The festival of Mahashivaratri is celebrated with much fervour across India in which devotees worship Lord Shiva. According to the Hindi calendar, Mahashivaratri is observed on the Chaturdashi of the Krishna Paksha of Phalgun month. This time the festival is being observed on March 11. It is believed that Lord Shiva fulfils everyone's wishes on this day and bring happiness and prosperity to the lives of his devotees. People also observe fast on this day and chant mantras. They seek blessings from the almighty by offering bel patra, milk, fruits and the water from the River Ganges.
Ahead of Mahashivratri 2021, here are things you should and shouldn't offer on shivling.
Things forbidden to offer to Lord Shiva:
While turmeric is considered pious and is vividly used on many auspicious occasions, turmeric is not offered to the Shiva lingam, the symbol of Lord Shiva.
Kumkum is considered to be a symbol of good fortune, but because Shiva is considered to be a recluse, Kumkum should not be offered on the shivling.
Broken rice is considered impure while performing puja. Therefore, one should always offer Akshat i.e. whole rice grains on Shivling.
The basil or Tulsi leaf is of high importance in Hindu religious ceremonies, however, one shouldn't offer it to Lord Shiva. As per a tale in Shiva Purana, a demon named Jalandhar was killed at the hands of Lord Shiva. Jalandhar had received a boon that no one could defeat him because of the sanctity of his wife. However, in order to kill Jalandhar, Lord Vishnu had to break the sanctity of his wife Tulsi. Angered by the death of her husband, Tulsi boycotted Lord Shiva and hence basil leaves are not offered at Shivling.
Things to offer to Lord Shiva to please him:
It is believed that Lord Shiva is pleased with Dhatura and hence it is used for worshipping him on Mahashivratri.
Lord Shiva is also said to love cannabis. As per folklore, when Mahadev consumed poison during 'samudra manthan', he started feeling its heat. To counter the heat, he consumed cannabis and hence it is offered to him during the festival.
You can choose peepal leaves as an option. If you are not getting the ballot anywhere, then you can offer peepal leaves. This is also very dear to Mahadev.
According to the Puranas, Durva is said to have 'amrit' (elixir of immortality). It is said that those who offer Durva grass to the Shivling are blessed with a boon of long life.
In case you're unable to fins 'bel patra' on Shivratri, Peepalleaves can be used as a replacement. They are also very dear to Mahadev.