The Himalayas are the abode of Lord Shiva who is acknowledged as the founder of yoga and first ever 'Guru'. It is here near the source of the Ganges, that he imparted the yogic knowledge to his wife Parvati 15,000 years ago and then to then to the Sapta Rishis, the first seven sages.
One of the oldest, most ancient pilgrimmage sites to honour Lord Shiva is the tiny Temple featured in this video at the Gaumakh Glacier high in the Himalayas. This temple is rebuilt every year after the glacial ice melts and the glacier again becomes accessible to pilgrims and spiritual seekers. We walked to the glacier at 4200metres as part of our Journey to the Source India Retreat (2016) and took the many prayers and letters from our students and community here at Kookaburra Creek.
The priest who walks 6 hours a day every day to welcome pilgrims and accept their prayers, blessed every letter and released them into the healing waters of Mother Ganga, who lovingly and unconditionally absorbs our human pain and sorrows setting free our souls to soar and experience the freedom here at the very top of the physical world. While the priest is the good humoured yet profoundly spiritual gatekeeper to this divine sanctuary, it is the wisdom and grace of Shiva who guides us back to worldly life imbued with the bliss and knowledge of true yoga.
Mahashivaratri, ‘the Great night of Shiva’, is celebrated on the first new moon of the 11th month of the Hindu calendar (February or March). For all of us who ‘practice’ yoga this is an important moment on our own annual calendars to take the time to honour and acknowledge the vast and incredible body of knowledge about the very nature of creation which was bestowed first upon Lord Shiva, and then his wife and then the seven sages, and then the various sages and saints through the millennia to us, now, in this moment. Regardless of 'style', 'branding', 'lineage' and even if the spiritual and religious has been stripped from modern definitions and practices of yoga, this is the source of all we know.
Traditionally on this night the name of Shiva is chanted, prayers are offered, pujas performed and an all night vigil kept - with the aim of overcoming darkness and ignorance and connecting with the pure, free and joyous ‘state’ of Shiva within ourselves.
To awaken to the ‘state’ of Shiva within ourselves we literally ‘lose’ ourselves in nature - our inner nature through chanting, meditation, puja and prayer, and we lose ourselves literally in the mountains or forests. We are temporarily lost, we no longer know who we are so, and have no choice but to ‘surrender’ or give up our sense of Self, are surrendering the mind’s need to know and to control, for a willingness to just be. This is afterall our goal in yoga, and is not easy. On the great night of Shiva we amplify our efforts and awaken the yearning and desire to transcend and be free of the limitations of the mind.
Join our special Mahashivaratri Meditation event at Kookaburra Creek Yoga Centre this Friday 7pm-8.30pm at Kookaburra Creek. As part of this Friday’s Mandala Meditation Circle at Kookaburra Creek we celebrate the original Guru of Yoga and through our sincere meditation, heartfelt prayers and gently ecstatic chanting, hope to connect with the divine play of Shiva within our own hearts and souls.
Mandala Meditation Circle this Friday 7pm - 8.30pm
Kookaburra Creek Yoga Centre
210 Carradine Road, Bedfordale WA 6112
Cost $12. Includes Chai and meditation instruction.
More details: http://www.kookaburrayoga.com/mandala-meditation-cricle.html