This is a story of Lubdhaka – a poor tribal man who was a great devotee of Lord Shiva. Once he went into the deep forests in order to collect firewood. When it became very dark, Lubdhaka lost his way to home. He was terribly scared when he heard the deep growls of wild animals. To protect himself from the beasts of jungle, Lubdhaka climbed the nearest tree which was a bael tree. However, Lubdhaka was afraid that he might fall off if he sleeps. In order to keep himself awake the whole night, Lubdhaka started plucking leaves from the bael tree and dropped them while chanting the name of Lord Shiva. When sun rose, he saw that there was a Shiva Lingam situated under the tree and he had been dropping the bael leaves on this Lingam. Lubdhaka’s all night worship pleased Lord Shiva and he protected his devotee tigers and other wild animals.
According to Puranas- the sacred writings of Hinduism- this legendary story of the tribal Lubdhaka is thus recited every year on the night of Mahashivratri. This legend is also the foundation of the popular custom of offering bael leaves to Lord Shiva on Shivaratri.
Other Mahashivratri Legends/ Stories