Mahasivratri is a Path of the Inner Pilgrimage of Practice
Mahasivratri is a a significant spiritual festival observed by millions across India. This time is dedicated to Lord Siva, who destroys everything that is limited. Mahasivratri holds the blessings of the unlimited, the Spirit. Lord Siva (Shiva in North India) is known as the Yogi as he is the perpetually infinite in unions with the finite. Thus Mahasivratri is called the “Great Night of the Yogi, Lord Siva.” Mahasivratri is the auspicious time for each of us to do the ultimate inner pilgrimage we are called to in order to wake up and rebirth as the Yogi.
2019 Mahasivratri Dates
In 2019, Mahasivratri falls on March 4. The Inner Fire Initiation Full Moon Day that is considered to be a good day to begin our pilgrimage is on the Full Moon of February 19.
This exact day of Mahasivratri is based on the lunar calendar. From the yogic perspective, the Moon influences the mind and our consciousness. Each month, the energies of the new and full Moon offer their unique power. Mahasivratri is a sacred vortex of time caused by a specific annual alignment of the Earth in correlation with the Moon and Sun as well as the other planets and stars. During this period our consciousness easily condenses into divine awareness.
Mahasivratri is an ideal time for the following activities.
Mental detoxification through letting go of the past and releasing karmic imprints of limitations.
Creating intent for resolution and prayer.
Inspiration to awaken the yogi within.
Breaking free from stagnation in order to more easily live a life attuned to our higher purpose.
Awakening to the joyfulness of “Being” a person of higher consciousness and thereby imbibing all the associated qualities: abundance, harmony, love, and wisdom.
To become a Master, a Yogi awake.
The Yogic Alignment of Mahasivratri
Yoga as practice is the daily discipline of push and the sacred grace of the pull; it is a practice in which we can transcend the human to be spirit. The energetic alignment of Mahasivratri supports the ultimate objective of yoga, which is the grace of awakening and expanding consciousness. When Consciousness expands, we can utilize our entire mental potential in order to tap into the states beyond ordinary mind. These extraordinary states are known as turiya states. Enlightenment is the gift of Mahasivratri.
For a yoga practitioner, meditator, and seeker, Mahasivratri is like a birthday celebration. The energy of this day supports our ability to awaken to the vastness of ourselves as Spirit. This is the night when sages who meditate in seclusion throughout the year emerge to bless humanity.
Stories of Mahasivratri
There are many stories associated with Mahasivratri. A popular Indian story is the tale of the thief on the run. It goes something like this. To escape from wild animals, a thief climbs into the branches of a vilva or bilva tree. He stayed up all night and—unbeknownst to him—his movements caused the leaves to fall onto a Siva Lingam, a stone that is a representation to Siva. It is important to note that the vilva tree is sacred to Lord Siva, and these leaves are given as offerings. By virtue of staying up all night, with a mind surrendered to the infinite in repentance, and unconscious worship of Lord Siva through offering the leaves, the thief attained enlightenment. This story illustrates the ease with which we can access the energy of Mahasivratri.
Many of the heroes we admire, people such as Einstein, Mahatma Gandhi, Rumi, and Nelson Mandela, are masters who woke up to the supermind or super-consciousness of turiya. It is from this realm that they were able to shine as masters.
The Mysteries of Turiya
My Guru, Siddha Ayya, sat for 18 years without moving while in his cave on the peak of Arunachala. He drank only one cup of milk a day. He had gone beyond sleep. Siddha Ayya was in experiencing turiya, a state described as the “sleepless sleep.” In turiya, our mental potential is more than completely utilized. We awaken our siddhis, our own inner genius, the phenomena sometimes described as extrasensory perceptions.
Attaining turiya is the ultimate objective of yoga. This sublime state of higher consciousness is the genius of the spirit having the human experience of inspiration. Thoughts become wisdom. Turiya states occur when the crown chakra, the sahasrara, has blossomed with the thousands of petals of consciousness. When the crown chakra has blossomed like a lotus, the journey of a Siddha, an enlightened Being, has begun.
The Journey of Daily Practice
Our journey of daily yoga offers us drops of the nectar of Siva Consciousness. These include bliss, wisdom, tranquility, joy, and vitality. When we embark on an inner pilgrimage aligning ourselves to Mahasivratri, we experience the ultimate consciousness of turiya. Our potent thoughts create magnificent realities.
In the imagery of the Indian deities, Turiya states are represented by the gods and goddesses with multiple heads that illustrate our innate ability to be the many as one. Lord Siva is beyond this: He exemplifies the energy of infinity.
Realization of our True Self
When our limited soul stuck in ego of “I” wakes up to realize the vast being of spirit that is our true self, our jivatman (individual soul) becomes Paramatman. The Paramatman is the vast infinite self that is mentioned in the Christian tradition as the Holy Ghost. Lord Siva- the limitless Being. Lord Siva, the Yogi is called Satchidananda. Sat is Consciousness; Chit is experience; Ananda is Bliss.
When turiya states are attained, we experience mastery: a mind of clarity, the wisdom of knowing, the grace of cosmic unions of yoga and bliss.
Mahasivratri and Turiya
One of the observances during the night of Mahasivratri (March 4) is to stay awake all night while singing, chanting, and dancing. This is about training ourselves to go beyond the mind and its sleep pattern through meditative practice. During the time vortex of Mahasivratri, we experience “sleepless sleep” with less effort. Our mind that has experienced the state of turiya is forever expanded in consciousness.
Guidance for the 14 days of Inner Pilgrimage
Set an intention to begin the inner pilgrimage on the Full Moon Day (February 19) two weeks before Mahasivratri.
Like the Full Moon waning on the journey to become the New Moon, we embark on a pilgrimage from the human life to one of Spirit.
Practices for the Inner Pilgrimage through Meditation During Sivaratri
Begin and end each day by lighting a lamp or candles with mantra. The light kindles our inner lamp. The mantras are the melody to our 24/7 inner heart song. The joy states of mantra recitation and meditation help silence the mind and thought process.
Mental and Physical Detoxification
Practice a 14-day mental detoxification. Release toxic thoughts. Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Step out of the mind that functions in karmic imprints of the past.
Commit to a 14-day physical detoxification, eliminate alcohol and processed foods and sugars. Favor nuts, fruits, fruit and vegetable juices, and herbs specific to your individual nature. The healing powers of herbs, medicines, or modalities used during this time are amplified.
Drop habits and addictions. Examine your use of cigarettes, coffee, excessive use of the internet, or even anger.
Create a nurturing environment. Surround yourself with higher vibrational beings or be in solitude. Observe silence.
Go Deeper Each Daily through Practice
Each day go deeper within. If possible, go on pilgrimage to sacred places. At the end of each day, celebrate the inner journey with a puja. A puja is worship of the divine offering flowers, fruits, and devotional love.
Cultivate grace with random acts of consciousness through charity, living our dharma, and through heart’s service. This grace is the power of the pull of yoga and how we draw energy toward us.
Each day, welcome the vast new crisp energies of clarity, revitalization, rejuvenation, and states of bliss. Witness the bliss and joy that eliminates hunger and thirst. Feel the need for sleep subside. Allow our meditative mind to experience being a pillar of light.
Do a puja with a Siva Linga to accelerate the journey into Consciousness. When we focus on the Infinite within the finite through the Linga Puja, we are following the path of the enlightened mystic sages, the Siddhas.
On the night of Mahasivratri, enjoy the effortless ease of sleeplessness, bliss, perpetual energy, joy, clarity and states of Oneness— Turiya.
After Mahasivratri Maintain the Inner Pilgrimage
After Mahasivratri, bring the awakened states of turiya into your everyday life. Reserve one day each week for an inner pilgrimage through meditation and mantra practice.
Guidance through the Pilgrimage
Nandhiji offers his guidance to any seeker on the journey on this sacred Mahasivratri night. Please join his Facebook page: Nandhiji or his Mahasivratri group to receive inspirational videos and guidance throughout these sacred 14 days of inner pilgrimage.
World Yogi Day Facebook Ongoing Inner Pilgrimage of Mahasivratri: https://www.facebook.com/WorldYogiDay