The President of India, Smt Droupadi Murmu graced the Mahashivaratri Celebrations, organised by the Isha Foundation, at the Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore this evening (February 18, 2023).
Speaking on the occasion, the President said that Lord Shiva is a deity for all, as he appears in his various manifestations matching each of us. He is the first yogi, the Adiyogi, and he also the first jnani who, for example, is said to have inspired Panini’s grammar system, one of the tallest intellectual achievements of humankind.
The President said that Lord Shiva is a benevolent deity, and yet in countless myths he is also depicted the ultimate fearsome deity, as revealed in another name for him, ‘Rudra’. This way, he is the symbol of both kinds of energies, creative and destructive. He, indeed, transcends such pairs of opposites, because his destructive drive is also creative, leading to the regeneration and rejuvenation of the cosmos.
The President said Lord Shiva appears in the form of ardh-narishwar also, half male and half female. It points to the masculine and feminine sides of every human being and is an expression of the ideal of balancing the two.
The President said that Mahashivaratri marks the end of winter and beginning of sunny days in most parts of India. Mahashivaratri thus also marks the end of darkness – the darkness of ignorance, and opens the path to enlightenment. For those in search of higher ideals of life, today is an especially significant occasion. She said that today, the world remains as torn in strife as ever, but it is also facing an unprecedented ecological crisis. The need for a balanced and compassionate life, in harmony with Mother Nature and all its children, was never felt so pressing as it does today. May this Mahashivaratri dispel darkness inside us and lead us all to a more fulfilling and flourishing life.