Siva Puja is done on the day of Shiva Ratri. To get Lord grace you need not recite or do special mantras bu what is needed is sincere love for the Lord. The sincere love will make a person totally dedicated and pure . This Purness and dedication, leads to self-realisation leading him, in eternal blist and joyness.
There are tow popular stories of devotees who did fast without any spiritual knowledge . Veda assures us that when a disciple is ready, the disciple need not ‘look’ for a spiritual teacher, the spiritual teacher will ‘find’ the disciple and ‘take’ the disciple to the abode of the Lord. The two stories are “The King of Chandrabhanu Story” and another one is the popular story of the hunter turned Divine Kannappa Nayanar stories.
Story of King Chandrabhanu:
King Chitrabhanu ofIkshvaku dynasty, who ruled whole Jambudvipa had a fasting on Shivaratri and a sage Ashtavakra visit him and asks his ”Why he did Fasting” and he expalins his previous birth. He was a hunter and made living by killing and selling birds and animals. One night, he was trapped in the forest and was unable to return home. He climbed a ‘bael’ tree and hung the dead deer there . He was hungry and thirsty, and at the same time weeping for his wife and children at home who were also starving and waiting for his return. In order to pass the time, he started plucking the ‘bael’ leaves and dropping them on the ground.
He returned home the next day and sold the deer and brought food for his family. As he was going to break his fast, a beggar asks for a food. he realized that a beggar . He served the food to the stranger and later had his food.
During his death, two messengers of Shiva came to take his soul to the abode of Lord Shiva. They told him that he had earned the merit due to his unconscious worship of the Lord Shiva at the night of the Maha Shivaratri. He got to know that the leaves he dropped fell on the lingam and his tears washed the lingam. He unconsciously fasted all that day and night. This led to his unconscious worship of the Lord and he enjoyed the divine bliss at the Abode of the Lord for many ages and was reborn as Chitrabhanu. one
Divine Kannappa Nayanar:
The story of Divine Kannappa also resembles to Chantrabhanu. Kannappa real name is Tinnan who resited in kalahasthi ,near swarna mukhi river with a bunch of hunters. He was a succesful hunter and married . His wife is a shiva diety but he doesn’t believe in God. One day he chased a boar and missed it. and was hungry whole day and on night Thinnan saw a rock in the slope of a mountain and it happened to be shiva Lingam. He was overwhelmed. He also saw some leaves and flowers on the rock but to him the ‘the Lord’ seemed to be not looked after properly.
He immediately brings roasted meat ,some wild flowers and since his two hands were now full, he took a mouthful of water from the river, and came back to the Shiva Lingam. He spit the water from his mouth on to the Shiva Lingam as if to clean, and offers the roasted meat and the wild flowers on to the Lingam and lovingly requested the Lord to take them. He felt profound joy and happiness and slept peacefully, resolving that he will again ‘treat’ the Lord next night with more love and sincerity.
Next day, the traditional priest (Shiva-Koachariar), who daily worships the Lord, came to the Shiva Lingam, with pure water, Bilva leaves and flowers, noticed the apparent desecration, and noticed the meat pieces and blood stains on the Sacred Symbol. He was at a loss. He cleaned again and again the sacred Shiva Lingam, chanting Vedic mantra, did proper abhishekam and preyed to the Lord for forgiveness. He stayed there till nightfall and returned backs and at night Thinnan returns and repeat the same offered meat pieces and poured water from his mouth danced around the Lord, and returned happily.
Next day morning, the priest noticed and was very sad and upset. He begged for fogivenes and did puja in a sacred way and returns back fearing of wild animals. After several days passed he learned that someone was offering all this and wanted to know him and give punishment . He prayed the Lord sincerly and in the dream lord shiva informed about the hunter and wants to show his true worship . The priest stayed till mid night near the Shiva lingam to see what the ignorant hunter will be doing hiding in the bushes with Lord shiva stood by him.
Soon thinnan came and cleaned all the flowers, Bilwa leaves and fruits near the Sacred Lingam, Thinnan went to the river took mouthful of water and poured on the Lingam, put meat pieces and started running around the Sacred lingam in Joy as was his routine ever since he happened to see his beloved Lord.
The Lord pointed out to the priest that Thinnan was a hunter, with his limited knowledge he is doing the worship in total sincerity and full love this is real worship. The priest could see the dedication and the sincerity of purpose. He felt ashamed and doubted his own sincerity. Now after Thinnan, finishing his worship, was ready to leave the place Lord told the Priest to watch carefully, and wanted to show further the sincerity of the hunter. By Maya, the Lord forced blood streaks from the right eye of the Lingam. Thinnan noticed it and was shocked to see the Lord suffering. He immediately took his right eye and applied to the bleeding site. Suddenly the bleeding stopped. The one eyed Thinnan was happy and ecstatic. His happiness knew no bounds. Suddenly he saw the left eye of the Lingam also bleeding.
He now knows the exact medicine for treatment. So he measured the distance from him to the Shiva Lingam using his foot, since he knew, when he take out his remaining eye, he will be totally blind, therefore he has to be sure of the place to put the eye in the right place, and then unflinchingly took a spear to take his remaining eye to treat the Lord. He did not care for his eyes, his life or anything. He wanted his Lord to get well and happy. The priest was totally amazed and stunned. As Thinnan was attempting to take his remaining eye Lord Shiva appeared in front of Thinnan blessed him and gave back his two eyes, called him affectionately” Kannappa” (stands for the Eye). Kannappa was blessed and given a place on the right side of the Lord, and thus attained Moksha. He is adored as one of many Shiva Bhakthas.
SriKalahasthi Shiva Linga
No, doubt Vedic (vaidika) worship will eventually help the devotees to increase the love and dedication. But the important is the sincerity of purpose and total dedication out of selfless love. The sacred Veda equivocally says the importance of selfless service.
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