Inscrutable Shiva And Shaiva Siddhanta 

As the curtain is pulled back to reveal the inner sanctum, one is drawn into the world of Nirakara Shiva, beyond even the physical symbolism of a Linga, where the vast expanse of the sky above and the ether zone are mirrored in the `Akasha Linga’ of Chidambaram. Shiva takes his devotees into an interiorised world of consciousness, mapping out the Akasha or sky-ether of the mind, beyond the noumenal world of names and forms.

But is it as abstract as it seems, I wonder, for the Thillai (mangrove) forest ground of the Chidambaram temple is witness to the ananda tandava dance of Shiva, in one of his most beautiful forms as Nataraja, the fountainhead of the creative impulse. Traditional lore views Chidambaram as the site of the original Cosmic Linga, an ellipsoid around which the rest of the universe rotates. This dance of creative bliss is said to have been performed by Shiva for the two sages, Vyghrapada and Patanjali, who had asked for the boon to witness the dance.

Which one is the more seminal attribute of Shiva, I wonder ­ is it the ascetic yogic aspect of Shiva characterised by dispassionate withdrawal and penance, or is it the creatively pulsating energy of Shiva, which calls for an active engagement with the world, in the realisation that the outer embodied universe reflects the disembodied One, that the materiality is also actually spiritual only? As I move into the main dance hall of the Chidambaram complex, I marvel at the persona of Shiva, where different attributes complement each other, not contradict. His all-encompassing compassion and love for devas and asuras alike, without discriminating between the two, reveals a Being in love with creation, not a destroyer. Perhaps what he seeks to destroy is the negativity and the baser elements of our nature.

John Marshall saw a Proto-Shiva in the famous Pashupati seal of Mohenjodaro where four wild animals ­ tiger, buffalo, elephant and rhinoceros ­ surround the yogi-God sitting in the meditation pose, the three faces representing Time in its past, present and future dimensions.

The Mahakal, Controller of Time, the Rudra, God of wild beasts and Yogeswara, the Supreme Yogi aspects of Shiva appear to coalesce in this Indus seal. Other traditions like the Tevaram hymns and the Tirumurai compendium of songs in Tamil eulogise the Ashutosh svarupa of Shiva the God who melts at the call of a sincere prayer.

The Tirumurai tradition maps out the philosophy of Shaiva Siddhanta , with its formulation of three eternal entities of God, soul and bondage ­ Pati, pasu and pasam. The Shaiva Siddhanta states that God is One, souls are many and bondage happens because of the three impurities of anava which causes the negativity of soul ­ karma, the law of action-reaction and Maya the cause of all materiality . Maya is real in Shaiva Siddhanta and not an illusion as in Vedanta. Shiva’s Grace alone can help in breaking this bondage and evolution of the Soul to an understanding of the relationship between the Nirakara aspect of the Self and the dynamic aspect of the Self ‘s energy as it manifests .

They say that Shiva is finally within only . But the inscrutable and beautiful outer form of Shiva gives as much solace.

Om Namah Shivay

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All About Love, Aesthetics and Ecstasy

What is love? It is the expressed form of devotion. When does this expressed form occur?

When there is seed, only then it will sprout; that seed is devotion. So, only that one can make oneself great, who one can take the correct ideation of Parama Purusha, who has the seed of devotion within … How can you surrender without bhakti, devotion? Therefore, from ancient times aesthetic science existed and there was devotion. While one remains in aesthetic science, one does not get entry into supra-aesthetic science. One feels, “I am serving Parama Purusha, I like Him, because I get pleasure in serving Him, by taking His ideation I get joy .“ If you ask artists or architects why they do what they do ­ why do they create works of art ­ they will say, “We get pleasure from it.“ This is aesthetic science. A poet composes a poem, because he gets pleasure.

Parents love their child very much.Do they love for the sake of their child?

No! They love their child because they get pleasure for themselves. If their child turns into a vagabond, or becomes cruel, and he does not even utter the parents’ names, then parents do not get pleasure.

After that what happens? By taking the ideation of Parama Purusha, when the quantity of pleasure increases, a person loses the self first. He feels “I take the ideation of Parama Purusha not for my sake. I love Parama Purusha so that, because of my love, He gets pleasure. I may or may not get it.“ When this stage is attained, it is called Ragatmika Bhakti, when one feels, “I love Parama Purusha, I do not care whether He loves me or not.“ When this Ragatmika Bhakti is attained, in that stage one is also called Gopa as described in scriptures.

Gopa here does not mean the cowherd. Gopayate means to give pleasure ­ “Gopayate yah sah gopah.“

One whose nature is to give pleasure to Parama Purusha or Paramatma is Gopa. When one is established in Ragatmika Bhakti, from Raganuga one enters the arena of Mohana ijnana when one is fascinated and charmed, and in that state, art, architecture, all come to an end; one’s verbosity stops, one becomes mute. This is Ragatmika Bhakti.

So long as human beings are in the sphere of Raganuga Bhakti they are in domestic life; they create arts, architecture, literature and painting, and get pleasure in them. They are within the scope of aesthetic science ­ Nandana Vijnana.

And what happens when they are established in supra-aesthetic science ­ Ati Nandana Vijnana? All their worldly music is finished. All the Ragas and Raginis and the art of dancing, whatever they be, they come to an end.In that condition, there remains only an ecstatic state, Bhavibhora. The music of that state is called kirtana.

If you want to be established in Dharma Sadhana, then in any case do not forget the importance and greatness of kirtana, and also the greatness of devotion. Always remember that the devotion begins with aesthetic science and its ultimate domain ends where supra-aesthetic science ­ Mohana Vijnana ­ begins.

Om Namah Shivay

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Always Speak the Truth Because It Takes Us Directly to God-Realization

“The world contains a mixture of truth and untruth. Discard the untruth and take the truth. Even those engaged in worldly activities, such as office work or business, should hold to the truth. Truthfulness alone is the spiritual discipline in the Kaliyuga. Dwell in the truth and you will certainly realize God.”
– Sri Ramakrishna

The Mundaka Upanishad boldly proclaims: Satyameva Jayate – Truth alone Triumphs and not Untruth. This is because only by being truthful with ourselves and with others, can we clear away the scum of the ego-driven imperfections that cloud our mind; and when the mind is thus purified, our soul can see its reflection clearly and realize its True Self, its Infinite Divine Svarupa in Samadhi or Moksha.

Therefore the act of speaking the truth always takes us towards Soul-realization, which is the same as God-realization.

On the other hand when we lie to ourselves and to others, then we immediately cloud our mind with egotistical impurities and thus devolve to a lower consciousness by getting enveloped in the darkness of falsehood. For this reason being truthful has always been emphasized by the sages of the Upanishads as the most important spiritual discipline.

And it was this very same teaching of the Mundaka Upanishad that Sri Ramakrishna underscored for his disciple Rakhal (Swami Brahmananda) in a very interesting incident. At the time this incident took place, Rakhal was still a young disciple under the tutorship of Sri Ramakrishna and had not yet attained to Nirvikalpa Samadhi or complete mergence with God. Hence Sri Ramakrishna was focused on pointing out the imperfections in his disciple’s nature, so that Rakhal could correct them and thus attain to the perfection of God-consciousness.

Satyameva Jayate – Truth Alone Leads to God – Sri Ramakrishna Teaches Rakhal

“When the lamp of truth is lit, darkness vanishes by itself. Stand up men and women, dare to believe in the truth, dare to practice the truth!”
– Swami Vivekananda

One day when Rakhal came to Sri Ramakrishna’s room, Sri Ramakrishna said to him: “Rakhal, for some reason, I can’t look at you. I see a veil of ignorance covering your face. Tell me have you done anything wrong?”

Rakhal was greatly perturbed. He tried hard to remember what he had done wrong but could not recollect anything.

“Try to recall”, Sri Ramakrishna said “if you have told any untruth.” Rakhal immediately remembered and admitted that he had recently jokingly told a lie to a friend.

Sri Ramakrishna forgave him and said: “Never do it again. To speak the truth always is the most important spiritual discipline. The virtue of truthfulness is most critical. If a man always speaks the truth, and tenaciously holds to the truth he will realize God, for God is Truth.”

“The great King Bhartrihari said – ‘Let the sages blame or let them praise; let the goddess of fortune come or let her go wherever she likes; let death come to-day, or let it come in hundreds of years; he indeed is the steady man who does not move one inch from the way of truth.’”
– Swami Vivekananda

Om Namah Shivay

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प्रकृति और पुरुष‒ये दो हैं

सत्संगका प्रसाद |

प्रकृति और पुरुष‒ये दो हैं । इन दोनोंके अंशसे बना हुआ यह जीवात्मा है । अब इसका मुख जब तक प्रकृति की तरफ रहेगा, तब तक इसको शान्ति नहीं मिल सकती; और यह परमात्मा के सम्मुख हो जायगा तो अशान्ति टिकेगी नहीं‒यह पक्की बात है ।

संयोग-वियोग प्रकृति की चीज है । हमें जो कुछ मिला है, वह सब प्रकृति का है, उत्पन्न होकर होने वाला है । परन्तु परमात्मा आने-जाने वाले, मिलने-बिछुड़ने वाले नहीं हैं । परमात्मा सदा मिले हुए रहते हैं; किन्तु प्रकृति कभी मिली हुई नहीं रहती । आपको यह बात अलौकिक लगेगी कि संसार आज तक किसी को भी नहीं मिला है और परमात्मा कभी भी वियुक्त नहीं हुए हैं । संसार मेरे साथ है, शरीर मेरे साथ है, इन्द्रियाँ-मन-बुद्धि मेरे साथ हैं और परमात्मा न जाने कहाँ हैं, पता नहीं‒यह विस्मृति है, मूर्खता है ।

जो कभी हों और कभी न हों, कहीं हों और कहीं न हों,किसी के हों और किसी के न हों, वे परमात्मा हो ही नहीं सकते । सर्व समर्थ परमात्मा में यह सामर्थ्य नहीं है कि वे किसी समय में हों और किसी समय में न हों, किसी देश में हों और किसी देश में न हों, किसी वेश में हों और किसी वेश में न हों, किसी सम्प्रदाय के हों और किसी सम्प्रदाय के न हों, किसी व्यक्ति के हों और किसी व्यक्ति के न हों, किसी वर्ण-आश्रम के हों और किसी वर्ण-आश्रमके न हों । भगवान् तो प्राणिमात्रमें समान रहते हैं‒

मया ततमिदं सर्वं जगदव्यक्तमूर्तिना ।
(गीता ९ । ४)

समोऽहं सर्वभूतेषु न मे द्वेष्योऽस्ति न प्रियः ।
(गीता ९ । २९)

आपके देखने-सुनने में जितना जगत् आता है, उस सबमें वे परमात्मा परिपूर्ण हैं‒

भूमा अचल शाश्वत अमल सम ठोस है तू सर्वदा ।

यह देह है पोला घड़ा बनता बिगड़ता है सदा ॥

परमात्मा व्यापक हैं, अचल हैं, ठोस हैं सर्वत्र ठसाठस भरे हुए हैं; परन्तु यह शरीर बिलकुल पोला है, इसमें कोरी पोल-ही-पोल है ! वहम होता है कि इतना मान मिल गया, इतना आदर मिल गया, इतना भोग मिल गया, इतना सुख मिल गया ! वास्तवमें मिला कुछ नहीं है । केवल वहम है, धोखा-है-धोखा ! कुछ नहीं रहेगा । क्या यह शरीर रहनेवाला है ? अनुकूलता रहनेवाली है ? सुख रहनेवाला है ? मान रहने वाला है ? बड़ाई रहने वाली है ? इनमें कोई रहने वाली चीज है क्या ? संसार नाम ही बहने वाले का है । जो निरन्तर बहता रहे, उसका नाम ‘संसार’ है । यह हरदम बदलता ही रहता है‒ ‘गच्छतीति जगत् ।’ कभी एक क्षण भी स्थिर नहीं रहता । परन्तु परमात्मा एक क्षण भी कहीं जाते नहीं; जायें कहाँ ? कोई खाली जगह हो तो जायें ! जहाँ जायँ, वहाँ पहले से ही परमात्मा भरे हुए हैं ।

Om Namah Shivay

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राग-द्वेषका त्याग-1

यह ठीक हुआ, यह बेठीक हुआ । नफा हुआ, नुकसान हुआ । राजी हुए, नाराज हुए । यह वैरी है, यह मित्र है । इसने मान कर दिया, इसने अपमान कर दिया । इसने निन्दा कर दी, इसने प्रशंसा कर दी । इसने आराम, सुख दिया, इसने दुःख दिया । अब इनको देखते रहोगे तो भगवान् नहीं मिलेंगे । अतः राग-द्वेष के वशीभूत न हों, राजी-नाराज न हों‒‘तयोर्न वशमागच्छेत्’ (गीता ३ । ३४) । राजी-नाराज न होने वाले को भगवान् ने त्यागी बताया है‒‘ज्ञेयः स नित्यसंन्यासी यो न द्वेष्टि न कांक्षति ।’ (गीता ५ । ३) जो राग-द्वेष नहीं करता, उसको भगवान्ने अपना प्यारा भक्त बताया है (गीता १२ । १७) । संसारमें अच्छा और मन्दा तो होता ही रहता है । अतः साधक के लिये इसमें क्या ठीक और क्या बेठीक ‘किं भद्रं किमभद्र वा’ ( श्रीमद्धा ११ । २८ । ४) ।

यह संसार तो एक तमाशा है, खेल है । सिनेमाके परदेपर कभी लड़ाई दीख जाती है, कभी शान्ति दीख जाती है । कभी दीखता है कि आग लग गयी, हाहाकार मच गया, गाँव-के-गाँव जल गये, पर परदे को देखो तो वह गरम ही नहीं हुआ ! कभी दीखता है कि वर्षा आ गयी, नदी में जोर से बाढ़ आ गयी, बड़े-बड़े पत्थर बह गये, पशु-पक्षी बह गये, पर परदे को देखो तो वह गीला ही नहीं हुआ ! परन्तु दर्शक की दृष्टि तमाशे की तरफ ही रहती है, परदे की तरफ नहीं । इसी तरह यह संसार भी मायाका एक परदा है । जैसे सिनेमा अँधेरेमें ही दीखता है, ऐसे ही माया अज्ञानरूपी अँधेरे में ही दीखती है । यदि पूरे सिनेमा हाल में बत्तियाँ जला दी जायें तो तमाशा दीखना बन्द हो जायगा । इसी तरह ‘वासुदेवः सर्वम्’(गीता ७ । १९) ‘सब कुछ वासुदेव ही है’‒ऐसा प्रकाश हो जाय तो यह तमाशा रहेगा ही नहीं । मशीन तो भगवान् हैं और उसमें मायारूपी फिल्म लगी है । परदेकी जगह यह संसार है । प्रकाश परमात्माका है । अब इस मायाको सच्चा समझकर राजी-नाराज हो गये तो फँस गये ! अतः सन्तोंने कहा है‒‘देखो निरपख होय तमाशा ।’

ठहरनेवाला कोई नहीं है । न अच्छा ठहरनेवाला है, न बुरा ठहरनेवाला है । अपनी उसमें कोई वस्तु टिकी है क्या ?अवस्था टिकी है क्या ? घटना टिकी है क्या ? कोई चीज स्थायी रही है क्या ? पर आप तो वे-के-वे ही हैं । आपके सामने कितना परिवर्तन हुआ ! हमारे देखते-देखते भी कितना परिवर्तन हो गया ! इस शहर के मकान, सड़क, रिवाज आदि सब बदल गये । परन्तु संसार में परमात्मा और शरीर में आत्मा‒ये दोनों नहीं बदले । शरीर संसार का साथी है और आत्मा परमात्मा का साथी है । इसमें कोई कहे कि शरीर मेरा है, तो फँस गया ! जब शरीर संसार का साथी है तो फिर आप एक शरीर को ही अपना क्यों मानते हो ? मानो तो सब शरीरोंको अपना मानो, नहीं तो इस शरीरको भी अपना मत मानो ।

Om Namah Shivay

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शान्त हो जाओ चुप हो जाओ

एक बहुत श्रेष्ठ, बड़ी सुगम, बड़ी सरल बात है । वह यह है कि किसी तरह की कोई इच्छा मत रखो । न परमात्मा की, न आत्मा की, न संसार की, न मुक्ति की, न कल्याण की, कुछ भी इच्छा मत करो और चुप हो जाओ । शान्त हो जाओ । कारण कि परमात्मा सब जगह शान्तरूप से परिपूर्ण है । स्वतः-स्वाभाविक सब जगह परिपूर्ण है । कोई इच्छा न रहे, किसी तरह की कोई कामना न रहे तो एकदम परमात्मा की प्राप्ति हो जाय, तत्त्वज्ञान हो जाय, पूर्णता हो जाय !

यह सबका अनुभव है कि कोई इच्छा पूरी होती है, कोई नहीं होती । सब इच्छाएँ पूरी हो जायँ यह नियम नहीं है । इच्छाओं का पूरा करना हमारे वश की बात नहीं है, पर इच्छाओं का त्याग करना हमारे वश की बात है । कोई भी इच्छा, चाहना नहीं रहेगी तो आपकी स्थिति स्वतः परमात्मा में होगी । आपको परमात्मतत्त्व का अनुभव हो जायगा । कुछ चाहना नहीं, कुछ करना नहीं, कहीं जान नहीं, कहीं आना नहीं, कोई अभ्यास नहीं । बस, इतनी ही बात है । इतने में ही पूरी बात हो गयी ! इच्छा करने से ही हम संसार में बँधे हैं । इच्छा सर्वथा छोड़ते ही सर्वत्र परिपूर्ण परमात्मा में स्वतः-स्वाभाविक स्थिति है ।

प्रत्येक कार्य में तटस्थ रहो । न राग करो, न द्वेष करो ।

तुलसी ममता राम सों, समता सब संसार ।
राग न रोष न दोष दुख, दास भए भव पार ॥
(दोहावली ९४)

एक क्रिया है और एक पदार्थ है । क्रिया और पदार्थ यह प्रकृति है । क्रिया और पदार्थ दोनों से संबंध-विच्छेद करके एक भगवान्‌ के आश्रित हो जायँ । भगवान्‌ के शरण हो जायँ, बस । उसमें आपकी स्थिति स्वतः है । ‘भूमा अचल शाश्वत अमल सम ठोस है तू सर्वदा’‒ ऐसे परमात्मा में आपकी स्वाभाविक स्थिति है । स्वप्न में एक स्त्रीका बालक खो गया । वह बड़ी व्याकुल हो गयी । पर जब नींद खुली तो देखा कि बालक तो साथ में ही सोया है‒ तात्पर्य है कि जहाँ आप हैं, वहाँ परमात्मा पूरे-के-पूरे विद्यमान है । आप जहाँ हैं, वहीं चुप हो जाओ !!

‒२९ जून २००५, सायं लगभग ४ बजे

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श्रोता‒कल आपने बताया कि कोई चाहना न रखे । इच्छा छोड़ना और चुप होना दोनों में कौन ज्यादा फायदा करता है ?

स्वामीजी‒मैं भगवान्‌ का हूँ, भगवान्‌ मेरे हैं, मैं और किसी का नहीं हूँ, और कोई मेरा नहीं है । ऐसा स्वीकार कर लो । इच्छारहित होना और चुप होना‒दोनों बातें एक ही हैं । इच्छा कोई करनी ही नहीं है, भोगों की, न मोक्ष की, न प्रेम की, न भक्ति की, न अन्य किसी की ।

श्रोता‒इच्छा नहीं करनी है, पर कोई काम करना हो तो ?

स्वामीजी‒काम उत्साह से करो, आठों पहर करो, पर कोई इच्छा मत करो । इस बात को ठीक तरह से समझो । दूसरों की सेवा करो, उनका दुःख दूर करो, पर बदले में कुछ चाहो मत । सेवा कर दो और अन्तमें चुप हो जाओ । कहीं नौकरी करो तो वेतन भले ही ले लो, पर इच्छा मत करो ।

सार बात है कि जहाँ आप हैं, वहीं परमात्मा हैं । कोई इच्छा नहीं करोगे तो आपकी स्थिति परमात्मा में ही होगी । जब सब परमात्मा ही हैं तो फिर इच्छा किस की करें ? संसार की इच्छा है, इसलिये हम संसार में हैं । कोई भी इच्छा नहीं है तो हम परमात्मा में हैं ।

Om Namah Shivay

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ATMASTAKAM – Chant of Shiva

Adi Shankaracharya, 8th CenturyTraditional Indian version of this song

(aka Shivoham: “I Am Shiva”)

Here are the Sanskrit words to the song (in red) and the English translations (in blue)

Mano buddhya-hankara chittani naham
Na cha shrotra jihve, na cha ghrana netre
Na cha vyoma bhumirna tejo na vayuhu
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham . (1)

I am not the mind, intellect, thought, ego, or some form of the supreme being; I neither have ears, nor tongue and I neither have nose (nostrils) nor eyes; I am not the sky, earth, light or the wind; I am the fortunate, joyful, supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Na cha prana sangno na vai pancha vayuhu
Na va sapta dhatur na va pancha koshaha
Na vak pani padau na chopastha payoo
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham .(2).

I am not the most essential air that everyone breathes. Nor a part of essential five gases related to bodily functions (which are Prana, Aparna, Vyana, Udana and Samana). I am not the seven-fold material (Rasa, Rakta, Mamsa, Medas, Asthi,Majja and Shukra) that help in body’s physical development, I am not part of five coverings that help to build up the personality (food, air, mind, knowledge or wisdom and pleasure). Nor am I the five organs of action (which are speech/mouth, hands, feet, reproductive and rectum), I am the fortunate, joyful, supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Na me dvesha ragau na me lobha mohau
Mado naiva me naiva matsarya bhavah
Na dharmo na chartho na kamo na mokshah
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham .(3).

I have no likes or dislikes; Not I have any greed or delusion; I have no pride or arrogant vanity; Nor am I jealous of anyone or in competition with anyone ; I do not need the four main necessities of life (which are Dharma (Law of Life), Artha (Wealth), Kama (Desires) and Moksha (Liberation); I am the fortunate, joyful,supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Na punyam na papam na saukhyam na dukham
Na mantro na tirtham na veda na yagnaha
Aham bhojanam naiva bhojyam na bhokta
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham .(4).

I am not attached to any righteousness or sin; I have neither pleasure nor sorrow; I have no need for any Mantra; I have no need for pilgrimages ; I have no need for any sacred scriptures; nor do I perform any sacrifise or rituals; I am neither the meal nor the one who consumes or what is consumed;
I am the fortunate, joyful,supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Na me mrutyu shanka na me jati bhedah
Pita naiva me naiva mata na janma
Na bandhur na mitram gurur naiva shishyah
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham .(5).

I have no fear of death, nor do I have caste distinctions; I neither have a father nor mother because I was never born; I have neither kin/relatives nor friends; I have no gurus and nor am I a disciple; I am the fortunate, joyful, supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

Aham nirvikalpo nirakara rupo
Vibhur vyapya sarvatra sarvendriyanam
Sada me samatvam na muktir na bandhah
Chidananda rupah shivoham shivoham .(6).

I am free of thoughts and beyond imagination since I have no form; I am all pervading and exist everywhere; I am the king of all sense-organs; I am always impartial to everything and everyone,; I am free from everything and I have no attachment to anything; I am the fortunate, joyful, supreme being who is the very emblem of truth, knowledge and eternal bliss.
I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.
– Adi Shankaracharya, 8th CenturyTraditional Indian version of this song:

ATMASTAKAM – Chant of Shiva

Om Namah Shivay

***Write ” Om Namah Shivay ” if you ask for God’s blessing on your life today. Please Like, Tag and Share to bless others!

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