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What are the 4 jamas (quarters) of th enigh for Shivaratri?

I have been reading about Shivaratri. i have fasted for many years but never folowed it as thoroughly as I have it should be. i am confused by the pouring of milk,curd,ghee and honey during the 4 quarters of the night (3 hour gap intervals). Does anyone know when is the exact time for each interval? Is it 6pm, 9pm, 12 midnight and 3 am???? I do not know. Very confused as it is tomorrow! Thanks!

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  • 1 decade ago
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    Maha Shiva Raatri means the great night of Lord Shiva and it is observed on the fourteenth lunar night(chaturdasi)of the dark forthnight(Krishna Paksh)in the Hindu month of Phalgun.This corresponds to late February and early March in the English calendar.

    Maha Shiva Raatri's time duration is such that the lunar day or thithi(chaturdasi in this case)must pass through midnight.A great deal of preparation is involved in order to celebrate this religious event since it requires the performance of Pooja(prayers).

    Lord Shiva is the Devta or diety worshipped here.His worship is done in the form of a Lingam Pooja.The Lingam is a stone with an oval shape and it represents the abstract form of God.

    During Maha Shiva Raatri,Hindus in Trinidad observe fasting.They abstain from eating and drinking forbidden foods and they will make all the necessary preparations for the Pooja which begins at sunset.

    Actually,the complete Maha Shiva Raatri Pooja consists of four individual poojas.The first Pooja starts at sunset and with two hour intervals,the remaining three is done.The last one must finish at midnight.A vigil is maintained all night until before sunrise of the next morning.Bhajans and kirtan(hymns and praises)are encouraged in order to maintain this vigil and also discourses relevant to the occasion are read.

    The first Pooja culminates with the offering of milk;

    at the end of the second Dahee or curds are offered ;

    at the end of the third Ghee (cow's butter) is offered

    and at the end of the last Pooja, honey is offered on the Lingam.

    From midnight until before sunrise next morning, Jal or water is offered on the Lingam .However,the most important article of worship in this Pooja is Bael leaves (the leaves of the wood apple tree).These leaves are exceedingly loved by Lord Shiva and the offering of same brings some form of spiritual elevation to the person who has made such an offering.

    Maha Mrityunjay Mantra from the Sukla Yajurveda Samhita III. 60.

    Om Trayambakam Yajaamahe

    Suganghim Pushtivardhanam

    Urvaarukmiva Bandhanaan

    Mrityor Mokshiya Mamritaat

    The night is divided into four quarters starting from 6.00 p.m , then add 3 hours to it, 9.00, then at 12.00 and the last one at 3.00 am.

    In the first quarter, Shiva as Prana/Ishan Murti is worshipped by bathing the lingam with milk. During the 2nd quarter, it is worshipped as Aghora/Rudra Murti. With curds, with ghee Shiv Linga is worshipped as Vamdeva/Bhava-Murti during the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, it is worshipped with honey as Sadyojata/Sarva Murti.

    Result Commitment

    First Quarter Til (Sesame Seeds),

    Jav, Lotus, Bilipatra

    Second Quarter Fruit of Vijora, offer

    lemon, Offering of Kheer

    Third Quarter Til, Wheat, Malpua,

    Pomegranate, Kapur

    Fourth Quarter Udadh, Jav, Moong,

    Shankhipushp, Bilvapatra

    and Pakodas of udadh should

    be offered at the end.

    for additional details: http://www.shaivam.org/siddomain/fesshivp.html

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