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Mahashivaratri 2013

Mahashivaratri Moon Gallery

Gallery ©2013 SYDA Foundation®

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The crescent moon, majestic in all its splendour. A feast for the eyes and God's glory, indeed. Many thanks for a beautiful compilation.

New Delhi, India

Thank you so much for sharing your pictures of the Mahashivaratri moon!
Here in St. Louis, the day started with rain then cleared up, giving us hope that we would be able to "capture" the moon. It was not to happen: clouds rolled back in obscuring the sky.
Your beautiful pictures pour the nectar of the Mahashivaratri moon on all of us. Thank you again and again.

With enormous love and gratitude!
Missouri, USA

The Mahashivaratri Moon Gallery inspires me to return again and again to the mantra inside. There is such stillness in each image of the crescent moon, presiding over the beauty of the world.
And then this morning, I read the excerpt from the Shivastotravali in the gallery, and I felt so much support for my practice of repeating the mantra. I looked at the moons again, and they seemed to say to me, “Yes! Om Namah Shivaya! Say it again and again with me!”
When something is already alive in my life and then it becomes even more so, what can I say? Thank you, Gurumayi.

New York, USA

On the beautiful, auspicious Mahashivaratri night, after chanting the mantra so graciously provided on the Siddha Yoga path website and seeing the beautiful gifts nature bestowed on Shree Muktananda Ashram and feeling united around the world with the glorious moon, I felt a deeper stillness than I have in a long time, and I am so grateful. Immediately when I saw the Temple covered in snow, it evoked inner stillness. The photos are so alive with shakti. What a beautiful gift to all of us. 
I wanted so much to be at a meditation center on the night of Mahashivaratri and, due to the distance, couldn't be. Yet I was surely in the presence of the beloved Siddhas. Thank you so very much, Gurumayi, for this beautiful gift of darshan on Mahashivaratri.

Virginia, USA

Last night I set out to photograph the moon at 4:15 a.m. I had carefully chosen the best location for the pictures and had the exact time for the moonrise—4:35 a.m. Perfect planning and perfect timing. I did a japa walk to the edge of the Ecological Reserve in Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, and sat on a tree trunk, waiting, while repeating the mantra. The sky was cloudy, but I was sure that it would magically open to reveal the crescent moon to me. I went on repeating the mantra.  Time passed and there was no change, thick clouds from horizon to horizon. Yet, I could feel the moon’s presence within and without, like silver shimmering, cloaking it all. I closed my eyes and repeated the mantra with reverence. I felt Shiva’s presence everywhere, pulsating lovingly. 

After a while I opened my eyes and nothing had changed outside, the sky was still cloudy. However, a beautiful crescent moon was shining brightly in my heart. My picture would remain in the landscape within. I walked back home chanting the mantra joyfully. I had planned a perfect moon photograph session. God had different plans for me. Om purnamadah purnamidam.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Today I was very happy when I opened the Siddha Yoga path website and could chant the mantra Om Namah Shivaya in the raga I was wishing for. For the whole day it's been my best companion everywhere I go. I play it from my mobile phone. I'm amazed by how technology can be used for such tremendous grace!

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

We had rain, hail, and wind yesterday and last night, and more rain was predicted for today. Still, I optimistically set my alarm to rise early for the moonrise and I checked the sky at 5 a.m. It was clear with just a few clouds, so I went inside to get my camera. Just as I stepped out on the driveway to set up the camera, I looked down and noticed a leaf with three leaflets on the wet ground that looked exactly like the bilva leaves I know from India (there are no bilva trees here in Arizona, as far as I know.) I felt a blessing in this unexpected sign of Lord Shiva.
The crescent moon rose gracefully, and only after it was high in the sky just before sunrise did the clouds close in again for the rest of the day. I noticed when I was going back indoors that there were many "bilva” leaves all over the driveway. I don't know from which nearby tree these leaves were blown—I've never seen any like them here before, but I felt Lord Shiva was saying through nature, "Yes, I'm here. I'm everywhere. I'm with you. Thank you for joining in this celebration".

Arizona, USA

Thank you for the audio clip!
It is so beautiful to listen to Gurumayi's voice chanting the mantra.
Vibrant sweetness rises inside myself.
I connect with my breath.
Stillness and peace unfolds.
Om Namah Shivaya

New York, USA

For the first time in my life, this morning, upon waking, I addressed a prayer to the mantra as if he were a person. The response was quick.
Later I logged on to the site and I saw that today is Mahashivaratri. I had forgotten this! 

Rome, Italy

When I received the Siddha Yoga update email inviting us to take photos of the crescent moon on Mahashivaratri, I started practicing taking photos every day. I knew already what time was the perfect time and also the best place to take the photo. This morning, I woke up early and went out to look for the moon. I felt kind of sad when I looked up to the sky and I saw too many clouds there. It was impossible to find the moon. At the time, I just closed my eyes, and a thought arose within me: "Taking a photo is not as important as the practice of mantra japa." So I started repeating the mantra with my eyes still closed. After a few minutes, when I opened my eyes, the moon was there, right in front of me! I felt so happy; I felt so much gratitude.

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Today I felt so astounded by the outpouring of Guru's grace. Here in Panama, where I am currently visiting my parents who are from India, the Indian community is also preparing for Mahashivaratri and they have planned an extended evening of bhajans this Sunday.

When I left Hong Kong to come to Panama, I forgot to bring my music player with all the Siddha Yoga chants. I was contemplating how to get a Siddha Yoga CD of Om Namah Shivaya so I could chant the mantra. I thought to myself, "Ok, I will just repeat the mantra and that will be fine." I then proceeded to do some other things.

In the other room I could hear my parents making further plans for Sunday's celebration. I popped my head in and asked if they knew the story of Mahashivaratri. They said, "Yes, but do refresh our memory." So I promptly went on the Siddha Yoga path home page. To my utter amazement not only was the story up but there was also an Om Namah Shivaya chant! I cannot express how awed I felt at that moment.

The website has been such a blessing and we are so fortunate to be a part of this path; to have a Guru who is so compassionate and giving.

Hong Kong, China

After my meditation tonight, I visited the Siddha Yoga path website and, to my great pleasure, I heard the recording of Om Namah Shivaya. For a few days, this raga has been repeating itself in my head and heart during my daily tasks—taking care of my two daughters, cooking food, at work, driving.

The mantra has been my best companion. It even visited me during my sleep. For two mornings in a row, I have been awakened with the recitation of the mantra coming from my dreams. It has been my way to celebrate Mahashivaratri in the depth of my being.

Shubh Mahashivaratri

Annecy, France

With each new set of postings on the Siddha Yoga path website, I feel such gratitude and excitement. These images, stories, and shares have become a fun and powerful way to share the Siddha Yoga teachings, practices, and traditions with our 3½-year-old son. When he learns there are new posts, he eagerly climbs on our laps in front of the computer. Sometimes he will select a favorite video to watch over and over. Sometimes I notice him later repeating the chants he hears. And through the website, he has learned so much about aspects of our tradition, like waving the arati tray, going for darshan, and offering seva. Today, he explained that the orange flag means this is the Guru’s house, and he recognized the Bhagavan Nityananda Temple. He then sat quietly to hear the story, “The Hunter and the Deer.”

When we discussed how much love we could feel in our hearts today by chanting the mantra, he enthusiastically said, “As big as a big, big building?” stretching his arms as high and wide as he could.

“Even more than that!” I replied. He was impressed!

I am so grateful for this tool of learning and connection supporting the Siddha Yoga teachings to thrive in our family life. Thank you!


Connecticut, USA

As I read this beautiful story, I experienced feelings of deep tenderness and compassion arising within my heart. I closed my eyes, and within me I could hear the soothing sound of flowing water. The image of the Season’s Greetings Card that we received from beloved Gurumayi appeared before my eyes. So I revisited the archives on the website to see Gurumayi’s greeting again.
I watched it several times, and my attention was captured by the big blue stone engraved with the virtues of discipline, devotion, and compassion. The blue colour continued radiating beautiful shining sparks of light as the water delicately flowed over it. The feeling of melting in peace, experiencing tenderness and compassion continued to linger.
Thank you, Gurumayi. Dhanyavad, Gurumayi, for showering on us your divine love and compassion. On this auspicious occasion of Mahashivaratri, I offer my prayer to practice mantra japa with discipline, devotion, and compassion.
Shubh Mahashivaratri to all! May we all bathe in the pure vibrations of
Om Namah Shivaya.

Mumbai, India

The moon is waning and my heart is full. What a treasure!  

Happy Mahashivarati.

All my love to our precious Gurumayi and to all of you.

Texas, USA

Thank you Gurumayi and Baba for this amazing story! 

To me this story describes the all-pervasive power and compassion of the Guru. It was the deer hunter’s good fortune to take a seat in that exact spot at the right time, and his inadvertent act of worship of Lord Shiva that opened his heart. How easily pleased the supreme Lord is!
I can´t wait to consciously worship the great Lord Shiva on this auspicious day.

Thank you, Gurumayi, again and again for the most precious gift of the mantra!

Happy Mahashivaratri!

New York, USA