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Shiva Deeksha in Srisailam Temple – How To Perform Shiva Deeksha?

Shiva Deeksha is observed by devotee with a  strict regimen for 40 days before Mahashivaratri in the famous Srisailam Temple. It is also observed for the same period during Kartik Month (October – November). The mandala (40 days ) is considered to be very pious and the Sivaswamis (devotees) follow the procedure with ascetic austerity.

How To Perform Shiva Deeksha?

  • The daily regimen starts with the swami waking up well before sunrise and having cold water bath.
  • The first timers start with recitation of the Shiva Panchakshari mantra ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ for a minimum of 108 times while others perform ‘Rudram’ comprising ‘Namakam’ and ‘Chamakam.’
  • Most devotees performing Shiva Deeksha wear black dress and smear vibhuti (sacred ash) on their forehead, arms, elbows and wrists and do not use footwear or shave face.
  • They sleep on the bare floor or with a mat over it and eat bland food.
  • In the evening, they chant the mantra and perform abhishekam. They partake fruits and milk in the evening.
  • Evening prayer and bhajans are performed collectively at temples, community halls or at the residence of any devotee.
  • After completing the deeksha, they renounce it (deeksha viramana) on the day of Mahashivratri which falls on the 41st day, by offering jyothirmudi to the Lord. The deeksha is generally observed collectively.

Importance of Shiva Deeksha In Srisailam Temple

Nearly 200,000 Shivswamis turn up at Srisailam on Mahashivratri, more than 70,000 reach the holy shrine on foot. The hills resonate to the frenzied chant of Hara Hara Mahadeva and Om Namah Shivaya.

Native Chenchu tribes have a special feature of Deeksha and enjoy first preference at Srisailam.

Sri Parvati is considered the first person to observe Shiva deeksha through rigorous penance and thus Shiva became Ardhanareeswara.

It is believed that Sri Krishna hand performed the Shiva Deeksha.