One night of each year in the Indian calendar is dedicated to worship of Lord Shiva. Shiva has many names: Nataraj, Mahadeva, Mahesh, Rudra, Ugra, Ardra, Maheshwara, Shambho, Shankara, and the list goes on. Each name describes a specific quality of the lord’s multi-faceted being. Shiva is “Mahadeva” – the great lord.
On this auspicious and sacred night, it is said that one repetition of the mantra “Om Namah Shivaya” is magnified 1,000 times.
It is customary people to gather and stay up all night chanting the sacred mantra. People typically fast on this day or refrain from eating grains. White clothing is customarily worn on Shivaratri.
As we chant “Om Namah Shivaya” (I honor Shiva – the supreme being who resides in each of us), we can connect once again to our own innate divinity and acknowledge that there are multiple facets to our own great being.
We can also recognize the divinity that exists in each of us and honor that time and again.