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ShivaRatri: The night of Shiva

ShivaRatri-VeerBhadra ShivaRatri-VeerBhadra

ShivaRatri =The night of Shiva falls on the 14th day/dark moon of the month of Magh. Zodiac Sun in Aquarius

Shiva= Sha(the physical Body) + Ee(the spirit/Atman) + Va(the merging movement=to Be)


II Om Namah Shivaya II

Shiva popularly known as AdiYogi, The Supreme Yogi is the embodiment of Yoga. Shivaratri celebrates this stillness within the deepest Yoga. Known as Trayambaka, the three eyed one, Shiva is representative of the merging of the sattva, rajas, tamas qualities in the awakened spirit. The philosophy of Shiva is encapsulated within the principle of Shiva Tattva that interpolates the three states: AvRoopa(formless) +Roopa ARoopa(forming from the formless) + SaRoopa(with form).The dance of dissolution,Tandava as well as the dance of Creation(by proximity to Prakriti) are both contained within the consciousness of Shiva: the balance of both is Yoga. The knowledge of Shiva as Rudra(destroyer) as well as AdiShankara (benevolent) is equal to knowing of the conscious cosmos.

The lore associated with ShivaRatri: When the oceans were churned to offer their many treasures, they also offered the most vitiated of all poisons, Halahal which was potent enough to destroy the universe. While the Gods were happy to receive the other offerings, this poison wasn't an offering that they desired. Shiva, as MahaDev(the greatest among the Gods) stepped up and took it upon himself to accept even this offering and held the poison in his throat. Due to this, his throat turned blue and earned him the name of NeelKanth(BlueThroat). Shiva passed out from processing the effects of halalhal for a good part of the night and revived after with Bhang- a milk based marijuana drink. This night of darkness of Shiva is celebrated as ShivaRatri: Devotees fast throughout the day while the night is dedicated to sadhana,chanting and offering prayers. Shiva is known as Bhole(the gullible one) and is very easily appeased with devotion. Herbs and plants associated with the worship of Shiva are specifically: Cannabis/Marijuana, Datura(Belladonna), Bael. Each is specifically significant in Ayurveda and have huge medicinal use. For Shivaratri, cannabisn is imbibed as Bhang and offered as Prasad-Divine offering from Shiva.

The tanmatra(subtle element) of the element of Space, Shabd/Sound/Spandan or vibration is the attribute to the creation of the cosmic universe: Shiva is the creator of the syllables and the original primordial sound emanated from the Cosmic play of his Damru instrument. The dance of Shiva to the sound of the damru is the inspiration to artists of classical Indian music and dance to date. Dance and Music festivals are held across the land on Shivaratri to commemorate and celebrate Shiva in Divine element.

My mother taught me that in Gujarati, my mother tongue, the saying is "Shiv Shiv karti thandi gayi" The winter bids adieu with a Shiv Shiv chant. My anglicised education actually had construed this as the winter went off in shivers, which in itself wasn't so much off mark in meaning. The dark moon of ShivaRatri (month of Magh:Sun in Zodiac Aquarius) symbolically closes the curtain on the four months of winter season(Hemant and Shishira) that began with the dark moon of Diwali (month of Kartik: Sun in Scorpio).

This is the best time to throw off the winter fluff and gear up for the month of Phagun(spring). This dark moon to the full moon of Phagun(Holi festival) is good spring cleaning time for the body: For seasoned Yoga practitioners, Yogic shatKarma of ShankhaPrakshalana is de rigueur- accumulation in the intestines with rich foods during the cold winters means a good washing out is due. If not trained in Yoga ShatKarma, one may undertake ayurvedic virechana to clean the intestines upon advise by an Ayurveda doctor. ShivaRatri falls in the Adaan Kaal: Sun in Northern Hemisphere where the physical body factoir gradually depletes and the Spiritual factor repletes-Fasting and chanting on Shivratri are encouraged as a path of leading from the physical to the spiritual. The alignment of the Moon in relation to Earth on ShivaRatri is at the most favourable for spiritual seekers to attain the grace of the Shiva tattva.

May the benevolent Shiva remove the ills of poison in our body and spirit to realise stillness of Self in its eternal consciousness as Yoga

Remover of Ills= Hara(root) +ati(suffix)= Harati

Namah Parvati Pataye   Har Har MahaDev 



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Sunday, 21 April 2024