Shiva Mantras - Shaivism

Shiva Mantras and their significance

Modern Science has only now begun to see the importance of chanting mantras and their healing vibrations. But Mantras have always been the best way to connect with the Divine, for they contain the energies of the Lord. Chanting mantras in a certain way can open up a whole new dimension of consciousness. When delivered properly, it can free you from whatever torments you.

The Vedas have been the sole repository of the most powerful mantras that exist, and of all of those mantras, Shiva mantras are believed to be the most powerful and purifying. Shiva mantras chanted during the auspicious occasion of Shivaratri, or during Shravan, act as a shield against all negativities in your life. But are you aware of the deeper meaning and significance of each of these Shiv mantras?

Significant Shiva Mantras

While there are many ways to call upon the Supreme Lord Shiva, there are some extremely significant Shiva mantras that can enhance your life, and help you attain a higher level of consciousness and unity with the Lord himself. 

1. ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

This is the Moola Mantra, and one that is often used to call out to Lord Shiva. In simple terms, this mantra means ‘I bow to Lord Shiva’. But dig deeper and you will find an inspiring meaning.  When you say ‘Namah’, you are essentially saying that ‘I am not ego, but only Shiva’. Namah is also a salutation, but when broken into Na and Maha, it means ‘I am not mine, and only belong to Shiva’. Regular chanting of this mantra rids you of all guilts, sins, and helps you feel like you are inseparable from Shiva, as is He.

2. ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्उ र्वारुकमिव बन्धनान् मृत्योर्मुक्षीय मामृतात्

ॐ We offer to you the Tri-Ambakam, the fragrant one, the enhancer of auspiciousness, the Varuka, the bondage of death, the nectar of the bondage

This is the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra, one that is chanted to worship the three-eyed Shiva, who has the power to set you free from the fear of death. In the Rig Veda, the Maha Mrityunjay mantra is chanted for the Rudra form of Lord Shiva, the winner of death (Mrityu – death, Jay- victory). When one chants this mantra, one can escape the troubles of this world, for Lord Shiva takes away all the pain of his devotee. When He protects you, who can harm you?

3. ॐ तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे महादेवाय धीमहि तन्नो रुद्रः प्रचोदयात्
ॐ Tatpurushaya विद्महे Mahadevaya धीमहि तन्नो Rudraḥ prachodayat

The Rudra Gayatri Mantra asks the supreme Lord Shiva to bless your mind with intellect, and illuminate it. When you call out to the great Purusha through this chant, he blesses you with a higher intellect. Higher intellect is not about gaining the ability to amass riches, but about searching yourself to find true happiness that goes way beyond short-lived, material pleasures of the world. When you chant this Shiva mantra and meditate for Him to illuminate your mind, you get His blessings to bring about spiritual calm and awareness in your life.

4. करचरण कृतं वाक्कायजं कर्मजं वा श्रवणनयनजं वा मानसं वापराधं विहितमविहितं वा सर्वमेतत्क्षमस्व जय जय करुणाब्धे श्रीमहादेव शम्भो
Forgive all these sins committed by hands and feet, speech and body, actions, hearing and eyes, mental offenses of use, prescribed or unprescribed, Jai Jai, O ocean of mercy, Sri Mahadeva Shambho

The Shiva Dhyaan Mantra is the mantra for forgiveness.More importantly, the mantra seeks to eliminate all negativity from your life. When you chant this mantra, you ask the Lord to forgive you from all kinds of sins that you may have done. It gives you the necessary push to move forward in life, and march ahead with positivity.

5. एकादश रुद्र मंत्र
The Ekadasha Rudra Mantras

Unlike the other Shiva mantras that we have mentioned earlier, the Ekadasha Rudra Mantra is a set of eleven Mantras, and these are used to worship Lord Shiva in his various forms. The Mantras also correspond to each of the months of the year. It is said that you reap most benefits when you chant each mantra as per the month they signify.

6. करपूर गौरम करूणावतारम संसार सारम भुजगेन्द्र हारम सदा वसंतम हृदयारविंदे भवम भवानी सहितं नमामि
Karpur Gauram Karunaavataraam Sansara Saram Bhujagendra Haram Sada Vasantam Hridayaravinde Bhavam Bhavani Sahitam Namami

Found in the Yajurveda, this Shiva mantra bows down to the male and female aspects of the Lord, together. In referring to the purity of white camphor, the mantra seeks to evoke compassion in the one who chants it. When translated, it means calling Shiva the essence of worldly existence, whose garland is the king of serpents, always dwelling inside the lotus of the heart, and I bow to Shiva and Parvati (Shakti) together.

7. नमस्ते अस्तु भगवन विश्र्वेश्र्वराय महादेवाय त्र्यम्बकाय त्रिपुरान्तकाय त्रिकालाग्निकालाय कालाग्निरुद्राय नीलकण्ठाय मृत्युंजयाय सर्वेश्र्वराय सदाशिवाय श्रीमन् महादेवाय नमः
O Lord of the universe, Mahadeva, Trimbaka, destroyer of Tripura, Trikalagnikala, Kalagnirudra, blue-necked, conqueror of death, Lord of all, Sadashiva, O Sriman Mahadeva, I offer my obeisances unto Thee

This Shiva Mantra is an evocation to the Lord of the Universe, who is the greatest of them all. In chanting this mantra, calling out His name, and listing down all his qualities, the mantra can help you attain the same. When you call Shiva, you call He who has three eyes (eye of omniscience), He who gives enlightenment which is beyond the three worlds, He who like fire devours all three times within himself, He who disciplines the world into order, and He who has conquered Yama, the Lord of Death.

8. शिवोहम शिवोहम
Shivoham Shivoham

A literal translation of this mantra is ‘I am Shiva’. But delve deeper and you will find that it means so much more; it reminds us of our oneness with the absolute reality. When you chant Shivoham Shivoham, it creates a powerful and positive vibration that lets you experience a state of detachment and freedom. The mantra shows us the path to ultimate happiness, by seeing the changing nature of the world and learning how to flow with it.

9. तस्मै नमः परम कारन्ना कारन्नाय दीप्तोज्ज्वला जज्वलित पिङ्गगल लोचनाय नागेन्द्र हार कृत कुण्डदल भूस्सन्नाय ब्रह्मेन्द्र विष्णु वरदाय नमः शिवाय
Tasmai Namah Parama Kaaranna Kaarannaaya Diiptojjvala Jjvalita Pinggala Lochanaaya
Naagendra Haara Krta Kunnddala Bhuussannaaya Brahmendra Vishnu Varadaaya Namah Shivaaya

The Shivashtakam Mantra is the ultimate prayer for willpower, wisdom and patience. Not only does this mantra have healing effects on a devotee’s mental strength and temperament, but also helps them overcome suffering, brings more clarity, and enhances intuition. The Shivashtakam is also believed to bless the life of the chanter with abundant health and happiness, remove pain, and any other obstacle in life.

10. Om Mrityunjaya Pareshan Jagadbhaya Nashana Devasha Mrityu Prapti Jivati Jivati Ishaan Deva Namah Tasmai Pinakine Death Destroy Death Death O Lord of the universe I meditate on that destroyer of death, destroyer of fear, bestower of empire and liberation, accompanied by hosts of various beings, always served by the gods at the feet of heaven, destroyer of ignorance and darkness, auspicious, bestower of happiness in the arts, Lord of all, Lord of all, Lord of all, Lord of all, conqueror of death

Om mrityunjay pareshaan jagadaabhayanaashan

Tav dhyaanen devesh mrityupraapnoti jeevati

Vande ishaan devaay namastasmai pinakine

Aadimadhyaant rupaay mrityunaasham karotu me

Namastasmai bhagwate kailasachal vaasine

Namobrahmendra rupaay mrityunaasham karotu me

Trayambakaya namastubhyam panchasyaay namo namah

Namo dordandachaapaay mam mrityum vinaashay

Namordhendu swarupaay Namo digvasanaay cha

Namo Bhaktarti hantre cha mam mrityum vinaashay

Devam mrituvinaashanam bhayaharam saamrajya mukti pradam

Nana bhutagananvitam divi padaih devaih sada sevitam

Agyaanaandhakanaashanam shubhkaram vidhyaasu saukhya pradam

Sarv sarvapati maheshwara haram mrityunjay bhaavaye

This is the Shiva Aavahan Mantra, which praises the Lord by different names and calls them all for help.Devotees who chant this mantra are rid of all their fears, and are saved from any problems. The mantra itself asks Shiva to protect us from death, by asking him to literally destroy death as the Mahakal.