Observations placeholder

The Means of achieving spiritual experience - Shaivism – 06 Enacting ritual and ceremony - Festivals and processions



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

Alain Danielou – Gods of Love and Ecstasy: The traditions of Shiva and Dionysus

As the principle of life, Shiva is the god of Youth, Erotic Activity, and Renewal. His festivals take place at the beginning of Spring, the beginning of the year itself (March-April), when the whole of nature is in flower, casting its seed to the wind, as well as in the Autumn when nature yields its fruit.

This succession of apparent death and renewal is found in all aspects of life. Shiva, like Dionysus, is the god of Nature and Vegetation. Their festivals are those of the Winter solstice and Spring.

Holi, the festival of Shiva, is the Indian carnival and Spring festival, The Great Dionysia were celebrated after the full moon in March, immediately after the Feast of the Dead, because Dionysus brings with him the Spring, and the renewal of life. Vegetation deities were supposed to spend a part of the year underground, in thekingdom of the dead, and such is the case with Dionysus and Osiris.

Shiva, too, is the lord of life and death, [creation and destruction, as well as maintenance].

The source of the experience


Concepts, symbols and science items


Science Items

Activities and commonsteps



Enacting ritual and ceremony