This was going to be another post on Ayurveda, but it’s Shivaratri, so I’ll save that one for another day. Maha Shivaratri is the marriage of Shiva and Mother Divine, union of Purusha and Prakriti, which is his own Nature, and which symbolizes the spur of creativity at the finest level of creation. MahaShivaRatri, one of the most sacred nights of the year for many people in India. It’s traditionally observed on the moonless 14th night of the new moon of the lunar month of Phalgun and is understood to be the wedding day of Shiva and Parvati when Shiva danced the world into being. Traditionally, people keep awake for the whole night, meditating, chanting, doing pujas or whatever. It’s a blissful celebration. This photo is of a small child dressed up as Shiva for the occasion. He clearly didn’t quite know what to make of the whole thing!
The meaning of Shiva can be understood from this Sanskrit text from the Mandukya Upanishad:
Shivam shantam advaitam chaturtham manyante, sa atma, sa vijneya
“Shiva, the quiescent, the non-dual, is said to be the fourth (i.e., the fourth state of consciousness, Transcendental Consciousness). That is the Self. That is to be known.”