra. It is believed that the chanters are bowing to themselves, as the Lord Shiva is considered as the ultimate reality.

OM Namah Shivaya

Meaning: I bow to Shiva.

 

2. Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra is the greatest Mantra for Lord Shiva found in Rig Veda.

OM. Tryambakam yajamahe
Sugandhim pushti-vardhanam
Urvarukamiva bandhanan
Mrityor mukshiya mamritat

3. Shree Shiva- Parvati Stuti is the mantra which praises Lord with his consort Parvati.

Karpoor Gauram Karunnaavataram Sansaar Saaram
Bhujgendra Haaram.
Sadaa Vasantam Hridyaarvrinde
Bhavam Bhavaani Sahitam Namaami.

Meaning: I Bow to Bhavani as well as to Lord Shiva who is white as camphor, who is compassion incarnate, who is the essence of the world, who wears a garland of a large snake and who always dwells in the lotus like hearts of his devotees.

 

white Marble Shiva statue
Click to view all our Lord Shiva statues

4a. Shree Rudraashtak Stotram is the eight fold hymn recited by Brahma to please Shiva. This mantra can be used by anyone to get the blessing from the Lord Shiva.

Namaam-Iisham-Iishaana Nirvaanna-Ruupam
Vibhum Vyaapakam Brahma-Veda-Svaruupam
Nijam Nirgunnam Nirvikalpam Niriiham
Cidaakaasham-Aakaasha-Vaasam Bhaje-[A]ham

Meaning: I Salute the Lord Ishana. It is the Form that represents the state of the highest Nirvana. This is the form that manifests the essence He is pervading everywhere and The Lord embodies the Highest Knowledge of Brahman present in the core of the Vedas. He who remains absorbed in His own self which is beyond the three Gunas. Beyond any change and Manifoldness, and which is free from any movement. I worship Ishana, who abides in the spiritual sky.

4b.

Niraakaaram-Ongkara-Muulam Turiiyam
Giraa-Jnyaana-Go-[A]tiitam-Iisham Giriisham
Karaalam Mahaakaala-Kaalam Krpaalam
Gunna-[A]agaara-Samsaara-Paaram Nato-[A]ham

Meaning: I bow to the supreme Lord who is the formless source of “OM” The Self of All, transcending all conditions and states. Beyond speech, He understands the sense perception. Awe-full, but gracious, the ruler of Kailash, Devourer of Death, the immortal abode of all virtues.

4c.

Tussaara-Adri-Samkaasha-Gauram Gabhiram
Mano-Bhuuta-Kotti-Prabhaa-Shrii Shariiram
Sphuran-Mauli-Kallolinii Caaru-Ganggaa
Lasad-Bhaala-Baale[a-I]ndu Kanntthe Bhujanggaa

Meaning: I offer salutations to Sri Rudra, Who is shining white resembling a mountain of snow; and He resides deep in the mind in Millions of Rays of Splendor, which expresses His Auspicious Body. Over whose Head, the Beautiful Ganga Throbs and Surges forth towards the Worlds. The newly risen moon shines in His forehead spreading its rays and His Neck adorns the beautiful Serpents.

4d.

Calat-Kunnddalam Bhruu-Sunetram Vishaalam
Prasanna-[A]ananam Niila-Kannttham Dayaalam
Mrga-Adhiisha-Carma-Ambaram Munndda-Maalam
Priyam Shangkaram Sarva-Naatham Bhajaami

Meaning: The beloved Lord of All, with shimmering pendants hanging from his ears, Beautiful eyebrows and large eyes, Full of Mercy with a cheerful countenance and a blue speck on his throat. I Worship Him Who is Beloved of His Devotees, Who is Shankara, the Lord of All.

4e.

Pracannddam Prakrssttam Pragalbham Pare[a-Ii]sham
Akhannddam Ajam Bhaanu-Kotti-Prakaasham
Tryah-Shuula-Nirmuulanam Shuula-Paannim
Bhaje[a-A]ham Bhavaanii-Patim Bhaava-Gamyam

Meaning: I worship Shankara, Bhavani’s husband. I owe to the fierce, exalted, luminous and the supreme Lord Shiva. Indivisible, unborn and radiant with the glory of a million suns; Who, holding a trident, tears out the root of the three-fold suffering, And who is reached only through Love.

4f.

Kalaatiita-Kalyaanna Kalpa-Anta-Kaarii
Sadaa Sajjana-[A]ananda-Daataa Pura-Arii
Cid-Aananda-Samdoha Moha-Apahaarii
Prasiida Prasiida Prabho Manmatha-Arii

Meaning: Salutations to Sri Rudra, Whose Auspicious Nature are Beyond the Elements of the gross material world and He who Brings an end to the cycle of creation when all gross elements are dissolved. He is the one who always give to the wise men and is the destroyer of Adharma. By Taking Away the Great Delusion, He plunges the prepared Soul in the Fullness of Cidananda (the Bliss of Brahman or Pure Consciousness). O, the signifying Destroyer of Manmatha; Please be Gracious to me; Please be Gracious to me, O Lord.

4g.

Na Yaavad Umaa-Naatha-Paada-Aravindam
Bhajanti-Iha Loke Pare Vaa Naraannaam
Na Taavat-Sukham Shaanti Santaapa-Naasham
Prasiida Prabho Sarva-Bhuuta-Adhi-Vaasam

Meaning: Oh Lord of Uma, so long as you are not worshiped, there is no happiness, peace or freedom from suffering in this world or the next. You who dwell in the hearts of all living beings, and in whom all beings have their existence, Have mercy on me, Lord.

4h.

Na Jaanaami Yogam Japam Naiva Puujaam
Natoham Sadaa Sarvadaa Shambhu-Tubhyam
Jaraa-Janma-Duhkhau-[A]gha Taatapyamaanam
Prabho Paahi Aapanna-Maam-Iisha Shambho

Meaning: O my lord, I do Not Know how to perform Yoga, Japa or Puja. I always at All Times only Bow down to You, O Shambhu. Please protect me from the Sorrows of Birth and Old Age, as well as from the sins which lead to Sufferings. Please protect me O Lord from Afflictions; protect me O My Lord Shambhu.

Rudraastak Midam Proktam. Vipreyn haratoshyey,
Yey pathanti paraa bhaktayaa. Teyshaam Shambhu Praseedati.

Pink Granite, Raksha Shiva Lingam
Click to view this unique Pink Granite, Raksha Shiva Lingam

5a. Lingashtakam Mantra is one of the main mantras of Lord Shiva.

Brahma Muraari Surarchita Lingam
Nirmala Bhaashita Sobhitha Lingam
Janmaja Dhukha Vinaasaha Lingam
Tatpranamaami Sadaashiva Lingam

Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Lingam, which is worshiped by Brahma, Vishnu and other Gods. It is pure and resplendent, and destroys sorrows arising out of birth and death.

5b.

Devamuni Pravaraarchita Lingam
Kaama Dahana Karunaakara Lingam
Ravana Darpa Vinaasaha Lingam
Tatpranamaami Sadaashiva Lingam

Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Lingam, which is worshiped by great sages and devas (God). He is the destroyer of Kama, Linga, the compassionate, and which destroyed the pride of Ravana.

5b.

Sarva Sugandha Sulepitha Lingam
Buddhi Vivaardhana Kaarana Lingam
Siddha Suraasura Vandhitha Lingam
Tatpranamaami Sadaashiva Lingam

Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Lingam, which is well anointed with all fragrances, leads to growth of wisdom. It is worshiped by sages, devas and asuras (Demons).

5c.

Kanaga Mahaamani Bhooshitha Lingam
Panipati Veshthitha Sobitha Lingam
Daksha Suyajna Vinaasana Lingam
Tatpranamaami Sadaashiva Lingam

Meaning: I salute that Eternal Shiva Lingam, Which is decorated with Gold and other Precious Gems, which is adorned with the Best of the Serpents Wrapped around it, and which destroyed the Grand Sacrifice of Daksha. I Salute that Eternal Shiva Lingam.

Natural River Lingam & Marble Yoni
Click to view this Natural River Lingam & Marble Yoni

5d.

Kunkuma Chandhana Lehpitha Lingam
Pankaja Haara Susobhitha Lingam
Devaganarchita sevita lingam bhavairbhaktirevacha lingam
Dinakarakoti prabhakara lingam tatpranamami sadasivalingam

Meaning: I salute that Eternal Shiva Lingam Which is anointed with Saffron and Sandal Paste, which is Beautifully Decorated with Garlands of Lotuses, and which destroys the accumulated Sins. I Salute that Eternal Shiva Lingam.

5e.

Astadalopari vestithalingam sarvasmudva karanalingam
Astadaridra vinasana lingam tatpranamami sadasivalingam
Suruguru suravara poojita lingam surapushpa sadarchita lingam
Paramapadam paramatmakalingam tatpranamami sadasivalingam

Meaning: I bow before that Sada Shiva Lingam, Which is enveloped with eight-fold petals, which is the cause of all creation, and which destroys eight types of poverty. I Salute that Eternal Shiva Lingam Which is Worshiped by the Preceptor of Gods and the Best of the Gods, which is Always Worshiped by the Flowers from the Celestial Garden, Which is Superior than the Best and which is the Greatest. I Salute that Eternal Shiva Linga.

5f.

Lingastakam punyam ya pathecchivasanndhu
sivaloka mavapnoti sivena sahamodithe

Whoever Recites this Lingasthakam near Shiva, Will Attain the Abode of Shiva and enjoy His Bliss.

Creating a Simple Lord Krishna Puja to Celebrate Janmashtami

The significance of Lord Krishna is that he used his life to explain the great teachings in Upanishads. He taught us to remain neutral, live in the moment and celebrate every day of life.

krishna and Ganesh statue
Krishna Statue for Janmashtami Puja

Keeping in mind that Lord Krishna taught us to rise above rituals and take action; the best offering is to perform one’s duty by realizing the Braham within. Janmashtami is a day to reflect, calm the mind and feel a connection with Shri Krishna. Above all, the greatest puja is to read the Bhagavad Gita, sit in silence and contemplate.

  • Puja suggestions dedicated to Lord Krishna:Place a Krishna statue and Ganesha statue in a clean, quiet space
  • Have a lamp and prepare a plate with flowers, fruits and sweets
  • Meditate and pray to Lord Ganesha
  • Light the lamp
  • Meditate and pray to Lord Krishna
  • Offer flowers, specifically tulsi leaves and light incense
  • Chant the mantra – “Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya”
  • Offer the fruits and sprinkle water on the Lord Krishna sculpture and Lord Ganesha sculpture
  • When completed, remove the fruits and offer as Prasad with others

The significance of Lord Krishna is that he used his life to explain the great teachings in Upanishads. He taught us to remain neutral, live in the moment and celebrate every day of life. However you chose to worship, Lord Krishna is happy with any offerings to him in true devotion.  View a video of Lord Krishna puja.

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