Many of us keep awake on Shivarathri. “Why” and “how”
are the two questions to be addressed. Is it correct to avoid
sleep on that holy day by watching films, playing cards and
roaming in the streets? The answer is “no”. It is better to
sleep than to while away one’s time in such unholy activities.
On Shivarathri, Lord Shiva descends from Kailasa to bless
His devotees. His presence is felt everywhere. We should
receive Him with our mind and heart. When an honoured
guest arrives at our place, is it proper for us to sit in our
neighbour’s house? Similarly, when Lord Shiva Himself
descends on our homes and hearts, it is not correct to sleep.
Instead, the night should be spent in prayers and meditation.
On Shivarathri, we should direct our minds towards Shiva
and invoke His holy form. Festivals or parva kalas are meant
for meditation. It is the ideal time for the Jeeva or the individual
soul to join the Deva or God.
We have celebrated many Shivarathris; yet, Shiva has not
arrived in our lives. Why?
On every Shivarathri we have failed to receive Him. We have
failed to see Him because our eyes are incapable of seeing
Him. They look outward and do not capture the image of
Shiva which is within us.
Our eyes should be fixed on His holy form; ears should
listen to His glories; the nostrils should inhale the fragrance
of Shiva Pooja; the tongue should taste the food blessed by
Him. When we surrender all our senses, mind and soul at His
feet, Shiva will pervade everything – Sarvam Shiva Mayam is
the true spirit of Shivarathri.