Shivaratri falls this year on Friday 21/2. This is an important tantric feast. 

Shivaratri means Shiva’s night. It occurs when the moon is only visible as a thin glow in the sky. It is the darkest of the moon’s 16 phases. 

The moon symbolizes the mind and the mind is said to move inwards along with the decreasing lunar phase from full moon to new moon. What then becomes possible to discover is the divine within or beyond form. 

There is a story about the origin of Maha Shivaratri. The story is as follows:

It was once a long time ago a hunter who failed to make a prey all day. When evening came, he climbed a tree by a lake. Eventually a hind came to drink. She prayed that he would not kill her until she handed over the kid to their father. The hunter eventually agreed to this. While he waited, he threw down leaves from the tree. These met a Shiva Lingam under the tree. In the end, Hind came with his whole family and she said that they decided that if he wanted to kill her, he could kill them all. He could not do this in his heart. Then Shiva appeared and blessed him.

One should understand this story as that Shiva is the aspect of the divinity that is about giving up. The part of divinity that is about the importance of being able to give up.

Prayer and Kirtan are two ways to celebrate Shivaratri. 

Music: Shiva Ratri, Playlist.

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