The puja (worship) of Shri Kedarnath ji (4th Jan 2016) : The tourists visit hundreds of miles to Kedarnath to worship the Lord Shiva at his seat. The temple has the east facing front and the devotees reach at Sabha Mandap to take the darshan of the Lord Shiva. The puja is done in the morning and in the evening with different ritual styles. In the morning there is no ornamentation, flower decoration etc. of Shiva pinda and the puja is called Nirwan darshan whereas in the evening the Shiva pinda is decorated with flowers and ornaments. The evening puja is called Sringar darshan. The pinda is adorned by a golden umbrella hung from top.
The Lord Shiva according to our religious texts is always in deerskin and the body is besmeared by ashes which is quite different from the puja pattern of the Sringar darshan. Some of the devotees are puzzled with the contradiction of the nature of the Sringar darshan and the attire donned by Lord Shiva. The Lord has no shape, colour and these symbols are earthly. The Sringar darshan has the purpose of showing the devotion and surrender of devotees to their Lord.
The origin of the puja goes back to the times of Mahabharat. The Pandavas after the battle of Mahabharat, started searching Lord Shiva to get absolved from the sin of killing their own kinsmen in the battle. They kept searching and reached Kedar valley in Himalayas, where Shiva had disguised himself as a cattle. Bhim after having identified Lord Shiva was rewarded in return. The Lord Shiva was pleased by their devotion and exonerated all the Pandavas from their sin. The place where Bhim had caught the hump became the place of worshipping by Pandavas. The place continues to become the conical stone in the Garbh griha in the present time and being worshipped since then.
The pujas which are normally performed in the morning are as follows: Mahabhisek, Shubh Prabhat, Rudrabhisek, Shiv Puja, Ashtotar, Balbhog etc.
The important evening pujas are as follows: Shiva Ashtotar, ekanta seva, Shiva mahima stotra, Shiva namavali, Shiva sahasranam.
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