Thursday, March 3, 2011

Maha Shivaratri

Om Namah Shivaya!
 The festival of Maha Shivaratri will be celebrated tonight at the Sivananda Ashram in Woodbourne, NY.  [Note, the date of the festival depends upon where you are and which exact calendar you follow.  It is celebrated on the 13th (or 14th) day of the dark half of Phalgun which translates into the 2nd or 3rd of March for 2011.  The intricacies of the Hindu calendar are beyond my understanding so I had to look it up.]

Unlike some other bloggers who copied Swami Sivananda's description of the festival (from his book Hindu Fasts and Festivals, available for free from link under my "Go Here" tab) word for word, only altering the order, without giving credit, I will let Swami Sivananda's words speak for themselves:

"The name means 'the night of Shiva.' This is a festival observed in honor of Lord Shiva, who was married to Parvati on this day.  People repeat the Panchakshara mantra, Om Namah Shivaya.  He who utters the names of Shiva during Shivaratri, 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 birth and death." ~Swami Sivananda

Hara Hara Mahaadeva Shaambho Kaashi Vishwaanaatha Gange
I call the names of The Great Lord Shiva
Who lives on the Banks of the Ganges at Kashi  (From Krishna Das' album Breath of the Heart)

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