“Alankaarapriyo Vishnuh, Abhishekpriyah Shivah” , This means Vishnu is very fond of Alankaar (fine dress, beautiful ornaments and so on) whereas Lord Shiva is a lover of Abhishek.
Rudra Abhishek is after all the best way of worshipping Lord Shiva. In this ritual, Shiva Linga is bathed with water, milk, curd, honey and many other aromatic liquids and offered bhasma, sandal paste, bel leaves., bel fruit, dhatura and other fruits and flowers that are a favourite to Him.
In most Shiva temples, you will find a pot of copper with a hole in the centre hanging over the Shivalinga. From this pot, a mi of mix and water drips continuously over the lingam. Along with this, other fluids such as ghee, honey, curd, aromatic oils and juices are poured.
During this ritual, devotees chant the Shiva mantra “Om Namah Shivaye”, Mahamrityunjaye mantra, Purush Sukt and Rudram Namakam and Chamakam.
Monday is ruled by Lord Shiva and 13th day of the fortnight (Pradosh) is also considered sacred for His worship. On these days, you can perform Rudra Abhishekam at home for Shiva’s blessings. Each one of Rudra Abhisheka items carries a deep significance
Spiritual significance of Shivlingam Abhishek
The Shivalingam denotes the union of Soul (Purusha) or Self with Consciousness (Prakruti) or material nature. Abhishek signifies the tapas that an individual has to do to realize the Self. Shiva Abhishek benefits a devotee in that the process cleanses the devotee of all limitations, negativities, vrittis, illusions and definitions. Every Abhisheka takes the worshipper closer to the Self and realize his union with the Paramatma. It is separation of the Atma from the Paramatma that is the cause of all sufferings. Each one of Shiva Abhishek items carries a deep meaning. On occasion of Shravan month, let us review the Abhishek vidhi and learn why these puja items are used.
Milk – Providing the benefit of long life, it signifies nourishment. Nurturing our consciousness with positive thoughts and knowingness, it makes us spiritually stronger
Honey – Helping remove sorrow and problems from life, it signifies the sweetness one needs to erase the painful memories of past.
Bhasma – Brings detachment from the material world in order to realise the true Self
Chandan – Signifies purifying oneself and filling oneself up with divine fragrance
Curd – Signifies the art to preserve and cherish the beautiful experiences of life
Sugar – Is known to remove enmity, it signifies ability to adapt with every situation
Ghee – helps attain moksha, reminds us that one’s biggest goal is to realize the Self/soul.
Turmeric – Helps in healing and signifies the protection or shield one needs to maintain to remain unaffected by negative thoughts.
Gingelly Oil – Known to bestow one with knowledge, it signifies the flexibility one needs to remain open to new experiences and knowledge.
Dhatura – signifies one’s capacity to absorb negativity thrown by the world
Bel Patra – Signifies the surrendering of the three Gunas- Sattva, Rajas and Tamas
Coconut – Represents purification of body, mind and senses