Ever wonder why Lord Shiva is always shown as indulging in items as which ordinary people do not partake in Prasad? when the churning of the ocean (Sagar Manthan) took place, the first output of such churning was Halahal(poison) Mahadev swallowed it with ease and even survived why did Maha Vishnu or Brahma or even Durga not come to swallow the poison? In contrast, Lord Vishnu is always partaking in sweets and other tasty food when is then savored as Prasad by all his bhaktas when Sagar Manthan took place and it was time for Amrit, immediately Vishnu showed up in his Mohini avatar and even the leaf offered to him is the very tasty tulsi while Lord shiva is offered the very bitter Bilva leaf During Shravan Maas people are worshipping Lord shiva wit jug lords of milk poured over the shiv Ling while all this may seem bizarre and wasteful even, let us took at logic behind this
Lord Vishnu is considered to be paalan Harta (the preserver); the god who protects and looks after the whole universe. Lord Shiva, on the other hand, is considered as the destroyer
So the food offered to them also is according to the roles they play the food offered to Lord Vishnu is Food which is edible, nutritious and helps in making one healthy that is why Tulsi, a medicinal plant is offered Vishnu that apart Vishnu, Lord Shiva is usually offered to food which is harmful to human beings he indulges in all kinds of roots, seeds, and leaves which are intoxicating an even poisonous Hemp, which is intoxicating, is of roots, seeds and leaves which are intoxicating is not to be used by humans, however tempting it may be, Datura seeds are poisonous and therefore are not consumed by humans Bilwa leaves are so bitter to usually one does not eat it in February, the time when shiv Ratri is celebrated, shiva is offered is ‘Gajar Halwa .this is because the season of carrots is over by him and carrots available then and when cow graze on such grass the milk such contains more minerals what human body can digest and therefore during the month of sharavan, one is not supported to drink more of milk even on other days, shiva is offered milk which has not been boiled
One ritual has a very scientific base behind it .in olden days it was probably difficult to educate everybody about the usefulness of q crop or about fruit from berries which had to be avoided thus the rituals showed people as which food would be consumed and which has to be avoided if a devotee went to a Vishnu temple, automatically he would know about the grain, fruit or vegetable of the season similarly if he went to shivalaya, he would know about garden, berry or fruit to avoided for consumption, during summer water is poured over shivling through a copper vessel hung on the top of shiviling while in winter, water is poured using a silver vessel during summer and use copper vessels during winter, as per Ayurved, silver is cooling and copper heats up body
Unfortunately, we had become a slave to customs and rituals without understanding the rituals behind them even today we faithfully offer mil to the shiviling we do not know the reason behind it while it is true that shiva is asuthosh and he would accept all he had offered to him, there is no reason to believe that he would like to give some milk to the orphan to him, today we drink milk of cows grown in capacity and their feed is not likely fresh grass and so it would be alright to drink cow milk even in august so instead of giving to the shiva, we should donate it my humble request to such rationalists is to learn such more rituals, figure out the scientific basic behind them teach about it, and ask people to decide whether they have to be shunned or accepted just arguing about rituals without knowing the reason why these rituals were started in the first place, as being right or wrong no sense, either way, it would then be a case of blind or leading the blind.