Eastern philosophy has always contained a level mysticism expressed by its decisively succinct statements, behind which there is always a depth of wisdom, revealing the truth of many concepts and contribute to a perceptual change of worldview. Mantras at the moment are a poorly known part of the heritage of Hinduism. However, the changes that they bring to people’s lives have generated a great deal of attention. Shiva mantra is one of the hallmarks of Hindu philosophy and has the most powerful effect.
Who Is Shiva?
Shiva is a model of spiritual self-improvement and self-realization. He managed to overcome the three lower desires: the desire for gold, for a woman, and for property. Moreover, he also managed to overcome selfishness, illusion, and karma. In one hand Shiva holds a Trident with which he controls the world.
The white color of Shiva indicates absolute spiritual purity. The presence of the third eye indicates a great ability to see through time and space. This is how Shiva penetrates into all the mysteries of the universe.
Each detail of the image of Shiva has a special symbolic meaning, and the deity itself is a model of detachment from worldly cares and liberation of consciousness for spiritual development.
Shiva is the God of non-duality, eternally situated in Samadhi, outside of Samsara and free from the dual perception of reality. Therefore, Shiva mantra is able to release one from future rebirths.
Shiva-Mahayogi was a Great Yogi and the First Guru, who gave the world the benefit of knowing the way of Yoga, Tantra, and Liberation. He is ascetic, detached from the world but influences the material world.
The Shaivites worship Shiva as the basis of the world, Parabrahman or Purusha (the Great Spirit, the absolute), absorbing the manifested world at the end of each cycle of creation.
Shiva Mantra Meaning
The main Shiva mantra, consisting of five sound combinations:
“OM NAMAH SHIVAYA”
OM sound contains a model of the future Universe, controlled by the forces of destruction (SO), maintenance (LAN), and creation (CHA). It is based on the energies of five elements reflected in the mantra:
- earth (NA)
- water (MAH)
- fire (SHI)
- air (VA)
- ether (YA).
These elements are manifested not only in the entire Universe but also in the human body and the five senses. Therefore, Shiva Mantra chanting frees the mind from the power of the 5 senses (Pratyahara) and makes a man master over his senses. It also cleanses the five elements in the human body, bringing them into perfect form. And one of the translations of the mantra “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” sounds like “let the elements of the universe stay in me in their full manifestation.”
For the followers of Advaita Vedanta (the doctrine of non-duality), the mantra “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” contains the meaning of the indivisibility of the individual soul (a drop in the ocean) and Brahman (A single Ocean of Consciousness/Energy). “NAMAH” is an individual soul. It is limited and perceives itself separately from the absolute and the whole Creation. Therefore, meeting the Absolute – Paramatman – SHIVA, the soul bows its head and let go of ego in front of the Greatness of Unity. “YA” is a syllable-bond uniting the individual soul and the Paramatman (Universal Spirit). It indicates the connection between the part and the whole, God as the absolute and a man as part of Creation.
And the paradox is that the meeting of the whole and the part is not in the outside, but in the inside, not in heaven, but in the open heart and pure consciousness of the person himself.
“You are not a drop in the ocean. You are the entire ocean in a drop.”
Shiva Mantra Benefits
This mantra brings changes in all spheres of human life, activating the energy of the Universe. Its practice has a beneficial effect on health, purifies the aura and space around the person, attracts the positive energy of the cosmos.
The very process of chanting “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” calms the mind and stops thoughts (Dharana and Dhyana) and as the mantra of the Liberator and destroyer of illusion (Maya) leads to Samadhi and gives liberation (Mukti, Moksha). Unlike other mantras, giving temporary wealth, prosperity, siddhi, love, etc., Shiva Mantra bestows eternal good – Satchitananda (being/truth, knowledge/consciousness, bliss) and liberation.
Therefore, the benefit of the Shiva comes through destruction:
- the awakening of Truth is possible only through the destruction of illusion;
- the awakening of spirit is possible only through the destruction of the ego;
- immortality in Eternity is possible only through the death of all temporary and transitory.
Shiva mantra also helps one to obtain their desires. However, Shiva does it, based on his role as a destroyer of illusions. Ordinary people have different contradictory desires and impulses in their minds. Man, sometimes, doesn’t even know himself enough to know what he truly wants. These innumerable desires, collide with each other, and in the end, we never get what we want.
The destroyer of all false, Shiva cleanses the mind from layers of contradictory aspirations and ideas. Shiva helps us to see our true-selves and liberates us from other people’s opinions, false ideas, conditionality, restrictions, etc. He clarifies our true desires, our Dharma, and purpose.
With the mantra “OM NAMAH SHIVAYA” the impossible becomes possible. It is very logical – the purer the mind is from the concepts, limitations, and conditions, the more faith and opportunities we have.
Shiva mantra is one of the most powerful protective mantras that can be read during danger, in a dream or if you are attacked by negative spirits. It is also one of the most powerful mantras of the fulfillment of desires, giving all possible and desired benefits.
OM NAMAH SHIVAYA Mantra:
- pacifies the wandering mind;
- activates the third eye;
- gives great protection and patronage of Shiva;
- reveals the highest knowledge of Tantra;
- brings 10 000 different blessings (health, luck, power, knowledge, wealth, protection, etc.).
Shiva Mantra Practice
The Shiva mantra practice does not require preliminary preparation of cleansing the mind from negative thoughts. The best time for Shiva mantra practice is 4 a.m. However, if you can’t wake up so early you can practice it at any convenient time. There are also no strict requirements for the technique of practice.
The Shiva Mantra practice requires reading the Shiva Mantra 108 times daily.
It is preferable to use Rudraksha prayer beads for Shiva Mantra chanting. But if you don’t have this kind of beads you may use any other kind.
There are three basic ways of chanting of the Shiva Mantra:
- in the mind.
For beginners, the easiest way to achieve concentration is a loud chanting. It helps to discipline thoughts faster. Also, it makes it easier to remember and visualize the symbols of the mantra. Loud chanting neutralizes sounds that can distract you.
The only strict rule for the chanting is you should never interrupt the mantra with the breath in mid-sentence!
While you’re chanting the mantra you should distract yourself from extraneous thoughts. Try to concentrate on internal feelings, to identify yourself with the melody and the sound of the mantra. Such an approach provides a quick effect if the purpose of the practice is to solve specific urgent problems and life situations.