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Friday, February 05, 2010

spending the night with shiva

the evening of friday, february 12th is the start of shivaratri, or "the night of shiva"

here's some information i picked up from a fairly informative website:

Maha Shivratri falls every year on the 13th night/14th day in the Krishna Paksha (waning moon) of the month of Maagha or Phalguna in the Hindu Calendar and falls on the night before the day of the new moon. Most of the ceremonies take place during the night.

On this day, fasting and night vigil (jaagaran) are observed. Some Hindus observe a strict fast on the day by even avoiding water (nirjala vrat). The Shiva Lingam is worshipped throughout the night. Mantras and Hymns to please Lord Shiva are chanted, including the shiva panchakshari mantra "Om Namah Shivaya".

It is believed that who utters the names of Shiva during Shivratri with utmost devotion is freed from all sins and liberated from the wheel of births and deaths. The Symbol of Lord Shiva, is the Shiva Lingam, is a form to represent the formless and it is worshiped with great splendour during Maha Shivaratri. On this day three horizontal stripes of holy ash applied to the forehead by worshippers of Lord Shiva representing the three eyes of shiva symbolizing spiritual knowledge, purity and penance. This day is also considered an auspicious day for wearing Rudraksha Beads, Lord Shiva's holy bead and gift to the mankind.

There is a legend associated with the Maha Shivarathri. Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma once argued over who was the strongest and supreme of all. Lord Shiva challenged both of them and appeared as a flaming Linga and challenged them to measure the gigantic Linga. Neither Lord Vishnu nor Brahma could measure the Shivalinga. Then Lord Shiva came out of the Linga and declared himself the most powerful.

It is also believed that it is on the day of Maha Shivrathri that the Shiva-Parvati marriage took place and when Lord Shiva danced the 'Tandav', the dance of primordial creation, preservation and destruction.

i don't know if you're thinking what i'm thinking, but it sure sounds like the man with the biggest lingam got the goddess. here's proof that size matters! :)

anyway, shivaratri is an auspicious event in the hindu religion, and since many yoga devotees are also devotees of shiva, there will be many shivaratri celebrations going on around town. here are some of the ones i've found so far:

SHIVA RATRI FESTIVAL with Puja and Shivalingam Abhishek (Bathing Ceremony)
Rose Temple, Venice
Friday, Feb 12th 5:30-9:00pm

For thousands of years, yogis, bhaktas, and spiritual aspirants have observed this universal festival of joy and wisdom. Join us for an unforgettable evening of kirtan, dance, meditation, puja, sacred narrative and congregational abhishek (bathing ceremony) in honor of Mahadeva Shiva followed by delicious karma-free snacks.
Bring your Shivalingams and take part in the congregational puja!
With Sacred Narrative by: Prem Prayojan
Kirtan with: The Kirtaniyas, Alita Rose, Momo Loudiyi and Kalidas.
Siva Stuti (prayers to Lord Shiva) with Kalias.

Yoga Party To Benefit Haiti on Shivaratri
Still Yoga, Silverlake
Friday, Feb 12th 8:00pm until 6:00am the next day
Cost: $30 Suggested Donation

Join Hagar Harpak, Tony Giuliano, Gina Zimmerman, and other yogi friends at Still Yoga on Maha Shivaratri – the great night of the auspicious - for a celebration of love and devotion to life! We will practice yoga, meditate, chant, breathe, and invoke the sacred and the love in our lives! There will be live music, tea and coffee (to help us stay up), snacks (even though originally this is a fasting holiday), and great company to spend this powerful, auspicious night with! There will be time to socialize too! Come early, come late, and/or stay up all night and bring up the sun with us!
In the Hindu tradition Shivaratri is a very important holiday that celebrates the ecstatic, blissful dance of the divine. The myth tells that the same sacred night on which Shiva danced his famous dance, is also the night he married his beloved Parvati. How auspicious it is that this year it falls on Valentines Day Weekend!
Traditionally, devotees stay up all night, make fruit and flower offerings to Shiva, observe fast and chant Om Namah Shivaya around the fire! We will play with some of the traditional aspects, and use it as a time to reflect upon the sacred, make offerings to this universal consciousness of which we are all a part, set intentions, and stoke the fire of our hearts with the spark of inspiration, celebration, revelation, salutation, and meditation!
We wish to reach out to the people in Haiti, and donate all the profit to Partners In Health (www.pih.org), a non-profit organization that has been working in Haiti for over 20 years.
We suggest a $30 donation or whatever you can give, for your participation in this event! If inspired, you can tell your friends and ask if they would like to donate some money even if they can’t actually make it to the party!

Shivaratri Celebration featuring Tony Khalife
Dancing Shiva Yoga and Ayurveda, Los Angeles
Friday, Feb 12th 8:00pm

We will celebrate Shivaratri (Night of Shiva), Mas's birthday (he's going to be 80 - see, do your practice, and you'll look & feel as young as him!) and Valentines day!!!
There'll be a Puja and Kirtan led by Tony Khalife, plus Dance and Food. Yay!
Please bring offerings for the Puja in the form of; flowers, sweets (fruit, desserts, bilva leaves...etc), your intentions for destroying any bad habits you want to get rid of (Shiva can help you with this.)
We look forward to celebrating this evening with you. Bring your friends and family to join us also.

Shivaratri Kirtan Celebration with Daniel and Friends
Rising Lotus Yoga, Sherman Oaks
Friday, Feb 12th 8:20-10:30pm
Cost: By Donation

Come join Daniel Stewart and his many musical friends at Rising Lotus Yoga for a joyful, rocking Kirtan on Friday, February 12 to celebrate the month of lovers and Shivaratri, the festival of Shiva.
Cooper Madison will be returning on Tabla, Arielle Silver and Emily Kern on vocal, Darby Orr on Bass, Jeff Harris on guitar and Greg Klimuck on Cajon. This is a soulful group indeed.

Shivaratri Celebration
Bhakti Yoga Shala, Santa Monica
Friday, Feb 12th 9:00pm until late into the night
Cost: Suggested Donation $15

Join JOEY LUGASSY, DAVE STRINGER, SHIVA REA, DAPHNE TSE for a night of chanting, praying and dancing as we celebrate Shiva's favorite night of the year
Om Namah Shivaya! When we say or sing these words we recognize and pay homage to the grand play or dance between Cause and effect, Consciousness and its phenomena. We also identify with our True Nature as the Stillness from which all movement and image come from and give love and worship to the great One that has Triumphed!
Let's welcome Daphne back from Bali for an all too short visit!
** Opening chant led by GOVINDAS & RADHA
** Closing prayer led by ZAT BARAKA
** Closing music and meditation by MYSTIC PETE (cello/vocal) and ALMA CIELO (violin)
We are so graced to have some of the finest sacred music musicians in Los Angeles -
DEEPAK RAMAPRIYAN (The Other Deepak) - Violin, Vocals
EDDIE YOUNG - Cello, Bass
VIJAY KRSNA - Mridangam
C.C. WHITE - Vocals
AMBIKA LEIGH - Vocals, Kartals
Bring a pillow!

Mahasivaratri Festival
Sivananda Vedanta Yoga Center, Marina del Rey
Friday, Feb 12th 9:00pm
Cost: FREE

All are invited to celebrate Sivaratri, the Night of Siva, one of the most auspicious events of the year in the Hindu calendar.
It is said that Lord Siva protects the world throughout the year but this is his one night to rest. It is our duty to watch over the world for him. This all night vigil with continuous chanting of the names of Siva, Lord of Yogis, will tune your mind to the highest spiritual vibrations.
Festivities and Chanting starts at 9:00pm. Stay for the first puja (devotional worship), which begins at 10:00pm, or all through the night.
Offerings of fruits, sweets and flowers are welcome. The festival of Sivaratri will end with a feast at dawn.
Sivaratri is a free event and all are welcome.

Kirtan with Sheela Bringi - Celebrating Shivaratri
Aanand Saagar, Venice
Saturday, Feb 13th 8:00-10:00pm
Cost: $15 suggested donation (no one turned away for lack of funds)

Shiva/shakti KIRTAN in Venice: meditative, groovy, soulful Sanskirt chants for Shivarathri.
Sheela Bringi - voice + harp + harmonium + bansuri
Clinton Patterson - trumpet + rhodes
Jon Armstrong - bass
and special guests:
Masood Ali Khan - hang
Pranidhi Varshney, Ullas Matthew Fowler - voice
Cody Remaklus - world percussion