The Mahashivratri sadhana is a preparation for Mahashivratri – a night of tremendous possibilities. Anyone over the age of seven can participate in the sadhana.
The sadhana can be of varying duration. You can do the sadhana for 40, 21, 14, 7 or 3 consecutive days leading up to Mahashivratri, March 11, 2021.
- 40 days: Jan 31 – Mar 11
- 21 days: Feb 19 – Mar 11
- 14 days: Feb 26 – Mar 11
- 7 days: Mar 5 – Mar 11
- 3 days: Mar 9 – Mar 11
If culmination on Mahashivaratri is not possible, the process must be culminated at the yoga center before the next Amavasya (new moon).
Daily Sadhana Process:
The daily process for the sadhana is as follows:
- Do 12 cycles of Shiva Namaskar on empty stomach. Then chant the Sarvebhyo Chant thrice. This should be done once a day, before sunrise or after sunset.
Aum Sarvebhyo Devebhyo Namaha
(We bow down to all the celestial and divine beings)
Aum Pancha Bhutaya Namaha
(We bow down to the five elements)
Aum Shri Sathguruve Namaha
(We bow down to the Eternal Guru)
Aum Shri Pritviyai Namaha
(We bow down to Mother Earth)
Aum Adi Yogishwaraya Namaha
(We bow down to the One who is the Origin of Yoga)
Aum, Aum, Aum
- Soak 8-10 peppercorns together with 2-3 vilva or neem leaves in honey, and a handful of groundnuts in water, overnight. After the Shiva Namaskar and chanting, chew the leaves, consume the peppercorns after mixing them with lemon juice, and eat the groundnuts as well. If the neem leaves are not available, the neem powder is available at IshaLife.com. Please ensure to finish your regular sadhana such as Shambhavi Mahamudra before consuming these.
- A few points regarding the Shiva Namaskar practice:
- Pregnant ladies are advised not to do Shiva Namaskar.
- Ladies can do Shiva Namaskar during their menstrual periods.
- People with hernia are advised to do the variations of Shiva Namaskar by using a cushion or a chair
- Light an oil lamp once in the morning and once in the evening. If a lamp is not available, you can use a candle.
- Chant the Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya chant twelve times in the morning and twelve times in the evening after lighting the lamp. It is best to do this sadhana during the 40-minute sandhya kalas. Two significant sandhya kalas begin 20 minutes before and end 20 minutes after sunrise and sunset.
Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya chant:
Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya
Bhuta Bhuta Bhuteshwaraya
Kala Kala Kaleshwaraya
Shiva Shiva Sarveshwaraya
Shambho Shambho Mahadevaya
There are a few guidelines to follow during the sadhana period.
- Have only 2 meals a day. The first meal should be after 12:00 noon.
- If you feel hungry, you can drink the peppercorn-honey-lemon juice and water mixture again.
- Avoid smoking, consuming alcohol and eating non-vegetarian food.
- A black cloth should be worn, tied on the upper right arm for men and the upper left arm for women. Any black cloth can be used, but the cloth should be 12 inches in length and 1 inch wide. Those participating in the sadhana can procure the black cloth by themselves.
- Wear only white or light-colored clothing.
- Please have a bath or shower twice a day using herbal bathing powder. Herbal bathing powder is available at Isha Life.
- Apply Vibhuti on the following points: Agna – between the eyebrows, Vishuddhi – pit of the throat, Anahata – just beneath where the rib cage meets, and Manipuraka – just below the navel.
Culmination of Sadhana:
The sadhana will culminate on Mahashivratri. The culmination process can be done at the Isha Yoga Center, or at home before a photo of Dhyanalinga.
The process is as follows:
- It is essential to remain in Jagarana, which means to stay awake the whole night.
- Chant the Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya chant 112 times.
- Offer something to 3 people in need of food or money.
- Offer a vilva leaf / neem leaf / leaf with 3 or 5 petals to Dhyanalinga.
- Untie the black cloth from your arm and tie it near Nandi in front of Dhyanalinga. For those doing the process in their local centers or homes, burn the black cloth and smear the ashes on your forearms and legs after the culmination process.
- If the culmination process is being done at home, you can download this photo of Dhyanalinga.
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