BLESS YOUR LIFE, MANIFEST YOUR INTENTIONS
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On Miracles & MahaShivaratri by Swathimaa
I had my first experience of Maha Shivaratri, the annual “holy night of Shiva”, while at my teacher’s ashram in Southern India, during which I had the surprising blessing of witnessing an amazing miracle: a group of Western students gave ‘birth’ to Atma Lingams, egg-shaped crystal stones that have tremendous healing powers and are created by consciously merging one’s soul energy with Shiva’s. As far as I knew, no group of Western students had ever done this before. Yet, after months of doing intense spiritual practices, there they were: throughout the night, with our Guruji and the rest of us watching on in silence, each student gave “birth” to an authentic Atma Lingam.
As with all things truly great, to understand the spiritual significance of Shivaratri, you have to know something about the source of its greatness, Shiva, and the spiritual value he brings to every person. Any initial description of Shiva includes a declaration, like, “He’s The Great Destroyer!” Though, most ancient texts further clarify this as being “The Destroyer of Evil (or Ignorance)”.
Shiva is in fact the god of Supreme Consciousness, steeped in meditation, eternally seated on a tiger skin, in cosmic silence, his legs locked in full lotus, with the waters of the holy Ganges dripping through his dreadlocks and a huge cobra coiling around his blue-hued neck. His attention is ever-inward, ‘Eternally seated… in cosmic silence,” except, that is, on Shivaratni, when Shiva opens his eyes to allow for a miraculous, consciously soulful connection to be made, between us and him.
...Shiva is unbelievably loving. He is the one responsible for all the souls, the person to give abilities to a soul, like healing abilities. He is the person to wash any kind of bad fortune in your life. Just simply he can wash it out. Shiva is completely free and open...he’s the person giving the incredible blessing.
- Sri Kaleshwar
Sometimes, people get confused when great saints and masters, talk about God in plural, ‘gods’ or God in female and male terms. Or when they speak of them as if they have human personalities and forms, like ours, except with divine powers. Yet, if there is a divine source to all of this, isn’t everything, including all of us, just an infinite array of natural manifestations of the Divine? All of which implies the Divine has an infinite capacity, doesn’t it? So, why should it be such a stretch to think the Divine might also have the capacity and the intention to manifest the divine power and creative intelligence that is Shiva, or Mother Divine, directly into the world, in human form — or in any other form it chooses? In the Indian spiritual tradition, we speak of ‘darshan’. Darshan is a supernatural mechanism whereby a form of the Divine manifests in a physical (often, human) form so that you see Him/Her with your two eyes, not just as a vision in your mind. Why ‘human’ form? Being human, it’s easier for us to connect with them that way.
Our master goes on to say about Shiva, “Shiva is Bhola Shankara (the most generous gift-giver): even if a crazy person meditates and does a perfect process, Shiva comes and gives the boon. Shiva never thinks what type of nature are you. Shiva never cares what you are (your culture, religion, social status, your mistakes/flaws etc). Just, whatever you ask, ok take it, and he gives the energy…He’s the #1 easiest guy to reach, that way, the person blessing incredibly whatever you want. First, he wants to play a lot of illusions, then once you get him (hook his soul with your discipline and open heart), he’s the person giving the incredible blessing.”
Once a year, on Shivaratri, Shiva wakes up from his meditation and blesses his devotees with their heart’s wishes. All across India and around the world, wherever the Hindu faith is practiced, people flock to Shiva temples and chant his name. Still, does it mean you have to be Hindu and go to a Shiva temple to directly connect with Shiva? What significance does Shivaratri have to us?
If Shiva lies within us all, it means, we are intrinsically made of his divine power, we are the structure and he is the space in between our every breath, our every heartbeat, our every cell. During that high energy time of Shivaratri, his energy is activating in us. By consciously connecting with Shiva through intense prayer and active practice of love, the vibration produced through Shiva mantra meditation and devotional, heart-opening songs, we can have his darshan and realize our own divine status.
As spiritual students, as souls seeking to go beyond the surface experience while we live in the material world, aligning with Shiva’s vibration, allows to transform and elevate our consciousness and have our souls, not just our mind and emotions, guide the path of our lives. This is why one should endeavor to merge with his energy.
And, Shivaratri is a super auspicious time to start.
Twelve distinct lines run across the convoluted surface of the 12-mukhi (or 12-’faced’) Rudraksha. The bead’s color is consistent throughout.
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