Monday night was Mahashivarathri, March 7, 2016—the most auspicious day of the year for Lord Shiva. Admittedly, I am a bit of a hermit, so my plans were to spend the night at home in private meditation. According to the Jyotish, the Muhurtha (most auspicious time) was between midnight and 1:00 a.m. So I got to bed early in order to be meditating then. During that time, the feeling in the room was palpable. The meditation was deep.
Then suddenly, like a flash, I was compelled to jump up out of meditation, quickly wrap a shawl around me, grab the temple key, and immediately rush down to the temple. Paying little attention to the time, I thought that perhaps the temple would be empty. I couldn’t have been more incorrect—the temple was packed. I walked in to find that my timing couldn’t have been more perfect for the temple visit… Aarathi was about to begin.
Still in my half-meditative state, while happy to see so many familiar faces, I enjoyed the incredibly powerful atmosphere in the temple. Telling the group of how I was pulled out of meditation to come rushing to the temple, I said it felt like Pandit Prasad had called me. He lit up and smiled and said, “Yes, only moments ago, I was thinking that you should be here.” Still, I was happy to return to my meditation at home. As I look back, my visit to the temple seems more like a dream than physical reality.
The whole day was exquisite, starting with Rudrabhishekam in the morning, then hearing the chants, conversation, and laughter as it echoed through Mount Soma all the way to my home. It was a magnificent, powerful, fulfilling, and heart-warming day throughout.
Jai Shiva Shankara
Below is a video recapping some of the day.