HINDU FASTS & FESTIVALS : -26-3-
3. Lord Shiva’s Assurance-1.
When creation had been completed, Shiva and Parvati went out to live on the top of Mount Kailas.
Parvati asked, “O venerable Lord! which of the many rituals observed in Thy honour doth please Thee most?”
The Lord replied, “The 14th night of the new moon, in the dark fortnight during the month of Phalgun, is my most favourite day.
It is known as Shivaratri.
My devotees give me greater happiness by mere fasting than by ceremonial baths and offerings of flowers, sweets and incense.
“The devotee observes strict spiritual discipline in the day and worships Me in four different forms during each of the four successive three-hour periods of the night. The offering of a few bael leaves is more precious to Me than the precious jewels and flowers. My devotee should bathe Me in milk at the first period, in curd at the second, in clarified butter at the third, and in honey at the fourth and last. Next morning, he should feed the Brahmins first and, after performing the prescribed ceremonies, he can break his fast. O Parvati! there is no ritual which can compare with this simple routine in sanctity.”
To be continued .....