Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Shivratri – Natural State of Being

We celebrated the Maha Shivratri yesterday. This is a very auspicious festival in the Hindu calendar.
Shivratri literally means the ‘night of Shiva’ and is usually celebrated on the 13th night of the Panguni month in Tamilnadu and coincides with the new moon. The notion of night and number 13 have great significance in the Mayan calendar. 13 Baktuns in the long count Mayan calendar is the period of one age and the date 21st December 2012 is the end of the 13 Baktuns cycle. In Mayan cosmology the underworlds were divided into 13 divisions of seven days and 6 nights. The significance of night or Pralaya in Vedic cosmology signifies a period of non-creation.

Shiva, being the deity of transformation which is the true process of creation, rests from the creative act and this is celebrated on this day. In evolutionary studies we find that there are periods of proliferation of species and then follows a period of no fossil records pointing to evolution. This is called ‘punctuated equilibria’. It appears as though a total resting happens in the creative process.
This is the reason that on Shivratri the devotee fasts for twelve hours thus even denying the process of transformation and metabolism within the body. The body is the abode of the Divine consciousness and it is kept in a state of wakeful hibernation so that no creative act takes place.

The legend of the hunter who even involuntarily offered the Bilba leaf and his own wakeful perspiration to the Shiva linga on the night of Shivratri was awarded a place in the abode of Shiva at his death and a reincarnation as a mighty king, Chitrabhanu, is a legend associated with Shivratri.
The cyclic nature of manifestation (creation), associated with day and annihilation (Non-creation), associated with night is a process of tuning our limited consciousness to the true nature of the operating domain of Divine consciousness.

It so happens that today we celebrate the ‘Ash Wednesday’ in the Christian calendar.
Here again we have a significant reminder of the nature of birth and death. Everything that is born ahs to die and return to its ground state. It is unfortunate that we attach meanings to deeply symbolic rituals and esoteric writings only at a surface or external level. Birth and death or creation and dissolution are but two sides of the same coin. From our sensory and waking consciousness perception creation or manifestation is nothing but an elevated or unbalanced of a ground state entity, which is universal consciousness or vacuum energy. Imagine a beautiful picture of a mansion on a very glossy paper lying on a very flat table. If I am sitting with my eye level at the table’s edge (the ground state) I do not see any picture. But the moment the picture is raised from table’s surface then I behold a this beautiful picture of a mansion. So all that is raised up must be returned to the ground state because that is the nature state of the Universe or the Cosmos. It is the Divine plenum which is self sustaining.

The sacred ash in Hindu worship, which is so closely associated with Lord Shiva, represents the ground state of purity where all ingredients, wood, milk, clarified butter, loose their form.

From these two wonderful festivals, let us become aware this great truth. The sacred ash and the moonless night reminds us of the natural state of our true being.

Love to you all


  1. Very nicely written, peripa. I did not know the meaning of these two festivals till today.

  2. Very nicely written, Peripa. I did not know the meaning of these two festivals till today.

  3. ash day ..nature of birth and death... and everything born is to die and returns to its ground state... hmmm well explanation given sir nice knowledge about ash day function...

  4. ash day creation of born , death by nature...every thing born in this world is not permanent and returns to its ground state...hmmm nice knowledge said by u sir.. like it..

  5. When we were in schools, teachers used to say comparative study (comparing one topic with another) would give more clarity and better understanding; its true. Comparing Shivrathri, Mayan Calendar & Ash Wednesday is showing your height of holistic view only people with wide and depth knowledge and thinking can do. Great Sir... no words to express my gratitude.

  6. Thank you TomTom13. I wish you could email me your true identity.

  7. Dear Muthu,
    Thanks for your appreciation.
    I wish I could continue in this task to all your satisfaction and empowerment.
    Do have this intention in your prayers to the Almighty.