Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Mahashivratri is the day when the Shiva tattva touches the ground, touches the earth. The consciousness which is always ten inches above the material ground; the aura, the ethereal world which is ten inches above the surface, touches the earth element on Mahashivrathri day.
So, it is very useful for people to keep awake and meditate on that day.
Do not eat too much, eat very light and do more meditation, then it helps in fulfillment of desires. This is the ancient belief.
It helps you to grow stronger in your being. It is like a new year for a saadhak (seeker), for spiritual growth, spiritual attainment and worldly attainment, so it is considered auspicious.
The night on this day, when the constellations are in some particular position, is very auspicious for meditation. That is the ancient belief.
That doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen on any other day. Any time your heart is open, your mind is calm and steady, prayers do get answered. But Shivratri day is celebrated with the singing of the ancient vedic chants and a ceremony is done, and it is considered a very auspicious time for a spiritual aspirant.
It is the wedding of the material with the spiritual.
The material which is eight fold came close to the ethereal which is also eight fold.
So what the eight fold prakriti (nature)? Earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind, intellect and ego; all these come in contact with the subtle eight, i.e., the Shiva Tattva.
People usually eat very light, some fruits or something and fast. I don’t recommend you fasting without anything. Take some fruits or some light easily digestible food and spend the day awake and at night meditate. You don’t need to do meditation all night. Meditate for some time.
We will have satsang and some celebrations. That’s it!
In fact every day is a very auspicious day because we do satsang every day.
In ancient times, people used to say okay, if you cannot do every day, at least one day in a year, on Shivratri day, do meditation and keep awake.
Wake the Divinity that is deep within you. That is the message. The Divinity is within you, let it wake up!