Some critics often complain against Sanatans (commonly known as Hindus) by asking “Why do Hindus pour milk on Shivling during the month of Shravan?“
They argue that the amount of milk ‘wasted’ on such a day can feed thousands of poor instead. Why this ‘excess’ then?
First of all, those who find this practice a wastage are adviced to use milk in a token way, by using a reduced and diluted form of it.
Now having said that, let’s examine the beliefs and logic behind such act and how right or wrong it is to call anyone a fool for following the custom.
According to the science of Ayurveda, every person has 3 components in them:
1) Vata (Air)
2) Kafa (Cough) and
3) Pitta (Acids)
All three elements are necessary for smooth functioning of our body. However, when the proportion of these components goes out of natural balance, the body begins to suffer under various ailments.
During the month of Shravan, the Vata component of a person gets higher in proportion. During that period, a person must avoid food that increases the Vata component. For example, green leafy vegetable contain higher amounts of Vata in them. [Jains also have Paryushan during this time and avoid green vegetables]
Thus a person is asked to avoid them during the rainy season (especially Shravan month) to avoid the ailments caused due to excess of Vata.
During the rainy season, the cattle also eat lots of green grass, and hence their milk is high in Vata and, in modern times, is succeptible to viral infections. Hence, milk is considered harmful during the Shravan month. Thus Ayurved advices us against consuming milk during Shravan.
In Sanatan Dharm, Bhagwan Shiv is known to consume the poison which came out during Samudra Manthan (Churning of the Oceans). Thus, it’s customary to offer whatever is poisonous to Bhagwan Shiv. So the Hindus offer milk over shivling (Sanskrit for symbol of Shiv) during the month of Shravan as it is considered akin to a poison by the science of Ayurved.
Hinduism says “Feed to others only what you can eat for yourself (Which means, do not offer to others what you will never consume), always give the best to others and do welfare for all. Always take care of the poor and feed them the fresh and healthy food”-(From the Vedas).
Now if we feed the milk or green leafy vegetables, which is poison during the Shravan, then it’s a sin as it will cause them diseases.
Hence, to the ignorant ones who do not know any better, let’s just clarify at once that Sanatan Dharm is a spiritual philosophy and a way of life. Science is something inherent to it and at the same time it’s a philosophy much beyond those realms.
According to “Shiva Agamas” The Sacred Literature Of Saivism, it is called ABHISHEKAM – Shiva Agamas give lot of importance to abhishekam in Shiva pooja and it makes the ceremonies many times more effective. You may perform Abhishekam by simply using holy water or perform elaborately with milk, curds, honey, ghee, sugar, coconut water, holy ash, sandal paste, fruit juice etc. The Sanskrit word abhisheka means a sprinkling. It is derived from the root sic, to wet, and with the prefix abhi, “around,” abhisheka is literally, “wetting around.” An abhisheka is the bathing part of a puja that usually is done with sacred water. Abhishekam is the offering of ablutions to an energized deity. Water, being an electrolyte, transmits energy much faster than air. Pouring water upon an energized deity releases powerful vibrations which we can pick up more easily than from the air. Similarly, different substances have the ability to release different vibrations when they come in contact with an energized object or deity. Many of these substances are edible, and each one has a unique quality which heals or energizes a specific body part. For instance, honey used in the abhishekam has the capacity to actually make the voice sweeter! This is the science behind abhishekam.(reminds me of the movie Satayam Shivam Sundaram- all the immortal songs)! This is the science behind abhishekam. It is devotees faith that Shiva will be pleased by the process of bathing with the prescribed eleven ingredients like water, milk, curd, ghee, honey etc. Don’t we use all there when we get married and perform many similar rituals..?!
Shiva is the infinitum abstract macrocosmic consciousness. So, as such your water is not going on Shiva literally, but it is just a symbol which is being offered with water and milk. Water and milk are both liquids, surey, and water is connected to our human mind. Now it may sound very intriguing, but that is how it is. When the moon is waxing and waning, it changes the quality of the water. As you know, when the moon is waxing on its full moon night, there are huge waves seen on the ocean. Psychologically , it has been found that this is the time when people who have mind problems go through a very rough time; if moon has such an effect upon water, then what to say about the human body which is 60% of water? When we shower the Shivalingam with water and milk, the reason is that symbolically we are trying to correlate the water and our mind and the symbol of Shivalingam into one. In this ritual, the feeling is “Let my mind be washed away of all dirt and pollutants”. Milk is considered to be the nourishing ingredient, pure and satvik. So, in this ritual, if it is done in a proper way and our eyes are concentrated doing trataka(MEDITATION) on the Shivalingam and when it is bathed in the water actually a prayer is being done that “Let my mind be washed of all impurities”. And when we shower it with milk the feelings are “let my mind be nourished and washed of all impurities with noble thoughts, purity, compassion, satvik, goodness, friendship, etc”. Benefits of Abhishek : Burning away of Karmas collected in many births Awakening of the Kundalini Awakening of the third eye – the Ajna chakra Power of grasping, retention, memory and intelligence take a quantum leap Visible improvement in creativity Clarity in thinking!
This is a matter of FAITH in your GOD and its non-questionable..! Its not a matter of merely Rs 20 or $1 milk……its your faith, trust in GOD and most importantly you are buying milk with your own money and not snatching it away from poor. One can help poor as much as one like as its yourKARMA but do not question someone else’s faith and ritual if don’t understand it..!
For those who want to watch a movie spending Rs300 or $13 justifying the twisted view… they could have spent that ticket-money and served probably 10 time more poor people by simply NOT watching the movie..!!!? Cheers..!