Mahashivratri, the day to rejoice Shiva Tattva. We fast on this day to feed our soul with purification and to release our Karmic burden. But to inculcate the full benefits of this day proper rituals of all the Prahars are to be followed.
Now, we know that from sunset to sunrise each day is divided into 4 Prahars and each Prahar is of 3 hours. So, if the rituals of all the 4 Prahars, as mentioned in Shiv Mahapurana are followed then not only our mental health will increase but it will also facilitate us spiritually.
It will start from the time Sun sets and will last for 3 hours. During this Prahar, you have to Light Diya, Chant ॐ नमः शिवाय at least 108 times. Perform Rudraabhishek. Offer Panchamrit, sandalwood paste, unbroken rice, black gingerly leaves, bilwa leaves. Light incense sticks and perform the aarti of camphor. Also offer cooked rice, half coconut and betel. You may also offer lotus flower to Shiv lingum by chanting all 8 names of Him.
It will start when the first Prahar will end and will last for another 3 hours. During this Prahar, you have to Light Diya Chant ॐ नमः शिवाय, twice the number of times you chanted in First Prahar. Perform Rudraabhishek. Offer gingerly seeds, barley, lotus flower and bilwa leaves. Do not forget to chant all the 8 names of Shiva while offering lotus flower. Light incense sticks and perform the aarti of camphor. Offer the sweet dish made from mil, Payasam.
After the second Prahar ends, the third Prahar will start and will continue for another 3 hours. During this Prahar follow these rituals.Light Diya.Chant ॐ नमः शिवाय, thrice the number of times you chanted in First Prahar. Perform Rudraabhishek.Offer wheat, sunflower, bilwa leaves as well as pomegranate. Light incense sticks and perform the aarti of camphor. Offer fried food and cooked vegetable dishes.
Fourth and the last Prahar of the day
The Prahar will start when the third Prahar will end and will continue for 3 hours i.e. up till sunrise. You have to Light Diya. Chant ॐ नमः शिवाय, four times of the number of times you chanted in First Prahar. Perform Rudraabhishek. Offer black and green gram, priyangu grains, any 7 kinds of cereals, sankapushpi flower and bilwa leaves. Light incense sticks and perform the aarti of camphor. Offer any sweet dish or cooked rice with black gram or any other fried food item Don’t forget that the day of tomorrow is of utmost importance and if it is spent in a ritualistic way then it will provide the fulfilment of all your desires.