Om Namah Shivay. These three words are magical for it can bring wonders in your life if spoken with respect and reverence. Shravan month is very auspicious to worship Lord Shiva and he loves Bel-Patra, also called Bilwa-Patra. Although devotees offer Bel-Patra to Lord Shiva with utmost respect, there are, however certain rituals and rules associated with it, which should be followed. I’d like to tell these rules to devotees so that they can get maximum benefit.
- It is advisable to pluck leaves one day before when you wish to offer for worshipping Lord Shiva.
- • Always use a set of 3 leaves. The leaves should not be cut, dried or disfigured.
- • Never pluck leaves after the sun set. Also, always wash your hands before and after plucking leaves.
- • Never break a branch from the tree to pluck leaves later on. Always pluck leaves one by one.
- • Before plucking leaves, one should recite following mantra to pledge the offering to Lord Shiva:
- अमृतोद्भव श्री वृक्ष महादेव प्रिय: सदा। गृह्यामि तव पत्राणि शिव पूजार्थ मादरात्॥
- Lord Shiva loves this majestic tree which has risen from nectar. O majestic tree, I am plucking your leaves to worship Lord Shiva.
- • Never pluck Bel-Patra on Chaturthi, Ashtami, Navami, Chaturdashi and Amavasya to offer to Lord Shiva.
- • Do not pluck Bel-Patra on Mondays and Sankranti when Sun shifts Sign which usually falls on 15th of 16th of calendar month. Although you may offer Bel-Patra on these days to worship.
- • If you don’t have fresh Bel-Patra or plucking is forbidden on that day, you may offer already offered Bel-Patra after washing it.
Know this, Lord Shiva likes Bel-Patra very much and it is our duty to offer him anything pure and clean. On those dates when plucking of Bel-Patra is prohibited according to our holy scriptures, the devotee may use already offered Bel-Patra after proper washing and offer it to Lord Shiva for worshipping. Offering Bel-Patra is not prohibited on any day, just plucking is prohibited on certain days.
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