The Night of the Dark One – Shivarathri
Sadhguru: The 14th night of the lunar month – the night before the new moon – is the darkest night of the month. It is referred to as Shivarathri. When we say “Shiva”, one aspect is we are referring to the Adiyogi, the first yogi. Another aspect is, the word “Shiva” literally means “that which is not.” That which is, is creation. That which is not, is Shiva. Today, modern science says the whole creation has come from nothing and will go back to nothing. Everything comes from nothingness and goes back to nothingness. Nothingness is the basis of existence. So we are referring to Shiva as the basis of existence. “That which is not” is the basis of that which is.
If you look up at the night sky, there are billions of stars out there, but that’s not the important thing. There is a lot more empty space than the number of stars. Creation is just a miniscule. It is the vast emptiness which is the big thing. Creation is held in the lap of that emptiness. We say the whole creation is happening in Shiva’s lap and refer to Shiva as the “Dark One.” Ironically, modern scientists are referring to that which holds everything together in this existence as dark energy . They are calling it dark energy because they are not able to describe it in any other way and are unable to grasp the nature of what it is. They are just short of saying Shiva!
So this whole Shiva stuff is not about some God up there, this is just physical sciences expressed in a dialectical format; it is a certain way of expression, but it is just describing the physical nature of the existence.
The word Shivarathri literally means Shiva’s night. On that day, there is a natural upsurge of energies in your physiology. To make use of this we have specific sadhana in yoga. Fundamentally, whether it is the individual human body or the larger cosmic body, essentially they are made of the pancha bhutas or the five elements – earth, water, fire, air and space. What you call as “myself” is just a mischief of these five elements. If you want to realize the full potential of this mechanism that you call a human being, or if you want to transcend this one and become one with the larger cosmic mechanism – whether your desire is for the individual or for the universal – unless you have a certain amount of mastery – knowingly or unknowingly, consciously or unconsciously – over these five elements, you can neither know the pleasure of the individual self nor the blissfulness of the cosmic being.
One of the names for Shiva is Bhuteshwara – the lord of the elements. The Pancha Bhuta Aradhana which takes place every Shivarathri in the Dhyanalinga is mainly to access that dimension of grace in the Dhyanalinga. Pancha Bhuta Aradhana creates a powerful possibility where you can integrate your system and allow the five elements in your body to bind much better.
From one body to another, how well integrated these five elements are, determines almost everything about that person. If this body has to become a stepping stone for a bigger possibility, it is very important that the system is properly integrated. The air that you breathe, the water that you drink, the food that you eat, the land that you walk upon and the fire of life in the form of the life force, these are the ingredients with which your physical self is made. If you keep these controlled, vibrant, and focused, health, wellbeing and success in the world are assured. It is my endeavor to create various devices which will allow people to make this happen for themselves in such a way that the very way you exist is a Pancha Bhuta Aradhana.
Editor's Note: Please visit the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana page for more information about the process. Check out the Pancha Bhuta Aradhana schedule if you would like to plan your visit.
Keep track of important days and the phases of the moon with Isha’s Lunar Calendar.