a. Application of holy ash (Bhasma)Tripundra refers to the three horizontal stripes of holy ash applied to the forehead. These stripes symbolise spiritual knowledge, purity and penance (spiritual practice of Yoga), so also they represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva.
b. Wearing a rudrakshaWearing a rudraksha when worshipping Lord Shiva is ideal. A rudraksha is reddish in colour with yellow stripes and is flat like a fish. On one side it has a slight opening which appears like an open mouth.
The rudraksha converts light frequencies of deities from the universe into sound frequencies in the body of humans and vice versa. As a result, humans can absorb frequencies of deities and thoughts can get converted into the language of deities.
A Genuine RudrakshaThe rudraksha absorbs sama (sattva) frequencies. Similarly sama frequencies are emitted by its crests. A real rudraksha can be recognised by the vibrations felt by holding it in the hand.
At that time the body absorbs the sama frequencies emitted by the rudraksha. (For more information on this, refer to the Publcation, named at the end of the article.)
Nowadays, mostly Vikrutaksha is sold as a rudraksha. This is the seed of a type of wild berry. Vikrutaksha is used for sacrificial fires of tantriks, black magic etc. by sorcerers.
c. Ritualistic worship of the pindiOnly cold water and bel is offered to Lord Shankar's pindi. Neither is it bathed with milk and panchamrut (a mixture of milk, curds, ghee, sugar and honey) nor offered turmeric, vermilion (kumkum) or white consecrated rice (akshata). Milk and clarified butter (ghee) symbolise sustenance while turmeric is an underground stem and represents fertility of the soil, that is creation.
Vermilion is prepared from turmeric. Since Lord Shiva is the deity of dissolution, substances such as milk, vermilion and turmeric are not used in His worship.
d. Circumambulation (pradakshina)When circum-ambulating one should begin from the left side and continue till the channel of the shalunka from where the water offered during the ritualistic bathing (abhishek) flows.
Without crossing it one should complete a circum-ambulation by moving in the reverse direction up to the other side of the channel.
The flow of a shalunka is not crossed as it is the flow of energy which adversely affects the formation of semen and the five internal vital energies (pran vayu).
e. Chanting the Name of Lord Shiva'Namaha Shivaya is Shiva's five-syllabled mantra.
The spiritual meaning of each of the five syllables is: na = Foremost deity of all the regions (lokas) ma = Bestower of supreme spiritual knowledge (gyan) and redeemer of the greatest of sins shi = Benevolent, serene and responsible for initiation by Lord Shiva va = Symbolic of a bull as the vehicle and Vasuki and Vamangi energy (shakti) ya = Auspicious abode of Supreme Bliss and Lord Shiva. Hence, obeisance (namaskar) to these five syllables.