Mahashivratri 2022: How Milk Plays An Important Role In This Festival

Shivratri is just around the corner and we know you are busy preparing for the big day. From abundant offerings to cleaning and polishing the Shivlings, the festival comes with a lot of work to be done in so little time. Out of all the offerings to the deity, milk is one item that one cannot miss. From pouring milk over the Shivings to offering the deity with the panchamrit, milk is one significant offering on Mahashivratri. But have you ever wondered about the reason behind this popular practice? Read on to know more.

According to the Hindu scriptures, milk is one of the favourite foods of the pagan god. This is what most people believe and offer the deity with milk and fruits on the big day. However, very few are aware of the reasons behind this favouritism. Many believe that Lord Shiva performs tandav all night on Mahashivratri and the dance depicts the cycle of creation and destruction of the earth. A mixture of milk and honey is poured over the deity as it is believed to soothe his hot temper. This mixture of milk and honey is also poured over Shivling on Mahashivratri as a part of the ritualistic bath.

Another popular belief surrounding the significance of milk in Mahashivratri associates the practice with the Samudra Manthan. The Samudra Manthan resulted in the production of numerous productive herbs and portions along with a pot of poison called Kalakootam. The poison was believed to have destructive powers enough to wipe out the entire earth. That’s when Lord Shiva came to rescue and gulped down the entire pot of poison all by himself. Sensing the danger, it could have caused, Goddess Parvati pressed the Lord’s neck to keep the poison there itself, earning him the name of Neelakantha’. To calm the effects of the poison, the devas performed Ganga Abhishek. Similarly, Shiva devotees perform milk Abhishek on Mahashivratri to express their gratitude to the Lord.

Apart from the mythological stories, milk and honey are believed to have soothing effects on your body during the fast. The Panchamritam made with milk, honey, curd, jaggery and ghee is said to have enormous benefits for the body. Moreover, the milk poured on Shivlings also has a scientific reason behind it. It is believed that these Shivlings are located in places that emanate positive energy. And pouring milk that is a conductor of all positive energies spreads the energies to the devotee who is closest to the Shivling.