Date: February - March
Legend: "When the devastating Halahala poison emerged from the ocean, life on earth was threatened with immediate and total destruction. Shiva offered to drink the poison and save the world. His throat is blue ever since, for the poison has pervaded the area. Be eager to serve, to help, to come to the rescue of others. For this, one must cultivate Sahana (Fortitude, Equanimity).
Otherwise, life will be as miserable as resting in the thick
shade of a tree infested with red ants! If impatience, anger, hatred,
and pride overcome a person, of what avail are other accomplishments?
In the firmament of the heart, the Names of God must shine as stars
and the confidence arising out of the knowledge of Atma must shine like
the Moon when it is full and bright.
But, the fiercy, ferocious poison, Shiva hides behind the blue patch on His throat. That is a lesson for man: Keep under restraint, within you, the qualities and tendencies that are anti-social, the poisonous hatreds and competitive greeds."
"Shiva is the supreme exemplar of serenity! Shiva, according
to the Puranas has a curious assortment of family members. Yet, each
one is so calm and without agitation, that the Divine Family exists
in peace and concord. Shiva has snakes on His arms, round His neck,
on His head, around His waist! One of his sons, Kumara (Subramanyam),
rides on a peacock, which attacks snakes; another (Ganesha) rides on
a mouse, which the snakes feed on!
One son (Ganesha) has the head of the elephant, which whets the appetite of the lion, which is the vehicle used by Durga (Parvati), the Consort of Shiva, who is so inseparable that she is the left half of the body of Shiva Himself (Ardanareswara). Nor is the Lion friendly by nature to the Bull, which Lord Shiva Himself has as His vehicle! Shiva has Fire on the Central Point of His Brow (third eye), and water, the river (Ganga) on His head, incompatible both! Imagine, how loving, how co-operative the various components have to be, to render life in Kailash smooth and happy!"
"When you realize Shivoham, I am Shiva, then, you have all the happiness, all the auspiciousness that there is. Shiva is not to be sought on the peak of a distant range of mountains, or in some other special place. You must have heard that sin and merit are inherent in the acts that men do; so too Shiva is inherent in every thought, word and deed, for He is the Energy, the Power and the Intelligence that is behind each of them."
"Shivaratri is a word that connotes the dual nature of man and his duty to discriminate between the higher and the lower. Shiva means Jnana (the Higher Wisdom, the Unifying Universal Vision); it also means the lasting, the timeless, and the beneficial, the holy, the auspicious. And the second word, ratri, means darkness of ignorance, the blind pursuit of tawdry pleasures, the bewildering will-o’-the-wisp of sensory joys. It also means the transitory, the fleeting; it connotes the maleficent, the inauspicious, the sacrilegious. So the message of Shivaratri is: Discriminate between Shiva and ratri - the Prana (life energy) and the Body, the dehi (indwelling spirit) and the deha (body), the spiritual and the material..."