Mahashivratree Explained

In General thoughts on February 20, 2012 at 9:44 am

I woke up today feeling that this Mahashivratree is going to be special altogether. Maybe the reason for that would be having a different vision of the festival.

When I was younger, I had once read from pamphlets distributed on that festival about its spiritual meaning but the words ‘destruction’ and ‘wrath’ scared me out and I preferred to forget whatever I had read.

Today, I wish I didn’t because I had only foolishly read the words but not gone in between the lines and seen the depth of the message that lay in them.

Hindu festivals or religion itself is as such. You may have different levels of comprehension and understanding of it all. It’s all up to you to awaken yourself to the different levels. What I mean exactly is that the less you seek to know, the shallower you might see it. For instance, as a kid, you might only be following it, repeating what you’re being taught to do during prayers and festivals. Yet, as you grow and develop analytical thinking,as well as the need to find a more substantial meaning to all this, you actually end up seeing things differently.

Coming to the actual purpose of my article ( I know my intro has been a bit too long, apologies), I’ve finally been making some research to find again what I tried to forget earlier – the spiritual meaning of Mahashivratree.

The name of the festival itself speaks a lot. Three main words are to be retained: Maha, Shiva and Ratree.

Shiva is the representation of the God of meditation and destruction. It is said that when He performs the Tandava dance and opens His third eye, all evils are destroyed. Now, see, as a child and until recently, I found this description very scary. With deeper thinking and reading, I realised that the destruction being mentioned here is that of lust, anger, jealousy and all negativity inside of us.

Ratree means night and every months, there comes a specific night that’s most auspicious for meditation i.e. spiritual energies are at their peak. We call these Shiva Ratree. Among all these there exists one night where all energies are most powerful and this is the Mahashivaratree, where Maha means great.

All rituals that are performed help the person to keep awake in complete devotion to Lord Shiva. In other words, while performing the rituals, if you’ve really been concentrating, you would’ve been meditating in some way and absorbed those special energies.

Hence rituals are important to keep the person focused and absorbed in the grace of God or more appropriately, the grace of those energies around him/her. Others might wish to spend that night in meditation itself i.e. no rituals but simply connecting oneself to the chakras/energies inside us.

The purpose is clear then. It is the occasion to seek within that strength and light that makes us better beings. It is the opportunity to find that calming and soothing peace within that we seek so much in this physical world.  It is the night of connection with the universe and all cosmic energies. This is Mahashivratree, a night of awakening and the more of us there’ll be who meditate about that, the more positive energies will be generated and hopefully make this world a better one!

  1. That was really interesting.
    Thank you for sharing.

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