Maha Shivaratri - A wonderful night of Shiva! | Is Mahashivratri the darkest night of the year?

 Maha Shivaratri - A wonderful night of Shiva!

The fourteenth night of the lunar month is known as Shivaratri or the Night of Lord Shiva in Nepali or Hindi culture. There are 12-13 Shivaratri celebrated in a year, but the Shivaratri that falls in the month of January-February is considered the most important from a spiritual point of view and is called Maha Shivaratri.

During this night, the planets in the northern hemisphere are in a special position, which causes the energy within humans to move upwards. This night is considered a time when nature pushes individuals toward their spiritual peak.

To honor this tradition, we celebrate a special festival that lasts throughout the night. To align ourselves with the natural flow of energy and spend the night in prayer and meditation, we place our spinal cord or backbone directly on the ground, which is the foundation of this grand festival.

Significance of Mahashivaratri

Mahashivaratri holds great significance for spiritual seekers who walk the path of spirituality. However, it is also very important for those who are householders or have worldly desires.

Householders often observe this day as the anniversary of the marriage between Shiva and Parvati. They also believe that by observing this day, Shiva will protect them from all their enemies.

 In addition to this, people with worldly desires also consider this day as significant, as they believe that Shiva can grant them their wishes.

 The festival of Maha Shivaratri holds great importance for spiritual seekers and practitioners on the path. It is also significant for those who have worldly aspirations. Householders observe this day as the wedding anniversary of Shiva and Parvati, while those with worldly desires see it as the day when Shiva defeated all his enemies.

  For ascetics and seekers, however, Maha Shivaratri is the day when Shiva became one with the Kailash mountain, completely still and motionless. In the yogic tradition, Shiva is not worshipped as a deity, but rather as the first Guru who brought the science of yoga into existence. After thousands of years of meditation, he became completely still on this day, hence the name Maha Shivaratri, meaning "The Great Night of Shiva."

 Although there are various legends and beliefs associated with this day, in the yogic tradition, it is considered significant because it provides spiritual seekers with unparalleled opportunities and possibilities.

 Modern science has passed through many stages and today it has reached a point where it certifies for you that everything — which you have known as life, as matter and as existence, as universe and as galaxies, is just one energy manifesting itself in millions and billions of ways.

This scientific fact is an experiential reality for every yogi. The word "yogi" means one who has realized the unity of existence. When I say "yoga," I am not referring to any particular practice or system. The intense longing to know the nature of existence, to know the oneness of existence, is actually yoga. The night of Mahashivaratri is an opportunity for a person to experience this.

Shivaratri, the dark night of the month!

The 14th night of every month is considered to be a dark night, but the Shivaratri night is the darkest of them all. When we say "Shiva," it has a connotation that we are talking about the Adiyogi, the first yogi.

On the other hand, "Shiva" also means "that which is not." It refers to existence or creation. "That which is not" is Shiva. Modern science tells us that the entire creation came from nothing and will go back to nothing.

Everything comes from emptiness and returns to emptiness. Emptiness is the basis of existence. Therefore, we see Shiva as the foundation of existence. "That which is" is the basis of "that which is not."

The intense desire to know the nature of the oneness of existence is in fact yoga. The night of Mahashivaratri provides an opportunity for individuals to experience this.

Mahashivaratri is the darkest night of the month. When we celebrate Shivaratri every month and during the Mahashivaratri festival, it can be said that we are celebrating the festival of darkness.

If you want to keep your rational mind above the darkness and naturally radiate light, then the literal meaning of Shiva's name, "That which is not," implies that when you open your eyes and look upwards, if you are searching for small things, you will see a lot of creations, but if you are searching for the truly vast things, then you will feel that the biggest presence in this existence is a vast emptiness.

Some points, which we refer to as the sky, are usually visible. However, nobody pays attention to the vast emptiness that holds everything together.

This vastness, this infinite emptiness is what Shiva refers to. Modern science has also verified that everything comes from emptiness and dissolves back into emptiness. In this context, Shiva, or that vast emptiness, is known as the great deity, the great god.

In every religion and culture on this earth, there has always been talking of the pervasive nature of divinity. If we pay attention to this, we will find that it is always darkness, emptiness, or nothingness that we encounter.

 This is something that can be found everywhere and that is present at all times. Typically, when people are searching for happiness and prosperity, we see divinity manifest in the form of light. When people are not in pursuit of such things, or when they become lost in the process and are in danger of losing themselves, then we pay attention to the fact that divinity can be found in darkness.

Night of Shiva

"Shivaratri" literally translates to "night of Shiva". On this day, your physical system naturally tends to generate and flow with heightened energy. There is a particular practice in yoga to harness this energy for its benefits.

Looking at it from a fundamental level, whether it is the human body or the vast cosmic body, they are essentially made up of the five elements of panchabhuta - water, fire, earth, air, and sky.

Shiva is often associated with darkness, as it can cover everything. People with narrow minds often represent darkness as a demon or a monster. However, when we speak of divinity spreading everywhere, darkness is a necessary part of it. Darkness pervades everywhere and is present in all things, whether it is the human body or the vast universe.

Light, on the other hand, always has a source from which it emanates and eventually ends. This source is limited and confined. Darkness, on the other hand, has no source as it is self-contained. It is omnipresent and exists everywhere.

   Therefore, when we speak of Shiva, we are referring to the vast emptiness of existence. This emptiness is what encompasses the entire creation. The emptiness is what we call Shiva.

Light always comes from a source that illuminates itself. It has a beginning and an end, and always comes from a limited source. Darkness has no source of its own. It is the absence of light.

In this culture, our ancient prayers were not initially focused on saving ourselves, protecting ourselves, or doing good. All of the ancient prayers were like this: "Oh God! Destroy me so that I can also become like you." Therefore, when we say "Shivaratri," we have an opportunity to experience the limitlessness of the source of creation by transcending our own limitations - that limitlessness that is present as a seed in every human being.

"Maha Shivaratri - the Night of Vigil"

Maha Shivaratri is an occasion or opportunity for everyone to come in contact with the vast emptiness or experience it within themselves. This vast emptiness or void is the source of the entire creation.

  On one hand, Shiva is considered the destroyer or annihilator, while on the other hand, he is recognized as extremely compassionate. He is also known as a great benefactor. The Yoga tradition is full of stories about Shiva's compassion.

The ways in which his compassion is expressed are simultaneously incredible and miraculous. Therefore, Maha Shivaratri is a special night for some to observe a fast or do some spiritual practices to connect with Shiva's compassionate energies.