The way cosmos functions, the way it was formed and its future are all beyond human comprehension. We have been trying to study about the cosmos for over millenniums and haven’t gotten too far. If studying about what is beyond is so tedious, imagine studying within. Our consciousness – the mystical mind – is full of puzzles and potential and only a handful of people today have managed to realize what lies within. For the rest of us, it is still a mystery we can’t comprehend – a language we can’t understand. Just like Shiva – the Adhi Guru.
Abode the Mount Kailash, the first yogic of the Hindu mythology sits peacefully meditating to eternity. The destroyer, the Rudra, The Kala Bhairav, and the one who goes by thousands and thousands of names is more than a deity. He has been a symbol of a healthy mind and spirituality. And one special day, or night to be precise, dedicated to Lord Shiva is Maha Shivaratri.
The term Maha Shivaratri translates to the Great Night of Shiva and this special occasion is popularly celebrated in Nepal and India. According to the Hindu mythology, Maha Shivaratri is celebrated on the new-moon day that falls on the Maagha month of the Hindu calendar. There are close to 12 Shivratri that alternate in a year but the one that falls on this particular occasion is the most special and takes the name of Maha Shivratri.
There are several legends and myths associated with the occasion of Maha Shivratri. One legend states that there was a hunter who was vigorously looking for meat to eat. Tired of hunting in vain, he climbed the branches of a wood-apple tree and started throwing leaves on the floor to attract deer. When throwing, little did he know that there was a self-manifested Shiv ling underneath the tree that was receiving the leaves from the branches! Pleased with the leaves, Shiva appeared right in front of the hunter and granted him knowledge and wisdom. Having received blessings from the first yogi himself, he stopped consuming meat from that day.
Another interesting legend states that once when the entire planet was under the threat of a massacre and destruction, Goddess Parvati prayed to Lord Shiva to protect the world. Lord Shiva was pleased with Parvati’s prayers and agreed to do so under one condition that from that day, people would have to worship him with complete sincerity and dedication and celebrate the night as Maha Shivratri.
Maha Shivratri is one of the major Indian festivals and an occasion for public gathering. People generally fast the entire night and as mentioned under the legend, sing praises of Lord Shiva and worship him by staying awake the entire night. The leaves of wood-apple, Shiva’s favourite, are offered to temples and Shiv Lingas to commemorate the festival and please him. Legend has it that people who fast and stay awake the entire night worshipping Lord Shiva will attract good luck and prosperity in their lives.
Shiva temples around the country are all well illuminated and decorated for the occasion and you can head to any Shiva temple nearby to witness people gathered for the night with prayer books and copies of Shiva Purana. If you intend to experience the festivity and soak in the experience of Maha Shivratri completely, you can visit Ujjain, which is believed to be the residence of the Lord or head down south to Isha Foundation, where millions of followers assemble together. There are scheduled programs and performances by ace musicians, spiritual discourses by gurus and other events lined up for the entire night.
This year, Maha Shivratri falls on the 21th of February, 2020 according to the Gregorian Calendar
If you think, wealth and worldly possessions come next to wisdom and spiritual progress, we can be sure that your mind is filled with the essence of Shiva. If you agree, we suggest you take part in the festivities and let the vibes completely fill your mind and that you receive directions to your conquest this Maha Shivratri.