Story of Mahashivratri

On a full moon night at arbudachal mountain range near Nagtirtha. A hunter named Gurudroh was sitting on a bilva tree and was waiting for a victim(prey). He was expecting a big animal to fall prey which can satisfy the hunger of him and his family who were starving since three days. He awaited till sunset but still he had no luck. Suddenly in the meadows he sensed some noise of animal movement. He saw sharply through his arrow point, there was a deer. Gurudroh aimed his arrow at the deer.

At the same time Deer felt life threatened and screamed aloud “Please do not kill me” Gurudroh waited for a while, The Deer was now almost in front of Him. The Deer realized that it has been trapped and hence Started weeping and pleading to let go as its family was waiting in the caves. Gurudroh also said that his family too was hungry and waiting for him. The dear explained that it would never see its family again and that it be allowed to see them once. Grudroh felt pity on the deer but then he realized that his family is starving so he asked the deer to promise to return after meeting its family. The Deer Agreed to get back before morning. And Gurudroh allowed the deer to leave

While gurudroha was aiming unknowingly due to his movement some bilva patra(leaf) fell on the shivalinga which was under the tree and gurudroha’s water bag was leaking and the water was dripping on the shivaling. Gurudroh was fasting for 3 days now. This way the first phase of offering night puja to Lord Shiva was performed by him unknowingly.

He continued his search for a prey by then it was midnight. In darkness Gurudroh again sensed another animal moving in the trees. Again he aimed his arrow in that direction. There was a deer moving there. The Dear was petrified seeing the hunter. It screamed and requested to spare it. It begged for life saying “I have young children at home, please let me go”, Gurudroh denied and the deer asked for some time to go meet its family for the last time and promised to get back before morning. Gurudroh accepts the promise and lets the deer leave. Again he gets back to hunting and without his knowledge due to his movement near the branches of the tree again some bilva leaves fall on shiva linga and water from his water bag drips on it. This is how he completes his second phase of performing shiva pooja unknowingly.

Time went by and gurudroh was disappointed thinking that he missed two opportunities. He then made up his mind and was determined he shall not allow anybody get away anymore. Meanwhile he heard Movement in the jungle and aimed with determination. To his luck this time it was a big deer. Gurudroh was happy this time as one deer would be enough to satisfy their hunger. The deer started to panic and pleaded “Please do not kill me. Let me go my family is waiting for me in cave” Gurudhroh said “ No! I won’t let you go. I let go two deer and they haven’t returned yet as promised by them. The Deer promised to come back. But gurudroh was not ready as last two also promised but did not adhere to it. And this deer might do the same. But deer somehow convinced Gurudroh and rushed into the meadows in no time. Gurudroh for the third time unknowingly performed the third phase of the pooja of the shiva linga.

It was dawn and it was time for sunrise. Gurudroh got frustrated as all deers had betrayed him. In anger he started plucking leaves from the tree and threw them down on the shiva linga and water bag was almost empty as it had dripped all night This is how he completed his forth phase shivpooja.

On the other side all the deer met in the cave and shared thier experiences and informed each other about their promise to the Hunter, They were all in a dilemma they were very determined about their promise but co incidently all three belonged to the same family. So the younger wife (deer) says to the elder wife (deer) “ You are an elder member of the family, You can look after family and hence you should live. Let me go to the hunter.” Listening to that the elder wife felt sheer pain and she said “No! I have lived my life long enough. You are young, you have many things to see and enjoy in the life. I shall go to hunter” Seeing both the wives willing to sacrifice. The Deer said “No, I am the head of the family and it is my duty to protect you all. I shall go.” Seeing the elders willing to sacrifice their life the baby deers start weeping, they said “we cannot live without anyone of you. Let us also die, we want to come along.” So family has decided let us all go to hunter and let him decide.

The entire family went to Gurudroh and told him about their problem. “ We cannot live without one another, so here we are you can kill all of us. we have kept our promise.” Gurudroh was moved seeing the sacrifice, love and truthfulness of the family. He felt pain in his heart and said to himself “what a harsh & brutal human I am. I am about to take lives of such nice, truthful and harmless creatures. His heart filled with love and kindness and he let go the deer family. Seeing grudroh’s love and kindness despite he was hungry from the last three days and yet performs pooja lord shiva appears to bless him and grant boon of his choice. Gurudroh whose heart is filled with love and affection asks for Lord Shiva’s devotion. Lord shiva fulfills his boon and says now onwards this shivalinga will be named after you as Druhishwar (now Duleshwar ) Mahadev. The story of mahashivaratri is the story of Duleshwar mahadev Arbudachal (Mt. Abu).