Night Of Shiva – Siva Celebration – Mahashivaratri 2010 – Maha Shivarathri 2010 – February 12th 2010

Night Of Shiva – Siva Celebration – Mahashivaratri 2010 – Maha Shivarathri 2010 – February 12th 2010

Shivaratri Will Be Celebrated On Friday, February 12th 2010
Auspicious festival of Mahashivaratri falls on the 13th or the 14th night of the new moon during Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Phalgun. The Sanskrit term, Krishna Paksha means the period of waning moon or the dark fortnight and Phalguna corresponds to the month of February – March in English Calendar. Shivaratri Festival is celebrated on the moonless night. (Mahashivratri Reference)

Mahashivaratri Lord Shiva

Mahashivaratri Lord Shiva


Maha Shivratri (“Night of Shiva” or “Great Night of Shiva”) is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 13th night / 14th day in the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Maagha (as per Shalivahana) or Phalguna (as per Vikrama) in the Hindu Calendar (that is, the night before and day of the new moon). The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael (Bilva) leaves to the Lord Shiva, all day fasting and an all night long vigil. In North India and Nepal, many people consume bhang (cannabis sativa), which is believed to be Lord Shiva’s favourite drink

Tripundra refers to the three horizontal stripes of holy ash (vibuthi) applied to the forehead by worshippers of Lord Shiva. These stripes symbolise spiritual knowledge, purity and penance (spiritual practice of Yoga) and also represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva.

On Shivaratri, only cold water and bael leaves are offered to the Lingam. Other traditional offerings, such as bathing it in milk and Panchamruta (a mixture of milk, curds, ghee, sugar and honey) or annointing it with vermilion (kumkum) or white consecrated rice (Akshata) are not done on this day, when Lord Shiva is worshipped as the deity of dissolution.

Wikipedia Reference For Maha Shivaratri

Sathya Sai Shiva

Sathya Sai Shiva

Sathya Sai Baba Speaks About Shivaratri

Endeavour. That is the main thing, that is the inescapable task for all mortals. Even those who deny God today will have one day to tread the pilgrim road, melting their hearts out in tears of travail. If you make the slightest effort to progress along the path of liberation, the Lord will help you a hundred-fold. Shivaraathri conveys that hope to you. The moon, which is the presiding deity of the mind of man, wanes, until on the fourteenth day after full moon, it is just a tiny curve of glimmering glow. The mind too must be starved into that condition, so that man becomes free. Spend all the days with Shiva and the conquest of the mind is easy. Spend the fourteenth day of the waning moon with Shiva, reaching the climax of spiritual effort on that final day, and success is yours. That is why all the Chaturdasis (fourteenth days of the dark half of every month) are called Shivaraathris (Shiva’s nights); that is why the Chaturdasi of the Magha month is called Mahaa Shivaraathri.

This is a day of special dedication to Shiva, and since so many of you here and elsewhere pray to Shiva, the Lingha is emanating from Me for you all to receive the grace and the bliss of the great moment of Linghodhbhava (emergence of the Linga).

The three eyes of Shiva are the eyes which reveal the past, present and the future. Shiva alone has all three. The elephant skin which forms His cloak is just a symbol for the elemental bestial primitive traits which His grace destroys; he makes them powerless and harmless; in fact, he tears them to pieces, skins them so to say, and makes them ineffective. His four faces symbolise Shaantham, Roudhram, Mangalam, and Uthsaaham (peace, fierceness, auspiciousness, determination). In this way, realise while worshiping the Lingam, the inner sense of the many attributes of Shiva. Meditate thus on Shiva this day, so that you may get rid of the last lingering vestiges of delusion.

Do not tell Me that you do not care for that bliss, that you are satisfied with the delusion and are not willing to undergo the rigours of sleeplessness. Your basic nature, believe Me, abhors this dull, dreary routine of eating, drinking, and sleeping. It seeks something which it knows it has lost – Shaanthi (inward contentment). It seeks liberation from bondage to the trivial and the temporary. Every one craves for it in his heart of hearts. And it is available only in one shop – Contemplation of the highest self, the basis of all this appearance.

When you realise Shivoham (I am Shiva), then, you have all the happiness, all the auspiciousness that there is. Shiva is not to be sought on the peak of a distant range of mountains, or in some other special place. You must have heard that sin and merit are inherent in the acts that men do; so too, Shiva is inherent in every thought, word and deed, for He is the energy, the power, the intelligence that is behind each of them.

Shiva is worshipped with the three-leaved Bilva, for, He is immanent in the three worlds, in the three phases of time, in the three attributes of nature. He removes the three types of grief; He has no basis outside Him; He is the source of bliss; He is the embodiment of the sweetness and efficacy of nectar. Since every being is Shiva-Swaruupa (of the nature of Shiva) – for without Shiva, it is mere ‘Shava’ (corpse) – man has to live up to that divine status.

Love brings people together; hatred drives them apart. You cannot be happy, when you cause misery to others. God showers grace when the nine steps of Bhakthi (devotion) are observed. Masters or rulers can be won over by the same means – sacrifice, love, devotion, dedication in the path of duty. When success is achieved by means of unrest and violence, it has to be preserved and prolonged only by further unrest and violence.

Therefore, let this be the lesson of Shivaraathri for you: Shiva is in all beings and all things. He is the inner motivator. Be aware of this always; do not cause pain to any one, do not harm or injure anyone, or hurt his self-respect. Love all alike, cultivate tolerance and spread brotherliness.

(Gathered From Various Discourses By Sathya Sai Baba)

Night Of Shiva Blessings

Night Of Shiva Blessings


Various Spellings For The Night Of Lord Shiva:

  • Shivratri
  • Sivratri
  • Shivaratri
  • Shivarathri
  • Sivaratri
  • Sivarathri
  • Mahashivaratri
  • Mahashivarathri
  • Mahasivaratri
  • Mahasivarathri
  • Maha Shivaratri
  • Maha Shivarathri
  • Shivaraathri
  • Shivaraatri
  • Shiva Ratri
  • Siva Ratri
  • Shiva Rathri
  • Siva Rathri
  • Mahaashivaraathri
  • Mahaasivaraathri
  • Mahaashivaraatri
  • Mahaasivaraatri
  • Mahaa ShivaRaathri
  • Mahaa SivaRaathri
  • Mahaa ShivaRaatri
  • Mahaa SivaRaatri
  • Mahashivratri
  • Mahasivratri
  • Mahaashivratri
  • Mahaasivratri
  • Shivratari
  • Sivratari
  • Sivratari
  • Maha Shivratari
  • Mahaa Shivratari
  • Mahashivratari
  • Mahaashivratari
  • Maha Sivratari
  • Mahaa Sivratari
  • Mahasivratari
  • Mahaasivratari
  • Herath (In Kashmir)
  • Har-Rathri
  • Har-Ratri
  • Hara Rathri
  • Hara Ratri

Shiva Lingam Puja

Shiva Lingam Puja


The Story Of King Chitrabhanu
In the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata, Bhishma, whilst resting on the bed of arrows and discoursing on Dharma, refers to the observance of Maha Shivaratri by King Chitrabhanu. The story goes as follows – Once upon a time King Chitrabhanu of the Ikshvaku dynasty, who ruled over the whole of Jambudvipa, was observing a fast with his wife, it being the day of Maha Shivaratri. The sage Ashtavakra came on a visit to the court of the king.

The sage asked the king the purpose of his observing the past. King Chitrabhanu explained that he had the gift of remembering the incidents of his previous birth.

The king said to the sage that in his previous he was a hunter in Varanasi and his name was Suswara. His only livelihood was to kill and sell birds and animals. One day while roaming through forests in search of animals he was overtaken by the darkness of night. Unable to return home, he climbed a tree for shelter. It happened to be a Bael tree. He had shot a deer that day but had no time to take it home. So he bundled it up and tied it to a branch on the tree. As hunger and thirst tormented him, he was kept awake throughout the night. He shed profuse tears when he thought of his poor wife and children who were starving and anxiously waiting for his return. To pass away the time that night he engaged himself in plucking the Bael leaves and dropping them down onto the ground.

The next day he returned home and sold the deer and then bought some food for himself and his family. The moment he was about to break his fast a stranger came to him, begging for food. He served the food first to stranger and then had his own.

At the time of his death, he saw two messengers of Lord Shiva. They were sent down to conduct his soul to the abode of Lord Shiva. He learnt then for the first time of the great merit he had earned by the unconscious worship of Lord Shiva during the night of Shivaratri. The messengers told him that there was a Lingam at the bottom of the tree. The leaves I dropped fell on the Lingam. His tears, which had shed out of pure sorrow for his family, fell onto the Lingam and washed it and he had fasted all day and all night. Thus, he unconsciously worshiped the Lord.

As the conclusion of the tale the King said that he lived in the abode of the Lord and enjoyed divine bliss for long ages and now he has reborn as Chitrabhanu.
(Maha Shivaratri – King Chitrabhanu)

Shiva Shakti

Shiva Shakti


The Festivity Of MahaShivaratri
People observe a strict fast on this day. Some devotees do not even take a drop of water and they keep vigil all night. The Shiva Lingam is worshipped throughout the night by washing it every three hours with milk, curd, honey, rose water, etc., whilst the chanting of the Mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” continues. Offerings of Bael leaves are made to the Lingam as Bael leaves are considered very sacred and it is said that Goddess Lakshmi resides in them.

Hymns in praise of Lord Shiva, such as the “Shiva Mahimna Stotra” of Pushpadanta or Ravana’s “Shiva Tandava Stotra” are sung with great fervour and devotion. People repeat the ‘Panchakshara’ Mantra, “Om Namah Shivaya”. He, who utters the names of Shiva during Shivratri, with perfect devotion and concentration, is freed from all sins. He reaches the abode of Shiva and lives there happily. He is liberated from the wheel of births and deaths. Many pilgrims dock to the places where there are Shiva temples.
(MahaShivaratri – The Festivity)

Shiva Nataraja

Shiva Nataraja


About Lord Shiva
Shiva – the word meaning auspicious – is one of the Hindu Trinity, comprising of Lord Brahma, the creator, Lord Vishnu, the preserver and Lord Shiva or Mahesh, the Destroyer and Re-Producer of life. Shiva is known by many names like “Shankar”, “Mahesh”, “Bholenath”, “Neelakanth”, “Shambhu Kailasheshwar”, “Umanath”, “Nataraj” and others.

For few people, Shiva is “Paramatman”, “Brahman”, the Absolute, but many more prefer to see Shiva as a personal God given to compassion for his worshippers, and the dispenser of both spiritual and material blessings. Related to the Absolute concept is Shiva as “Yoganath” meaning the Lord of Yoga, wherein he becomes teacher, path and goal. As such he is the “Adi Guru” or the Highest Guru of ‘Sannyasins’ who have renounced the world to attain the Absolute.

Siva is the most sought-after deity amongst the Hindus and they pray to him as the god of immense large-heartedness who they believe grants all their wishes. Around him are weaved many interesting stories that reveal His magnanimous heart. Not only this, but these stories and legends also enrich the Indian culture and art.

Time is invisible and formless. Therefore Mahakal Shiva, as per the Vedas, manifested himself as “LINGAM” to make mankind aware of the presence of Eternal Time. That day when Shiva manifested himself in the form of “Lingum” was the fourth day of the dark night in the month of ‘Magha’ i.e. February-March. Maha Shivratri continues to be celebrated forever and ever.
(Maha Shivarathri – About The Lord)

Shiva Ram Hanuman

Shiva Ram Hanuman

All Mahashivaratri Wallpapers – Maha Shivarathri Backgrounds – Maha Sivaratri Desktops Can Be Enlarged By Clicking On The Thumbnails. May The Blessings Of Lord Shiva Be With You! Namaste. Night Of Shiva – Siva Celebration – Mahashivaratri 2010 – Maha Shivarathri 2010 – February 12th 2010

Sathya Sai Baba’s Maha Shivaratri Discourse 2009

Sathya Sai Baba

Sathya Sai Baba


Sathya Sai Baba’s Maha Shivaratri Discourse 2009
Develop Self-Confidence To Gain Success In Life
by Sathya Sai Baba

The beauty of this sacred land of Bharat lies in its Forbearance!. Of all the rituals, adherence to truth is the greatest penance. The nectarine feeling in this country is the feeling of love toward one’s mother. Character is valued far more than the very life itself. People have forgotten the basic principles of this great culture and are imitating Western culture. Alas! Bharathiyas are not aware of the greatness of their cultural heritage just as a mighty elephant is not aware of its own strength. (Telugu poem)

The elephant, unable to realise its innate strength, meekly submits itself to the commands of the mahout, who works for a paltry sum of money. It gets up and sits down as the mahout bids as it is trained by him.. Similarly Bharathiyas today blindly follow the western culture, quite forgetting their own rich and sacred heritage and culture. The culture of Bharath is very sacred, strong, and ancient. It is eternal and a beacon light that has and continues to guide all the countries of the world. Then how can the Bharathiyas forget their own great culture?

The culture of Bharath is such that it instills the philosophy where the mother and the father are to be respected like God.. It exhorts every child to follow the axiom of ‘Mathrudevo bhava’ and ‘Pithrudevo bhava’ (mother is God; father is God). It does not stop just at this level alone it also urges one to follow the truism of ‘Acharyadevo bhava’ and ‘Athithidevo bhava’ (Teacher is God and the guest is God). If you tend to ignore the words of your own mother, whom else will you revere and respect?

Embodiments of Love!

As we go on talking for hours together, we tend to forget what we really intend to communicate. So many deviations and distortions creep into our speech. Today, the entire world is filled with negative feelings. Whoever you come across, and in whatever you see, negativity is widespread. All are reflections of your inner thoughts and feelings.

But beyond all these, there is one entity, called Atma, which is the Embodiment of the Divine Self. There is only one Atma, which dwells in every individual, or should I say in every living being. The Bhagavad Gita declared “Mamaivamso jeevaloke jeevabhuthah Sanathanah” (the Eternal Atma present in all beings is a part of My Being). There is no scope at all for any doubt or duality in this aspect. It is “Ekameva adwitheeyam Brahma” (The Atma or Brahma is one without a second). That is why it is said “A man with a dual mind is half blind.”

Divinity is described in the Vedas as “Sahasra seersha purushaha sahasrakshah sahasra paad” (The Cosmic Being has thousands of heads, eyes and feet.). The significance of this statement is that one Divinity expresses itself through millions of individuals and therefore all are Divine. We tend to forget this great truth and consider each individual as separate from one another. The strife and conflicts between human beings started the moment humanity forgot its fundamental unity. It is time that this trend is reversed and the elemental unity among human beings is re-established.

Along with unity, there should be purity. When unity and purity go together, there is Divinity. The combination of unity, purity and Divinity will result in the realisation of the Atma Tathwa (Atmic Principle). The Upanishads, especially the Taithreeyopanishad, dealt at length with this Atma Tathwa. The one who develops faith only in this Atma Tathwa will succeed in all his endeavours.

The Atma Tathwa or Divine Consciousness permeates the entire Universe. Even a blade of grass cannot move without this Divine Consciousness. Everything in this Universe is the reflection of this Divine Consciousness. It is the same Atma Tathwa which dwells in all human beings irrespective of religion, caste, creed, and nationality.

This is true even in the case of Avatars. The Avatars of Rama and Krishna may be different from each other by their names and forms; but the Atma Tathwa which resides within them is only one. They all lived in their human vestures till the completion of their Avataric mission, and once their task was completed, they disappeared. So, physical bodies are not permanent. In fact, nothing in this ephemeral world is permanent, not even the great Avatars.

Atma is the only entity that is eternal. It is beyond birth and death. It is changeless. There is a beginning and an end for everything else in this universe, except the Atma. Hence, one has to develop firm faith in this Atma Tathwa.
Unfortunately, we today tend to forget this true and eternal Atma Tathwa and develop faith in the ephemeral world. We weave a web of imagination around the pleasures that this transient world would offer. Ultimately, we land ourselves in sorrow and difficulties.

The Atma Tathwa is the only entity that is true, eternal, and changeless. Everything else undergoes change from time to time. Even the human body passes through different stages like childhood, adolescence, youth and old age, but the individual remains the same through all these changes.

Today, people adapt themselves to continuous changes in time, situations, and environment. People who change themselves thus are not a human beings in the real sense. Who then is a real human being? One who does not undergo a change; one whose faith in the Atma Tathwa (Self) is firm and steady. That is self-confidence. One who develops that self confidence can find a place for himself permanently in the history of the world.

You all know about Abraham Lincoln, the past President of the United States of America. He was a perfect example of such self-confidence. He came from a very poor family and could not afford to have books or even decent clothes. He was so poor that he had to study under the streetlights. His mother used to support him with the meager amount of money she earned by mending old and wornout clothes.

One day his classmates, who were rich and wearing fine suits, boots, and hats, heckled him, by saying that he did not deserve to walk along with them in his poor clothes and that he should walk on the footpath. He came home crying and poured out his agony to his mother, explaining how he was insulted and humiliated.

His mother consoled him by saying, “My dear son! Do not get affected by either praise or blame. Understand the situation at home. Your father cannot afford to spend money on your education. Develop self-confidence. That is your property.”

These words made a lasting impression on the tender heart of Lincoln. He inculcated self-confidence and self-respect, with the constant support and encouragement of his mother. He even did some odd jobs and earned some money to support himself. The good name he earned for himself in society won him the respect and love of his fellowmen.

In due course of time, his friends and well-wishers advised him to run for election. They assured him of their support and votes. On their advice, he participated as a candidate in the election and won. He became the President of America. Thus, Abraham Lincoln, the son of a poor artisan with very little money to pursue even his primary education, became the President of America by sheer hard work and the self-confidence which his mother encouraged him to develop all through his life.

People cannot reach great heights without self-confidence. Not even the nine forms of devotion — sravanam (listening), kirtanam (singing), Vishnusmaranam (contemplating on Vishnu), Padasevanam (serving His Lotus Feet), vandanam (salutation), archanam (worship), dasyam (servitude), sneham (friendship), and Atmanivedanam (self-surrender) — can help.

Any amount of sadhana (spiritual practices) without self-confidence will be of little use. Hence, I wish that all of you should develop self-confidence. Face your examinations with self-confidence. Without self-confidence, not even your friends can help.
Do not forget to follow your mother’s advice, for, she is ‘Mathrudevo bhava’ (mother is God). She will always protect you, wherever you are. One who respects the commands of their mother and follows them sincerely will come up in life, as in the case of Abraham Lincoln.

Unfortunately, people today do not give due respect and recognition to their mothers. There are people in high positions who do not hesitate even to put down their mothers in front of others . There have been instances when they do not hesitate to call their mother a servant when guests or colleague officers visit their houses and ask about the mother. This behaviour is totally against the Vedic injunctions, which urges everyone to treat the mother as God.

In fact, the mother is living divinity. She is the first guru to a human being. She is the only person who selflessly works and wishes for the welfare of her children.

Those who disregard the advice of their mother will never be successful in life. Even in foreign countries, people like Abraham Lincoln attained high positions by obeying the commands of their mothers and by developing self-confidence.

We consider foreigners as great. But not all foreigners can be considered great. Only those who respect their mothers and follow their advice are great. If you ignore the advice of your mother, you are sure to face difficulties in life. Follow her advice wholeheartedly. Without a second thought, develop the quality of implicit obedience to the wishes of your mother. Only then only will your life be peaceful.

The women of Bharath have earned great name and fame for the sterling quality of chastity. They are not to be treated lightly. Such noble women are always worth remembering and need to be emulated. Savithri could bring her deceased husband back to life, by the power of her chastity. The great woman Sita entered the fire to prove her chastity and came out unscathed. There were several more such examples in this country of Bharath, of women who have shone as guiding lights to the entire world.

Bharath is a holy and sacred land. You are indeed fortunate to be born in this great land of Bharath! You must therefore sanctify your lives by following the rich and sacred culture of this country. Magnanimity and sacrifice flourished in this holy land of Bharath The spiritual outlook of Bharath is unparalleled. In fact, it is this spiritual outlook that has sustained this country through time and has taken it to great heights.

People here are enjoying peace and bliss even today, while the whole world is passing through difficult times. It is for this reason that people from all other countries visit this country and find solace here. We have to sustain this rich legacy of spirituality.

Whenever someone asks a student what he is doing, he replies that he is concentrating on his studies. But the real meaning of concentration is fixing one’s mind on a particular object. Contemplation is the next step. The final step is meditation. Thus, concentration, contemplation, and meditation are the three steps in sadhana. Meditation is not just sitting silent and closing one’s eyes. Maintaining an unwavering and steady mind is meditation.

People think that concentration is a great exercise, but it is just the first step in sadhana, the others being contemplation and meditation. Concentration is like primary school education. Contemplation is high school education and meditation is college level education. Only after reaching the college level is one eligible to acquire a degree. All our ancient rishis reached this stage and meditated upon Divinity.

When one reaches the stage of meditation, there is no scope for any wavering, and one’s faith in Divinity becomes steady. You have to attain that stage. You may study a number of books and pass your examination in the school or college. But, it is only one who reached the meditation stage that passes the test prescribed by God.

Dear students! Do not be proud of your achievement in getting a first class or a rank. It is not the marks that count. See that you do not get remarks, which is the result of your losing self-confidence. Hence, develop self-confidence to become real successes in life.( Or) Develop self confidence and become really successful in life.
(Bhagawan sang the bhajan, “Bhajana bina …” and continued His discourse.)

Embodiments of Love!

Constantly meditate upon a name and form of God that is to your liking. It does not matter which name and form you select for your namasmarana. All names and form belong to the one God. He is Atmaswarupa (Embodiment of divine Atma). God takes up different forms and is worshipped by various names. Only God can fulfill the desires of devotees. It is He who grants you powers and positions. Without Him, you cannot achieve any position. All are zeros only! With God’s grace, one can become a hero!

Reference

Maha Shivarathri – The Night for Sacred Vigil

Sathya Sai Prema

Sathya Sai Prema


Maha Shivarathri – The Night for Sacred Vigil
Maha Shivarathri has been among the most spiritually signifying events in the festive-galore Prasanthi Nilayam…and the festivity has had a unique trail to this Divine Abode that dated back to the early 1940s when the Master Indweller of this Home of Supreme Peace, had come out with the most significant declaration after the times of Bhagawan Sri Krishna, revealing The Sai Advent. Shivarathri in the immediate Divine Presence of Lord Shiva Himself is the uniqueness of the festivity in Prasanthi Nilayam.

The Festival of Austerity
Maha Shivarathri is the holy occasion when the jiva remembers and adores Shiva, who is the life of lives and the Lord of all souls, who through His cosmic dance, a metaphorical representation of life on earth, conglomerates the three acts of the Godhead, namely, creation, preservation and destruction. Bhagawan has said: all that you find in this world, mobile and immobile, is nothing but the Cosmic Dance of Shiva. This is wonderful, blissful and beyond human comprehension…

Maha Shivarathri means ‘the Great Night of Shiva’. According to the Sivapurana, this holy day falls on the Krishna Chathurdasi day which is on the fourteenth day during the waning of the moon in the month of Megha, though in some years it may occur in the month of Phalguna.

Rudram Chanting – Morning, February 23, 2009
An unprecedented gathering converged in Prasanthi Nilayam during the occasion, thoroughly unmindful of the inconveniences that is natural for an assemblage of gigantic proportions, is an apparent testimony to the inner urge of man to realise his essential Truth. The enthusiastic devotees filled every inch of space available in Prasanthi Nilayam from two days in advance in the run up to the festivity. One could see long disciplined queues making a beeline, much before the first rays of the Sun peeped through the eastern horizon, to ensure a place on the coveted occasion in the Sai Kulwant Hall. Anticipating a surge of devotees, arrangements had been made to put up huge screens to show the programmes live to those who could not have a good view from their spot. Such screens were projected on both sides, ladies’ and gents’ side in the Sai Kulwant Hall and in the Poornachandra Auditorium.

On the auspicious morning, Bhagawan came out at 8:30 moving gently among the devoted assemblage, completing one full round, reaching the dais…Craning necks, glued eyes, folded hands and prayerful lips, minds attuned to the ecstatic vibrations and hearts beating to the melody of souls…He was the focal point….for the weak and the meek, rich and the poor, men and women…for one and all…The special Shivarathri Cakes prepared by the overseas group of devotees as well as by the students were blessed and cut by Bhagawan before He He came onstage granting blissful darshan.

Over a thousand Youth from Karnataka, well trained in Rudram chanting were blessed by Bhagawan to chant Rudram in the Divine Presence on the auspicious morning.

His Glory does not require any catalyst to express…Sai Kulwant Hall that was filled to capacity reverberating with the Vedic chants, with every single heart beating for the form of the formless one with eyes glued in rapt attention. Bhagawan sat through the session for nearly an hour conferring Divine benediction on the privileged folk of Prasanthi Nilayam, His students and the youth and the multi-thousands thronged to have a glimpse on the auspicious morning! With the chanting of Rudram reaching its crescendo, the Sai Kulwant Hall became verily transfixed in the world of Lord Shiva, with the form of the formless Shiva sitting right in the middle, most nonchalant, presiding over the proceedings. After almost an hour long sitting, Bhagawan called for Arathi and before leaving advised the boys and youth to assemble at 3 o’ clock for the evening session.

Speeches, Divine Discourse and Commencement of Bhajans – Evening, February 23, 2009
An electrifying Divine Discourse, inspirational rhetoric by seniors followed by Akhanda Bhajan were the highlights of the glitzy Shivarathri evening at Prasanthi Nilayam in the immediate Divine Presence. In the afternoon the hall was occupied by the students, staff and other devotees much before the scheduled hour. Bhagawan in His resplendent yellow robe gave darshan to all assembled before occupying the centre stage on the dais. An Ice Lingam, an apt representation of the Holy Kailash Mountain, the dwelling place of Lord Shiva, was brought to the front as specially instructed by Bhagawan for the complete public view. The gigantic lingam brought with special care by the Youth from Karnataka was made up of 600 kgs of Ice, 20 Litres of milk and was 5.08 ft in height.

The session began with an address by former Vice Chancellor Sri SV Giri who dwelled upon the greater significance of the sacred night, calling the festivity as a cultural representation of the country, Bharath. Sri. V. Srinivasan, All India President, Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organisations was categorical in expressing the greater benediction that befell on the capacity crowd assembled in Prasanthi Nilayam to celebrate the festivity in His Divine Presence. The third speaker, Mr. Ajith Popat gave an electrifying speech, an appetizer warming up for the lofty Divine Discourse that was in waiting.

Hailing Mother India and her greater cultural heritage, Bhagawan said, having been born in Bharath, people of the country have the responsibility to upkeep her cultural heritage. Referring to the auspicious Shivarathri Night, Bhagawan was candid in expressing that many nights that we pass could not be compared with the auspicious Shivarathri Night. The holy night should be utilized in chanting His Divine Name. Exhorting to listen to the glory of Lord Shiva, He said, when you spent the night in constant contemplation, it verily becomes Shivarathri. Shiva is beyond physical form. We assume Him a physical form out of our imagination. Hari and Hara are beyond the physical.

Dwelling upon the story wherein Mother Parvathi, being prodded by Goddess Lakshmi, questions Lord Shiva of His odd credentials to be her husband, Bhagawan brought home the point quoting Lord’s reply to Mother Parvathi that Lord was beyond names, caste and lineage; He has no name and no form; He is changeless; He has neither birth nor death; neither beginning nor end; He is eternal and Atma Swarupa.
Talking about the greater importance of meditation, He said one should advance through the three levels of concentration, contemplation, and thereafter Meditation. Meditation is resulting out of a steady unwavering mind. True identity with the Divine could be achieved only by sacrificing action leaving the feeling of doer ship. May you experience any amount of discomforts, never give up the consciousness. As a prerequisite to attain peace one needs to start with Sathya and Dharma by rooting out all negative tendencies/qualities.

Referring to all the criticism being poured unto Him, He asserted that He is not affected by any of them and He remains to be the same. He only has Love to give back to all of them as he does not have any trace of hatred or anger. Bhagawan exhorted the assemblage of devotees to follow the path of Sathya and Dharma and to Love All and Serve All. When Sathya joins Dharma there comes Prema…While singing Prema Muditha Manase Kaho…think of Him, meditate upon His Name wholeheartedly with Love. He concluded the Divine Discourse calling upon the devotees to Be Happy.

Conclusion of Bhajans and Narayana Seva (Serving of Prasadam) – Morning, February 24, 2009
The Sacred Vigil that began with the conclusion of the Divine Discourse continued into the early hours of the 24th. It was nearing 8:40 a.m. All eyes were glued to the pathway leading from Bhagawan’s Residence…and lo! The dazzling maroon clad Divine Form emerged out of Yajur Mandiram!…Bhagawan moved along the entire pathway, through the assemblage of devotees on to the dais. On His way some of the staff members requested him to consecrate the prasadam to be served to all devotees and the Lord obilged. Bhajans continued for some more time as the prasadam was being shifted to the designated location before Bhagawan called for Aarathi. This was followed by special prasadam, tamarind rice and laddu, served to the entire assemblage of devotees. Bhagawan sat through for more than half an hour watching the prasadam distribution proceedings before retiring to Yajur Mandiram.

“Shivarathri was the festival which manifested most of the God that Baba is” wrote Sri N. Kasturi in his narration about the festivity of the seventies and eighties. If God is Love and if that Love has embodied in human form, He is bound to shower that Love…and it was that all-encompassing Love, all-conquering Love that probably precipitated in the hearts of the tens of thousands of men and women assembled on the Shivarathri occasion, to treasure as most valued…to carry home…and further on…in the journey ahead.

Reference (With Pictures)

Also see:
- Night Of Shiva – Siva Celebration – Mahashivaratri 2009 – Maha Shivarathri 2009 – February 23rd 2009

Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya
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Night Of Shiva – Siva Celebration – Mahashivaratri 2009 – Maha Shivarathri 2009 – February 23rd 2009

Night Of Shiva – Siva Celebration – Mahashivaratri 2009 – Maha Shivarathri 2009 – February 23rd 2009

Shivaratri Will Be Celebrated On Monday, February 23rd 2009
Auspicious festival of Mahashivaratri falls on the 13th or the 14th night of the new moon during Krishna Paksha in the Hindu month of Phalgun. The Sanskrit term, Krishna Paksha means the period of waning moon or the dark fortnight and Phalguna corresponds to the month of February – March in English Calendar. Shivaratri Festival is celebrated on the moonless night. (Mahashivratri Reference)

Mahashivaratri Lord Shiva

Mahashivaratri Lord Shiva


Maha Shivratri (“Night of Shiva” or “Great Night of Shiva”) is a Hindu festival celebrated every year on the 13th night / 14th day in the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Maagha (as per Shalivahana) or Phalguna (as per Vikrama) in the Hindu Calendar (that is, the night before and day of the new moon). The festival is principally celebrated by offerings of Bael (Bilva) leaves to the Lord Shiva, all day fasting and an all night long vigil. In North India and Nepal, many people consume bhang (cannabis sativa), which is believed to be Lord Shiva’s favourite drink

Tripundra refers to the three horizontal stripes of holy ash (vibuthi) applied to the forehead by worshippers of Lord Shiva. These stripes symbolise spiritual knowledge, purity and penance (spiritual practice of Yoga) and also represent the three eyes of Lord Shiva.

On Shivaratri, only cold water and bael leaves are offered to the Lingam. Other traditional offerings, such as bathing it in milk and Panchamruta (a mixture of milk, curds, ghee, sugar and honey) or annointing it with vermilion (kumkum) or white consecrated rice (Akshata) are not done on this day, when Lord Shiva is worshipped as the deity of dissolution.

Wikipedia Reference For Maha Shivaratri

Sathya Sai Shiva

Sathya Sai Shiva

Sathya Sai Baba Speaks About Shivaratri

Endeavour. That is the main thing, that is the inescapable task for all mortals. Even those who deny God today will have one day to tread the pilgrim road, melting their hearts out in tears of travail. If you make the slightest effort to progress along the path of liberation, the Lord will help you a hundred-fold. Shivaraathri conveys that hope to you. The moon, which is the presiding deity of the mind of man, wanes, until on the fourteenth day after full moon, it is just a tiny curve of glimmering glow. The mind too must be starved into that condition, so that man becomes free. Spend all the days with Shiva and the conquest of the mind is easy. Spend the fourteenth day of the waning moon with Shiva, reaching the climax of spiritual effort on that final day, and success is yours. That is why all the Chaturdasis (fourteenth days of the dark half of every month) are called Shivaraathris (Shiva’s nights); that is why the Chaturdasi of the Magha month is called Mahaa Shivaraathri.

This is a day of special dedication to Shiva, and since so many of you here and elsewhere pray to Shiva, the Lingha is emanating from Me for you all to receive the grace and the bliss of the great moment of Linghodhbhava (emergence of the Linga).

The three eyes of Shiva are the eyes which reveal the past, present and the future. Shiva alone has all three. The elephant skin which forms His cloak is just a symbol for the elemental bestial primitive traits which His grace destroys; he makes them powerless and harmless; in fact, he tears them to pieces, skins them so to say, and makes them ineffective. His four faces symbolise Shaantham, Roudhram, Mangalam, and Uthsaaham (peace, fierceness, auspiciousness, determination). In this way, realise while worshiping the Lingam, the inner sense of the many attributes of Shiva. Meditate thus on Shiva this day, so that you may get rid of the last lingering vestiges of delusion.

Do not tell Me that you do not care for that bliss, that you are satisfied with the delusion and are not willing to undergo the rigours of sleeplessness. Your basic nature, believe Me, abhors this dull, dreary routine of eating, drinking, and sleeping. It seeks something which it knows it has lost – Shaanthi (inward contentment). It seeks liberation from bondage to the trivial and the temporary. Every one craves for it in his heart of hearts. And it is available only in one shop – Contemplation of the highest self, the basis of all this appearance.

When you realise Shivoham (I am Shiva), then, you have all the happiness, all the auspiciousness that there is. Shiva is not to be sought on the peak of a distant range of mountains, or in some other special place. You must have heard that sin and merit are inherent in the acts that men do; so too, Shiva is inherent in every thought, word and deed, for He is the energy, the power, the intelligence that is behind each of them.

Shiva is worshipped with the three-leaved Bilva, for, He is immanent in the three worlds, in the three phases of time, in the three attributes of nature. He removes the three types of grief; He has no basis outside Him; He is the source of bliss; He is the embodiment of the sweetness and efficacy of nectar. Since every being is Shiva-Swaruupa (of the nature of Shiva) – for without Shiva, it is mere ‘Shava’ (corpse) – man has to live up to that divine status.

Love brings people together; hatred drives them apart. You cannot be happy, when you cause misery to others. God showers grace when the nine steps of Bhakthi (devotion) are observed. Masters or rulers can be won over by the same means – sacrifice, love, devotion, dedication in the path of duty. When success is achieved by means of unrest and violence, it has to be preserved and prolonged only by further unrest and violence.

Therefore, let this be the lesson of Shivaraathri for you: Shiva is in all beings and all things. He is the inner motivator. Be aware of this always; do not cause pain to any one, do not harm or injure anyone, or hurt his self-respect. Love all alike, cultivate tolerance and spread brotherliness.

(Gathered From Various Discourses By Sathya Sai Baba)

Night Of Shiva Blessings

Night Of Shiva Blessings


Various Spellings For The Night Of Lord Shiva:

  • Shivratri
  • Sivratri
  • Shivaratri
  • Shivarathri
  • Sivaratri
  • Sivarathri
  • Mahashivaratri
  • Mahashivarathri
  • Mahasivaratri
  • Mahasivarathri
  • Maha Shivaratri
  • Maha Shivarathri
  • Shivaraathri
  • Shivaraatri
  • Shiva Ratri
  • Siva Ratri
  • Shiva Rathri
  • Siva Rathri
  • Mahaashivaraathri
  • Mahaasivaraathri
  • Mahaashivaraatri
  • Mahaasivaraatri
  • Mahaa ShivaRaathri
  • Mahaa SivaRaathri
  • Mahaa ShivaRaatri
  • Mahaa SivaRaatri
  • Mahashivratri
  • Mahasivratri
  • Mahaashivratri
  • Mahaasivratri
  • Shivratari
  • Sivratari
  • Sivratari
  • Maha Shivratari
  • Mahaa Shivratari
  • Mahashivratari
  • Mahaashivratari
  • Maha Sivratari
  • Mahaa Sivratari
  • Mahasivratari
  • Mahaasivratari
  • Herath (In Kashmir)
  • Har-Rathri
  • Har-Ratri
  • Hara Rathri
  • Hara Ratri

Shiva Lingam Puja

Shiva Lingam Puja


The Story Of King Chitrabhanu
In the Shanti Parva of the Mahabharata, Bhishma, whilst resting on the bed of arrows and discoursing on Dharma, refers to the observance of Maha Shivaratri by King Chitrabhanu. The story goes as follows – Once upon a time King Chitrabhanu of the Ikshvaku dynasty, who ruled over the whole of Jambudvipa, was observing a fast with his wife, it being the day of Maha Shivaratri. The sage Ashtavakra came on a visit to the court of the king.

The sage asked the king the purpose of his observing the past. King Chitrabhanu explained that he had the gift of remembering the incidents of his previous birth.

The king said to the sage that in his previous he was a hunter in Varanasi and his name was Suswara. His only livelihood was to kill and sell birds and animals. One day while roaming through forests in search of animals he was overtaken by the darkness of night. Unable to return home, he climbed a tree for shelter. It happened to be a Bael tree. He had shot a deer that day but had no time to take it home. So he bundled it up and tied it to a branch on the tree. As hunger and thirst tormented him, he was kept awake throughout the night. He shed profuse tears when he thought of his poor wife and children who were starving and anxiously waiting for his return. To pass away the time that night he engaged himself in plucking the Bael leaves and dropping them down onto the ground.

The next day he returned home and sold the deer and then bought some food for himself and his family. The moment he was about to break his fast a stranger came to him, begging for food. He served the food first to stranger and then had his own.

At the time of his death, he saw two messengers of Lord Shiva. They were sent down to conduct his soul to the abode of Lord Shiva. He learnt then for the first time of the great merit he had earned by the unconscious worship of Lord Shiva during the night of Shivaratri. The messengers told him that there was a Lingam at the bottom of the tree. The leaves I dropped fell on the Lingam. His tears, which had shed out of pure sorrow for his family, fell onto the Lingam and washed it and he had fasted all day and all night. Thus, he unconsciously worshiped the Lord.

As the conclusion of the tale the King said that he lived in the abode of the Lord and enjoyed divine bliss for long ages and now he has reborn as Chitrabhanu.
(Maha Shivaratri – King Chitrabhanu)

Shiva Shakti

Shiva Shakti


The Festivity Of MahaShivaratri
People observe a strict fast on this day. Some devotees do not even take a drop of water and they keep vigil all night. The Shiva Lingam is worshipped throughout the night by washing it every three hours with milk, curd, honey, rose water, etc., whilst the chanting of the Mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” continues. Offerings of Bael leaves are made to the Lingam as Bael leaves are considered very sacred and it is said that Goddess Lakshmi resides in them.

Hymns in praise of Lord Shiva, such as the “Shiva Mahimna Stotra” of Pushpadanta or Ravana’s “Shiva Tandava Stotra” are sung with great fervour and devotion. People repeat the ‘Panchakshara’ Mantra, “Om Namah Shivaya”. He, who utters the names of Shiva during Shivratri, with perfect devotion and concentration, is freed from all sins. He reaches the abode of Shiva and lives there happily. He is liberated from the wheel of births and deaths. Many pilgrims dock to the places where there are Shiva temples.
(MahaShivaratri – The Festivity)

Shiva Nataraja

Shiva Nataraja


About Lord Shiva
Shiva – the word meaning auspicious – is one of the Hindu Trinity, comprising of Lord Brahma, the creator, Lord Vishnu, the preserver and Lord Shiva or Mahesh, the Destroyer and Re-Producer of life. Shiva is known by many names like “Shankar”, “Mahesh”, “Bholenath”, “Neelakanth”, “Shambhu Kailasheshwar”, “Umanath”, “Nataraj” and others.

For few people, Shiva is “Paramatman”, “Brahman”, the Absolute, but many more prefer to see Shiva as a personal God given to compassion for his worshippers, and the dispenser of both spiritual and material blessings. Related to the Absolute concept is Shiva as “Yoganath” meaning the Lord of Yoga, wherein he becomes teacher, path and goal. As such he is the “Adi Guru” or the Highest Guru of ‘Sannyasins’ who have renounced the world to attain the Absolute.

Siva is the most sought-after deity amongst the Hindus and they pray to him as the god of immense large-heartedness who they believe grants all their wishes. Around him are weaved many interesting stories that reveal His magnanimous heart. Not only this, but these stories and legends also enrich the Indian culture and art.

Time is invisible and formless. Therefore Mahakal Shiva, as per the Vedas, manifested himself as “LINGAM” to make mankind aware of the presence of Eternal Time. That day when Shiva manifested himself in the form of “Lingum” was the fourth day of the dark night in the month of ‘Magha’ i.e. February-March. Maha Shivratri continues to be celebrated forever and ever.
(Maha Shivarathri – About The Lord)

Shiva Ram Hanuman

Shiva Ram Hanuman

All Mahashivaratri Wallpapers – Maha Shivarathri Backgrounds – Maha Sivaratri Desktops Can Be Enlarged By Clicking On The Thumbnails. May The Blessings Of Lord Shiva Be With You! Namaste.

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