Om Namah Shivaya
Today is Mahasivaratri, the day when Lord Shiva is prayed to all over India. Lord Shiva is considered the adi Guru, or the moolam from whom the yogic traditions originate. It is believed that praying to him will lead a peaceful and prosperous life.
Rudrabhishekam or bathing the Shiva linga while reciting the Rudram (vedic chants) is a popular custom of Shivarathri. According to the Shiv puranam, the lingam is bathed in the Panchamruthas: Milk (paalu), curds (yoghurt), sugar, ghee and honey. The Panchamrutha abhishekam of the lord denotes purification of the soul. The lord is then bathed in Vibhuthi or sacred ash before being decorated with flowers and bilva patram, a leaf that is considered the favorite of Lord Shiva.
While fasting through the day and keeping awake whole night chanting Shiva-namas is a regular ritual, the following are a few prasadams that can be prepared for Shivarathri:
As mentioned above, Fresh milk (not boiled), curds (yoghurt), honey, sugar and ghee make the main ingredients of a panchamrutham. Generally, the bathed liquids are collected together and offered as prasadam. However, to serve at home mix all the ingredients together and serve.
In some places instead of sugar, bananas are added to the panchamrutham. That is fresh milk (not boiled), curds, ghee, sliced bananas and honey. Garnish with grated coconut and mix well. Serve as prasadam.
Cut fruits like apples, grapes, pomegranates, ripe bananas, oranges and the bright yellow mango mixed and laced with honey is another typical Shivaratri prasadam.
An interesting note is that all the ingredients generally used in the prasadams are fresh and raw, high on nutrient content and healthy specially when fasting.
Hope you all have a great Shivarathri and may Parvati sametha Eeshwara bless all of us with pure and peaceful lives.
Om Kailaasarana Shiva Chandramouli, Phaneendra Maathaa Mukuti jalaalee
Kaarunya Sindhu Bhava Dukha Haaree,Thujaveena Shambho Maja Kona Taaree