What is the importance of Shiva Panchakshari Mantra?


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    Vivek Sinha

    Om Namah Shivaya – Shaivites and Shiva Bhaktas consider the panchakshara mantra as the supreme mantra. Chanting the panchakshari mantra on special days dedicated to Lord Shiva, especially during the Maha Shivratri is considered extremely powerful. What is the meaning and the significance of the shiva panchakshari mantra?


    Sidharth Trivedi

    Panchakshara is the divine five syllables that is most important and the holiest mantra for all devotees of Bhagwan Shiva. As the name suggests it is made up of five letters/ syllables. This great mantra is Namah Shivaya. The five syllables in this mantra are na – maH – shi – vA – ya.

    The core of the vedas:

    The Holy Five Syllables namaH shivAya is the core of vedas. It is the essence of the very significant chapter of vedas – the shata rudrIyam or rudra sUktam. This supreme mantra of veda samhita while hailing the God as the Lord of everything of the worlds, salutes the God as namaH shivAya cha shivatarAya cha.

    Meaning of the Shiva Panchakshari mantra

    The meaning of this ultimate mantra is profound. The puranas and the vedic scriptures talk in a very detailed and elaborate manner of its meaning and significance and hail its ultimateness. Here only a simple meaning is presented to start with.

    The word shiva means auspiciousness and perfection. It refers to the God Who is Perfect without any kind of dependency on anything external to make it complete. Obviously because of this self-perfection, It is completely blissful and ever auspicious. (All other auspicious things are in one way or the other dependent on the external circumstances etc.) The prefix namaH is the mantra of salutation. The mantra Namah Shivaya invokes the Perfect God shiva.

    The subtle meaning of the Shiva Panchakshari mantra is:
    namaH – not mine; shivAya – belongs to shiva. It is negating the ahankAra (ego) and realizing everything to belong to Lord Shiva.

    Various Panchaksharas

    Panchakshara has five letters, so is Lord shiva with five faces. Depending upon which letter the Panchakshara is starting with, the Panchakshara gets the name of a face of the God. Namah Shivaya is the Sadyojata Panchakshara and Shivaya Namah is the Aghora Panchakshara or the Aghora mantra. Similarly the other Panchaksharas also get their names.

    As the PanchAkshara Namah Shivaya is at the core of the vedas, it is referred to as the vedic way panchAkshara. Shivaya Namah is the panchAkshara which is used very much in the Agamic worship of the Lord. So it is referred as the Agamic way panchakshara.

    There are various panchaksharas as stUla panchAkshara, sUkshma panchAkshara, atisUkshma panchAkshara etc. each of which has specific importance. The tantric scriptures such as thirumandhiram have more details about them.


    Manisha Arora

    Lord Shiva – 5 important works related with creation

    1. creation, (srishti), 2. Preservation ( paalan) 3. destruction (singhaar), 4. veiling grace (udhaar/Tirodhana shakti) 5. Liberation / Salvation (Anugraha/Mukti), 4 works in world only 1 remains in me. My devotess see this in 5 elements.

    Creation in earth, Preservation in water, Destruction in fire, Increase in air, Liberation and blessings in sky, a wise man should get that to carry the weight of these 5 elements I have 5 faces, means in 4 directions 4 faces and 5th face in between, you made me happy to worship me and took the works from me like 1st creation and 2nd preservation other two (2) works took my avtars Rudar and Mahesh, only no one is able to take the work of liberation, for this knowlege one should chant AUM, this mantra is my soul and to chant this mantra one remembers me, from my North Face derives A shabd (letter) and from West U shabd (letter) and from South Ma shabd (letter) and from East Boodi shabd (letter) and related with from middle derives complete AUM. Just like from A shabd derives Na and from U derives Ma and from Ma derives Shi and from Boodi Shabd derives Va and from the middle face Ya so from this makes Namah Shivaya. All mantras and vedas are derived from this mantra and this mantra is the action of liberation.

    Lord Shiva describes the meaning of ‘OMKAR’ to them. He said that OMKAR signified the world and contained the power of both Shiva and Shakti. This powerful mantra gives all kinds of worldly accomplishment as well as salvation. Lord Shiva wrapped up cloth on brhma and vishnu and initated them this mantra three (3) times, they both bind their hands and prayed to Lord Shiva, hey pirbhu you are nirakaar (nirgunn) even all is your light( parkash hy), Therefore salutations to you, you are the owner of all, you are Aum, Aum is your Ling, Creator of the world salutations to you, Saltutaions to the 5face Mahadev.

    Lord Shiva: who will chant this five letter mantra Namah Shivaya, he will get my blessings. My Ling and Murti (Statue) pooja are same but Ling pooja is best. Ling pooja should be with Aum mantra and Murti pooja with Namah Shivaya mantra.

    Panchakshara is a Mahamantra which is composed of five letters, Namah Shivaya. A Mantra is that which removes all obstacles and miseries of one who reflects on it and bestows eternal bliss and immortality. Panchakshara is the best among seven crores of Mantras. There are seven Skandhas in Yajurveda. There is Rudradhyayi in the centre of the middle Skandha. In this Rudradhyayi there are one thousand Rudra Mantras. Namah Shivaya or the Shiva Panchakshara Mantra shines in the centre of these one thousand Rudra Mantras.

    Yajurveda is the head of Parmehsvara, who is the Veda Purusha. Rudram which is in the middle is the face, Panchakshara is His eye, Shiva which is in the centre of the ‘Namah Shivaya’ is the apple of the eye. He who does Japa of this Panchakshara is freed from births and deaths and attains eternal bliss. This is the emphatic declaration of the Vedas. This Panchakshara is the body of Lord Nataraja. This is the abode of Lord Shiva. If you add ‘Aum’ to the ‘Namah Shivaya’ in the beginning, then it becomes Shadakshara or six-lettered Mantra. ‘Aum Namo Mahadevaya’ is the eight-lettered Mantra or Ashtakshara.

    Panchakshara is of six kinds, viz., Sthula Panchakshara (Namahs Shivaya), Sukshma Panchakshara (Shivaya Namah), Karana Panchakshara (Shivaya Shiv), Mahakarana Panchakshara (Shvaya), Mahamanu or Mukti Panchakshara (Shi).

    ‘Namah’ means ‘Prostration’. ‘Shvaya Namah’ means ‘Prostration unto Lord Shiva’. The Jiva is the servant of Lord Shiva from the Deha-Drishti. ‘Namah’ represents Jivatma. ‘Shiva’ represents Paramatma. ‘Aya’ denotes ‘Aikyam’ or identity of Jivatma and Paramatma. Hence ‘Shivaya Namah’ is a Mahavakya, like ‘Tat Tvam Asi’ which signifies the identity between the individual and the supreme soul.

    Pranava denotes the external form (husk) of the Lord (paddy) and Panchakshara, the internal Swarupa (rice). Pranava and Panchakshara are one. The five letters denote the five actions or Pancha Krityas of the Lord, viz., Srishti (creation), Sthiti (preservation), Samhara (destruction), Tirodhana (veiling) and Anugraha (blessing). They also denote the five elements and all creations through the combination of the five elements.

    ‘Na’ represents Tirodhana; ‘Ma’, the Mala or impurity; ‘Shi’, Lord Shiva; ‘Va’, the Arul Shakti; and ‘Ya’, the individual soul.

    Take bath or wash your face, hands and feet. Wear Bhasma and Rudraksha Mala. Sit on Padmasana or Sukhasana, facing East or North, in a quiet place or room. Repeat silently the Panchakshara and meditate on the form of Lord Shiva. Keep the image in the heart or space between the eyebrows.

    If you practise meditation regularly, your heart will be purified. All Samskaras and sins will be burnt in moments. You will attain Shiva-Yoga-Nishtha or Nirvikalpa Samadhi. You will attain the glorious Shiva-Para or Shiva-Gati and become one with Lord Shiva. You will enjoy the eternal bliss of Shivanandam and become immortal.



    @Sidharth Trivedi
    Thanks for this info.



    Very insightful, thanks for the information. Om Namah Shivayah


    Midhun Narayan

    Let me give quotes/ views of various spiritual gurus on the Shiva Panchakshari mantra. Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami writes that,

    ‘Na is the Lord’s concealing grace, Ma is the world, Shi stands for Siva, Va is His revealing grace, Ya is the soul.’ He continues,elaborating,that,”the five elements, too, are embodied in this ancient formula for invocation. Na is earth, Ma is water, Shi is fire, Va is air, and Ya is ether, or akāsa. Many are its meanings.”

    Paramahamsa Muktananda also eloquently explains this point and tells of how the Om Namah Shivaya mantra benefits ones mind and spiritual path, he speaks of the nadi’s, the channels of pranas and the purity of mind. Repeating this mantra rids the mind of tamas and rajas, making it suitable for lofty spiritual experience.

    Paramahamsa Muktanandaji has said the following words in relation to the Om Namah Shivaya mantra:-

    “Underlying this mantra is a great secret. As we chant the five syllables Namah Shivaya, the five elements that comprise the body are purified. Each of the syllables corresponds to one of these elements: the syllable na to the earth element, the syllable ma to the water element, the syllable shi to the fire element, the syllable va to the air element, and the syllable ya to the ether element. Each syllable purifies its corresponding element. As long as the body and the mind are not completely pure, we cannot fully benefit from our spiritual practice. Therefore, we repeat Om Namah Shivaya to help cleanse them.”

    In a certain Yoga Magazine, Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati has expounded somewhat on the vibrational quality of the mantra and its relationship with the main chakras, he says

    “When we repeat the mantra Om Namah Shivaya, for example, we are not becoming a Shaivite, we are not adoring or worshipping a deity, but we are stimulating the force of these different chakras. ” Om” is the sound of ajna chakra which is responsible for clarity, for creativity, for the intuitive faculty of mind. Ya or Yam is the mantra of anahata, Va or Vam is the mantra of swadhisthana. Similarly Na, Ma, Sha are different sounds or syllables corresponding to the different chakras.”

    Subramuniyaswami again offers some elucidation on the mantra’s relationship with the chakras, and other matters such as prana and the astral. The sage says that

    “When Om Namah Shivaya is repeated, we go through the chakras, Na Ma Si Va Ya Aum. The Aum is in the head chakra. Within Namah Sivaya is each of the elements–earth, water, fire,air and ether–which in the mind are transmuted into all-pervasive consciousness, and that is also transmuted into the great chakra way above the head at the end of the Aum. In just the breath, the space of time between the next repetition of “Aum Namah Sivaya Aum Namah Sivaya Aum Namah Sivaya,” the pranas, having reached Parashiva, fall back into the spiritual, mental, astral and physical worlds, blessing them all with new energy, new life and new understanding. “Namah Sivaya Aum, Namah Sivaya Aum, Namah Sivaya Aum, Namah Sivaya Aum” is the constant process of life. It is the essence of life itself.”


    Aditya Hridayam

    Very valuable information given by others.
    Here I read the Shiva Panchakshari Mantra Japa on special days dedicated to Lord Shiva like Maha Shivaratri.
    Definitely this information will helpful for you.

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