Mahashivratri 2020: How Isha Foundation's #DontYawnTillDawn challenge inspired youth
Isha Foundation

Mahashivratri is considered one of the most sacred festival nights in India. Celebrated last week, the “darkest night of the year”, saw Lord Shiva devotees immersed in devotion. With Shiva in their hearts, the devotees who chanted mantras fasted and prayed all day.

Devotees remained awake all night and also practised intensive meditation to praise Lord Shiva and draw maximum benefits from the divine night. What stood out this year is the participation from the youth who took up the “Don’t Yawn Till Dawn” challenge by Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation.

According to the spiritual leader, who gained popularity among the millennials during the “Youth and Truth Series - #UnplugWithSadhguru”, the planetary positions on Mahashivratri night are such that there is a powerful natural upsurge of energy in the human system.

“To stay awake and sit erect throughout the Mahashivratri night is enormously beneficial for one’s physical and spiritual well-being,” he explained.

Thousands of devotees gathered at the Isha Yoga Centre to participate in the night-long celebrations that was conducted by Sadhguru with over 10 million watching the live streaming of the event on Youtube.

The festivities included performances by younger bands like Parthiv Gohil and his troupe, singer Karthik, Kabir Cafe and Sounds of Isha. The performances broke the audience into joyful dancing and also attracted many admirers in the online space making #DontYawnTillDawn as one of the top trends on Twitter on Mahashivratri night.

“Will stay awake watch the live telecast from India Isha Yoga Center binge eating on Lotus and chia seed raita... An Isha Center recipe that is just divine! #DontYawnTillDawn,” shared a user who goes by the name Arwa Aziz on Twitter.

“Dispelling of the darkness from our system happens naturally on this darkest night of the year #DontYawnTillDawn #JagoForShiva #Mahashivaratri2020,” shared another user.

Jaideep Mathur from Dubai tweeted a video of devotees grooving to the Mahashivratri celebrations being live streamed for a bunch of audience.

“#DontYawnTillDawn celebrating MahaShivratri in Dubai with believers of Sadhguru! Blessed! Om Namah Shivay,” he shared on Twitter.

Love for Shiva also poured in from various parts of the world.

Sharing excitement about the Mahashivratri celebrations at Isha, Nastya from New York said, “I love Music, I love parties and all the parties I have been to in New York, they would never ever stand to what Mahashivratri party is.”

“It is not even a party, it is not even a festival, it is just madness, it is wild! For 12 hours, you just keep going, dancing and dancing, so exuberant like.. this energy is all over the place. Everyone must experience that, it's amazing,” she added.

Machel Montano, popular soca singer from Trinidad, also sent his love on Mahashivratri.

Sending greetings from Russia, Dmitry, a Shiva devotee, who is visually challenged, said, “My disability see is not diminishing, but on the contrary sharpens my sensitivity to the energy and whatever is happening. I want to wish peace, love and joy to everyone.”

With Mahashivratri fever catching up among the youngsters, the “yogi party” at Isha Yoga Center at Velliangiri foothills, which culminated with powerful meditation and mantra chanting by thousands present at the gathering, made for an unforgettable experience for the devotees.

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