7 important things to do this Maha Shivaratri

New Delhi, Feb 12: Maha Shivratri vrat or Shivratri fasting has attained great significance and can be called as one of the most important fasts of Hinduism. The Mahashivratri has immense spiritual significance for Hindus. Those who observe the Maha Shivratri fast are blessed with the divine grace of Lord Shiva. If you observe the fast with complete dedication, it will help you control the two crucial natural forces that impact the human beings.

The two forces are known as the 'Rajas' and the 'Tamas' guna. The 'Rajas' guna can be defined as the quality of passionate activity. Evils like lust, anger and jealousy are born out of the 'Rajas' guna. The 'Tamas' guna is the quality of inertia or indifference and resistance to action. 'Tamas' promotes darkness, ignorance, resistance, death and destruction.

On the auspicious day of Maha Shivratri which will fall on the 14th February this year, you need to do these things: 

1) Waking up early and taking early bath 
Waking up early is very important on Maha Shivratri and then bathing should be the first thing that you should do on Maha Shivratri. In a bucket filled with lukewarm water and you should drop some black sesame seeds. Bathing with this water will help you get rid of the impurities.

2) Bathing the Shiva Linga
After bathing, you should make a visit the nearest Shiva Temple. If you have a Shiva Linga at home, then give the idol a bath with honey, water and milk. You should not use an excess of milk and honey. Half a cup of milk should be more than enough.

3) Offerings to Shiva Linga
Soon after giving bath to the Linga, make sure you offer Belpatra, Dhatura, Akanda Flowers, Turmeric, Kumkum and Sandalwood to it. Lord Shiva love these commodities.

4) Food Offering to Shiva
Lord Shiva is fond of milk-made items. So, make sure you offer Kheer or milk barfi to the Linga. Some people also offer Bhaang to the Shiva Idol on this day.

5) Prayers
Chant the Mantra ‘Om Namah Shivay’ by heart and offer your heartfelt prayers to the Lord. Sing the devotional hymns to the Lord, expressing your love and devotion to the almighty.

6) Entire Day and Night Fast
The Shivratri fast begins in the morning and continues till the next morning. many people consume fruits and milk throughout the fast.

7) Things to eat during fasting
There are no hard and fast rules about fasting on Maha Shivratri. You can have juice, fruits and special fast dishes during your fast. After the sunset, no meal is to be consumed.