On the first Shivaratri night Sri Swami Vishwananda gave a wonderful speech. Here are his words summarised by Rishi Tulsidasananda:
According to the Shiva Purana, Shiva is the one who transcends the mind (all the active things). This is based on the 5 states. When Shiva is portrayed as an ascetic it also stands for the control of the mind. Where the mind dissolves into the consciousness.
Shiva stands for the Absolute. But to perceive the Absolute one has to be in tune with It. To be in tune with It the mind has to unite with the heart.
State one: The mind usually is attracted to the outside. We think this is the ultimate, but then we are stuck to that.
State two: The next state is when the mind gets confused. Because when the reality begins to reveal Itself the mind also rebels back.
State three: Next state is where after the confusion of the mind, the mind starts to calm down. Here you perceive certain things that cannot be seen by the physical eyes. It is a glimpse of the reality. Still it is not the end.
State four: Next is the “Deep Sleep”. Now the mind is completely quiet. Complete absolute calmness. In that state one is brought to the next level.
State five: The last level is when one is aware of one’s true Reality. Now the mind is changed. Now the mind is turned towards the consciousness. The mind become like Shiva. Here the mind joins the consciousness, but even before that the mind travels through the heart. Before the consciousness one must travel through Prem, not the love on the outside in limitation. Prem is the Unconditional Love, the essence of who you are.
The heart opens like a blossom, opening to the consciousness. At that moment only, the reality of your True Self is revealed.
It seems like a long time, but it could be done in a second. With Guru Kripa, everything is given with just a touch of the Guru.
Four things Shiva wants from you:
1. Know yourself
2. Know the relation between you, God and Guru
3. Try your best to attain the truth and the consciousness, and help others to attain it also
4. Surrender to the Guru. Because without the Grace of the Master, nothing is possible, but with the Grace everything becomes more easy than you can think of.
These are the 4 messages Shiva has given to the world, so you can attain the reality.