Maha Shivaratri message | Mohanji
Maha Shivaratri – dedicated to Shiva, the king of sacrifices
I wish all of you a very happy Shivaratri; Shivaratri – the night of Shiva, the night that we worship Shiva with great intensity. Devotees of Shiva worship Shiva this evening without sleep, chanting the names of Shiva or chanting Om Namah Shivaya the entire night, sometimes doing abhishek (pouring water or milk) to Shiva Linga the entire night, or doing homa (fire offering) to Shiva.
In different levels, and different ways, people, devotees of Shiva, stay awake to worship Shiva with deep gratitude in the heart for what Shiva has given to the entire humankind or the entire species of the world. Shiva is also known as Tyagaraja, the king of sacrifices. He sacrificed himself when he received the poison from Vasuki while the milky ocean was being churned. That was extremely concentrated poison.
If it fell on earth or the galaxy, it would have destroyed the galaxy. If it fell on earth, the entire creation would have been destroyed. The Prajapatis (sons of Brahma) prayed to Lord Shiva, the eternal dissolver, to take care of this poison when it spurted out of the mouth of Vasuki, the snake, which was being used as the rope to churn the milky ocean to get amrit, the celestial nectar.
Many things came out of the ocean, including Maha Lakshmi, Airavat, the elephant which is used by Lord Indra, and gems and stones, and so many great things came out of the ocean which were secured by many people, many gods, many deities, many people. When poison came, nobody could touch it. Nobody had the power to handle that poison. Only Shiva had the power.
Shiva received the poison and consumed the poison. Only he could do that because he’s extremely powerful because he has great power, great strength, tapa shakti (the power of penance), still, solid. He had the power to consume, and he wanted nothing else from this activity, even amrit because he’s already eternal. So, he consumed the poison.
The story goes that Maa Parvati, his wife, stopped it from going down into his body. It was arrested at the throat; he became Neelkanth. So, Tyagaraja and Neelkanth – Neelkanth means blue throat, blue-throated Lord because the poison got saturated in his throat. It’s said that if poison happens to enter your body, you shouldn’t sleep because sleep accents the spreading. So, Shiva wasn’t sleeping; Maa Parvati wasn’t sleeping, and the entire devotees weren’t sleeping.
This is Shivaratri. We all chant Om Namah Shivaya, Shivaya Namah Om, and various other chants, whichever chants people practice. They chant and stay awake to present our solidarity to the great Lord for protecting the entire mankind. Prajapatis are the creators; the entire creation would have been destroyed with poison. They knew it. So, they told Shiva, “If you don’t help, nothing will exist”, and Shiva consumed it.
He sacrificed himself; he actually put himself in the firing line to get this sorted, to preserve, to save the earth and the constellations, the galaxies. This is the story, and this night, this evening, on Shivaratri, we all stay awake, and we stay connected to the consciousness of Lord Shiva. We perform aartis; we perform fire ceremonies, and we sometimes do abhishek of Shiva Linga.
Every Monday, we do abhishek of Shiva Linga. The devotees of Shiva do abhishek of Shiva Linga every morning; the Shiva Yogis do that every morning from 3 am to 4 am. They do abhishek of Shiva Linga; they drink that water from the Shiva Linga. Only then do they start their day. There are various worship methods. Also, this is supposedly the marriage day of Lord Shiva and Parvati.
It’s the day when we dedicate ourselves to the consciousness, the master who is the epitome of dissolution, recycling because everything that has been formed has to go through this process of recycling. Then new forms happen. There’s a constant activity in the universe, a constant flow of action, constant things, so many things are happening in the universe. Planets are moving, shifting, galaxies are shifting, so many things are happening, and planets are becoming black holes.
There are numerous activities happening in the world and in the universe. Numerous activities are happening inside us also. So, if you are connected to the consciousness consistently, you’ll tend to become the consciousness eventually. Shivaratri is particularly important for us to stay connected to consciousness by aligning an activity which is aligned to, or which is connected to, the consciousness – the consciousness of Shiva.
Shiva means not a form. There can be forms, yogis, who are merged into consciousness whom we can call Shiva. Everything is frequency. So, when a person is in the frequency of Shiva, that means completely dissolved, totally dissolved; it’s totally merged into the consciousness, he is Shiva, or Shiva is also a yogi. Here, Shiva is a state, and Shiva is also a yogi; both happen simultaneously. We are connecting to both – Shiva as consciousness and Shiva as a yogi.
Here, because we have senses, we need a form to connect. We connect to the form; we connect to the consciousness, which is represented by the form. All of us are representations of certain frequencies, and that’s the form. Then we practice kindness, compassion, love, selflessness, and preservation.
Shiva sacrificed himself to preserve the entire universe. So, we also practice preserving. We preserve life, preserve things we respect; we value. These are all signs of great devotees of Shiva. These are all signs that we are indirectly or directly telling that we are in connection with the consciousness of Shiva or we are devotees of Shiva. We believe in Shiva, or we are merged with Shiva.
Please remember; Shiva is not just a unit. He is the universe; we are one with the universe. This is what we are trying to tell the world through our penance, meditations and our activities.
I wish all of you a great Shivaratri, a great awareness, and let you all be aware that Shiva lives within you. Let’s all remember that Shiva is within us. We are not separate from Shiva. We are one with Shiva. Nobody is apart from Shiva. We are all the same. We are all units connected to the universe. As the universe, we are everything.
Wish you a great Shivaratri.
Lots of Love. Namaste. Om Namah Shivaya.
Transcribed by Ulla Bernholdt
Proofread by Yogesh Pandit