Once a year, a powerful time vortex presents itself for us to attain enlightenment with ease.
This is the day/night of Mahasivratri. For a yogi/ni, Mahasivratri is the “Day/Night of Yoga”, the time to transcend, transform, evolve and attain liberation. Mahasivratri has been observed as the single most important vortex of time by the yogis and householders in India for thousands of years. Based on the planetary alignment with earth and the lunar cycle, this vortex of time holds the objectives of yoga as being the Spirit having the human experience; as being ‘liberated’ from the limits of the mind and as having the grace of Source in our daily realities. This year of 2012, Mahasivratri falls on Feb 20th.
In practical realities, Mahasivratri offers:
– An ideal time to detox the body
– The time to ‘detox’ the mind as in letting go of the past and karmic imprints of limitations
– To create an intent of resolution and a supreme prayer
– An inspiration to awaken the yogi within
– A potent time to break free from the stagnancy of life to enable us to evolve into a life more attuned to our higher purpose with ease
– To awaken to the joyfulness of “Being” a person of higher consciousness and thereby imbibing all the qualities of higher consciousness as in abundance, harmony, love and wisdom
In the Western world it is truly beautiful to witness the growth of yoga as a practice, as an exercise and as a lifestyle itself.
A drop of honey will lead to the honey pot. Practicing yoga does naturally provide benefits of health and less stress, but beyond it all is the experience of gravitating towards Source expressed in words such as “Freedom”, “Oneness”, “Blissful”, “Inspired”, “In the Now” etc. When we go deeper into the science of yoga to understand yoga as a journey through consciousness, we realize that words such as ‘liberation’ and ‘enlightenment’ are not distant concepts but an amazing experience we can have in our daily realities. Observing Mahasivratri does ease us into awakening the potential underlying objectives within yoga.
The worship of Lord Siva (Lord Shiva as in North India) is essentially advaita, which means: awakening to the Oneness of Source as in whom we are and as in everything we perceive. Si is the Spirit that we are. Va is the Goddess, that of experience. SiVa is the awakening experience to be the vast void that holds all the universes. This awakening is related to the experience of being the Spirit – the vast Soul that is beyond our “I” identification, SiVa. This is the root understanding to Lord Siva, the male and female within each of us. Likewise, “yogi” refers to the feminine counterpart yogini as well.
In the spiritual depth of India, most yogis who undergo deep tapas, (meditative penance), seldom coming out for months all together, take a break from their meditative state on this one day. These Sages come out to bless humanity during this period of Mahasivratri. For one on the path of yoga, this is the night to experience and actually be the Eternal Yogi.
This day of Mahasivratri is calculated based on the lunar calendar when our consciousness easily condenses into divine awareness during this period. From the yogic perspective, the moon directly influences the mind and our consciousness.
Each month, the new moon and full moon energies changes to its own uniqueness as the Earth rotates around the Sun in its oval shaped orbit through the year. Each day of the moon cycle holds a specific nature and in the mystical traditions of yoga, each day is attributed to a specific Goddess that holds a unique facet of energy based on the moon phase. Each full moon and new moon period holds a specific vortex of energy. New moons hold the consciousness of Lord Siva, the Spirit experience and full moons hold the awareness and the mind, the energies of Lord Vishnu. Every month, there is one Sivratri – a potent time to meditate and worship deeply and once a year, the grand Mahasivratri (maha means great) near the new moon period.
Mahasivratri and Turiya: One of the key observations during the night of Mahasivratri is to stay awake all night. In reality, it is not about being a weekend warrior staying up all night singing, chanting and dancing, but about training ourselves to go beyond the mind and its sleep pattern through meditative practice. At the time vortex of Mahasivratri, we are able to experience the ‘sleepless sleep’ state with less effort.
The many objectives of yoga from the original intent of the Sages unravel with the experience of Turiya and the grace of Mahasivratri.
- When we unite the limited mind with Source, we ‘yoke’ the unlimited potential to expand human realities to its mastery as an artist while painting.
- When we realize that we are the Infinite Spirit dwelling in the body as the “I Am” experience, we are able to attain the highest perspective of realities that surround us and attain the radiance of blissful being.
- Upon realizing that our body is a shrine that houses our Soul, well-being as good health flows naturally with us.
- Upon climbing above the mind as Spirit having the human experience, we realize the oneness of humanity, oneness of all the living and ourselves as the Oneness that is many. We awaken to the potent angelic nature of realization to be compassionate.
- We are blessed with the attainment of higher consciousness that is causal in abundance, love, inspiration and fulfillment to all our aspirations.
- We awaken to the wisdom of karma, dharma and our highest purpose on planet earth. We become the angelic beings recreating heaven here on earth.
When we utilize yoga as a tool to consciousness, we realize that the journey is beyond the mind and the natural states of consciousness that is sleep, being awake and dreaming.
For a yogi/ni, to climb above the mind’s rooftop is to enter a realm of higher consciousness that is called “Turiya”. The Sages describe Turiya as the “sleepless sleep”. Most of us touch the state of Turiya with and without awareness as when doing the most joyful, inspired thing that we are passionate about. At this moment, we are most divinely aligned.
Any saint or holy man and woman in any religion or culture have the ability to bless reality through words and intent. This is because they are in touch with the higher conscious mind that is in union with Source, the mind state of Turiya. In deeper meditation, as we journey through the states of being awake, dreaming and sleeping, we realize each facet of the mind in levels of consciousness. The yogis dive beneath these layers within to go beyond the mind, the thought patterns and karmic imprints to the state of Turiya, the state of sleepless sleep. In the state of Turiya, the yogis climb into timelessness to intensify the “I Am” experience. In Mahasivratri, the key to celebrating Lord Siva is by staying awake all night long to experience the yogic state of the mind, the Turiya. This higher conscious state of Turiya is the hidden experience that we are to be blessed with during Mahasivratri when staying awake through the night singing, meditating or chanting.
For more info on observances of Mahasivratri here.
Related articles: Part I: The Secrets Within Yoga.
Tapasyogi Kalathi Adiyen Aadi Nandhi: Through years spent in the caves and wilderness as a saddhu under the guidance of enlightened gurus, Nandhi was at first woken up to his childhood dream, a vision that he unfolds as the Ariven Community– global sanctuaries for retired animals. Supporting the Vision is an enlightening marketplace offering products that are recommended by the yogis of India. Nandhi imparts his wisdom and the inner teachings through yoga, through music and by initiation. For more information, visit his yoga website.