Maha Shivaratri

The name ‘Shivaratri’ means ‘auspicious darkness.’ On this night, the moon, symbolizing the mind and the emotions, is in its very last phase. It is waning and losing its power. The last phase of the moon is the head ornament of Lord Shiva. The Lord easily controls the mind when the moon is in this phase. Because there is only a very small amount of the moon (mind) left, it is easy for the Lord’s energy to dominate. Simple practices such as fasting, staying awake and repeating the Lord’s name are enough to subdue the remaining mind and gain the Lord’s grace.

On Shivaratri, we worship Lord Shiva in the form of light. We stay awake all night, not by the power of physical light, but by internal light—God’s light and Guru’s light.

Dileepji has said about Shivaratri: “This night is the night of diamonds with rubies… This is His day, His night of extreme importance… The yogis make maximum use of the time to attain Shiva.

You may wish to stay up for all or part of the night and chant. The Antioch Dhyanyoga Center holds a Mahashivaratri event every year for group chanting. This is also broadcast live online.

Anandi Ma and Dileepji describe Maha Shivaratri

The exquisite night of Lord Shiva – Maha Shivaratri – is coming up. It is an opportunity to once again open further and strengthen the bond with the Supreme.

As is said in the Ramayana, Lord Rama does not accept any devotion if the devotee does not also show love and honor to the form of Lord Shiva, and Lord Shiva states the same about Ram. The two worship each other as their Ishta-Devatas, i.e., the chosen form of the Divine. This of course means that all forms are one; there is no difference. One may have a chosen form to worship but equal love, honor and respect must exist for all.

Please take advantage of the energy of this powerful night. If possible, stay up all night and do practices – it surely won’t be the end if you miss one night’s sleep. Open your heart to Lord Shiva and Lord Rama will fill you with His grace and love. Rama and Shiva will take you to realization.

May the Absolute One remove from your heart and mind all duality and lead to the Unity of your self with the Supreme Self.


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