My first Mahashivaratri celebration was a remarkable experience.
A meticulously organised ritual of music and dance honouring Shiva, the Adiguru; prime teacher of yoga.
Being totally foreign to the concept of ritual; I came to the night dressed in white as requested with absolutely no expectation, doubting that I would last a sleepless night of meditation.
We were encouraged to do a stronger practice of yoga and meditation in the days leading to the night. What I didn't know at that time was that the more experienced students and teachers were going full on doing a black fast on that day leading up to the early morning hours and spending most of the day in meditation. Some later reported reaching states of samadhi which even back then seemed like an exciting goal to me.
The night itself was full of devotional music, dance and above all a gentle overflow of love that wrapped everyone. It was almost effortless to stay in this festive spirit until early hours of the morning while many internal revelations unfolded.
From that night on Mahashivaratri became a date to remember.
On this night the astrological constellation creates an upsurge of energy that amplifies the impact of any spiritual practice. It is a time to ride this upward wave and celebrate the magnificent creation of cosmic consciousness; this life we live in.
Mythologically; there are several stories around the significance of Mahashivaratri; which literally means the Great Night of Shiva; Shiva being the supreme consciousness. One is celebrating the union of Shiva and Parvati; when Parvati lets go of her ego through her sadhana (spiritual practice) and reaches union with Shiva. A beautiful symbolism of sadhana as a science of union helping us to remove the masks and layers we establish in daily life. The unveiling of ego leads us to liberation.
I can relate to this myth. My next significant celebration happened by the shores of Ganga at Rishikesh. The sword cutting through my ego went so deep thanks to the magnificent container of my teacher and community there, that it took me months to process that spiritual surgery.
“During the Vigil Night of Shiva, Mahashivaratri, we are brought to the moment of interval between destruction and regeneration; it symbolizes the night when we must contemplate on that which watches the growth out of the decay. During Mahashivaratri we have to be alone with our sword, the Shiva out of us. We have to look behind and before, to see what evil needs eradicating from our heart, what growth of virtue we need to encourage. Shiva is not only outside of us but within us. To unite ourselves with the One Self is to recognize the Shiva in us.”—The Theosophical Movement, Volume 72
I invite you all for riding this wave upwards together. If you would like to join this Mahashivaratri sadhana please reply to this email expressing your interest and we will send you the instructions.
What you will get:
- An e-book explaining the mantra meditation that you can do as much as you like until the 11th of March; the Great Night of Shiva.
- Suggestions for deepening your practice including a playlist for bhajans and kirtans.
- Possibility to join online the synchronized meditation and ritual I will be offering at our Samyama Mindfulness Meditation Centre in Ubud on 11th of March.
Looking forward to sharing this experience with you.