Karthika Masam is the favourite month of Lord Siva. Monday is very auspicious for Lord Siva. On Mondays, the Women worship Him with special Puja and Abhishekam. It is believed that Lord Siva resides in Bilva tree and in its fruit.
The chanting of ‘Om Namah Sivaya’ always works miracles in the spiritual life of a devotee.
The Siva Sahasranama Strotra is being chanted during this month. It is believed that all the places of pilgrimage dwell in the Bilva-leaf. Lord Siva is believed to have his Abode in the roots of the Bilva tree. The Puranic saying ‘Abhishekapriyah Sivah’ means that Lord Siva is fond of Abhisheka. Without Abhisheka, worship of Lord Siva is incomplete.
In the temples of Lord Siva, a pot made up of copper or brass with a hole in the centre is kept hanging over the image of the Siva Linga and the waterfalls on the image throughout day and night. Pouring water, milk, ghee, curd, honey, coconut water, and panchamrita over the Linga is Abhisheka.
The process of Abhishekha pacifies His third fiery eye. Abhishekam grants the devotees health, wealth, prosperity, happiness and protects progeny.
A devotee who worships the roots of the Bilva tree with water attains Salvation since it is equal to Abhishekam to Lord Siva.
Bhakta Kannappa – Abhishekam
Bhakta Kannappa, a great devotee of Lord Siva, a hunter by profession, did Abhisheka with water from his mouth for the Linga at Kalahasti in Chittoor District and propitiated Lord Siva.
Lord Siva is pleased with his innocent and pure devotion. It is the inner emotion that counts always and not the external manifestation.
Many devotees observe ‘Karthika Somavara Vratham’. Tree worship (Amla tree) has been an element of modern Hindu tradition since times immemorial. There are many trees which are considered sacred. Peepal tree symbolises the Trinity i.e., Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Siva. Shastras say that –
Moolatho Brahma roopaya madhyatho
agrasya Siva roopaya Vruksha
In the Gita Lord Krishna says: Of all trees, I am the holy fig tree Aswattha (Aswatthah sarva Vruksanam). The banana tree is very sacred and the trunk of it is used to erect at welcoming gates on auspicious occasions.
- The leaves are used to make the ceremonial pavilion.
- The leaves are used to serve ‘prasadam’.
- It is believed that offering of the leaves of banana, pleases Lord Ganesa and the Sun-god.
Banana fruit is offered to Lord Vishnu and Goddess Laksmi. Planting the pious trees like ‘Bilva’, ‘Amla’ and ‘Banana’ around home or temple purifies the environment.
The ‘Tripatra’ of the Bilva tree is believed to symbolise the three functions of the Almighty namely the creation, preservation and destruction. It also symbolises the three eyes of Lord Siva.
The offering of the Bilva leaves is a compulsory ritual while worshipping Lord Siva.
*Data Source – Saptagiri Magazine