Apart from the “Samudra Manthan ” ( the churning of the milky ocean from which both poison and nectar emerged – read article ” The Night of MahaShivaratri” MArch 2011) there are other popular stories that inspire the festival of the night dedicated to Lord Shiva.
One of the most popular legends of Maha Shivratri is that of the marriage of Shiva and Shakti. The day Lord Shiva got married to Parvati is celebrated as Shivratri – the Night of Lord Shiva. It tells us how Lord Shiva got married a second time to Shakti, his divine consort. There is another version of the legend, according to which Goddess Parvati performed austerities and prayers on the auspicious moonless night of Shivratri, for the well being of her husband. Believing in this legend, married women began the custom of praying for the well being of their husbands and sons on Maha Shivratri, while, unmarried women pray for a husband like Shiva, who is considered to be the ideal partner.
Where is the location and what is the physical counterpart of the elusive Ajna and Sahasrara Chakras ( the two main head’s energetic centres )? And how do we access and stimulate them? Two extremely powerful yet simple Yoga techniques that help you locate the two upper chakras are Shambavi and Kechari Mudra. Both are described in two ancient treatises of Hatha Yoga, the Geranda Samhita and Hatha Yoga Pradipika. The fact is that the language of the Seers was purposedly esoteric.
With this and the next article I will try to map both Shambavi and Kechari Mudras from yogic into modern , tangible and scientific language. Let’s start with The Ajna Chakra – third eye – and Shambavi Mudra.
Winter Solstice, 21 December 2010, is the festival of the “rebirth of the light”. This year on the 21 December Winter Solstice we see two other astronomical conjunctures: Full Lunar Eclipse and Full Moon! Rebirth that is accompanied by a state of heightened awareness and connection with our emotions.
Winter Solstice is celebrated in many cultures as an important date as the Sun reaches its minimum in the Northern Emisphere and it’s the shortest day ( in terms of daylight ) of the year. As we get to solar minimum we approach an important transition that is the end of a cycle and the beginning of a new one. It’s a time of stopping and restarting. Continue reading “Winter Solstice 2010: Lunar Eclipse and Full Moon!”→
Diwali, or Deepawali (literally translates as rows of diyas – clay lamps) is the Hindu festival representing the uplifting of spiritual darkness in the souls of people. It is a 5 days festival centred around the new moon phase of the auspicious month of Kartik, which is late October/November. Diwali falls 20 days after Dusshera (the last celebratory day of NAvarati) and this year Diwali is the 5th November.
Diwali also marks the beginning of the Hindu New Year and on this day Lord Ganesha, the auspicious elephant-headed Hindu god, is worshiped. Ganesha is the ruler of Mooladhara Chakra (energetic centre at the base of the spine) of the New Year! Continue reading “The lights of Diwali!”→