So what is Maha-Shivratri?Probably something our parents celebrated that we never bothered about because it was “too religious” I know I’ve always heard about it, but never bothered to find out. And it’s funny how answers come to you when you seek them. For the past one year I have intentionally decided to dive into understanding Hinduism and the real-world spiritual application that Hinduism can offer.
Many times as we get into the rut of our 9-5 lives, or even before that, we lose sight of who we are. We forget our passions, forget our purpose, forget what makes us who we are, and get lost in the daily ruckus. Especially for working adults, we might try to be Hindu by going to the temple weekly or celebrate Diwali here and there. Then we go on youtube and look up motivational videos and podcasts that will help encourage us to be positive and hopefully one day discover our true selves and our deep passions. We look up meditations by people to do to clear our mind. Most of us haven’t realized that our own religion is equipped to help us accomplish this. And it’s nobody’s fault because hey, who knew that Hinduism had such a deep spiritual aspect? Most of us only hear about the ritual’s and Pujas and rigid do’s and don’ts!
Here is a short explanation on the significance of Maha Shivaratri for a Seeker of TRUTH (Sadhaka) and self awareness, that literally came to me as I was seeking it! These are not all of my thoughts, but collaboration with a fellow seeker of truth on my journey of understanding how the spirituality of Hinduism can be applied in our daily lives for self development.
To begin with, how many of us know who we really are? No judgements if you don’t, but imagine for just a second, if you knew exactly who you were. Not what everyone else says about you, not what your boss, wife/husband, friend, boyfriend/girlfriend, annoying relatives or parents said to you, but you who really are.
Maha Shivratri, Maha=Great Shivratri=Night of Shiva, is a night to experience the bliss of our true nature, our higher/intuitive self, the part of us that’s us when we take out our human component(look up the terminology Aham Brahmasmi). To awaken our inner true spirit and ridding of everything that is not. Shiva represents the infinite intelligence/Creator within us and symbolically in Hinduism Shiva is the destroyer of all evil( where there is light there cannot be darkness)Putting this in context, as we seek the light we destroy the darkness within us.
Shivratri occurs on the 14th night of the new moon during the dark half of the month of Megha. Moon (lunar – lunatics) have direct effects on our mind, and it signifies the deluded understanding of our true identity.
We take it for granted that we are individuals embodied with a body-mind-personality, and this misunderstanding limits us from experiencing true love and happiness in life.We think we know who we are based on external validations. This is because we are sum of our beliefs and typically our beliefs are about what other people have told us all of our lives. We haven’t taken time to ask ourselves the true questions of what is love, what is happiness and who am I when I take away all that everyone has said I am.
We constantly ignore the eternal presence of the divine intelligence(God, The Source, The Creator whatever you call it) which is the source and substratum of the temporary appearance of the individual life forms. On this moonless night, when we intentionally strive to quiet our mind(meditate) and connect, agitation in the mind will naturally come down and this is conducive to experiencing our infinite-blissful-existence. This is also helpful in life as the more agitated our mind is, the more agitated we are. When our boss annoys us, kids throw tantrums, spouse flips out, and when things don’t go as planned. How do we handle life at that point? When we consistently choose to quieten our minds daily, our inner peace goes up and tolerance to handle life as well.
So how does this connect to Maha Shivratri? The goal of meditation is to connect with your higher self. When we do this, we quieten our mind which inturn helps us attain a higher level of inner peace and tolerance. Now I know many of us say ” I can’t sit still long enough to meditate, I try but it’s to hard I can’t focus” On this specific night of Maha Shivratri, the lunar position puts the ambiance in a conducive setting for us to successfully connect with our higher selves when we intentionally attempt. So basically, this is a GREAT day for you to start you meditation routine!
Here are a few suggestions on Shivratri night:
- Eat light food or fast during the day to help you to maintain a vigilant mind ( heavy food makes you sluggish and your mind won’t be as sharp)
- At the mid-night sit in a dark and solitude space, and ask out loud“Who am I”-Don’t seek for answers, the question itself will disappear, the self-revealing entity will manifest and the answer will come to you
- Don’t identify with any thoughts, don’t block any thoughts, keep your mind still and let thoughts come to you, if you find yourself getting distracted, just turn your attention to the knower of the thought – Shiva. Slowly you will start experiencing your mind dissolving into that intelligence. You will feel a shift as you slip into deep meditation. Don’t be afraid… you are the divine intelligence, the mind is the consort (Parvati) of the intelligence (Shiva). (Think conscious and subconscious mind, the latter being the Shiva) Experience the ecstasy of the merger of your pure mind (Parvati) with divine intelligence (Shiva). Here you will be in a deep meditative state-stay in that experience as long as you can – be blessed!
“The Indian Girl”
Connect with me on Instagram: Meri Sanskriti,would love to hear from you and your experience!