Shiva is a space of deep silence and stillness where all the activities of the mind dissolve. This space is available wherever you are. There is no need to go on long pilgrimages to find the Divine. If you don’t find God where you are, then it is not possible to find Him elsewhere. The moment you are established, centred, you see that there is Divinity present everywhere. This is what happens in meditation.

One of the names of Lord Shiva is Adyantahinam—one without a beginning or end. We think Shiva is somewhere else sitting with a snake around his neck. Shiva is one in whom everything has taken birth, who encompasses everything.

Shivaratri shifts the awareness from the many-ness of Creation to the One-ness of consciousness behind everything. Click To Tweet

Shiva is also called Virupaksha—meaning one who is formless yet sees all. We know there is air all around us and we can feel it too. But what if the air also starts feeling us? The Divine is all around you and is seeing you. It is the formless core of existence and the goal—the seer, sight and the seen. This formless Divinity is Shiva. To simply wake up and experience this Shiva Tattva is Shivaratri.

Usually when there is celebration, awareness is lost. Deep rest and celebration with awareness is what Shivaratri is about. When you face a problem, you become aware and alert. We are at rest when everything is well. But on Shivaratri, we rest with awareness. It is said a yogi remains awake when others sleep. For a yogi, every day is Shivaratri.

Shiva is the fourth state of consciousness, the turiya avastha, the meditative state that is beyond the waking, deep sleep and dream states. He is the non-dual consciousness that is present everywhere. That’s why you have to dissolve yourself in Shiva to worship Shiva. You can worship Shiva only by being Shiva, who is Chidanandarupa—the consciousness that is pure bliss. Tapo yoga gamya—the one who can be known through tapa and yoga. Without yoga, Shiva can’t be experienced. Yoga doesn’t mean only asanas but the experience of the Shiva Tattva through meditation and pranayam. Panchmukha, Panchtattva—the five elements are referred to as the five faces of Shiva: Water, Air, Earth, Fire and Space. Understanding these five elements is tattva gyana. Worshiping Shiva is to dissolve in the Shiv tattva and then wishing for something good for everyone.Shivaratri shifts the awareness from the many-ness of Creation to the One-ness of consciousness behind everything.