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Mahashivaratri 2014

A Letter in Honor of Mahashivaratri
from Swami Vasudevananda

February 23, 2014

Dear Siddha Yogis,

On Mahashivaratri, "The Great Night of Shiva," the moon rises in the shape of an exquisite crescent. The night of this crescent moon, like the space between the inhalation and exhalation, is a doorway to the Heart. It is a night so supremely sacred that the benefits of spiritual practice performed during this time are multiplied a thousandfold.

Traditional practices during Mahashivaratri include offering puja to Lord Shiva, fasting or eating traditional fasting foods, singing hymns to Lord Shiva, and telling scriptural stories about Lord Shiva from the ancient Puranas, such as the story of "The Hunter and the Deer."

On the Siddha Yoga path, the principal form of worship on Mahashivaratri is repetition of the great redeeming mantra,
Om Namah Shivaya. And so, on this night, in Siddha Yoga Ashrams, meditation centers, chanting and meditation groups, and their own homes, devotees throughout the world will chant the mantra and bathe their minds in its purifying vibrations.

In his introduction to The Nectar of Chanting, Baba Muktananda asks, "Who is invoked by uttering Om Namah Shivaya? Who is remembered? Who can be met and spoken with through Om Namah Shivaya?"

And Baba answers this question, saying, "He to whom we kneel by uttering Om Namah Shivaya is the Guru, the Self of all, the embodiment of sacchidānanda—existence, consciousness, and bliss absolute."

It is this supreme Shiva, the pure Consciousness at the heart of all beings, that we invoke as we chant Om Namah Shivaya on Mahashivaratri.

Each year, I look forward to Mahashivaratri with great anticipation. Time and again, while chanting Om Namah Shivaya on this extraordinary night, I’ve experienced myself being carried easefully along on steady currents of grace to a space of blissful luminosity. There, every sense of separation falls away, and I am one with the Guru, one with God, and one with all creation.

And so it is with great joy that I invite you to chant the mantra during the time of Mahashivaratri and, by so doing, to enter the abode of Lord Shiva, the space of pure Consciousness from which the mantra arises—the space that Gurumayi guides all of us to experience as we study her Message for 2014.

Let us drench our minds in tranquility as we chant the mantra on Mahashivaratri.

Warm regards,

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Swami Vasudevananda
Siddha Yoga Meditation Teacher

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Such a great opportunity to dive into the space of flawless quietude and perform loving worship to Shiva, to my Guru, from that space! Mahashivaratri—long hours of repeating and chanting the mantra Om Namah Shivaya.  The thought itself fills me with a blissful feeling.

I have been focusing on the practice of silence and on mantra japa in honor of this celebration, offering every repetition of the mantra to Bade Baba, to Baba, to Gurumayi in order to offer my love to Shri Guru. Especially after participating in A Sweet Surprise satsang, my love and respect for the mantra has been deepening, and I want to chant it more and more.

Thank you, Gurumayiji, for bestowing the gift of this mahamantraOm Namah Shivaya.

a Gurukula student in Gurudev Siddha Peeth

Thank you very much for this beautiful letter. What a splendid posting to wake up to! It reminds me of so many things my mind loves to remember, such as: “I am Shiva”; Gurumayi is guiding us to the state of perfection; the strength, love, and power of the Siddha Yoga sangham chanting together; the power of the mantra; Gurudev Siddha Peeth; and Baba’s historic introduction to The Nectar of Chanting. The beautiful images and references made my mind settle down as soon as I read the opening paragraph. I am looking forward to Mahashivaratri very much.

I also appreciate all the links to further information that help me to explore further the teachings and practices of the Siddha Yoga path.

Thank you, Swami Vasudevananda.

a Siddha Yogi from New York, USA

This morning, a beautiful crescent moon has already appeared in the sky, not far from the brilliant planet Venus. Mahashivaratri will soon be here.
 
I have always been thrilled by the thought of chanting Om Namah Shivaya on Mahashivaratri with the understanding that the fruits of this practice are multiplied a thousandfold on this auspicious night. And, over the years, I have had profound experiences of the power of this night. As I read Swami Vasudevananda’s letter, and understand that this year my chanting will also be a way to practice Gurumayi’s Message for 2014, my anticipation of this sacred event grows even stronger.
 
Thank you, Swamiji, for this letter. It feels as if the nectar of the Mahashivaratri moon has already begun to flow.

a Siddha Yoga meditation teacher