It is the 17th of February, 2015 and tonight it’s Mahashivaratri, or The Great Night of Shiva, in Hindu tradition.
For those who are uninitiated in Hindu lore, here is what Wikipedia has to say about Shiva – “Shiva (The Auspicious One) is a popular Hindu deity and is regarded as one of the primary forms of God in the form of “the Destroyer” or “the Transformer”, in the Hindu Trinity of the primary aspects of the divine. Shiva is also regarded as the patron god of yoga and arts. Shiva in his highest level is limitless, transcendent, unchanging and formless. However, Shiva also has many forms, such as an omniscient Yogi who lives an ascetic life on Mount Kailash, as well as a householder with wife Parvati and two sons, Ganesha and Kartikeya, or as the Cosmic Dancer.”
For me personally, though I was raised in a home which worshipped the Goddess in Her form as Shakti, I feel a very strong affinity towards Lord Shiva. He is the representation of the universal consciousness, the Godhead, the All That Is and tonight is the night when millions of His devotees worship his image and his energy.
So why this night in particular and not any other night? What is the significance of this night to Shiva’s legacy and how does it affect me?
I have been mulling over some questions while I did a short meditation, while chanting and listening to ancient, Sanskrit hymns to Shiva. These are the replies to the questions that I felt, arise within me –
- This day seems to have a different energy somehow. My creativity is peaking as I worked earlier on some blog ideas. There is a refined energy in the air and I felt it as a strong throbbing at my crown and third eye chakras (top of the head and forehead). These chakras are also called the abode of Lord Shiva and his archetypal energy affects us in those areas of the body
- It is said that Shiva married his wife Parvati on this night
- In the dual aspect of things, Shiva, for me, symbolizes the male energy and the higher mind. But it is unbalanced and as it is common in Shiva lore, where he flies off the handle, into one of his legendary fits of rage every now and then. The marriage with Parvati, the Goddess, balances him and creates the Union through which emerges all life
- Shiva (Higher Mind) on His own, either stays as the Yogi (detachment) or He lets his anger let loose (destruction). Mind you, in Hindu lore, destruction is transformative and is a part of divinity. It is not attributed to a Devil. There is no Devil in Hindu mythology
- Parvati (emotional body) alone on Her own, has no purpose to exist. As there is no soul, higher mind or observer to animate her. There is no “one” to feel and experience creation through her vessel
- Parvati draws Shiva and entices Him out of his detachment and “divine madness” to marry Her. It is with our heart and emotional body that we really perceive the world and our minds and souls make sense of it all and thus experience life as we know it
- Parvati gives Shiva structure (of a family), boundaries (of a householder) and draws His creative force in a beneficial manner to create life. Otherwise in itself, if the mind is evolved, then it detaches from life (the Yogi) and if the mind is relatively unevolved then it destroys life (the Destructor). Male energy by itself isn’t terribly helpful, is it?
Tonight is the wedding anniversary of the universal heart and mind and you are all invited.
Tonight is the wedding anniversary of the universal heart and mind and you are all invited. The groom is You, your bride is your heart and your body, the wedding ring is love and your child is your urge to create and leave behind a beautiful legacy on this planet. Tonight I am grateful for all the Love in my life and my heart swells as I end this long rambling post. To Love! Om Namah Shivaya! Jai Maa Shakti!
Photo Credit – Alice Popkorn – Flickr Creative Commons