Monday, February 29, 2016

The 108 Names of Shiva | Ashtottara Shatanamavali

Cosmic Shiva
   With Maha Shivaratri just days away, it is an wonderful time to consider the significance of Maha Shivaratri and its origins. Maha Shivaratri, the Great Night of Lord Shiva, is considered the most significant observance of the year for Shiva devotees. It is the time when the transcendental silence of Shiva’s consciousness is most accessible on earth and the open-hearted devotion of humans is most powerfully received in the Divine realms. The veils that separate humans from Divine communion are pulled back on this beautiful night and spiritual practices bear sweet and lasting fruit.

   All around the world, Shiva devotees are celebrating, each according to their own regional culture and traditions. Every celebration is connected by the words of Shiva to his Beloved Parvati. Goddess Parvati asks Shiva which of the many observances performed in His name pleased him most. Shiva answers that the 14th night of the waning moon during the month of Phalgun is his favorite day. On this day Shiva declares that during four successive cycles of the night he should be worshiped by bathing him in: 

Shiva & Parvati together in one form
Milk during the first cycle.
Curd in the second.
Ghee in the third.
Honey in the fourth. 

   Shiva also instructs that devotees should offer him bel leaves which are as precious to him as jewels and flowers; and that all fasts be broken and Brahmans fed at the conclusion of this observance. Shiva declars that the observances of Shivaratri are beyond compare.

   Goddess Parvati was deeply moved by Lord Shiva’s speech. She told it to the Gods who reported it to the priests, and in this way it became known throughout the world. This is the origin of Maha Shivaratri. An essential part of every celebration is singing the praises of Lord Shiva’s attributes and reciting his many names. Here are the 108 names of Lord Shiva.

May your Maha Shivaratri grant you moksha (liberation) and transcendental bliss!

The 108 Names of Shiva:

1 Om Shivaya Namaha  To the Auspicious One 
2 Om Maheshvaraya Namaha  To the Great God Shiva 
3 Om Shambhave Namaha  To the God who exists for our happiness alone 
4 Om Pinakine Namaha  To Shiva, who guards the path of dharma 
5 Om Shashishekharaya Namaha  To the God who wears the crescent moon in his hair 
6 Om Vamadevaya Namaha  To the God who is pleasing and auspicious in every way 
7 Om Virupakshaya Namaha  To the God of spotless form 
8 Om Kapardine Namaha  To the Lord with thickly matted hair 
9 Om Nilalohitaya Namaha  To the God splendid as the red sun at daybreak 
10 Om Shankaraya Namaha  To the source of all prosperity 
11 Om Shulapanaye Namaha  To the God who carries a spear 
12 Om Khatvangine Namaha  To the God who carries a knurled club 
13 Om Vishnuvallabhaya Namaha  To Shiva, who is dear to Lord Vishnu 
14 Om Shipivishtaya Namaha  To the Lord whose form emits great rays of light 
15 Om Ambikanathaya Namaha  To Ambika's Lord 
16 Om Shrikantaya Namaha  To he whose throat is shining blue 
17 Om Bhaktavatsalaya Namaha  To the Lord who loves His devotees like new born calves 
18 Om Bhavaya Namaha  To the God who is existence itself 
19 Om Sarvaya Namaha  To Shiva who is all 
20 Om Trilokeshaya Namaha  To Shiva who is the Lord of all the three worlds 
21 Om Shitakanthaya Namaha  To the primal soul whose throat is deep blue 
22 Om Shivapriyaya Namaha  To the god who is dear to Shakti 
23 Om Ugraya Namaha  To Shiva whose presence is awesome and overwhelming 
24 Om Kapaline Namaha  To the God whose begging bowl is a human skull 
25 Om Kamaraye Namaha  To Shiva who conquers all passions 
26 Om Andhakasura Sudanaya Namaha  To the Lord who killed the asura Andhaka 
27 Om Gangadharaya Namaha  To the God who holds the Ganges River in his hair 
28 Om Lalatakshaya Namaha  To the Lord whose sport is creation 
29 Om Kalakalaya Namaha  To Shiva who is the death of death 
30 Om Kripanidhaye Namaha  To the God who is the treasure of compassion 
31 Om Bhimaya Namaha  To Shiva whose strength is awesome 
32 Om Parashu Hastaya Namaha  To the God who wields an axe in his hands 
33 Om Mrigapanayae Namaha  To the Lord who looks after the soul in the wilderness 
34 Om Jatadharaya Namaha  To Shiva who bears a mass of matted hair 
35 Om Kailasavasine Namaha  To the God who abides on Mount Kailas 
36 Om Kavachine Namaha  To the Lord who is wrapped in armor 
37 Om Kathoraya Namaha  To Shiva who causes all growth 
38 Om Tripurantakaya Namaha  To the Lord who destroyed the three demonic cities 
39 Om Vrishankaya Namaha  To the God whose emblem is a bull (Nandi) 
40 Om Vrishabharudhaya Namaha  To Shiva who rides a bull 
41 Om Bhasmoddhulita Vigrahaya Namaha To the Lord covered with holy ash 
42 Om Samapriyaya Namaha  To the God exceedingly fond of hymns from the Sama Veda 
43 Om Svaramayaya Namaha  To Shiva who creates through sound 
44 Om Trayimurtaye Namaha  To the Lord who is worshiped in three forms 
45 Om Anishvaraya Namaha  To the undisputed Lord 
46 Om Sarvagyaya Namaha  To the God who knows all things 
47 Om Paramatmane Namaha  To the Supreme Self 
48 Om Somasuragni Lochanaya Namaha  To the light of the eyes of Soma, Surya and Agni 
49 Om Havishe Namaha  To Shiva who receives oblations of ghee 
50 Om Yagyamayaya Namaha  To the architect of all sacrificial rites 
51 Om Somaya Namaha  To the Moon-glow of the mystic's vision 
52 Om Panchavaktraya Namaha  To the God of the five activities 
53 Om Sadashivaya Namaha  To the eternally auspicious benevolent Shiva 
54 Om Vishveshvaraya Namaha  To the all-pervading ruler of the cosmos 
55 Om Virabhadraya Namaha  To Shiva the foremost of heroes 
56 Om Gananathaya Namaha  To the God of the Ganas 
57 Om Prajapataye Namaha  To the Creator 
58 Om Hiranyaretase Namaha  To the God who emanates golden souls 
59 Om Durdharshaya Namaha  To the unconquerable being 
60 Om Girishaya Namaha  To the monarch of the holy mountain Kailas 
61 Om Girishaya Namaha  To the Lord of the Himalayas
62 Om Anaghaya Namaha  To Shiva who can inspire no fear 
63 Om Bujangabhushanaya Namaha  To the Lord adorned with golden snakes 
64 Om Bhargaya Namaha  To the foremost of rishis 
65 Om Giridhanvane Namaha  To the God whose weapon is a mountain 
66 Om Giripriyaya Namaha  To the Lord who is fond of mountains 
67 Om Krittivasase Namaha  To the God who wears clothes of hide 
68 Om Purarataye Namaha  To the Lord who is thoroughly at home in the wilderness 
69 Om Bhagavate Namaha  To the Lord of prosperity 
70 Om Pramathadhipaya Namaha  To the God who is served by goblins 
71 Om Mritunjayaya Namaha  To the conqueror of death 
72 Om Sukshmatanave Namaha  To the subtlest of the subtle 
73 Om Jagadvyapine Namaha  To Shiva who fills the whole world 
74 Om Jagadgurave Namaha  To the guru of all the worlds 
75 Om Vyomakeshaya Namaha  To the God whose hair is the spreading sky above 
76 Om Mahasenajanakaya Namaha  To the origin of Mahasena 
77 Om Charuvikramaya Namaha  To Shiva, the guardian of wandering pilgrims 
78 Om Rudraya Namaha  To the Lord who is fit to be praised 
79 Om Bhutapataye Namaha  To the source of living creatures, including the Bhutas, or ghostly creatures 
80 Om Sthanave Namaha  To the firm and immovable deity 
81 Om Ahirbudhnyaya Namaha  To the Lord who waits for the sleeping kundalini 
82 Om Digambaraya Namaha  To Shiva whose robes are the cosmos 
83 Om Ashtamurtaye Namaha  To the Lord who has eight forms 
84 Om Anekatmane Namaha  To the God who is the one soul 
85 Om Satvikaya Namaha  To the Lord of boundless energy 
86 Om Shuddha Vigrahaya Namaha  To him who is free of all doubt and dissension 
87 Om Shashvataya Namaha  To Shiva, endless and eternal 
88 Om Khandaparashave Namaha  To the God who cuts through the mind's despair 
89 Om Ajaya Namaha  To the instigator of all that occurs 
90 Om Papavimochakaya Namaha  To the Lord who releases all fetters 
91 Om Mridaya Namaha  To the Lord who shows only mercy 
92 Om Pashupataye Namaha  To the ruler of all evolving souls, the animals 
93 Om Devaya Namaha  To the foremost of devas, demigods 
94 Om Mahadevaya Namaha  To the greatest of the gods 
95 Om Avyayaya Namaha  To the one never subject to change 
96 Om Haraye Namaha  To Shiva who dissolves all bondage 
97 Om Pashudantabhide Namaha  To the one who punished Pushan 
98 Om Avyagraya Namaha  To the Lord who is steady and unwavering 
99 Om Dakshadhvaraharaya Namaha  To the destroyer of Daksha's conceited sacrifice 
100 Om Haraya Namaha  To the Lord who withdraws the cosmos 
101 Om Bhaganetrabhide Namaha  To Shiva who taught Bhaga to see more clearly 
102 Om Avyaktaya Namaha  To Shiva who is subtle and unseen 
103 Om Sahasrakshaya Namaha  To the Lord of limitless forms
104 Om Sahasrapade Namaha  To the God who is standing and walking everywhere 
105 Om Apavargapradaya Namaha  To the Lord who gives and takes all things 
106 Om Anantaya Namaha  To the God who is unending 
107 Om Tarakaya Namaha  To the great liberator of mankind 
108 Om Parameshvaraya Namaha  To the great God 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Making Your Devotion Powerful

      The key element for transmission  of energy (or Shakti) is silence. The devotee needs to access deep silence within their own meditation practice and carry their silence within themselves to access their own devotional power. Also, the transmission of Bhakti takes place within silence. In music it is the silence that reverberates between the sounds. In seva or selfless service it is in the welling up of the blissful feelings and the gratitude in the eyes of those who have received the seva. In dance it is the still places within the motion. In visual art it is the formless within the form. In theater it is the space between the words.

        It is the sacred works of art that endure and inspire and represent the best of what humans are capable of. In the creation and sharing of sacred art, there is a transmission of Divine energy. In this way, the devotees have imparted their most divine feelings to others and they have inspired the same devotion in others that they have cultivated in themselves. Stored within their art is the power of their devotion left for future generations.
      The skilled Bhakta (devotee) stirs and arouses their feelings in the activity of their devotion. Then in the stillness after the activity, they launch their devotion into the hearts of others. Whenever you can catch the deep silence within your own consciousness; in your own meditation, at the end of a song or in a moment of quietness in conversation - it is an ideal opportunity to send an impulse of devotion from your heart to another’s heart. 

[excerpted from Shiva Sai Mandir's Center for Yogic Studies Fall Vedic Studies class]

The tender words we said to one another

are stored in the secret heart of heaven,

One day like rain, they will fall and spread 

and our mystery will grow green over the world.

- Rumi