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The Mahashivratri sadhana is a preparation for Mahashivratri – a night of tremendous possibilities. Anyone over the age of seven can participate in the sadhana.

The sadhana can be of varying duration. You can do the sadhana for 40, 21, 14, 7 or 3 consecutive days leading up to Mahashivratri, February 21, 2020

  • 40 days: Jan 13 – Feb 21

  • 21 days: Feb 1 – Feb 21

  • 14 days: Feb 8 – Feb 21

  • 7 days: Feb 15 – Feb 21

  • 3 days: Feb 19 – Feb 21

If culmination on Mahashivaratri is not possible, the process must be culminated at the yoga center before the next Amavasya (new moon).


  1. Soak 8-10 Peppercorns together with 2-3 Neem or Vilva leaves in Honey daily, overnight.

  2. Soak a handful of groundnuts in water daily, overnight.

NOTE: If Neem or Vilva leaves are not available, take neem powder.

Image by Sonja Punz
Image by Tania Fernandez


  1. Have a bath or shower at least twice a day using herbal bathing powder

  2. Apply vibhuti daily at the following points on the body: agna – between the eyebrows, vishuddhi – pit of the throat, anahata – just beneath where the rib cage meets, and manipuraka – just below the navel.

  3. Wear only white or light-colored clothing

  4. Purchase a black cloth to be tied on the upper right arm for men and the upper left arm for women. The cloth should be 12 inches in length and 1 inch wide. It should not be taken off for the entire duration of the sadhana period


  1. This set of practices (Shiva Namaskar + Sarvebhyo Chant) should be done once a day, before sunrise or after sunset.

  2. Pregnant women should not do Shiva Namaskar, but women can do Shiva Namaskar during their menstrual cycles.

  3. People with hernia can do the variations of Shiva Namaskar, on a chair or using a cushion.

  4. Have only 2 meals a day. The first meal should be after 12:00 noon. If you feel hungry, you can drink the peppercorn-honey-lemon juice and water mixture again. Note: "One should not eat or drink anything before , after or in between the 2 meals, not even Tea or Coffee. Only plain water or the Peppercorn Mixture is ok to have."

  5. Avoid smoking, consuming alcohol and eating non-vegetarian food

Image by Lesly Juarez



  • Do 12 cycles of Shiva Namaskar on empty stomach.


Aum Sarvebhyo Devebhyo Namaha
(We bow down to all the celestial and divine beings)
Aum Pancha Bhutaya Namaha
(We bow down to the five elements)
Aum Shri Sathguruve Namaha
(We bow down to the Eternal Guru)
Aum Shri Pritviyai Namaha
(We bow down to Mother Earth)
Aum Adi Yogishwaraya Namaha
(We bow down to the One who is the Origin of Yoga)
Aum, Aum, Aum

  • Chant the Sarvebhyo Chant thrice.



  • Chew the Neem or Vilva leaves (soaked in Honey overnight)

  • Consume the peppercorns after mixing them with lemon juice 

  • Eat the groundnuts

NOTE: Please be sure to finish your regular sadhana, such as Shambhavi Mahamudra, before consuming these.

If you are doing the Shiva Namaskar in the evening after sunset, you may consume the above in the morning before 12 noon.


  • Finish your regular sadhana - Shambhavi Mahamudra (only for those who have been initiated into this practice)

Image by Abhijith P
Image by Madhav


  • Light an oil lamp once in the morning and once in the evening. If a lamp is not available, you can use a candle.


  • Chant the Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya chant 12 times in the morning and twelve times in the evening after lighting the lamp.


Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya

Bhuta Bhuta Bhuteshwaraya

Kala Kala Kaleshwaraya

Shiva Shiva Sarveshwaraya

Shambho Shambho Mahadevaya

NOTE: It is best to do this sadhana during the 40-minute sandhya kalas. Sandhya kalas span the period 20 minutes before and after sunrise, noon and sunset.

Note: Empty stomach condition means one should keep a gap of

  • 4 hours for a full meal

  • 2.5 hours for light snacks or fruits

  • 1.5 hours for beverage or juice.




  • The sadhana will culminate on Mahashivratri. The culmination process can be done at the Isha Yoga Center, or at home before a photo of Dhyanalinga.

  • You can download this photo of Dhyanalinga.

  1. It is essential to remain in Jagarana, which means to stay awake the whole night.

  2. Chant the Yoga Yoga Yogeshwaraya chant 112 times.

  3. Offer something to 3 people in need of food or money.

  4. Offer a vilva leaf / neem leaf / leaf with 3 or 5 petals to Dhyanalinga.

  5. Untie the black cloth from your arm and tie it near Nandi in front of Dhyanalinga. For those doing the process in their local centers or homes, burn the black cloth and smear the ashes on your forearms and legs after the culmination process.

The process of tying the cloth in front of Dhyanalinga offers the possibility to dissolve karmic impressions, even after one has left the space. Complete a circumambulation of the parikrama of the 112-foot Adiyogi

For any questions and to register Mahasivaratri Sadhana support, check the following URL: 

Mahasivaratri Sadhana

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