“Human presence is a creative and turbulent sacrament, a visible sign of invisible grace”. John O'Donohue

Sunday, 13 January 2013

Om Namah Shivaya

Lord Shiva is special to Yogis. Although most Western Yogis don't embrace the entirety of Hindu polytheism, it is difficult to ignore the presence of Shiva the Yogi in the sacred history of the practice.

I have my own very deep relationship with Him as an aspect of the divine. Shiva embodies the mystical heart of yoga, the divine spark, the source. He invites me to re-connect with what it actually means to be a yogi.

"Shiva’s yoga  is the supreme spiritual essence that illuminates both the esoteric and exoteric aspects of life to their fullest.  It encompasses both monism and pluralism, covers theism and deism, clarifies dualism and non duality; this is its beauty, Shiva is the fountainhead in whom all opposites are reconciled.

Concisely, Shiva’s philosophy is : 
  • That in the beginning all is Shivashakti.
  • A primal urge, pratham spanda, arises in Shiva to roll out a whole universe.
  • His Shakti enables him to do exactly that.We honour her as jag janani, mother  nature.
  • All creation forget their pristine beginning, by a spiritual concussion, called anava mala, the primal forgetting. Once the divine beginning is forgotten, other limitations are quick to creep in, omniscience becomes worldly conditioned knowledge,omnipotence becomes limited.
  • Specific ability, and omnipresence is reduced to a body/collective bodies.
  • All creatures accumulate experiences in  their worldly sojourn. This is almost always in  pairs: joy sadness,hot cold, dark light and so on.We understand that all is transient.
  • We begin to look for permanence. The journey back to pristinity begins. We do arrive." 
from http://www.shaivism.in/mysticism.htm 

The book "The Ancient Power of Sanskrit Mantra and Ceremony: Volume I" by Thomas Ashley-Farrand defines Om Namah Shivaya as:
"This mantra has no direct translation. The sounds relate directly to the principles which govern each of the first five chakras on the spine...Earth, water, fire, air, ether. Notice that this does not refer to the chakras themselves which have a different set of seed sounds, but rather, the principles which govern those chakras in their place. A very rough, non-literal translation could be something like, 'Om and salutations to that which I am capable of becoming.' This mantra will start one out on the path of subtle development of spiritual attainments. It is the beginning on the path of Siddha Yoga, or the Yoga of Perfection of the Divine Vehicle."

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