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Honouring Lord Shiva is a reminder to awaken the inner eye 

Amma plays a damaru
Amma played the damaru, a symbol of the spiritual sounds by which Lord Shiva creates and regulates the whole universe.

Key Points

  • Amma led Maha Shivaratri celebrations in Amritapuri. The day included various expressions of devotion and penance, from ancient Vedic rites to modern dance performances.
  • Devotees fasted and prayed from sunrise to sunrise, commemorating the divine union of Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati. This symbolises the balance of masculine and feminine energies.  
  • Amma emphasised the significance of Shiva as the embodiment of auspiciousness and the consciousness principle beyond duality. She concluded with a dance to a traditional Kerala tribal song, radiating bliss and inspiring all. 
10 March 2024
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Amritapuri Groups & Centres Wisdom

Maha Shivaratri was celebrated with its traditional ceremonies in Amritapuri. “The Great Night of Shiva” is an ancient festival of Santana Dharma to mark overcoming darkness and ignorance, both in the mind and the external world.  

Beginning at sunrise, devotees fast and pray until the following sunrise. The practices honour the anniversary of the divine marriage between Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati, signifying a balance between masculine and feminine energies.  

Throughout the day, Amma led meditation, satsang, and bhajans in the Ashram’s Bhajan Hall. As well, monastics, residents, and visitors took part in many expressions of devotion and penance—from ancient Vedic rites to modern dance performances. This included Amma feeding Lakshmi when the Ashram elephant arrived to receive her blessings.  

“Mahashivaratri is a festival that stirs waves of devotion and contemplation of God in our hearts and minds. The word shivam means ‘auspiciousness’. It is the supreme truth that is supremely auspicious,” said Amma in her satsang. 

“God is the underlying foundation of all that is auspicious. Goodness, prosperity and peace only emerge from devotion and surrender to God. Shiva is the consciousness principle beyond good and bad, truth and untruth, beauty and ugliness.” 

At the end of her programme, Amma spontaneously rose to dance to a traditional Kerala tribal song. The expression of bliss on her face was one that cannot be captured in words. It delighted the thousands present in the Ashram, as well as those watching via webcast worldwide. 

“Shiva is immortal, free, one and indivisible. He is the master of all living souls, whose body is the universe. He dotes on those devoted to him and continually protects them, granting them devotion and liberation. 

“His captivating form—donning the crescent moon, holding River Ganga upon his head, adorned with serpents, wearing a tiger skin, and smeared with ash from head to toe—serves to make the mind one-pointed and the heart blissful,” Amma explained. 

“Lord Shiva’s form, adornments and lilas are all meant to awaken us from the slumber of maya’s delusion. Shivaratri reminds us that if we want to transcend the darkness of ignorance and enter the state of eternal wakefulness, we have to open our inner eye. 

“Amma prays that divine grace may bless my children so that they awaken and arise to that completeness through the path of devotion, renunciation and knowledge.” 

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