Though this article speaks specifically about Maha Shivaratri, you can learn much from it about transitions in general, and why they are so important.
There are certain times of transition where the veil thins; when you can more easily feel the intrinsic connection between who you are as an individual, and the essence that pulsates as the Spirit in us all.
Maha Shivaratri is one of these times, and a very special transition indeed. This is the Great Night of Shiva, which happens only once a year on the 13th moon as the sliver of crescent moon dissolves into the darkness of night.
It offers both potency and the opportunity to enter into a deeper relationship with the divine.
Here’s some footage from a Maha Shivaratri Gathering I led in 2011:
Before I continue, I’d like to say that, though this tradition comes from India, it offers any sincere practitioner a clear path to the heart. You can use mantra, intention, and celebration to deepen your own understanding and relationship with what you personally believe; that which you already know in your heart.
It is said that your prayers and mantras are magnified 10,000 times on this powerful night.
The potency comes from the place of transition, in this case the total surrender of the moon into the limitless potential of the night. An opening occurs that allows penetration into the universal. Entrance into oneness.
Transitions happen in every breath, as the inhale and exhale turn into one another. They occur in each day at dawn and dusk, and even in every pose of your yoga practice as you flow with moment to moment awareness in the true meaning of vinyasa.
These transitions are times to pause and feel; to receive inspiration and set intention. Through these gaps in time and space you can enter into total awakening and liberation.
When you come into meditation and are open, your intention has incredible strength. When you combine this with times of power, such as the transition of Maha Shivaratri, you plant a potent seed into the nurturing darkness.
The dark holds unbounded potential.
If you think about it, creation and the deepest transformations happen in the dark. Ideas form in the darkness within. We heal and restore while we sleep. Babies are conceived and grow within the nurturing darkness of the womb for 9 months…
So to enter the darkness of this night with a heart full of devotion and love is incredibly healing!
Om Namah Shivaya is the mantra repeated at gatherings and in solitude the world over as people celebrate Maha Shivaratri.
Om Namah Shivaya calls to the essence of who you are. It says “I honour the auspiciousness of myself and the Universe”.
As you chant this mantra, it is a form of self-love on every level. It helps you remember that you are a good person, that your very essence is goodness, and that the same pulsating energy that breathes you and illuminates your life is present in all that is.
Self acceptance and love takes courage. It challenges you to soften your judgments and allow the truth of yourself to shine through.
From this place of accepting who you are now, you are more able to align with divine nature and creatively express yourself as who you want to be.
Through mantra, meditation, song, and any other practice that is right for you, you can become absorbed into the Oneness through your devotion and focus. You can find true unity, and its unspeakable beauty and joy.
What are your prayers and intentions? They don’t have to be specific – just a feeling can be enough.
Om Namah Shivaya. May I be a good person. May I be happy and healthy. May my loved ones be happy and healthy.
Om Namah Shivaya. I am pure. I forgive. I clear all mistakes. I am love.
Om Namah Shivaya. May all beings be happy and peaceful. May children all over the world laugh and play together.
Om Namah Shivaya. May all the shadows of my life be transformed into the light. May the troubles of the world be dissolved in the illumination of goodness and beauty.
Om Namah Shivaya. May you who are reading this be blessed with love, joy, and peace.