© 2022 Maxim Timofeev
© 2022 Maxim Timofeev
Maha Shivaratri
India, Gokarna, 2019

There are various legends associated with the Maha Shivaratri festival. According to one of the most popular, it was on this very night that Shiva appeared before Brahma and Vishnu in the form of an endless and infinite lingam, specifically in Gokarna.

In the Vedic worship of the ancient Aryans, the primary form of devotion isn't to holy images, but to the sacred fire. This puja commences with the lighting of the sacred fire and a brief Agnihotra (a fire sacrifice, pouring sacrificial ghee into the fie). During such sacrifices, clarified butter is poured into the fire, and twigs from a specific tree are added.

Stumbling upon it, either by chance or design, without grasping the meanings behind the happenings, I was captivated by this beautiful act. In such an atmosphere, it's impossible to remain a detached observer: you channel this energy, connect to the unified field, and partake in the celebration. At such moments, linguistic barriers fade, perception and feelings shift to subtler dimensions, and you sense invisible waves of light piercing through everything and everyone, expanding channels through which endless love flows, uniting souls.

One of the main elements of the grand festival are two chariots: the larger one dedicated to Shiva and the smaller one to his wife, Parvati. The festival lasts a day. During this time, one must remain alert, spend it in prayers and meditations, and also abstain from consuming water and food.

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