Om Namah Shivaya
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“Namaḥ Śivāya is the most holy name of God Śiva, recorded at the very center of the Vedas and elaborated in the Śaiva Agamas.
Na is the Lord’s concealing grace, Ma is the world, Śi stands for Śiva, Va is His revealing grace, Ya is the soul.
The five elements, too, are embodied in this ancient formula for invocation.
Na is earth, Ma is water, Śi is fire, Vā is air, and Ya is ether, or Ākāśa.
Many are its meanings.
Namaḥ Śivaya has such power, the mere intonation of these syllables reaps its own reward in salvaging the soul from bondage of the treacherous instinctive mind and the steel bands of a perfected externalized intellect.
Namaḥ Śivāya quells the instinct, cuts through the steel bands and turns this intellect within and on itself, to face itself and see its ignorance.
Sages declare that mantra is life, that mantra is action, that mantra is love and that the repetition of mantra, japa, bursts forth wisdom from within.
The holy Natchintanai proclaims, “Namaḥ Śivāya is in truth both Āgama and Veda.
Namah Śivāya represents all mantras and tantras.
Namaḥ Śivaya is our souls, our bodies and possessions
Namaḥ Śivāya has become our sure protection.”
(The meaning of the Namaḥ Śivāya mantra explained by Satguru Sivaya Subramuniyaswami)
This student from the Sanskrit University, trained to become a Hindu priest, was performing the daily Ganga Aarti at Dasaswamedh ghat in Varanasi (Benaras).
This religious ritual ceremony worships the elements and it is easy to make a link to any faith.