FOCUS ON VEDIC HOLIDAYS: Maha Shivaratri – Overcoming Darkness and Ignorance
Maha Shivaratri is the most auspicious day of the entire year to worship Lord
Shiva and receive his most compassionate grace. On this day, Lord Shiva’s
complete grace showers down upon the entire Earth. While the Western
communities may have difficulty relating to Vedic deities, they are largely
Shiva, always painted blue, represents the unbounded transcendental value of
the Divine that is experienced in the deepest point of meditation when there is
only unbounded awareness. Hence, this holiday is embraced with the notion of
merging into the Divine in total Unity. It is a major festival in Vedic culture and is a
very solemn holiday that marks a remembrance of “overcoming darkness and
ignorance” in life and the world.
The planets most connected to Shiva are the Sun and Jupiter. If you have those
planets in your 5th house you may have a strong inclination to Shiva. In the
Karakamsha Navamsha chart (rotated D-9 chart around the Atma Karaka), if you
have Sun or Jupiter in the 12th house or aspecting it by Rashi Drishtri, then
Shiva is your Ishtadevata and this is a special day for you.
For thousands of years, spiritual seekers have sought Lord Shiva’s blessings on
this day by engaging in various practices dedicated to him. Meditation,
maintaining silence, repeating Shiva mantras, singing Shiva stotras and bhajans,
or performing worship (puja) are all excellent forms of practice (sadhana) during.
It is said that those who worship Lord Shiva, especially on Maha Shivaratri, will
receive his grace in the form of true wealth, wisdom, peace, inner healing,
spiritual virtues, and divine courage.
There is also a special practice, or vow (vrata), that many devotees of Lord Shiva
undertake at the time of Maha Shivaratri. This practice involves fasting and
staying awake for the entire night, making sure to worship Lord Shiva during
every quarter of the night until dawn breaks. This practice is very powerful for
inner purification and makes it possible to absorb the abundant divine energy that
is available to all on this night.
The Shiva Mantra is a prayer for rejuvenation that bestows wealth, health, long
life, peace, prosperity and contentment. The spoken chant is a vibration that
when spoken, wards off all negative and evil forces, creating a shield of
protection against accidents and misfortune and ignites a fire within every cell
and molecule of the body to energetically consume all negativity, thus, the
mantra is very purifying.
The power of the mantra is in connecting us with our own inner divinity. You can
use the mantra anytime during your meditation or spiritual practices to discover
or enhance the happiness that is already within you.