Today, we celebrate MAHA SHIVARATRI, the Hindu festival which honours Shiva, the Lord of Transformation. Shiva, whose name means the Auspicious One, is one of the three main deities of Hinduism, the other two being Brahma, the Creator, and Vishnu, the Protector. A great ascetic, Shiva is forever in deep meditation in his abode, Mount Kailasa in the Himalayas. He is shown either meditating or in the form of Nataraj, the Lord of Dance, where he dances to dissolve creation so that Brahma can then recreate it. And so the cycle goes on... Shiva is known by many names: NEELAKANTHA, Blue-Necked, from having consumed poison to save the world from destruction. TRYAMBAKA, Three-Eyed. The sun is his right eye, the moon the left, the third eye on his forehead being the eye of wisdom, which looks beyond the obvious.
RUDRA, the Roarer, mightiest of the mighty. The cobra around his neck represents the dormant energy Kundalini, the spiritual serpent power coiled in us. Shiva is moody, free of inhibitions, easy to please, protector of the downtrodden, and has the power to alter the laws of destiny. Thus, he is known as the God of mercy and kindness — he protects his devotees from evil and blesses them with grace, knowledge and peace. Shiva is inseparable from Shakti, the divine female power — the two are One, as the absolute state of being: there is no Shiva without Shakti and no Shakti without Shiva. The symbol of Lord Shiva, the Shiva Linga, consists of both lingam (the male organ) and yoni (the female organ), representing Shiva and Shakti united — the totality of all created existence. Today, we chant mantras dedicated to Shiva. These are mainly used to dispel fear, particularly the fear of change. They help cleanse the body, mind and soul of the stress, rejection, failure, depression and other negative forces that we face in our daily lives. Here are two very powerful Shiva mantras to repeat when we feel weak, drained of mental and/or physical energy:
ॐनमःशिवाय Om Namah Shivaya
“I offer my salutations to Shiva”
Shiva here represents the supreme reality, the inner Self which resides within all of us. Thus, chanting this mantra we call to the divine in ourselves. It can be repeated it any way we want to.
🔥 ॐत्र्यम्बकंयजामहे सुगन्धिंपुष्टिवर्धनम् उर्वारुकमिवबन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीयमामृतात्
Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pusti Vardhanam
Urva Rukam Iva Bandhanam
Mrityor Muksiya Maa'mrtat
"Om, we pray to the three-eyed lord Shiva, who is fragrant and who sustains all living beings.
May we be liberated from death. May he lead us to immortality, just as the ripe cucumber
easily separates from the binding stalk."
This mantra is said to be the most powerful Shiva mantra. Chanting this mantra brings courage to our life and helps overcome the fear of death and other kinds of material suffering.
Har Har Mahadev! May Lord Shiva shower blessings on all, and give power and strength to