Lights, trippy performances, non-stop dance music, an exuberant all-night party with folks in ecstatic states – that sound like a rave to you? Well, yes, it is, of a certain kind. Isha’s annual Mahashivratri celebrations, which take place at Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore, have become the place to be in past few years, and this year too, in spite of the pandemic, the Foundation managed to throw a hell of a bash on the night of March 11. Sure, the numbers were restricted (a few thousands compared to the lakhs that throng the gathering each year), there were masks and social distancing but nevertheless, they pulled out all the stops. The event was live on all Sadhguru’s channels on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. It was live-streamed in 15 languages, and was broadcast across more than 120 TV channels, reaching an estimated 100 million viewers across the globe.
Mahashivratri 2021 at Isha was a curious combination of things – spirituality, meditation, bhakti, spectacle, culture, fun, exploration and a dash of politics. Among the first things that hits you is the palpable devotion. Everyone present is intensely focused on Shiva – and in particular, on Shiva as Adiyogi, the first guru to teach humankind the methods and technologies to attain one’s ultimate nature. The night, as Sadhguru explained, is one of those times when there is a natural upsurge in the human system. By staying awake and alert, seekers try to ride the wave and make use of it instead of being overwhelmed by it.