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Significance of Offering Bel Patra (Bilva Leaves) on Mahashivratri

Mahashivratri is celebrated throughout India with incredible enthusiasm and joy. It is said to be an auspicious day as it is celebrated as the birth anniversary of Lord Shiva. 6 main ritualistic ingredients are offered to Lord Shiva on this day and Bel Patra also known as Bilva leaf is one of them.

Kritika Madhukar
Mahashivratri
The Connection Between Mahashivratri and Bel Patra

Mahashivratri 2022: Mahashivratri is celebrated throughout India with incredible enthusiasm and joy. It is said, to be the day when Lord Shiva became one with Mount Kailash. It is also believed that after centuries of Yagya, one day, Lord Shiva became absolutely still like the mountain, and that day is celebrated as mahashivratri.

While most of the Hindu festivals are celebrated during the day, this auspicious festival is celebrated at night.

This year it will be celebrated on March 1st. In the lunar month, the 14th day or the day before the new moon starts is the day on which Mahashivratri is celebrated. It is also called “the great night of Shiva.” 6 main ritualistic ingredients are offered to Lord Shiva on this day and Bel Patra also known as Bilva leaf is one of them. 

What is Bel Patra and Why It Is offered to Lord Shiva? 

Bilva leaves or Bel Patra is a trifoliate leaf that represents the three Main Gods of Hindu religion--Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva. According to Hindu mythology, they are believed to have created the entire universe. It is also believed that Bel Patra is the dearest leaf of Lord Shiva and this is one of the reasons why it is offered to him on his birth anniversary every year.

It is believed Bel Patra is so dearest to Lord Shiva because the Skanda Purana mentions that once, sweat droplets of Goddess Parvati (Lord Shiva’s wife according to Hindu Mythology) once fell and landed on the Mandranchal Mountain which led to the growth of Bel or Bilva plant.

It is also believed that Goddess Parvati resides in the Bilva tree in all of her forms.

It is also said that offering Bel patra to Lord Shiva on Mahashivratri can help you gain so much merit that only can be obtained through doing 1000 Yagya sacrifices. Hence making it the easiest way of pleasing Lord Shiva. 

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