“For me, the most important day in each year is this Night of Shiva because it’s the day that Shiva gives an opportunity for everyone to merge with his consciousness. You’ll become Shiva himself. Shiva is the God of Enlightenment. Nothing else matters to him. Shiva gives an opportunity for all human beings to embrace him, which means to be enlightened on this very sacred night.” – Dr. Pillai
Shiva is one of the important Gods of the Hindu pantheon. Maha Shivaratri falling on Feb-March every year is a very important powertime. It is a festival celebrating the Supreme awareness and gives you an opportunity to connect with the divine.Scriptures say that meditating, and keeping vigil, during this powertime is equal to a million years of meditation.
We will be celebrating Shiva’s ultimate powertime with Fire Prayers, Hydration Prayers, and other offerings for karma removal, merging with Shiva’s ecstatic transcendental consciousness, and wish fulfillment.
Why Do We Celebrate Maha Shivaratri?
Celebrating Maha Shivaratri will help you to achieve spiritual advancement that equals meditating for a million years! This night is an excellent opportunity given by Lord Siva for everyone to merge with his consciousness.
Maha Shivaratri means the ‘Great Night of Shiva’ and is Lord Shiva’s most important powertime. He performs Ananda Tandav (Blissful Dance) on this day and blesses everyone who surrenders him with bliss. Goddess Parvati, Brahma, Vishnu, several devas, and rishis received boons and blessings from Shiva on Maha Shivaratri. Therefore, meditating towards Lord Shiva on this day will help your spiritual progress.
What to Do on Maha Shivaratri?
- Water has the power to cleanse all kinds of negativity. Before commencing the Maha Shivaratri Pooja take a shower and wear clean clothes.
- Light earthen lamps and some incense sticks and spread the fragrance.
- On Maha Shivaratri, the time starting at 6 PM evening and ending at 6 AM next day is the most auspicious time. During this time, Lord Shiva’s supreme consciousness descends to the Earth. Keeping vigil from 6.00 PM evening to 6.00 AM next day shall bring you his blessings and grace.
- You can chant the mantras of Lord Shiva or recite his names. You may also take part in bhajans or read holy scriptures praising Lord Shiva.
- From 6.00 PM to 6.00 AM, You can perform a hydration ceremony to a small Lingam at home or a smooth stone or gem (if you don’t have a Siva Lingam). Hydrate the lingam with water, milk, fruit juice, rose water, rice powder, tender coconut, sandal paste, curd, etc.
- Offer sweets, milk, juice, etc., to Lord Shiva. The offering should be vegetarian.
- You may undergo fast during the time of Maha Shivaratri. You can avoid eating solid foods and intake only water during fasting or can have only milk and fruits/juice during fasting.
- When the Maha Shivaratri time is over, break your fast by eating the prasad offered to Lord Shiva.
Legends Associated with Maha Shivaratri
Puranas (the sacred Hindu Stories) have recorded various divine legends that took place during Maha Shivaratri. These legends help to understand the significance of Maha Shivaratri. Following popular legends are associated with Maha Shivaratri
- Brahma started creating the Worlds after paying obeisance to Lord Shiva on Maha Shivaratri.
- Indra became the ruler of heaven after doing the Maha Shivaratri Pooja.
- Kubera became the divine custodian of wealth by worshipping Shiva on this divine night.
- Goddess Parvati, got the left portion of Shiva’s body on a Maha Shivaratri. This form of Shiva is popularly known as Ardhanareeswarar (Half-man and half-woman).
- Arjuna received the powerful ‘Pashupatastra’ from Lord Shiva on Maha Shivaratri day.
- It was on Maha Shivaratri that Bhageeratha got the boon from Shiva to bring divine Ganges from heaven to earth.
- Sage Kanappa, a pious devotee attained Moksha (Divine Liberation) during Maha Shivaratri
- It was on Maha Shivaratri, Lord Shiva kicked Yama, the death God to save Markandeya, a young devotee, from imminent death.
- During Maha Shivratri, Shiva manifested as a big pillar of Light to remove the arrogance of Brahma and Vishnu.
Things to Do during Maha Shivaratri
Use the Thiru Neela Kantam mantra to remove karma. It’s pronounced TEE-roo NEE-lah KAHN-tahm. Don’t just chant it every once in a while. Slip it into your day during any “downtime” so it creates a powerful momentum that cleanses your karma. Use the mantra any time you’re not busy with something you can’t do simultaneously. If you have a specific problem in mind, you can set the intent to cleanse the karmic thought patterns behind it.
Do the Namah Shivaya Meditation. Dr. Pillai says, “You will have a world of benefits come to you. It will burn your karma, your maya, and your ego.”
- Close your eyes. Chant each syllable for a few seconds while focusing on each of the chakras.
- At the bottom of the spine – NAAAAH.
- Move to the navel – MAAAAH.
- Move to the heart – SHEEEE.
- Move to the throat, the mouth – VAAAAAH.
- Move to the two eyes, and then the Third Eye and the brain – YAAAAAH.
That’s less than a minute. You can prolong your visit to each chakra, and you can also do this meditation multiple times in a row. It’s flexible.
ONE NIGHT VIGIL EQUAL TO MILLION YEARS OF MEDITATION
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