For the Tantric practitioner, every night is Shiva Ratri. Each night, as we go to sleep, we can consciously surrender our minds and bodies to sacredness. Shiva is a way into pure consciousness.
Once a year, in the holy month of Phalguna, occurring between late winter and the advent of summer, at this very time of year, we celebrate "Maha Shiva Ratri," the Great Night Of Shiva.
There are many stories about the symbolic significance of this festival, chief among them being Shiva's celestial dance, also known as the Tandava. This dance embraces creation, sustenance, and destruction.
It is awful that this Maha Shiva Ratri, the people of Ukraine, are undergoing a devasting experience of death and destruction. Shiva, however, does not mean "destruction" but blessing.
The dance of life includes birth and death. Amid this process is the soul's liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. Therefore, we can pray for the people of Ukraine as we engage our souls, too, in the process of spiritual awakening.
War and death wake us up spiritually and psychologically. All our senses turn on alert, and we live in the present moment with fear and an appreciation for life that we often take for granted.
Yet, this life is not all there is. There is another mode of existence concurrent with what we define as life, its physical form, and the psychology that goes along with it. Our spiritual life is its dimension.
However, human pain and suffering cannot be dismissed as an illusion. It is as relevant as spirit and enlightenment. And there is an ultimate value for human suffering, for deep down, God, Spirit, suffers with us.
PLEASE REMEMBER THE PEOPLE OF UKRAINE IN YOUR PRAYERS!
Words are problematic, even in the best of times, so it is easy to put one's foot in one's mouth in times such as this. Nevertheless, we can use words to go beyond words to get to the essence of the word itself. And that word, at this time, can be Shiva, meaning blessing.
May the night of Shiva favor you.
May the night of Shiva bless you.
Use the mantra om namaḥ śivāya