Om Namah Shivaya: Mahashivratri's Spiritual Message
It’s this Life Force that reverberates strongly on Mahashivratri; and those who understand this, don’t let go of the opportunity to meditate/chant on the occasion.
The day before the new moon, every lunar month, is observed as Shivratri. The one in February is of special significance, though.
If you read what Sadhguru has to say, it’s because the positioning of the earth’s northern hemisphere is such that it facilitates an amplified rush of energy within human beings.
Spirituality entails an exploration of your soul, and what makes it happy. Living life in a manner that suppresses the Soul’s innate calling is to kill the Universal Life Force that gave birth to it in the first place.
It’s this Life Force that reverberates strongly on Mahashivratri; and those who understand this, don’t let go of the opportunity to meditate/chant on the occasion. These are methods to look inwards and observe, without emotional ‘charging’, as to how the Life Force has manifested within you. Do you need a fresh dose of the Life Force to clear out stagnant habits/thought patterns? Do you need just a little time to immerse yourself in ‘thoughtlessness’?
Look for it on the night of Shiva, the Adi Yogi, the first to understand, experience, and share the spectacularly potent ‘yog’, the union of the mind and the body.
When I was a kid, I thought Mahashivratri was Shiva and Parvati’s wedding reception night. I don’t think I’m too far from the truth. But I also honestly thought he did a happy-dance version of the Tandav, and the only thing that shattered with his Dance of Destruction was anything that would get in the way of keeping them together. This idea might be pushing it!
I hope I don’t offend anyone, but it’s a thought that lived in a child’s brain for a long time. Now that I’m older, and living out a personal spiritual journey that’s really testing my limits, I have a different understanding.
Shiva and Parvati are representations of the primal Source of Masculinity and Femininity. Not the institutionalised definitions of gender as we know them, but the essence behind them.
Shiva is Life, and Parvati is Shakti, or the nourishing cosmic elixir.
Mahashivratri is a good night to applaud, not so much the wedding reception, as the Cosmic Matrimony of Shiva-Shakti. Consummated, it’s the fountainhead that drives our Existence.
Shiva is the Father, a transcendental, Formless force. Shakti is the Mother, from whom emerge Form and Matter, in various creative avatars.
Shiva is Energy, manifested as Matter. Shakti is Matter, that dissolves in the Energy. This, I realise now, is the happy-dance Tandav of the reception night; when everyone tries to find their ‘groove’ as they flit between Matter and Energy, knowing that they need both.
For the past couple of years, on every Mahashivratri, I’ve dedicated myself to sitting upright and still all night, reciting the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra 108 times; the pristine number of Divine creation and Unity. Sitting upright allows the above described natural upsurge of energy to zip right through the body, and fuel this traditional Shiva-Shakti/Energy-Form reception dance.
Keeping still is paying tribute to what Shiva did those so many years ago, on Mount Kailash, when his body couldn’t handle the ecstasy of Enlightenment, of the Mind-Body ‘yog’ any more. That ecstasy brewed inside him though, and he has shared it with the world in the various forms of yoga!
Shiva stands for knowing, and be-ing. When you know, and know how to just be, you’re not afraid. You could be wrong, and get tired, and make mistakes. But when you’re not afraid, you’ll always start again.