Among the many names of Lord Shiva, one very popular name used to refer to Lord Shiva is Bholenath. The word Bholenath comprises of two words – Bhole + Nath. The word Bhole means simple, innocent, and down to earth. And the word ‘Nath’ means king. So, Bholenath means the ‘King of innocent people.
Read More: All about Lord Shiv
Why Shivji is Called Bholenath
Lord Shiva is called Bholenath for many reasons. The first reason is that he is very simple and easy to please. He showers his blessings to his devotees without asking for any complex ritual. He only expects devotee to have sincere devotion and pure heart.
How did Shivji get the name Bholenath?
As per an epic legend, once a demon performed hard penance to please Lord Shiva. Pleased by his devotion, Lord Shiva appeared before him and asked him to request a boon. He asked Lord Shiva for a boon to become invincible. Being very innocent, and not understanding the evil intentions of that demon, Lord Shiva granted him a boon, that if he would touch the head of any person, he would be reduced to ‘bhasma’ (ashes). And that’s how he got the name ‘Bhasmasura’, meaning ‘demon of ashes’.
As soon as the demon got the boon, he showed his true colours. He wanted to rule the heavens. So, he wanted to touch the head of Lord Shiva and reduce him to ashes. Lord Shiva approached Lord Vishnu for help, who took the avatar of Mohini and tricked Bhasamsur to touch his own head and turn himself into ashes. Since then Lord Shiva got the name of Bholenath.
Read More: Shiva and his avatrars
Pleasing Lord Shiv:
Lord Shiva is treated as someone who was there before the creation of the universe. If someone worships Lord Shiva, then he/she is blessed with a calm and balanced mind, and no sorrows enter his/her life. The most auspicious time to worship Lord Shiva is the entire month of Shraavan and in terms of days, Monday is his favourite day.
The Mondays that come during the month of Shraavan (called Shraavan Somwar or Saawan Somwar) have a special significance. It is believed that anyone who visits a Shiva temple on Monday and worships Lord Shiva is able to fulfill all his/her dreams and desires.
How to Please Lord Shiva?
Since Lord Shiva is very simple, innocent, and down to earth, it is very easy to please him. The only condition is that the person should have purity and devotion is his heart. He does not expect any expensive or complex things from his devotees.
Lord Shiva leads a very simple life, like that of an ascetic. He does not value any worldly pleasures. He is believed to be the god, who lives in the burial grounds and wears ash all over his body. He does not wear beautiful and costly clothes or jewellery. He is quite content with plain white ash and offerings of simple things, which are easily available.
It is believed that Lord Shiva blesses his devotees faster than any other god. He not only fulfils the wishes of his beloved devotees but also takes care of them when they are in any kind of trouble.
The Way to Please Mahadev is Very Simple, and is Listed Below
1. To please Lord Shiva, the most important criteria is that the person should have devotion and purity of thoughts.
2. Mondays are very dear to Lord Shiva. So, one should get up early on Mondays, take a bath, wear clean clothes and visit a Shiva temple.3. After taking the bath, the person should chant the Shiva Gayatri Mantra. Morning time is the only time to chant this mantra. The mantra is as follows:
तन्नो रुद्रः प्रचोदयात् !
Om Tatpurushaya Vidmahe Mahadevaya Dhimahi,
Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat!
4. After this the person should go to the temple. While going to the temple, the person should carry ‘kaccha doodh’ (fresh and unboiled milk) and ‘shahad’ (honey).
5. Before worshipping Lord Shiva, we should worship Lord Ganesha first. Because Ganesh is believed to the ‘adi-deva’ (the first god), who is always worshipped the first. He is the one who removes any or all obstacles in the course of performing prayer and blessings thereafter.
6. Now, moving to worship Lord Shiva. The person should offer kaccha doodh and honey to the Shivling. In case a person is not able to afford milk and honey, he can simply offer water to the Shivling. It is believed that doing this helps a person get rid of his problems related to his/her job or business.
7. Light a diya near the shivling. A diya means ‘jyoti’ (light), which is a symbol of ‘Shakti,’ the other form of goddess Parvati (the consort of Shiva).
8. After doing this ritual, a devotee should anoint the god, with bhasma (ash) and water. This is called Abhishek of the Shivling.
9. The next step is to anoint the shivling with the next ingredient, which is ‘Chandan’ (Sandalwood). Since Chandan by nature, is very cool, calm and soothing, so it is believed that offering Chandan would make your life also very calm, smooth and satisfying. While performing this ritual, one should continuously chant the following mantra
Om Mahashivaay Somaay Namah!
10. After offering Chandan, the next step is to offer Lord Shiva with ‘bilva’ leaves (also called bel leaves). Bilva leaves are believed to be the favourite of Lord Shiva. These leaves are available in sets of 3. If you can get a set of 5 or 7 bilva leaves, then you are very lucky. These leaves should be placed on the shivling in such a way that the front side touches the shivling.
11. Offer seasonal fruits, and if possible offer him ‘Dhatoora’ or ‘aakada’ flower or fruit.
12. After this, one should perform Shiv aarti with full devotion
13. Then devotees should accept the ‘charna-amrit’ as a prasad of Lord Shiva.
14. Never forget to take some bhasma or bhabhooti from the temple, and apply it to your forehead.15. While returning from the temple, it is very important to regularly chant the mool mantra of Lord Shiva, which is given below:
ॐ नमः शिवाय!
Om Namah Shivay!
16. Also reciting the ‘Mahamrityunjay Mantra’ is very useful. This is a very sacred mantra and is believed to have the power to ward away even death. You may recite it as many times as possible. This mantra will protect you from all fatal diseases and also guard against untimely death.
The Mahamrityunjay Mantra is as follows:
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिंम् पुष्टिवर्धनम् ।
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात् ।।
Om tryambakam yajamahe sugandhim puṣṭi-vardhanam ǀ
urvarukam-iva bandhanān mṛtyormukṣīya māmṛitāt ǁ
17. Always carry some sweets as a bhog for Lord Shiva. After offering the blog to Lord Shiva, distribute it to people there as ‘prasad’.
18. The month of Shraavan is very dear to Lord Shiva. So, fasting on all Mondays of this month and doing abhishek has a lot of significance.
Who Should Worship Lord Shiv?
1. Apart from normal people, any person suffering from any kind of chronic diseases or disorders, which may be fatal, should worship Lord Shiva. Worshipping Lord Shiva helps people get rid of the pain or minimize their suffering. Even the untimely death is prevented by Lord Shiva’s blessings.
2. Childless couples, who have tried to conceive by natural methods but have been unsuccessful. They may worship Lord Shiva for conceiving in a natural manner.
3. Even the ladies who have conceived a baby, but had several abortions. They may also worship Lord Shiva to get a healthy baby.
4. People looking to enlighten themselves and their soul and grow spiritually
5. People who have high ambitions in life and who wish to achieve heights in their life.6. Person facing some issues due to weak position of the moon god in their horoscope. Those who are having weak or troublesome moon in their Vedic astrology chart. To such people, the astrologers suggest wearing a white pearl gemstone in silver metal. However, worshipping Lord Shiva and praying to him and goddess Parvati will be more beneficial. Then, the person may need not wear the pearl gemstone.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q. 1: What are the common names of Lord Shiv, other than Bholenath?
Ans: Lord Shiva is known by many names. In addition to Bholenath, his other names are Gangadhar, Neelkanth, Mahadev, Shamboo, among others. Know more!
Q. 2: What does Lord Shiv wear?
Ans: Lord Shiva wears tiger skin. His upper body is bare and he wears ash all over his body.
Q. 3: What is the favourite offering of Lord Shiv?
Ans: Bilva leaves
Q. 4: What is the significance of offering sandalwood to Lord Shiv?
Ans: Chandan by nature very cool, calm and soothing, so it is believed that offering Chandan would
make your life also very calm, smooth and satisfying.
Q. 5: How did Lord Shiv get the name Bholenath?
Ans: Once pleased by the penance of a demon, Lord Shiva asked him to request a boon. He asked Lord Shiva for a boon to become invincible. Being very innocent, and not understanding the evil intentions of that demon, Lord Shiva granted him a boon, that if he would touch the head of any person, he would be reduced to ‘bhasma’ (ashes). And that’s how he got the name ‘Bhasmasur’, meaning ‘demon of ashes’.
As soon as the demon got the boon, he showed his true colours. He wanted to rule the heavens. So, he wanted to touch the head of Lord Shiva and reduce him to ashes. Lord Shiva approached Lord Vishnu for help, who took the avatar of Mohini and tricked Bhasamsur to touch his own head and turn himself into ashes. That’s how Lord Shiva got the name of Bholenath.