• 1 Mahadev
    Mahayogi, Bhairav, Rudra, Shankar, Bholenath
  • 2 Omkar
    Maharudra, Aasutosh, Chandrasekhar, Nageshwar
  • 3 Bholenath
    Shiv, Neelkanth, Aushotosh, Gangadhar, Mahakaal, Kapali
  • 4 Bholenath
    Om Namah Shivay

His name means The Auspicious One. He is Pure Consciousness, Chidanandaroopa - the form of joy that pure consciousness takes. He is the oldest god known to mankind, and more interestingly is perhaps the oldest living god, tracing a genealogy of worship that is easily five thousand years old. Naturally, therefore, he is described as the God with no lineage. Like Yahweh, who may be his only contemporary, his name was not to be taken in vain. In fact his name was not to be uttered at all. He is the howler, Rudra, when he first appears to us in the Rig Veda. He is Raudra Brahman, the wild God of the Hymns. He is also Nataraja, the elegant King of the Dance, and in fact of all the fine arts. He is the Lord of yoga, the culmination of the universe, the cause of its dissolution - yet always transcending such petty events.

To attempt an overview of Shiva in one essay is an act of extreme idiocy. I shall therefore seek to communicate some of the flavors that are associated with Shiva, trusting that time will be vouchsafed us to explore him in detail as we grow as a web-site. Shiva has been around for so long that entire encyclopedias on him are necessary to get just a bird's eye view. This god is perhaps the single most important influence on the arts and culture of the Indian subcontinent. In a very real sense, you find Shiva all over the country, he is in fact the country, so closely interwoven are the myths of his actions with the culture and geography of the land. So strong is Shiva's hold on the imagination that all local area gods which seek to gain in prestige, or are sought to be subverted to the main body of the Hindu religion, end up being described as various manifestations of Shiva. If the god lives on a hill, a forest or a cave then there is no way he escapes being but one more aspect of Mahadeva - the great god who loves to linger in hills, forests and caves. This is what has happened to Khandoba in Maharashtra, Skanda in Tamil Nadu and Ayyapan in Kerala to give the three most common examples. In fact another manner of accommodating these local religions was to decree the gods to be sons of Shiva.

The Rig Vedic Shiva was known as Rudra. He was a grim mysterious god, living on the fringes of Vedic society, a god who was so much of an outsider that he was not even entitled to a share in the fire sacrifices. Yet the Vedic pantheon was clearly in awe of this self sufficient Hunter-God. The hymns praise him in all-too-visible anxiety that his strange powers may be aroused, and his name as mentioned was never to be invoked. "We live in dread, and pray that you pass us by", quavers the Rig Vedic verse. Yet it immediately goes on to add that He is the Awakener, who when touched by pleas, grants a thousand kinds of balm that heal.

In a sense Rudra was too much a part of the Life-Force, too acutely felt to be just a god. Rudra punishes Prajapati for the first primordial act of incest and in a sense he is the defender of Dharma ever since. He is also a slayer of a brahmana, Prajapati, in the service of a higher morality, a fact that has caused much anguish to medieval commentators who were busy trying to show brahmanas were gods on earth as well as in heaven. Rudra-Shiva is thus always about living an authentic life, with utter disdain for convention.

This Vedic manifestation of Shiva was thought to be the earliest known(1500 B.C.) before he became the great God of later Hinduism. Then came the discovery of a few seals from the Harrapan civilization (2750 B.C.) and the picture changed completely. The seals show a figure who is so manifestly Shiva that it had to be acknowledged as such, even though it smashed the nice theory that was emerging of invading Aryans destroying the cities of the Indus valley. It is known as the proto-Shiva seal. However, for those who can read the signs and can decode the evidence, this figure is far more important.

He is surrounded by animals, which directly links him up with the Rudra-Pashupatinatha of the Vedas. The tiger, the elephant, and the bull depicted here, all play prominent parts in the Shiva mythology. Even more importantly he is shown in a typical yogic posture, which would indicate the knowledge of the ancient art.

This posture is the Udharva Linga posture (and not the ithyphallic posture as is so easily assumed) and it indicates the triumph over the sexual impulse.. The balls of the feet press into the sacral region behind and beneath the testicles as is shown. The lingam is erect and it presses into the navel, signifying the complete conquest of the sexual energy. He is now Udharva Retas, "he whose semen flows upwards". In the yogic system when you do not dissipate semen through ejaculation, it transforms itself into a food for the brain called ojas, vital energy, and is the source of the creative force that alone can provide you with the fuel to break through into enlightenment. This posture is commonly practiced even today and the udharva linga experience is not uncommon for many spiritual practitioners. Even the founder of Kriya yoga has left an account of precisely this linga entering the navel and the subsequent freedom from all thoughts and desire of lust.

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Shiva has many forms, which are visible in his Panchavaktra form with 5 heads, a combination of all Shiva energies : Aghora (resides in the creamation grounds), Ishana (most often appears as the shivalingam), Tat Purusha (meditating), Varna Deva (the eternal Shiva) and Saddyojat or Braddha Rudra (the old wrathful form). The last also forms the connection to the Rudraksha mala - a rosary made of the dried fruits of the Rudraksha tree.
Another form is the Nataraj. Shiva Nataraj's dance represents both the destruction and the creation of the universe and reveals the cycles of death, birth and rebirth. His Dance of Bliss is for the welfare of the world. In the pose of Nataraj, the King of Dance is giving darshan to his beloved devotees within the "Hall of Consciousness", which is the heart of man. Under his feet, Shiva crushes the demon of ignorance called Apasmara Purusha, caused by forgetfulness. One hand is stretched across his chest and points towards the uplifted foot, indicating the release from earthly bondage of the devotee. The fire represents the final destruction of creation, but the dance of the Nataraj is also an act of creation, which arouses dormant energies and scatters the ashes of the universe in a pattern that will be the design of the ensuing creation.

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Shiva is the god of the yogis, self-controlled and celibate, while at the same time a lover of his spouse (shakti). Lord Shiva is the destroyer of the world, following Brahma the creator and Vishnu the preserver, after which Brahma again creates the world and so on. Shiva is responsible for change both in the form of death and destruction and in the positive sense of destroying the ego, the false identification with the form. This also includes the shedding of old habits and attachments.

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        Worship Of Shiva

On the day of Shivaraatri one should surely accomplish the worship of Lord Shiva.
Lord Sadaashhiva is the Lord of all deities due to whose grace the entire universe exists. Lord Shiva is also called Aughad-daani i.e. one who bestows his grace on the Sadhaks and instils into them fearlessness and power. Lord Shiva is a deity who lives with his family. He is worshipped along with his entire family. Included in this divine family are Mother Parvati, Lord Ganesh, Kaartikeya and Nandi , the bull.
Worship of Lord Shiva is accomplished by the family man for comforts and prosperity in family life, by unmarried young girls for early marriage, by old and infirm for perfect health, by those under some threat for fearlessness and by Yogis and Sanyaasis for spiritual success of the highest order. In other words everyone worships Lord Shiva for fulfilment of respective wishes.
There is none who accomplishes Sadhana of Lord Shiva and whose wishes are not fulfilled. Lord Shiva remains ever eager to bestow boons on his devotees. This is why even Gods, Gandharvas, spirits and Apsaras worship him.
Mahaashivaraatri is a special day on which Lord Shiva is worshipped. The first Shivaling originated in the night of Shivaraatri. It was also in this night that Lord Shiva married Goddess Parvati. This is why the day is also called Shiv Gouri Divas. It is festival of joy. Every person, young or old, man or woman, Yogi or family man should worship Lord Shiva on this day. Lord Shiva is easily pleased even by an offering of a tumbler of water. But more delightful is the worship of the Lord according to the process prescribed by scriptures.
This year Mahaashivaraatri is on 21 February, Wednesday. Every 13th day of both fortnights of the lunar month is also a special day for worshipping Lord Shiva. Monday too is the favourite day of the Lord. One should keep ready sweets, water, milk, curd, sugar, ghee, Panchaamrit (mixture of water, milk, curd, sugar, ghee), sandalwood paste & Bel leaves etc. for the worship. For Sadhana on this day one should have a Siddhi Pradayak Shivaling, Ekadash Rudra Ratna, Paarvati Kriyamaann, Aananad Saafalya and Siddheshwar Rudraksh rosary.

Sadhana Procedure

In the night of Shivaraatri try this Sadhana with the whole family. Place the Shivaling in a large plate. In other plate place Paarvati Kriyamaann along with Aanand Saafalya. All around them place the 11 Rudra Ratnas which represent the Ekadash Rudras or the 11 forms of Lord Shiva. Offer vermilion, rice grains, saffron and Panchaamrit on the articles. Make a mark of sandalwood paste and saffron on the Shivaling. First of all propitiate Lord Shiva by chanting the following Aavaahan Mantra -
Om Namaste Rudra Manyav Uto Ta Ishawe Namah. Baahubhyaamut Te Namah.Eh-yehi Goureesh Pinaakapaanni Shashaankmoule-vrishabhaadhiroodd. Devaadhidevesh Mahesh Nityam Grihaann Poojaam Bhagwan Namaste. Aavaahayaami Devesh-maadimdhyaant-varjitaya. Aadhaaram Sarvalokaanaam-aashritaarth Pradaayinam. Om Umaa-maheshwaraabhyaam Namah Aavaahanam Samarpayaami.
Offer rice grains on Lord Shiva. Then place flowers under the Shivaling chanting -
Om Yaate Rudra Shivaatanoor-aghoraa Paapkaashini. Tayaanastannavaa Shantamayaa Giri-shantaabhichaak-sheehi.
Place sweets on a Bel leaf or flower petals and offer to the Lord chanting thus.
Om Tatpurushaay Vidmahe Mahaadevaay Dheemahi Tanno Rudra Prachodayaat.
Offer sandalwood paste chanting thus.
Om Umaamaheshwaraabhyaam Namah Karodwartnaarthem Chandanam Samarpayaami.
Offer betel leaf chanting thus.
Om Namast-aayudhaayaanaatataay Ghrishnnave. Ubhaabhyaamut Te Namo Baahubhyaantav Dhanvane. Om Umaamaheshwaraabhyaam Namah Mukhshuddhayaarthe Taamboolam Samarpayaami.
Offer some money chanting thus.
Om Hirannyagarbhah Samavart-taagre Bhootasya Jaatah Patirek-aaseet. Sadaadhaar Prithiveendhyaamutemaad Kasmei Devaay Havishaa Vidhem. Om Umaamaheshwaraabhyaam Namah Saangataa Siddhayarthe Hirannyagarbh Dakshinnaam Samarpayaaami.
Offer some water chanting -
Om Id (Goom) Havih Prajananme Astu Dashveer (Goom) Sarvagann (Goom) Swastaye. Aatmasani. Prajaasani Pashusani Lokasanyabhayasanih. Agnih Prajaam Bahulaam Me Karotvannam Payo Reto Asmaasu Dhatsa. Om Umaamaheshwaraabhyaam Namah Neeraajanam Darshayaami.
Offer flowers chanting thus.
Om Yagyen Yagyamayajant Devaastaani Dharmaanni Prathamaanyaasan. Teh Naa Kam Mahimaanah Sachant Yatra Poorve Saadhyaah Santi Devaah. Om Raajaadhiraajaay Prasahyasaahine Namo Vayam Veishravannaay Kurmahe Sa Me Kaamaan Kaamkaamaay Mahyam. Kaameshwaro Veishravanno Dadaatu Kuberaay Veishravannaay Mahaaraajaay Namah.
Offer your prayers chanting thus.
Om Namah Shambhavaay Cha Mayobhavaay Cha Namah Shankaraay Cha Mayaskaraay Cha Namah Shivaay Cha Shivataraay Cha. Tav Tatvam Na Jaanaami Keedrishosi Maheshwar. Yaadrishosi Mahaadev Taadrishaay Namo Namah. Trinetraay Namastubhyam Umaadehaardh-dhaarinne. Trishooldhaarinne Tubhyam Bhootaanaampataye Namah. Gangaadhar Namastubhyam Vrishabh-dhwaj Namostu Te. Aashutosh Namastubhyam Bhooyo Bhooyo Namo Namah.
Put some flowers, fragrance, Bel leaves in water and offer to the Lord. Also offer fruit chanting thus .
Anyathaa Sharannam Naasti Tvamev Sharannam Mam. Tasmaat Kaarunnya Bhaaven Raksh Maam Parameshwar. Raksh Raksh Mahaadev Raksh Treilokyarakshak. Bhaktaanaam Abhayankartaa Traataa Bhav Bhavaarnnavaat. Varad Tvam Varam Dehi Vaanchhitam Vaanchhitaarthad. Anen Safalaarghyen Phaladostu Sadaa Mam.
Take water in which milk has been mixed in a tumbler and pouring a thin stream on the Shivaling chant
Om Namah Shivaay
for fifteen minutes. Those who know Rudra Ashtaadhyaayi can chant it.
Then pray to Lord Shiva thus.
Gatam Paapam Gatam Dukham Gatam Daaridrayamev Cha. Aagataa Sukh Sampati Punnyaani Tav Darshanaat. Devo Daataa Cha Bhoktaa Cha Devroopmidam Jagat. Devam Japati Sarvatra Yo Devah Sohamev Hi. Saadhuvaasaadhu Vaa Karma Yadhyadaacharitam Mayaa. Tat Sarvam Kripayaa Dev Grihaannaaraadhanam Mam.
After this sing the following Aarti
Karpoor Gouram Karunnaavataram Sansaar Saaram Bhujgendra Haaram. Sadaa Vasantam Hridyaarvrinde Bhavam Bhavaani Sahitam Namaami.

Jaya Shiva Om Kaaraa, Bhaj Shiva Om Kaaraa.
Brahmaa Vishnnu Sadaashiva Ardhaangi Dhaaraa       .1.

Om Har Har Har Mahaadev !

Ekaanan Chaturaanan Panchaanan Raje.
Hansaanan Garudaasan Vrishvaahan Saaje       .2.

Om Har Har Har Mahaadev !

Do Bhuj Char Chaturbhuj Dash Bhuj Ati Sohe.
Teeno Roop Nirakhataa Tribhuvan Jan Mohe.       .3.

Om Har Har Har Mahaadev !

Akshmaalaa Vanmaalaa Roondmaalaa Dhaari.
Tripurnaath Muraari Karmaalaa Dhaari.       .4.

Om Har Har Har Mahaadev !

Shwetaambar Peetaambar Baaghaambar Ange.
Sankaadik Garudaadik Bhootaadik Sange.       .5.

Om Har Har Har Mahaadev !

Kar Madhye Ek Mandal Chakra Trishul Dhartaa.
Sukhkartaa Dukh-harataaa Sukh Me Shiv Rahataa.       .6.

Om Har Har Har Mahaadev !

Kaashi Me Vishwanaath Viraaje Nandi Brahmachaari.
Nit Utth Jyot Jalaavat Din Din Adhikaari.       .7.

Om Har Har Har Mahaadev !

Brahmaa Vishnnu Sadaa Shiva Jaanat Avivekaa.
Prannavaakshar Ke Madhye Ye Teeno Ekaa.       .8.

Om Har Har Har Mahaadev !

Trigunn Swaami Kee Aarati Jo Koi Nar Gaave.
Jyaaraa Man Shuddh Ho Jaave,
Jyaaraa Paap Paraa Jaave,
Jyaaraa Sukh Sampati Aave,
Jyaaraa Dukh Daaridraya Jaave,
Jyaaraa Ghar Lakshmi Aave,
Bhannat Bholaanand Swaami, Ratat Shivaanand Swaami
Ichhaa Phal Paave.       .9.

Om Har Har Har Mahaadev !
While singing Aarti of Lord Shiva, move lamp (placed in a plate) in vertical circles clockwise first near his holy feet four times, then near his navel two times, then near his face once and then over his entire form seven times. Thus total fourteen times move lamp thus. Then take water in a Shankh (conch shell) or copper tumbler and sprinkle it all around with a flower chanting thus.
Om Dhyou (Hoo) Shaantirantariksham (Goom) Shaanti (Hi) Prithivi Shaanti Raap (Ha) Shaantiroshadhaya (Ha) Shaanti (Hi) Vanaspataya (Hi) Shaantirvishvedevaa (Ha) Shaanti (Hi) Brahmaa Shaanti (Hi) Sarva (Goom) Shaanti (Hi) Shaanti Rev Shaanti (Hi) Saa Maa Shaanti Redhi.
After Aarti bow before the Lord. Offer flowers to Lord Shiva, Mother Parvati, Lord Ganesh, Kartikeya and seek their blessings. Next chant thus .
Yaani Kaani Cha Paapaani Gyaataagyaat-kritaani Cha. Taani Sarvaanni Nashyanti Pradakshinnam Pade Pade.
If Shiva Mantra is chanted throughout the night then it proves to be a very divine accomplishment. If this is done then early morning sing Guru Aarti and Shiva Aarti. Offer water offered on Shivaling in roots of a Peepal (fig) tree.
Let Shivaling and other articles remain in the worship place.
For fulfilment of various wishes the following mantras of Lord Shiva can be chanted.
Om Shreem Namah Shivaay Om Shreem.     (for wealth)
Om Hreem Gloum Namah Shivaay.     (for riddance from problems)
Om Joom Sah Paalay Paalay Sah Joom Om.     (for riddance from diseases and for longevity)
Om Hreem Hroum Kaarya Siddhim Namah Shivaay.     (for fulfilment of some wish)
These can be chanted while pouring a thin stream of water on the Shivaling.

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Lord Shiva Aarti

Jai Shiv Onkara Har Shiv Onkara,
Brahma Vishnu Sadashiv Arddhagni Dhara.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...

Meaning - Glory to you, O Shiva! Glory to you, O Omkaara! May Brahma, Vishnu and the assembly of other gods, including the great Lord Shiva, relieve me of my afflictions!

Ekanan Chaturanan Panchanan Rajai,
Hansanan Garudasan Vrishvahan Sajai.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...

Meaning - Being the Absolute, True being, Consciousness and Bliss, you play the roles of all the three Gods - Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. As Vishnu, you have but one face, as Brahma four and as Shiva five. They gladden the sight of all who behold them. As Brahma you prefer the back of the swan for your seat, as Vishnu you like to ensconce yourself on the back of Garuda (A large mythological eagle - like bird believed to be the vehicle of Lord Vishnu) and as Shiva you make the sacred bull your conveyance; all these stand ready. O Great Lord, pray rid me of my afflictions!

Do Bhuj Char Chaturbhuj Das Bhuj Te Sohai,
Tinon Roop Nirakhta Tribhuvan Jan Mohai.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...

Meaning - As Brahma, you possess two arms, as Vishnu four and as Shiva (Dashabaahu) ten, all of which look matchlessly lovely. No sooner do the inhabitants of the three spheres behold you than they are all enchanted. O great Lord Omkaara, pray rid me of my afflictions.

Akshaymala Vanmala Mundmala Dhari,
Chadan Mrigmad Sohai Bhale Shashi Dhari.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...

Meaning - You are, O great Lord Omkaara, wearing a garland of Rudraaksha, another of forest flowers the third of skulls; your forehead, glistening in the moonlight which it holds, is smeared with sandal-paste and musk. Pray rid me of my afflictions.

Shvetambar Pitambar Baghambar Ange,
Sankadik Brahmadik Bhootadik Sange.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...

Meaning - O great Lord Omkaara, your body is attired in white and yellow silken clothes and in tiger skin, while in your company are troops of goblins, gods like Brahma and divine seers like Sanaka. Pray rid me of my afflictions.

Kar Men Shreshth Kamandalu Chakra Trishooldharta,
Jagkarta Jagharta Jag Palankarta.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...

Meaning - O great Lord Omkaara, you hold akamandalu (the mendicants water-jar) in one of your hands and in another a trident; you bring joy to all, destroy all distress and sustain the whole world. May you rid me of all my afflictions!

Brahma Vishnu Sadashiv Janat Aviveka,
Pranvakshar Ke Madhye Yah Tinon Eka.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...

Meaning - The ignorant (unwise and stupid) know Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva as three individual gods, but they are all indistinguishably fused into a single mystic syllable ‘OM’. Pray rid me of my afflictions.

Trigun Shiv Ki Aarti Jo Koi Nar Gave,
Kahat Shivanand Swami Manvanchhit Phal Pave.
Om hara hara Mahaadevaa...

Meaning - Says Swami Shivananda, “He who recites this Aarti to the Lord of the three gunas-sattva, rajas and tamas - attains fulfillment of his heart’s desire”. O great Lord Omkaara, may you rid me of my afflictions.

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