Om Namah Shivaya, the Shiva mantra, is a potent mantra of self realisation
The literal translation of Om Namah Shivaya in English is “Adoration to Lord Shiva” but its actual meaning and potency go much much deeper than that.
ॐ नमः शिवाय
The Panchakshara Mantra
If you don’t include ‘Om’, the mantra is often called the five syllable or Panchakshara mantra. Those five syllables of course being na-ma-shi-va-ya. It is thought these five syllables represent the five elements of earth, water, fire, air and space.
So by chanting the mantra, as well as realising your own self worth, it links you back to the very beginning of creation, back to the source from which all life and the universe itself arose.
How To Chant Om Namah Shivaya
It is believed that true self realisation will come from repetition and discipline. In other words, chanting this mantra for a fixed number of times, perhaps at a fixed time of day.
It has been said that there is freedom in discipline; choosing to do a regular practice frees the mind from wondering what practice will be done that day. It is also important not to do the mantra practice with rote repetition, but rather, with feeling and awareness.
So to start with it is a good idea to set yourself a set number of days and aim to do the same repetitions of the mantra each day.
I like to use a a rudraksha chain, with 108 beads on it. That way I know I am doing 108 each time.
You can start with 5 days, 10 days, 20 days, 40 days – it is entirely up to you!