To the Great Lord Trimurthi
I see your reflection in my hand
I see your three eyes shine bright
I see the knowledge of life unfold
I see the trident of Love
Pierce my heart and kill my ego
I seek this moment to be with you
Your picture in my mind I hold
As I witness you dance within
A great hall of gold
The beats that echo within my walls
The world I do not know any more
I come with a simple offering my Lord
To Your heavenly abode.
The golden leaf inscribed
Your seed syllables of life
Hang down within my chamber
Ignite within my soul
The Lord resides for ever
Within my heart of gold
Gold Vilva cover my soul
Oh Lord, take me home.
Bilva patra, or vilva leaves otherwise known as the Bel leaf is the most sacred offering to Lord Shiva. Its a herb with very high medicinal value. The vilva leaf has found its presence across the various Puranas and has played an important role in various mythologies.
Quoted from a few web sources:
In the Agni Purana it is believed that on any auspicious day in Bhadra, it is considered very sacred to worship Lord Shiva with a day long fast and have vilva leaves to eat at night.
In the Padma Purana and the Brahma Purana it is believed that Shiva once hid from asuras by covering Himself with vilva leaves.
In the Skanda Purana it is believed that this plant grew out of the perspiration from Parvati when it trickled to the ground while she was in penance worshipping Lord Shiva. It is also believed that the various incarnations of Parvati reside on different parts of the vilva tree.
Another Purana relates that Lakshmi used to pray to Lord Shiva everyday by offering Him lotus buds. On one such day, during her worship she fell short of two buds. Reflecting that Lord Vishnu had once compared the beauty of her breasts with a lotus, she humbly offered one of her breasts to the Lord during her worship. When she was about to offer the second by cutting it off, Lord Shiva moved by her devotion appeared before her and stopped her. He made her cut breast the fruit of the vilva tree.
In the Bhavishya Purana it is believed that during the Samudra Manthan, after the poison had oozed out and Lord Shiva swallowed it save the world, Goddess Lakshmi rose out of the sea. She carried in a gold pot the sacred seeds of the vilva tree associated with Lord Shiva.
(Please note - the details above may not be authentic)
The vilva leaf in essence is the very Lord Himself in the form of Lord Trayambakeshwar, whose third eye reveals to us the truth of life an existence. The vilva leaf is a reflection of the Lord's eyes, bringing alive the presence of Agni, Surya and Chandra each of whom are a representation of each leaf of the Vilva offering made to the Lord. Therefore the offering of vilva to the Lord is always a sets of 3.
The vilva leaf finds its divine presence in the Golden hall at Chidambaram where it hangs down to reveal the presence of the Akasha Linga. It is a beautiful delicate gold curtain of vilva leaves strung together with the Lord's beeja inscribed in it. The offering of the vilva patra when offered to the Lord grants the removal of sin committed over three janmas or births.
Last but not the least, the Loknath Shiv temple at Puri, was installed by Lord Ram and has a Shiva Linga that is constantly under water. During the Saranti Samobar Mela held during Shivrathri the upper part of the main Shiva Linga is known to emit steam which symbolizes the Holy river Ganges, thereby revealing the Linga. This Linga is worshiped with flowers, a mixture of herbs and sandal paste, all of which are offered during abhishekam and they remain in the water that surrounds this Linga. The result is spectacular as this watery mixture tends to have a different "fragrance" with the offerings poured in and is believed to have a very high medicinal value and contains the essence of the Lord. This is considered to be the prasad of the temple and is called Bilva Patra.