Shiv Raatri Dawn (Sonnet), Brijendra

Shiv (or Shiva) represents the absolute, eternal samaadhi, or infinite meditation. Shiv is a devtaa, a form of god, represented as simultaneously wild and blessed, usually seated in meditation. His untamed hair flows down, some of it in a top knot, and above or in the hair is a crescent moon. The Ganga, river of life-giving shakti and inspiration, flows from the top of his head, from the Absolute.   He is adorned with snakes and scorpions, meaning he is ever blissful, unbothered by them, and they are not afraid of him for he is the innocent one, the bestower of boons.

Shiv Raatri, the night of Shiv celebrates the absolute depth of samaadhi, the eternal source of all that is. So, it is a night of tapasya, with devotees often remaining awake all night to receive Shiv’s blessings. On Shiv Raatri there is no moon, meaning no manifestation, no reflection into form.
The poem was written the morning of the day of Shiv Raatri. I was sitting by my fire outside, meditating in the early hours before dawn when Jupiter and a thin sliver of the crescent moon rose from behind the mountain I was facing. On that mountain top is a Shiv temple, Bijli Mahadev, and Jupiter and the crescent moon rose above the temple. I watched them rise in the clear dark night and began to write this sonnet, aware that I was experiencing an auspicious moment.

Shiv Raatri Dawn (Sonnet)

Shiv moon in the night of Shiv Raatri?
But it was just the morning of Shiv’s night.
Mere lunar phenomenon could not be,
Nor explain the dawning of divine sight.
My small fire lit the world around me,
But Jupiter and Shiv ruled the vast sky.
So was I drawn from wooden flames to see
As Eternal Presence reigned my I.
For world reads like a book to the vision
Beyond mere orbits and phases of moon.
We should not suffer hells of misprision
In thinking that one day God will come soon.
Ask of the master the why and the how,
And live the Shiv Night of God’s Pure Bliss now.

22 February, 2020

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