Shiva Ratri: the Destruction of Ignorance

babaji-febnewsShiva Ratri is the Night of Shiva, and for those immersed in the Hindu tradition it is an important part of the year, the one night Shiva ‘sleeps’ while people keep vigil. Please read more information the upcoming celebration of Shiva Ratri here.

Babaji has written:

Shiva represents the universal power of destruction, which has two facets – the end of physical existence, and the liberation from its subtle bonds (by the destruction of ignorance).

The story of Shiva is the story of God dwelling in human consciousness. He is the Great Yogi, severe and serene in meditation, ever absorbed in superconscious Reality (samadhi). He is the Supreme Guru (spiritual guide) who teaches always in silence the oneness of one’s higher Self (atman) with the ultimate Reality (Brahman).

Shiva is ever the great Destroyer of Ignorance, endowed with infinite compassion, longing only to burn the miseries of the world, to illumine the world, to reveal within each being the highest Truth.

The ignorance referred to here is not lack of knowledge of the world, but the ignorance of our true nature. In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali it is said that this ignorance (avidya) is the cause of all suffering. Avidya is not just an ignorance but a very deep illusion which colours all our perceptions. Because of that, we live in an illusory world of our own creation. The purpose of rituals like Shiva Ratri is to shift our focus, quiet our minds and open ourselves to the possibility of the end of ignorance and to awakening to reality. Remove all the selves we create and what remains will be identified as real Self.

One morning years ago, when Babaji was asked about the effect of stopping the mind even for a second, he said: Samadhi brings two things: Attachment to the real and non-attachment to the unreal.

Shiva as Mahadeva, the Great God, Lord of Lords, is ever the Destroyer of Ignorance. With his great third eye (the eye of higher knowledge, which looks inward) Shiva pierces through all hypocrisy, and can burn to ashes in a glance all that is untrue.

It is said that with each inhalation and exhalation Shiva takes, entire worlds are created and destroyed. He is the inner Self of all living beings.

From Babaji’s essay, Mind is our World: All your prayers will be heard, your meditation will bring peace, your selfless service will remove your discontent, and your devotion to God will fill your heart with divine love. A seeker of the Truth, who is liberated from the conceptualized world automatically finds the real world in the Supreme Self, Universal Consciousness, Peace or God. That supreme state of the Self is eternal and infinite. That Self is unknowable because it is without the distinction of knower and knowledge. It shines by its own light.

Hara Hara Hara Mahadev!

contributed by Sharada
All italicized text is from Babaji’s writings


Sharada-headshot-2016Sharada Filkow, a student of classical ashtanga yoga since the early 70s, is one of the founding members of the Salt Spring Centre of Yoga, where she has lived for many years, serving as a karma yogi, teacher and mentor.

Shiva Ratri 2016

Shiva Ratri 2016

Monday, March 7 – Tuesday, March 8,
Lingam ceremony begins Monday, 8:30 am – 12:00 pm.
Evening celebration begins Monday, 6:30 pm Tuesday, 7:00 am

ShivaJoin us at the Centre for an all-night vigil of chanting and prayer.

Shiva Ratri is an opportunity to affirm your deepest sense of presence. Your deepest sense of authenticity. It is an opportunity to step into your heartiest sense of peace, creativity and warmheartedness towards all of creation. Coming together as a group increases the support and focus as we take up various centring and prayerful exercises which have been passed down through the millennia. Staying up all night with such focus and intention is a great way to sluff off any habits which keep us locked in stale and life denying patterns. Shiva is the archetypal epitome of the Yogis, and as such, many simple but powerful yogic practices will be engaged.

The day begins in the morning with the making of 1008 clay lingams, representing sahasrara chakra, the lotus of a thousand petals. The evening celebration will begin at sundown (6:30 pm) with arati, followed by kirtan to Shiva, mantra yoga, stories and asanas. There will be two pujas, one at midnight and one around 5 am, ending with arati. Then the lingams are carried to the pond and offered into the water.

If you are planning to make lingams and offer at one or both pujas, you must begin your fast by Sunday March 6th at 8am and continue through the all-night Shiva Ratri celebration.

For further information, to register for a room, to sign up for lingam making or offering at either the midnight or 5 am puja, please contact Rajani: rajanirock@me.com or 250-537-9537.

There is no charge, but a donation to cover costs would be appreciated.

[expand title=”CLICK HERE to view the evening’s schedule.”]

6:30 pm Invocation, Arati, Hanuman Chalisa & Kirtan *
11:00 pm pm Forgiveness Prayers & Asanas
11:30 pm Kirtan
12:00 am Mantra Yajna
1:30 am Kirtan
4:00 am Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
4:30 am Kirtan
5:00 am Mahashivaratri Puja Yajna
6:30 am Procession to immerse lingams
7:00 am Breakfast

* Children can be with parents quietly until 9:30 pm. After 9:30 pm no children are to be in the house until morning Arati (about 6:00 am)

You are invited to participate in as much of the evening as you wish. There is no requirement to stay the entire evening.

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We hope you will join us! All are welcome.

Shiva Ratri 2014

ShivaThursday February 27, 2014

Join us at the Centre for Shiva Ratri, an all-night vigil of chanting and prayer.

Shiva Ratri is an opportunity to affirm your deepest sense of presence. Your deepest sense of authenticity. It is an opportunity to step into your heartiest sense of peace, creativity and warmheartedness towards all of creation. Coming together as a group increases the support and focus as we take up various centring and prayerful exercises which have been passed down through the millennia. Staying up all night with such focus and intention is a great way to sluff off any habits which keep us locked in stale and life denying patterns. Shiva is the archetypal epitome of the Yogis, and as such, many simple but powerful yogic practices will be engaged.

The day begins in the morning with the making of 1008 clay lingams, representing sahasrara chakra, the lotus of a thousand petals. The evening celebration will begin at sundown (6:30 pm) with arati, followed by kirtan to Shiva, mantra yoga, stories and asanas. There will be two pujas, one at midnight and one around 5 am, ending with arati. Then the lingams are carried to the pond and offered into the water.

If you are planning to make lingams and offer at one or both pujas, you must begin your fast by Wednesday February 26th at 8am and continue through the all-night Shiva Ratri celebration.

For further information, to register for a room, to sign up for lingam making or offering at either the midnight or 5 am puja, please contact Rajani: rajanirock@me.com or 250-537-9537.

There is no charge, but a donation to cover costs would be appreciated.

[expand title=”CLICK HERE to view the evening’s schedule.”]

6:30 pm Invocation, Arati, Hanuman Chalisa & Kirtan *
11:00 pm pm Forgiveness Prayers & Asanas
11:30 pm Kirtan
12:00 am Mantra Yajna
1:30 am Kirtan
4:00 am Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations)
4:30 am Kirtan
5:00 am Mahashivaratri Puja Yajna
6:30 am Procession to immerse lingams
7:00 am Breakfast

* Children can be with parents quietly until 9:30 pm. After 9:30 pm no children are to be in the house until morning Arati (about 6:00 am)

You are invited to participate in as much of the evening as you wish. There is no requirement to stay the entire evening.

[/expand]

We hope you will join us! All are welcome.

Learn more about Shiva and Shiva Ratri here.

 

Shiva Ratri 2013

ShivaSunday, March 10, 2013

Join us at the Centre for Shiva Ratri, an all-night vigil of chanting and prayer.

The day begins in the morning with the making of 1008 clay lingams, representing sahasrara chakra, the lotus of a thousand petals. The evening celebration will begin at sundown (6:30 pm) with arati, followed by kirtan to Shiva, mantra yoga, stories and asanas. There will be two pujas, one at midnight and one around 5 am, ending with arati. Then the lingams are carried to the pond and offered into the water.

If you are planning to make lingams and offer at one or both pujas, you must begin your fast by Saturday 8am and continue through the all-night Shiva Ratri celebration.

For further information, to register for a room, to sign up for lingam making or offering at either the midnight or 5 am puja, please contact Rajani: rajanirock@me.com or 250-537-9537.

There is no charge, but a donation to cover costs would be appreciated.

We hope you will join us! All are welcome.

Learn more about Shiva and Shiva Ratri here.

 

Shiva Ratri – an all-night vigil of chanting and prayer

ShivaJoin us at the Centre on March 3rd, 2011 for Shiva Ratri, an all-night vigil of chanting and prayer. The celebration begins in the morning with the making of 1008 clay lingams, representing sahasrara chakra, the lotus of a thousand petals. An all-night ritual begins at 7pm and is our collective sadhana and offering. In the morning the lingams are taken in a procession to the pond where they are offered into the invigorating purifying waters. We hope you will join us! All are welcome.

Approximate Schedule
9am-12pm – Lingam Making (One must fast from food for 24 hours prior to making lingams)
12-7pm – Set Up
7pm – Kirtan
11pm – Forgiveness Asanas
12am – Shivaratri Puja, followed by more Kirtan
4:30am – Sun Salutations
5:30am – Mahashivaratri Puja Yajna, followed by procession to the pond to offer Lingams.

Cost: There is no charge, but a donation to cover costs would be appreciated.
Lingam Preparation: If you would like to help with the lingam preparation or would like to offer at one of the Shiva Pujas, please contact Rajani Rock at (250) 537 9537 or rajanirock@me.com. Please note, you will be required to fast for 24 hours.
Special room rate: If you wish to reserve a room at the Centre for the night, there is a special rate of $25.

Questions?
Contact Rajani Rock at (250) 537 9537 or rajanirock@me.com

About Shiva and Shiva Ratri

Shiva, the destroyer, Brahma, the creator and Vishnu, the preserver, make up the supreme trinity of the Hindu pantheon. Shiva is known as the deity responsible for all forms of destruction. While this can be terrifying when one is attached to the world of form, Shiva, as the god of yogis, is also the destroyer of ego, that illusory entity that identifies with form. In reality, Shiva is the destroyer of all illusion; all that remains is Shiva’s true nature, the formless essence out of which all forms arise, but which is itself timeless and unchanging. As satyam, shivam, sundaram or truth, goodness and beauty, Shiva represents the most essential goodness. This is also our true nature.

Shiva Ratri, the fourteenth day of the lunar fortnight when the moon is waning and the sun is in the sign of Pisces, is the day when devotees of Shiva around the world gather in communal sadhana. This may take many forms including prayer, ritual, kirtan and the austerities of abstaining from food and sleep. These are all aimed at attaining the dispassion and peace that arise with the reduction of egocentric desires and attachments that keep us from knowing our true nature, the essence of Shiva.