mahashivratri — meaning and spiritual significance

mahashivratri — meaning and spiritual significance

“The entire universe, animate and inanimate, comes from me.
Everything is seen through me.
Everything comes to rest in me.
I am no different from it and nothing in this world is different from me.”

— The Shiva Samhita

Mahashivratri, which means “The Great Night of Shiva,” is one of the most significant events in India’s spiritual calendar. It holds great importance for the millions of devotees of Lord Shiva. It is believed that a devotee who performs sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Mahashivratri is absolved of sins and attains moksha (spiritual liberation).

As per sacred scriptures, the fourteenth day of every lunar month or the day before the new moon is known as Shivratri. Among all the twelve Shivratris that occur throughout a calendar year, Mahashivratri, the one that occurs in February-March is of the most spiritual significance. “On this night,” Sadhguru says, “the northern hemisphere of the planet is positioned in such a way that there is a natural upsurge of energy in a human being. This is a day when nature is pushing one towards one’s spiritual peak. It is to make use of this, that in this tradition, we established a certain festival which is nightlong. To allow this natural upsurge of energies to find their way, one of the fundamentals of this nightlong festival is to ensure that you remain awake with your spine vertical throughout the night.”

According to the Art of Living International Center website, “Maha Shivratri is an occasion celebrating the peace within. The whole world functions according to the law of nature which is innocent and intelligent. This auspiciousness is called Shiva Tattva. It is a perfect marriage between the material and the spiritual aspects. Maha Shivratri is the best time for one to take refuge in Shiva (the divine consciousness) which brings peace and solace to all layers of consciousness.”

Resting in the Divine is the deepest rest one can attain. That’s why Mahashivratri is considered a great day for meditating. It’s an auspicious day for those who seek spiritual growth and material gains. 

Mahashivratri is also a sacred time to chant the Vedic mantras. These mantras bring a significant, positive change in the environment. It neutralizes all the bad karmas and negative energies and restores purity in the environment. When positive energy dominates, Nature comes alive and celebrates. 

Mahashivratri is a wonderful opportunity to connect with the Divine within and without. It’s an incredible festival to celebrate both the tangible and the intangible and a sacred time to transform a night of physical wakefulness into a night of spiritual awakening.