The weeks or days before Mahashivaratri are a perfect time to practise purification of our bodies and minds, so that we can be more receptive for and, therefore, more deeply experience the spiritual uplift – the grace of Lord Shiva – on this night.
So, if we want to focus some extra attention on purifying the mind and body in the days leading up to Mahashivaratri, what can we do?
Regarding the purification of the body, Swamiji advises, in general, to be vegetarian, to avoid alcohol, not to smoke and not to over-indulge in worldly pleasures. We should try to control the body that naturally believes in attachments and falsity, so that it adjusts to the real and the spiritual.
As for the purification of the mind, Swamiji gave much advice and ways of purifying our minds. It does not happen overnight and is a process that takes some dedication and effort on our part. It is essential that we first understand ourselves in order to purify ourselves. We must review the processes of our minds and understand why it is reacting or going in the direction that it is. Having diagnosed what is wrong with it, we can slowly bring it under control and send it in the correct direction. So by examining our thoughts and emotions and gently guiding them in the positive, loving, kind, courageous, humble, forgiving, confident, devotional direction, while disregarding unnecessary, unwanted thoughts, slowly our minds will become strong, disciplined, pure, and support our spiritual growth.
It is also nice during these days, to connect with all other spiritual seekers who are celebrating Mahashivaratri, and send out positive, uplifting vibrations to the world, and ask that they may also be uplifted and benefitted on Mahashivaratri. Here is a short loving-kindness meditation that we can do at the end of the day, before going to bed:
Make yourself comfortable, and gently close your eyes.
Mentally let go of everything that has happened so far today.
Remember that you are the embodiment of a soul, here to experience life and to grow.
Think of your favorite divine form or divine quality, or of your spiritual master, with pure love.
Think kindly of those living around you, in your community. May they be happy and peaceful. May they be spiritually uplifted and benefit from the energy generated during Mahashivaratri.
Think of the citizens of your country, wishing them well. May they be happy and peaceful. May they be spiritually uplifted and benefit from the energy generated during Mahashivaratri night.
Think of all the people in the world and wish them goodness and pure love. May they be happy and peaceful. May they be spiritually uplifted and benefit from the energy generated during Mahashivaratri.
Finally, send out all your good thoughts and love into the universe, to all beings, human and non-human. May all beings in the universe be spiritually uplifted and benefit from the energy generated during Mahashivaratri.
May all attain liberation and the ultimate happiness.
Jai Prema Shanti!
“If you stay awake and sit in meditation or with the mind absorbed in Lord Shiva in some way, tremendous energies will work in your body.”
– Swamiji about Mahashivaratri
We wish you a wonderful Mahashivaratri!
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(This article is not a satsang by Swamiji.)