The benefits of observing the night of Mahashivaratri

Swamiji gave many satsangs about the benefits of observing the sacred night of Mahashivaratri.  He advocated staying awake all night, fasting and chanting the mantra, Om Namah Shivaya, which means, “I bow down to Shiva.”  Shiva is the name for the inner Self which exists in all. Here are twenty-one beautiful quotes from Swamiji together with a selection of photos from Shivaratri nights over the years.



Swamiji in Lingodbhava, Mahashivaratri in Crawford, India 1984.

“The lingam is symbolic of God.  The lingam itself is not God.  The lingam is the symbol of that which has no name or form.  God has no name and no form.  That is the real philosophy behind it.  In order for man to understand and realize Divinity there is a necessity for a form.  That form is the Shiva lingam.”








A lingam manifested by Swamiji in 1986.

“The lingam is Shiva.  Shiva is atma – the universal energy of which you are part.  It is this that you want to realize.  Self-realization is the ultimate goal.”







Swamiji chants Om Namah Shivaya during Mahashivaratri 2010.

“For meditation, we must leave everything, sit in meditation and chant the Om Namah Shivaya mantra…the body should be kept relaxed and free.  Everything is in our hands alone.”










Lingams displayed in the Om Namah Shivaya chanting room, 2008.

“The only thing that hasn’t changed since I was born is the birth of the lingams during Mahashivaratri.”






Swamiji in Lingodbhava, Mahashivaratri 2008.

“You should have faith in the mantra because the mantra is God.”











Swamiji holds up a lingam that he has just given birth to from his mouth during Mahashivaratri 2008.

“What does ‘Shiva’ mean?  ‘Shiva’ means ‘lingam’.  What does ‘lingam’ mean?  You!  How is it that you are the lingam?  Your body is formed from many cells.  What is the shape of a cell?  It is the shape of the lingam.  In earlier times, sages discovered that cells are created and destroyed in the body.  The cells are in the form of the lingam.  The lingam is Shiva.  Shiva is the cells and the cells are you!”









“Always stay awake on Mahashivaratri night.  It is not possible to explain to you how much good it does for your spiritual life.  In time, you will come to understand the infinite energy that is Lord Shiva.”









Swamiji in Lingodbhava during Mahashivaratri 2010.

“By the birth of the lingams there is regeneration in the world.”












Devotees chant during a mahabhishekam on Mahashivaratri night, 2012.

“On Shivaratri night it is customary to chant the mantra Om Namah Shivaya, to watch rituals such as abhishekam and to sing devotional songs over a long period.  These activities help us to reach a meditative state.  Such sadhanas, coupled  with Shiva’s great grace, enable us to come closer to our true nature.”



Lingams displayed in the Om Namah Shivaya chanting room 2007.




“God’s grace is manifesting through these lingams to give the people all that they desire.”





Swamiji in Lingodbhava during Mahashivaratri 2010.



“All in creation is pervaded by Lord Shiva who is natural love, the highest truth and incomparable reality.”









A lingam from Lingodbhava 1999.




“The divine power of the lingam will certainly change our lifestyle and help us reach God.”







Sri Premeshvarar Shiva Lingam in Swamiji’s mahasamadhi shrine in the Sri Premeshvarar temple, 2012.


“You must understand that you have been granted a very important mantra.  That mantra is Om Namah Shivaya.  How many of you have memorized this mantra?  You should chant this before you go to bed each night at least five, seven or nine times.  All of you have come here and are very fortunate to receive this mantra, Om Namah Shivaya.  Not everybody gets the opportunity to hear this mantra being chanted on Shivaratri night and therefore you are truly blessed.”






Bhajans and lingam blessings in Sri Premeshvarar temple during Mahashivaratri 2013.

“Meditation and spiritual sadhanas are excellent on this night because the infinite energy of paramatma is surrounding the earth with a very great force during this period. … During this time Divinity is giving us a wonderful chance to absorb this most powerful grace.”






Lingam blessings for the devotees with a lingam that had just materialized at the feet of Swamiji’s statue during Mahashivaratri 2012.


“When you chant Om Namah Shivaya in front of me and just before the Lingodbhava then the negative forces around you will dissolve.”







Swamiji during Lingodbhava, Mahashivaratri 2008.

“Shiva’s energy is made of absolute love and compassion.  Shiva is the universal father who knows and sees all and exists in all life.  That means that He is within you too.  When we call out with longing from the bottom of our hearts He manifests strongly within us.”










Swamiji during Lingodbhava, Mahashivaratri 2008.


“[On the night of Mahashivaratri] keep your mind clear, clean and free of thoughts.  By staying up on this great night you will certainly receive spiritual benefits.  If you are able to think of the Divine and concentrate your attention on divine things such as bhajans, poojas, chanting mantras…then that is of benefit to you.”





Swamiji in meditation during Mahashivaratri 2009.

“In order to chant the panchakshara (five-syllable) mantra Om Namah Shivaya, sit, close your eyes and try to concentrate your mind, making it one-pointed.  Try to keep your body, mind and thoughts still.  Continue the Om Namah Shivaya mantra without stopping.  When you breathe in, chant Om Namah Shivaya, and when you breathe out again chant Om Namah Shivaya within your mind.  The mantra should be said very slowly.  Synchronize your breathing with the chanting of Om Namah Shivaya.  With this practice you also inhale and exhale the energy of Om Namah Shivaya as it also pervades the air.  This was how they performed intense spiritual sadhana in the olden days.  This is also known as meditation with mantra.”





A lingam from Lingodbhava 1991.

“By worshipping the lingam you have a great opportunity to attain a high stage of spirituality, even self-realization, in this life.”









Swamiji during Lingodbhava, Mahashivaratri 2008.



“This mantra (Om Namah Shivaya) releases us from fear and negative influences.”










Swamiji during Lingodbhava, Mahashivaratri 2008.

“How can you attain the knowledge of the Absolute unless the Lord Himself manifests and gives it to you?  It is He alone who possesses perfect knowledge.  He knows the highest wisdom, which is beyond worldly and mental knowledge. Who else can know these things?  That is why He comes in the form of the teacher and reveals the way of release.”




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