Shiva is a complex figure in Hindu mythology, with accounts ranging from him being the first enlightened yogi to the god of destruction, transformation, and creation.
Maha Shivaratri, or the great night of Shiva, is associated with the anniversary of his union with Parvati, the goddess who represents the nurturing aspects of Shakti, and the day he achieved the stillness of a mountain and transcended his ego limitations.
The date of Maha Shivaratri in 2016, as determined by the Hindu calendar, is the 7th of March. It is traditionally celebrated with a day of fasting followed by a sleepless vigil through the moonless night. This date is regarded as an auspicious time for meditation and spiritual advancement due to planetary and cosmic alignments.
Shiva is often depicted with a blue neck based on the belief that he swallowed the poison that threatened to destroy humankind. He is associated with inner peace and joyful serenity maintained through cycles of destruction and creation raging around him, and the ability to communicate great truths with perfect clarity.
In celebration of Maha Shivaratri, whether you choose to observe the fast and vigil or not, consider taking a moment to connect with and channel the essence of Shiva, trusting that any destructive forces that arise in your life are supporting your transformation and evolution into greater stillness and peace.