by Barrie Risman
Tonight is celebration of Mahashivaratri. It is the night dedicated to Lord Shiva who represents the divine, auspicious and eternal essence that exists in all things. One of the traditional ways to honour this occasion is to chant Lord Shiva’s name throughout the night.
I first celebrated Mahashivaratri in February 1996, during my first visit to India. I remember standing on the roof of a pavilion listening to the sounds of Om Namah Shivaya being chanted below me. As the syllables of the mantra rose up into the night sky to be received by the heavens, I too felt transported into a mystical, majestic, and pristine realm of purity and peace. I have always remembered the experience of that state of pure being. Since that moment on, I look forward to Mahashivaratri night as a time to recall the power of this place – this unchanging essence of peace, purity and tranquility within myself.
I’ve assembled some links to move you into the spirit of this sacred day:
First, a colourful photo essay on this year’s Mahashivaratri celebrations from the Huffington Post.
And, a bit about the origin and significance of Mahashivaratri from Swami Sivananda of the Divine Life Society.
Here is Sianna Sherman recounting the story of how Lord Shiva got his name as Neelakantha, the Blue-Throated one.
Wishing you an auspicious Mahashivaratri, Barrie