Festival - Shivaratri
The name Shiva means ‘all-auspicious’, and wherever there is the mercy of Lord Shiva, auspiciousness and religiousness prevails. Even though Lord Shiva appears to be in the association of ghosts and demons, his actual transcendental position is that he is very kind to individuals who are in the darkness of the mode of ignorance. He is so compassionate on the lowest of the low, that he gives such individuals shelter and gradually elevates them to spiritual understanding. This is the explanation of Lord Shiva’s transcendental position according to authoritative Vedic literature.
In the creation of the Supreme Lord there are different kinds of living beings, who exercise their minute amount of free will in different modes. Lord Vishnu takes charge of the persons in the mode of goodness, who are advanced Vaishanavas or Krishna conscious. Lord Brahma takes charge of those who are very much attached to material activities and are in the mode of passion. Lord Shiva is so kind that he takes charge of persons who are in the lower modes.
Lord Shiva as a truly self realized soul, is the epitome of compassion towards other living entities. An example of this can be seen in his agreeing to consume the lethal poison ‘halahal’ that surfaced during the great churning of the causal ocean by the demons and the demigods. Out of concern for the plight of the demons and the demigods, he scooped the entire poison in his hand, drank it and by his great mystic powers held it in his throat. So powerful was the poison, that it turned his throat blue, giving him the name ‘Neelakantha’ (blue-throated).