OM Namah Shivaaya MahaMantra
The Om Namah Shivaya mahamantra or chant consists of six syllables – om, na, mah, shi, vaa, ya. When chanted properly, each syllable activates certain energy centers within our bodies as we meditate upon the energy of Lord Shiva. It is often chanted 108 times in rapid succession (or even 1008 times) for purification of the chakras. Shiva is often referred to as the part of the Hindu trinity which has dominion over death and destruction. Shiva is also considered the greatest of the yogis, the lord of meditation, and the lord of all that is mystic and mysterious in hindu practices. Legend has it that the holy river Ganges (or Ganga) is in fact a representation of Lord Shiva’s long hair.
Some texts refer to the five letters as the forms of Shiva – Na-gendra (one who wears a garland of snakes, नगेनद्र), Ma-ndakini Salila (one who is bathed by the water of the Ganges, मन्दाकिनी सलिला), Shi (the supreme Lord), Va-shishta (one who is praised by the sages like Vashishta, वशिश्ट), and Ya-ksha (one who takes the form of Yaksha, यक्ष).
Summary of the Om Namah Shivaya Mantra
Om or Aum is the pranava or seed mantra of all mantras. The two syllables na- and mah- can be translated as “I humbly bow to you”. The three syllables shi-vaa-ya invoke Lord Shiva and all his energies to bless us and lead us to the highest state of peace and meditation. The mantra should ideally be chanted twice a day (morning and evening) for 108 times each. The two words, namah and shivaya, are also referred to as the panchakshara (five letter) chant. It is said that those who chant these five holy letters while meditating on Lord Shiva will be blessed by visions of Shiva – the Lord of the yogis.
Shiva Gayatri Mantra in Sanskrit
The Shiva Gayatri is a variation of the Gayatri Mantra sung in praise of Lord Shiva, the hindu god of meditation, penance, and destruction. This particular form of the mantra follows the original 24 syllable syntax of the Gayatri mantra.
ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व:
ॐ तदपुरुषाय विद्वमहे ।
तन्नो रुद्र प्रचोदयात् ।।
Summary of the Rudra Gayatri Mantra
Aum. Let us invoke the three realms of earth (-bhur), wind (-bhuvah) and fire (-swaha). Aum. Let us invoke the superlative (-tad) male (-purusha) and omniscient lord (-vidvamahe). Let us meditate and focus upon (-dheemahi) the supreme (-maha) lord (-devaaya). Let us ask Shiva (-rudra) to provide us inspiration and guidance (-prachodayaat) in our spiritual journeys.