Thursday, June 25, 2009


Sri Sri Shiva Mahadeva

Shiva Shakti Mandalam Home Page

The embodied soul is supreme, whole, eternal, consisting of nothing, stainless. It is the ultimate atomic particle, the Natha. It is supreme Shiva, all pervading. It is the ultimate, that jiva, it is Hamsa, the soul of Shakti - Kaulajnananirnaya

The daily puja or worship outlined below is taken from a panchanga or ritual manual. The puja is based on the worship of the lingam, Shiva's emblem and an obvious symbol for the penis.

In Hindu temples devoted to Shiva, the lingam, very often associated with a yoni as its base, is generally placed before an image of Nandi the bull, his vehicle or vahana. Before bowing to the lingam itself, the worshipper touches the testicles of the bull, which sits facing the lingam. Often, the lingam is part of a combined yoni-lingam symbol, representing the male and female sexual organs. Flowers and liquid are poured over the lingam and yoni emblem.

iva is also known as Maheshvar, the great Lord, Mahadeva, the great God, Shambhu, Hara, Pinakadhrik, bearer of the axe and Mrityunjaya, conqueror of death. He is the spouse of Shakti, the goddess. He also is represented by Mahakala and Bhairava, the terrible, as well as many other forms including Rudra. Shiva is often pictured holding the damaru (sound file .wav format: 190K), an hour-glass shape drum, shown below with his trishula. His usual mantra is om namah shivaya.

In the image top left, Shiva is shown as a sadhu, a yogin. He is the Lord of Yoga. On his matted locks is a crescent moon, from which streams the river Ganga. Around his neck and arms are serpents, while he also wears the rudraksha beads sacred to him. He is smeared with ash, as that is all that remains at the dissolution of the universe, which he presides over. This dissolution of the universe comes when his third eye opens, the whole metaphor referring to the realisation of one's own consciousness, which is Shiva. His right hand shows the mudra dispelling fear, while in his left he holds the trident, symbol of the three worlds, on which is bound the damaru. He sits on a tiger skin and on his right is a water pot.

Shiva is fivefold, his five faces being Ishana, Tatpurusha, Aghora, Vamadeva and Sadjyojata, and eightfold (see puja below) as the eight directions. Shiva-Shakti also have a form called Ardhanarishvara, the meditation image showing the devi as red coloured and voluptuous, as one half of the body, the deva as the other half having a terrifying and fierce aspect.

Mahadeva Shiva is also lord of all beings of the underworld, including bhutas (elementals), pretas (ghosts), and pishachas (flesh eaters) and the rest. He is sometimes pictured on a horse, followed by his retinue of siddhas (accomplished ones), bhairavas (terrifying forms of Shiva), yogis and the rest. As Rudra, he is identified with the star Sirius (Sothis), and is the supreme hunter.

The lingam used in Shiva puja is often made of different materials. While the Todala Tantra recommends lingas made of clay, they are also fashioned from quartz, stone, and in the case of the Matrikabheda Tantra, an alchemical work, from a Mercury amalgam.

Shiva Puja

Om I bow to Shiva and the five devatas and offer this scent and flower Om! Om I bow to the Sun and the planets and offer this scent and flower Om! Om I bow to the Guardians of the Directions and offer this scent and flower Om! Om I bow to all Goddesses and offer this scent and flower Om! Om I bow to the guru! (Left) Om I bow to the guru's guru! (Right) Om I bow to the source of the gurus! (Centre) Om I bow to Ganesha. Om namah shivaya. Om hail to Hara. (Establish Linga in North) Om I bow to Maheshvara. (Oblate Linga) Om O One Holding the Trident, truly be here!

Nyasa -- Placing

Om Sham I bow to the thumbs Namah. Om Shim I bow the index fingers Svaha. Om Shum I bow to the middle fingers Vashat. Om Shaim I bow to the ring fingers Hum. Om Shaum I bow to the little fingers Vaushat. Om Shah I bow to the front and back of hands Phat. Om Sham to the heart Namah. Om Shim to the head Svaha. Om Shum to the peak Vashat. Om Shaim to the armour Hum. Om Shaum to the 3 eyes Vaushat. Om Shah to the missile Phat.

Dhyana -- Meditation

Om. Meditate always on Mahesha, like a mountain of silver, with a beautiful crescent Moon as his crest-gem, whose body is as bright as a jewel, gracious of appearance, his hands holding axe, deer, bestowing boons and dispelling fear, seated in the lotus position, surrounded and praised on all sides by immortals, wearing a tiger-skin, seed and sprout of the Cosmos, destroying fear, with five faces and three eyes. (Place a flower on the head. Perform mental worship. Place the flower on the linga.) O Bearer of the Staff, enter herein! Indwell here! Reside here! Reside here! May happiness be here! May happiness be here! O Rudra, I perform your worship!

Upachara -- Offerings

Om hail to Pashupati. (Bathe Linga) Om this is water. Om namah Shivaya! Om trishule & damaruthis is arghya. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is for sipping. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is for bathing. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is scent. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is flower. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is birch-leaf. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is incense. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is flame. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is food. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is for sipping again. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is betel nut. Om namah Shivaya! Om I offer this scent and flower to Sharva, the Earth form (East) Om I offer this scent and flower to Bhava, the Water form (NE) Om I offer this scent and flower to Rudra, the Fire form (N) Om 1 offer this scent and flower to Ugra, the Air form (NW) Om I offer this scent and flower to Bhima. the Aether form (W) Om I offer this scent and flower to Pashupati, the Magician form (SW) Om I offer this scent and flower to Ishana, the Sun form (S) Om I offer this scent and flower to Mahadeva, the Moon form (SE) Om hail to Nandi. Om hail to Bhringini. Om hail to Kshetrapala. Om hail to Vamadeva.

Japa -- Mantra Recitation

Hara Maheshvara Shulapani Pinakadhrik Pashupati Shiva Mahadeva!

You are the secret at the core of every secret! Take this recitation! O Maheshvara, of Your grace, bestow siddhi on me! All hail to You, O one with closed eyes! Hail to You, with divine vision! Hail to You who holds the staff! Hail to You who holds the Vajra! Hail to You who holds the trident, sceptre, noose and sword in Your hands! Hail to You, Natha of the Three Worlds, the Lord of all Beings! Om namah Shivaya. Hail to You the Peaceful One! Cause of the 3 Causes! I offer myself to You, O Parameshvara, You who are my goal and refuge!

Nam Nam Nam!

I know not how to invoke, nor how to worship, nor how to bid you farewell! Forgive my mistakes, O Parameshvara. (Place flower on head. Close.)

Shiva in Vraja






Shiva in Vraja

Cintahara Mahadeva

The Chintahara or Chintaharana Mahadeva temple is situated on the eastern side of the Yamuna River, south of Gokul and about one kilometer south of Brahmananda Ghat, where Krishna manifested His universal form to Mother Yasoda. This ancient deity of Shiva is known as Chintahara, “the remover of anxieties”, because it is said that Mother Yasoda was regularly coming here from Gokula to worship this siva-linga to remove her worries. As a baby, Krishna was constantly performing many mischievous acts. Sometimes He would catch hold of the tail of a calf and have it pull Him through the dirt and mud. Sometimes, much to the horror of His mother, He would play with snakes or wild animals. Sometimes He would eat dirt or steal butter and break the pots of the elderly gopis. Sometimes He would pass urine in the houses of other gopis. Other times He would pinch their sleeping babies and make them cry. Seeing all of His naughty activities filled Mother Yasoda with a kind of ecstatic anxiety for the well being of her beloved child. In this mood, Krishna’s mother would pray to Lord Chintahara Mahadeva to protect the jewel of her heart.

Another local tradition has it that this deity of Chintaharana Mahadeva was situated here even before Mother Yasoda started coming to worship him. Once, Mahadeva Shambhu wanted to see the beautiful form of Krishna. With this desire in mind, he left Kailash and came to this ghata on the bank of the Yamuna, where he began meditating on Krishna. Eventually Krishna appeared and captured (harana) the mind (cinta) of Shiva with His beauty.

The ancient siva-linga at this place is said to be the same one that was originally worshiped by Mother Yasoda. In a side temple here there are also deities of Mother Yasoda and Krishna.


PRAPITAMAHESHVAR - GAYA


Gaya - Prapitaamaheshwara


Significance: This is an ancient Shiva temple located in the predominantly Vaishnavite pilgrim town of Gaya. Prapitaamaheswara is said to be a witness deity for the performance of the offerings of the pindas to ancestors. Shiva is worshipped in the form of a Lingam. Gaya and Buddha Gaya nearby have been revered pilgrimage centers of India since antiquity.

The other well known temples in Gaya are the Vishnupaada Temple, the Dakshinaarka Temple and the Mangala Gowri temple.

Antiquity: The ritual of offering pindas or offerings to the dead has been long associated with Gaya and has been mentioned in the epics. (Vaayupuraana) The Prapitaamaheswara temple has been referred to in the Agni Purana. Shiva worship at Gaya has been referred in the Mahabharata too. The Prapitaamaheswara temple is one of the oldest temples in Gaya and it dates back to the Pala dynasty of the 11th century CE as testified from stone inscriptions nearby.

Gaya - The Footprint of Vishnu


Significance: This is one of the greatest Vaishnavaite Temples and is the most sacred Pinda Daana Vedi - (site of offerings for the ancestors) in Gaya. Vishnu’s footprint stamped on a rock called Dharmasila is the object of worship here. The footprint lies in a silver trough. Gaya is located in Bihar. Buddha Gaya located nearby and Gaya have been revered pilgrimage sites since antiquity.

gaya_vishnu_pada.jpg (43533 bytes)

The other well known temples in Gaya are the Prapitaa Maheswara Temple, the Dakshinaarka Temple and the Mangala Gowri temple.

Antiquity: The ritual of offering pindas or offerings to the dead has been long associated with Gaya and has been mentioned in the epics. (Vaayupuraana). Terra-cotta seals discovered at Vaishali dating back to the Gupta period (4th to the 5th century CE) place the existence of this temple even during that period. This structure and the brick structure built following its demise do not exist today. What is seen now is a relatively modern temple, built by Queen Ahilyabai Holkar of Indore in 1783.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lord Shiva Mahadev ( Om Namah Shivay )




























Lord Shiva Mahadev ( Om Namah Shivay )

Shiva to mean "One who purifies everyone by the utterance of His name" or the Pure One. "the Auspicious One."He is the formless, timeless and spaceless, Supreme God of universe,time and everything.

Shiva is one of the gods of the Trinity. Shiva is married to the Goddess Parvati (Uma). Parvati represents Prakriti, which means perishable matter. Lord Shiva sits in a meditative pose on Mount Kailash against the white background of the snow-capped Himalayas. Lord Shiva not only represents the supreme state of perfection in man, but in his very pose indicates the way to reach it as well. The state of meditation shown in Shiva's posture is again symbolic. Meditation is the final gateway to Self-realization. On the auspicious occasion of Mahashivratri, Shiva performs the ecstatic dance of realization. Shiva is said to have a third eye known as gyana chakshu. Gyana chakshu literally means eye of wisdom. Shiva is also known as Gangadhara. which literally means, 'the carrier of Ganga' (river). Shiva is sometimes shown with his trident (trisula) in his hand. The trisula is a trident which symbolise's the destruction of the ego with its three-fold desires of the body, mind and intellect. Nataraja is Lord Shiva in the dance pose.He destroys evil and protects good. He bestows prosperity on worshipers although he is austere. He is omnipresent and resides in everyone as pure consciousness. One of his names is Bholenath, which means the innocent God. Lord shiva is Creator, destroyer and preserver of the universe.Shadding old habits generating new one and preserving the same. Shiva is often worshipped in an abstract manner, as God without form, in the form of linga.

Satyam,Shivam,Sunderam truth everything goodness and beauty, truth is everything and beautiful.Shiva is God of Yogis and stand for Kundalini Shakti energy.

Names and Meaning of Lord Shiva.


o Hara : The one who takes away Sorrow and pain.
o Mahadeva - The Supreme Lord : Maha = great, Deva = God
* Rudra The one who howls or strict and uncompromising
* Maheshwara The Supreme Lord: Maha = great, Eshwar = God
* Rameshwara - The one whom Ram worships: Ram, Eshwar = worships, God; Ram's God
* Mahayogi The Supreme Yogi: Maha = great, Yogi = one who practices Yoga
* Mahabaleshwara - God of Great Strength : Maha = great, Bal = strength, Eshwar = God
* Trinetra - Three-Eyed One, i.e. All-Knowing: Tri = three, Netra = Eye
* Triaksha - Three-Eyed One, i.e. All-Knowing: Tri = three, Aksha = Eye
* Trinayana- Three-Eyed One, i.e. All-Knowing: Tri = three, Nayana = Eye
* Tryambakam - Three-Eyed One, i.e. All-Knowing: Tri = three, Ambakam = Eye
* Mah?kala - Great Time, i.e. Conqueror of Time: Maha = three, Kala = Time
* Neelakantha - The one with a Blue Throat: Neel = blue, Kantha = throat
* Digambara - One who has the skies as his clothes, i.e. The Naked One: Dik = Clothes, Ambara = Sky
* Shankara - Giver of Joy
* Shambhu - Abode of Joy
* Vyomkesha - The One who has the sky as his hair: Vyom = sky, Kesha =hair
* Chandrashekhara - The master of the Moon: Chandra = Moon, Shekhara = master
* Siddheshwara - The Perfect Lord
* Trishuldhari - He who holds the divine Trishul or Trident: Trishul = Trident, Dhari = He who holds
* Dakhshinamurthi - The Cosmic Tutor
* Kailashpati - Lord of Mount Kailash
* Pashupatinatha - Lord of all Creatures or Pashupati
* Umapati - The husband of Uma
* Gang?dhara - He who holds the river Ganga
* Bhairava - The Frightful One
* Sabesan - Lord who dances in the dais
* Nagaraja - King of snakes (Lord/Ruler/Controller of snakes)
* Ekambaranatha The destroyer of evil
* Tripurantaka The destroyer of the triplet fortresses Asuras.
* Ashutosh, easy to please God.

The 12 Jyotirlinga shrines or shrines of Shiva in the form of a Jyotirlingam are located at different parts of India of which southernmost is located at Rameswaram, while the northernmost is located in the snowy mountains of the Himalayas at Kedarnath:
* Somnatha located at Prabhas Patan in Saurashtra in Gujarat.
* Sree Shaila located at Sree Shaila near
Kurnool enshrines Mallikarjuna .
*
Ujjain ( Mahakaleshwar Jyotirlinga shrine )The ancient and historic city of Ujjain or Avanti in Madhya Pradesh is home to the Jyotirlinga shrine of Mahakaleshwar.
* Omkareshwar: Omkareshwar Jyotirlinga shrine and the Amareshwar temple is located on an island in the course of the river
Narmada in Madhya.
* Kedarnath the Northernmost of the Jyotirlingas is located in the snow clad Himalayas.It is accessible only on foot, six months in a year.
* Varanasi The Vishwanath temple is located in Benares in Uttar Pradesh
* Bhimashankar Bhimashankar is located in the Sahyadri hills of Maharashtra, accessed from Pune.This is associated with the legend of Shiva destroying the demon Tripurasura.
* Tryambakeshwar This Jyotirlinga shrine located in
Nasik in Maharashtra is associated with origin of the river Godavari.
* Vaidyanath temple at Deogarh in the Santal Parganas area of
Bihar is considered as one of the 12 Jyotirlingas of Shiva.
* Nageshwar near Dwarka in
Gujarat is one of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva.
* Rameswaram: This temple is located in the island of Rameswaram, in Southern Tamilnadu enshrines Ramalingeswarar, and is the southernmost of the 12 Jyotirlinga shrines of
India.
* Grishneshwar Jyotirlinga Shrine is a temple located in the vicinity of the tourist town of
Ellora.
Om Namah Sivaya” is in truth both agama and veda. Namah sivaya represents all mantras and tantras. Namah sivaya is our souls, our bodies and possessions. Namah sivaya has become our sure protection."

please let me know if you have more information on Lord Shiva

Monday, June 22, 2009

Shiv Chalisa


















Shiv Chalisa


Lord Shiv is one of the Gods of the trinity of Gods which Hindus believe in, the other two being Brahma and Vishnu. He is known as the destroyer, and destroys the world and the end of all the four Yugs (the four yugs last for 6,480,000 years) for creation to start afresh. He is a unique god in the entire godheads of Hindu belief and is incomparable with any other God. He is moody, free of inhibitions, easy to please, protector of the down trodden, and has the power to alter the laws of destiny. He is Mahakaal, who destroys and dissolves everything into nothingness. But as Shankara, he also reproduces that which has been destroyed and dissolved. His symbol of phallus symbolises this reproductive power.

This prayer (chalisa) praises the Lord and asks for his help in removing all the problems from the devotees life. It is suggested that you focus your mind on Lord Shiva or his image and say this prayer.

Jai Ganesh Girija suvan, mangal mool sujan,
Kahati Ayodhyadas tum, deu abhaya vardan.


Hail Lord Ganesh, son of Girija, who is supremely wise and the start of all auspicious events. Ayodhyadas asks you, to grant him the boon of safety and security.

Jai Girijapati deen dayala,
Sada karat santan pratipala.

Hail Girijapati (Shiv, husband of Girija. Girija means mountain, referring to Mt. Kailash, where Lord Shiv is supposed to reside.), the ever kind lord,
Who always looks after and protects his devotees.

Bhal chandrama sohati neeke,
Kanan kundal nag phani ke.

He has the moon upon his forehead,
and in his ears, instead of rings, he has the serpents coiling around.

Ang gaur shiv ganga banai,
Mundamal tan kshar lagai.

He is fair complexioned with the divine river, Ganga, flowing from his crown,
Around his neck, he has a necklace of severed heads and his body is smeared with ash.

Vastra khal baghambar sohe,
Chhavi ko dekh nag muni mohe.

He wears the skin of a panther tied around his waist,
Looking at his charming view, the serpents and high sages get enchanted.

Maina Matu ki priya dulari,
Bam ang rajat Shiv pyari.

The beloved daughter (referring to Parvati) of Maina is sitting on his lap at his left side,
She is supremely dear to Lord Shiv.

Kar men soha trishul ati bhari,
Karahi sada shatrun samhari.

He carries a heavy trident in his hand,
with which he slays the enemies forever.

Nandi Ganesh soh tanha kaise,
Manas madhya kamal hon jaise.

With him are Nandi (the bull) and Lord Ganesh,
Looking as beautiful as lotus flowers blooming in Mansarovar lake.

Kartik shyam aur gana rauo,
Ya chhavi barnat bane na kauo.

He has with him dark complexioned Kartikeya and Ganesh (his sons),
No one is capable to describe the full spectacle.

Devan jab hee aai pukara,
Tabahin dukh prabhu ap nivara.

Whenever the celestials (devas) faced problems and came to you,
You always solved the problems and provided succour to them.

Keen upadrava tarak bhari,
devan sab mili tumhari pukari.

When the demon Tarak wrought havoc,
The celestials all called to you help.

Turat shadanan ap pathayo,
Luv nimesh mahi mar girayo.

Then you immediately sent Sadanand (the six faced Kartikeya),
Who, within no time at all, destroyed the demon.

Ap Jallandhar asur sanhara,
Suyash tumhar vidit sansara.

You also slayed the demon, Jallandhar,
Your glory is well known to the world.

Tripurasur sang yuddha machayi,
sabahin kripa kari leen bachayi.

By fighting and killing the Demon Tripurasur,
You forgave everybody and saved the Gods.

Keenha tap Bhagirath bhari,
Purahi pratigya tasu purari.

King Bhagirath 1 had performed a rigorous penance,
And by you grace, you fulfilled his wishes.

Darpa chhod Ganga tab ayee,
Sewak astuti karat sadaee.

Because of this, Ganga (the river), left her abode and came to earth,
That is why your devotees always sing your praise.

Ved naam mahima tav gayaee,
akath anadi bhed nahin payee.

The Vedas had tried to describe your glory but the same is beyond explanation,
It is impossible to fathom your full glory.

Pragati udadhi manthan te jwala,
Jare surasur bhaye bihala.

The sea churning 2 had produced such a dreadful poisonous flame,
Which scared both the Gods and demons.

Mahadeva tab kari sahayee,
Neelkantha tuv nam dharayee.

The, Great God, you came to their rescue and drank the poison,
Which stayed in your throat, making it blue, hence you are called Neelkanth (Blue throated one)

Poojan Ramchandra jab keenha,
Lanka jeet Vibhishan deenha.

When Lord Ram 3 worshipped you,
You gave him victory over Lanka and made Vibhishan it's king.

Sahas kamal arpanahi vichari,
Keenha pareeksha tabahi purari.

During this worship, Lord Ram decided to offer you a thousand lotus flowers,
Then to assess his firmness of faith, you decided to test him.

Ek kamal Prabhu rakheu goyee,
Kamal nayan poojan chahin soyee.

Lord, you decided to hide one of the flowers,
Not finding it, Lord Ram substituted his lotus like eye for it.

Kathin bhakti dekhi Prabhu Shankar,
Bhaye prasanna deya icchhit var.

Lord Shanker was pleased with his (Ram's) steadfast devotion,
You granted him the desired boon (of slaying Ravaana).

Jai Jai Jai, Ananta Avinasi,
Karat kripa sab ke ghatvasi.

Hail to thee, O Infinite and Indestructible Lord,
Shower your grace on everybody, O Omniscient one.

Dushta sakal mohi nitya satavan,
Bharmita rahe man chain na aven.

I am always troubled by wicked people,
This makes me distressed with no peace of mind.

Trahi trahi main nath pukaro,
Yeh avasar mohi, ani ubaro.

Getting distressed, I pray to you, Lord Shanker,
O Lord, help me in these troubled times.

Lai trishool shatrun ko marau,
Sankat se mohi ani unarau.

Come with your trident and slay my enemies,
And free me from my problems.

Mata pita bhrat sab hoi,
Sankat mein poonchat nahi koi.

Although I have my mother, father, brothers and family,
Yet in times of trouble, nobody offers me help.

Swami ekahi aas tumhari,
Ai harahu sab sankat bhari.

O Lord, you are my only hope,
O Master, please come and take away this heavy burden (problems).

Dhan nirdhan kon det sadaee,
Arat jan ki peer mitaee.

You give wealth to the poor,
And you wipe away their difficulties.

Astuti kehi vidhi karahu tumhari,
Shambunath ab tek hamari.

I do not know of any other way to seek your help from my problems,
Hey, Shambunath, listen to my prayer now.

Shanker ho sankat ke nashan,
Vighna vinasan mangal karan.

Shankar, you are the destroyer of problems,
Please be the root of my happiness and welfare

Yogi yathi muni dhyan lagaye,
Sharad Narad Sheesh navavahin.

All the sages and yogis meditate on you,
Saraswati (Goddes of Wisdom), Narad (son of Brahma) and the seers bow in reverence to you.

Namo namo jab namah Shivaye,
Sur brahmadik par na paye.

I now chant your name, "Om Namah Shivaye",
Neither Brahma not the Gods could fathom your entire glory.

Jo yeh path kare man layee,
To kon hot hain shamboo sahayee.

Whoever reads this prayer with utmost devotion,
Shall definitely be helped by Lord Shamboo, without any doubt.

Putra na ho, ichha kare koi,
Nishchaya Shiv prasad se hoi.

Anybody without a son who prays to you,
Will definitely be blessed with one by Lord Shiv.

Pandit triyodashi ko lave,
Dhyan poorvak hom karave.

The devotees should get a priest to perform a yagna (prayer) on the 13th lunar day of the fortnight,
And with full attention and devotion, one must pray to Lord Shiv to get their wishes fulfilled.

Triyodashi vrita kare hamesha,
Tan nahi take rahe kalesha.

Whoever fasts on the thirteenth day of the lunar fortnight,
Gets peace of mind and a healthy body.

Dhoop deep naivedya chadhavahi,
Shanker sanmukha path karavahi.

With a lighted lamp, incense and other payer material,
One should worship before an idol of Lord Shiva with full devotion.

Janam Janam ki pap nasavahin,
Antawas shivpur men pavahin.

A devotee of Shiv will have all the sins (karmas) of all his births wiped away,
And in the end, he will live happily in the kingdom of Lord Shiva.

Hey Shankar hai aas tumhari,
Dukh peera ab harahu hamari.

O Lord Shanker, you are my only hope,
Now please end all my pains and worries



Saturday, June 20, 2009

LORD SHIV Many Forms







Lord Shiva, many forms

Shiva appears in many forms. The abstract form of the lingam (sanskrit for mark or sign) helps us concentrate on the mysterious nature of Shiva, that is beyond comprehension or representation.

Shivalingam

The lingam reminds us of the presence of God within all of creation, and within us all.

Mahadeva

Then there is the Shiva Statue in Bangalore, Indiacanonical form of Shiva, meditating with the moon in his hair, holding the trident and drum. This is often seen as the canonical image of Shiva the Mahadeva, the great God.

Nataraja

Another common representation of Shiva is the Nataraja, Shiva as the Lord of the dance. Here Shiva is seen dancing the eternal dance of creation and destruction. He dances on the demon dwarf, Apasmara, who represents ignorance.

These three representations of Shiva are probably the most common, but they are far from the only images. Shiva also appears as Ardhanari, an androgynous composite of Shiva and Shakti together in one body. Chola Bronze from the eleventh century CE. siva in the form of Arthanariswara.This form reminds us that God is beyond gender, yet encompasses both genders.

Harihara

Another composite form is Harihara, a combined form of Vishnu and Shiva. This reminds us that there is one God, with many aspects. When we sorship Shiva we are also worshiping Vishnu, Shakti and all possible manifestations . Vishnu (right half, holding disc) and Shiva (lighter coloured half, holding trident) combined in a single murthi form, along with Lakshmi and Parvati

of the divine.

The worshipers of Shiva should not see those who worship Vishnu as any less, neither should the followers of Vishnu look down on those who follow Shiva. All followers of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) are looking for the divine. When one fully realises the true nature of God and of ourselves we will realise that we have all been approaching the same mountain top from other directions.

This is expressed well in the 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 Arti 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.

Bhairava

Bhairava - Shiva\'s fierce form

Another form of Shiva is Bhairava, the fierce form, the annihilator of evil. Bhairava relates to Shiva as Kali relates to Parvati. This is the form that Shiva takes when there are demons to destroy. As with Kali and Parvati, Bhairava should be seen as tough love. Sometimes we need hard lessons to further our spiritual advancement. Also, anhialation is necessary for creation, everything in conditioned reality needs to come to an end so that more can be created. Even the universe has cycles of destruction and creation.

Panchanana or panchamukhi Shiva

five headed shiva

This is the five faced or five headed form of Shiva. Each of the faces has a name and represents a specific aspect. These five faces are:- Isana Tatapurusha Aghora Vamadeva Sadyojata

Isana faces south-east and represents the Ishwara aspect of Shiva known as Sadashiva or the Eternal Shiva.

Tatpurusha faces the east and represents the deluded purusha or ego aspect of Shiva.

Aghora faces south and represents the destructive and regenerative aspect of Shiva, that like fire, first devours life and then prepares the ground for its renewal.

Vamadeva faces north and represents the healer and preserver aspect of Shiva.

Sadyojata faces west and represents the creative power of Shiva.

Some of the images are quite small in this article. Click on them to see a larger image.

Aum Namah Shivaya







Sri Sailam : Jyotirlinga ( Lord Shiva) Andhara Pradesh India

Sri Sailam Jyotirlinga

Significance: This is one of the greatest Saivite shrines in India and it constitutes one of the 12 Jyotirlingam shrines of Shiva. The presiding deities here are Mallikarjuna (Shiva) and Bhramaramba (Devi).

Temple of Sri Sailam Andhara Pradesh, Sri Sailam Jyotirlinga Photo, Picture

This is an ancient temple with fort like walls, towers and a rich endowment of sculptural work. This huge temple built in the Dravidian style with lofty towers and sprawling courtyards is one of the finest specimens of Vijayanagar architecture.

Sri Sailam Jyotirlinga Andhara Pradesh, Lord Shiva Jyotirlinga
The Satavahanas of the 2nd century AD have referred to it and the Saivite Tamil Saints have sung its glory. The Kakatiyas and the Vijayanagar kings (esp Krishnadevaraya) have made several endowments here. This temple is of immense religious, historical and architectural significance.

Antiquity The origins of this temple are buried in antiquity. The Skanda Purana has a chapter dedicated to it. The great religious leader Aadi Sankara is said to have visited this shrine and composed his immortal Sivananda Lahiri here. Praise of this temple has been sung by the Tamil Saint poets of the past millennium.
The shrine dedicated to Bhramaramba is considered to be of great significance. Legend has it that Durga is said to have assumed the shape of a bee and worshipped Shiva here, and chose this place as her abode.
Temples in the vicinity:
1. Tripurantakam to the east of Sree Sailam.
2. Siddavatam of Cuddapah district to the South
3. Alampur Navabhrama temples in Mahboobnagar district to the West
4. Umamaheswaram in Mahboobnagar district to the North.
5. Paladhara Panchadara - the spot where Adi Sankara is said to have meditated.
6. Hatakeswaram: another Shiva temple near Paladhara Panchadara where the lingam was originally made of gold.
7. Sakthi Ganapathi temple: It is considered important to visit this temple before visiting Sri Sailam.
8. Kailasa Dwaram: The main entrance to Sri Sailam for those trekking to the temple
9. Sikharam: There is a hill temple dedicated to Shiva at a height of 2850 feet above sea level in the Nallamalai hills
10. Patalaganga: is where the bathing ghats associated with Sri Sailam are located. (
Krishna river).
Tripurantakam, Siddavatam, Alampura and Umamaheswaram are considered to be the four gateways to Sri Sailam.