The different religions of the world are paths to achievement of union of the individual with the Divine in whatever name that is used to define that concept. The SSIO, a multi-faith spiritual organisation, honours the different religions and celebrates some of their significant holy days as method of fostering tolerance, understanding and inclusion. One such significant event is the Hindu religion’s Maha Shivarathi, a night dedicated to God know as Shiva. The night is traditionally observed as one in which concentration on God in different ways is observed from sunset to sunrise the next day. This year, Maha Shivarathri falls on the night of Monday, 4 March. This event will be observed by a number of regions and individual groups and all are welcome to attend any of the celebrations
‘Holy days like Shivarathri are marked out in order to impress upon man’s mind his duty to impose a ‘fast’ on the senses and a ‘vigil’ on his intelligence to keep away polluting impulses and inclinations.’
Sathya Sai Baba 29.2.84
‘The vigil on Shivarathri night means concentrating one’s thoughts on the sacred, the pure, the beauteous and glorious form of the Divine.’
Sathya Sai Baba 8.3.86
‘Today is Shivarathri, the night of Shivam (Goodness, Godliness, Good Fortune). It is an auspicious night because the mind can be made to lose its hold on man by devoting the night to prayer.…with firm faith and a cleansed heart, the night should be spent in glorifying God.’
Sathya Sai Baba 26.2 87
Sathya Sai Baba many times stressed the importance of developing one’s personal relationship with the Divine. This may be achieved by a variety of spiritual practices, including contemplation of the Divine, reciting the holy name of God, in whatever is your choice of name, and one-pointed concentration on the form of God that is appropriate for you. All of these methods lead to a greater connection and a deeper loving relationship with the One. The vigil of Maha Shivarathri night as recommended by Sai is designed to use these forms of devotion to attain the Divine.
Download the flyer for the region relevant to you for details of the individual celebrations. If no flyer is available, you may be able to find information using the Location link to access your region or local groups.