As per Indian culture, the fourteenth day of every lunar month or the day before the new moon is known as Shivaratri. However, the one that occurs in the month of February-March holds the maximum spiritual significance among all twelve. On this night, there is an upsurge of energy in every human being due to the position of the northern hemisphere of the planet. Nature, on this day, pushes one towards spiritual heights and devotees are expected to allow this natural upsurge of energy to find its own way by standing with their spine in a vertical position. It was on this day, after spending many millenniums in meditation, that Shiva became absolutely still.
Maha Shivaratri holds different significance for different category of people. People with family situations observe this day as the wedding day of Lord Shiva, those with worldly ambitions observe this day as one on which Shiva won over his enemies and for ascetics, this is one such day on which Shiva became still and united as one with Mount Kailash. Hence this day is seen as the night of stillness by ascetics.
According to Yogic traditions, life, matter and existence and everything that is observed as the cosmos and galaxies is just one energy which manifests itself in various different ways. The word ‘Yogi’ means a person who has realized the oneness of the Existence. But I am not referring to ‘yoga’ as any particular system or practice; it in fact refers to any and every individual soul who longs to know the unbounded and the oneness in the existence. Maha shivaratri is one such night which gives a person an opportunity to implement this.
The darkest day of the month is Shivaratri as it falls just one day before the no moon day. Celebrating this dark night every month is like celebrating darkness. Logically speaking, one would refrain from darkness and opt for light naturally but Shiva, in its literal sense, means ‘that which is not.’ ‘That which is’ refers to existence and creation and ‘that which is not’ is Shiva. This means if you open your eyes to look around, and if your vision is sharp enough to witness small things, you will be able to see various creations. But if your vision looks for big things, you will notice a vast emptiness as the biggest presence in the existence. Galaxies are generally noticed by everyone but very few people notice the vast emptiness that holds them.
This unbounded emptiness and vastness is what refers to Shiva. Modern science too reveals this fact that everything comes from nothing and nothing goes back to nothing. Shiva, thus, is referred to as this vast emptiness and nothingness and is known to be the great lord Mahadeva. Hence, it can be concluded that Yoga is one and all who long to know the unbounded, the oneness in the Existence and Shivaratri gives one an opportunity to experience this bliss.