Aum Namah Shivaya – MP3 Download and Pronunciation
What Is a Mantra?
Sadhguru: In Yoga we say the whole existence is a complex amalgamation of sound. In that, we have identified a few sounds which have the capability to open up different dimensions. Certain sounds are used with a particular purpose – these key sounds are generally called mantras. There are different types of mantras. There are mantras to conquer and acquire things. There are mantras to bring joy and love. There are also mantras to open up other dimensions of experience.
The basic mantra which is held as the mahamantra in the Yogic culture is “AUM Namah Shivaya.”
The Right Way to Utter ‘AUM’
The sound AUM is not to be uttered as “Om.” It is to be uttered by opening your mouth – “AAA,” and as you slowly close your mouth, it becomes “UUU,” and “MAA.” This is a natural happening, not something that you do. If you open your mouth and exhale, it will become “AAA.” As you close your mouth, it slowly becomes “UUU,” and when you close it, it becomes “MMM.” “AAA,” “UUU,” and “MMM” are the fundamental sounds of existence. If you utter these 3 sounds together, you will get “AUM.” “AUM” is the most fundamental mantra. So, the mahamantra is not to be uttered as “Om Namah Shivaya” – it is to be uttered as “AUM Namah Shivaya.”
This is the mantra of Shiva, the destroyer. He does not destroy you but that which is standing as a barrier between you and the larger possibilities of life. The mantra is designed to clear the cobwebs of karma so that your perception is enhanced and you become available to a larger dimension of existence.
Five Syllables of Enormous Power
“Na-Ma Shi-Va-Ya” are called panchaksharas or five syllables. This mantra is a fabulous arrangement of just five syllables, which does phenomenal things. Through the history of time, probably the maximum number of people have realized their ultimate potential through these five syllables.
The panchaksharas correspond to the five main centers in the human system and are a way of activating them. We can use this mantra as a purificatory process, and at the same time as a foundation for all meditativeness that we may attain to. Otherwise, most people are not able to retain their meditativeness without creating a substantial vibration of mantras within. A mantra is a very important measure to bring into your life to give you the necessary foundational vibration that prevents your mental attitudes and your physical energies from sinking beyond a certain level.
These panchaksharas also represent the five elements in nature. Na is earth, ma is water, shi is fire, va is air, and ya is space. If you get mastery over the panchaksharas, they could dissolve everything that is made up of the five elements in your consciousness.
Master of the Five Elements, Master of Life
The most important aspect of Shiva is that he is a Bhuteshwara – one who has mastery over the five elements. The whole creation is just a play of these five elements. Such a grand creation with just five ingredients! If you have even a little mastery over these five elements, then you have mastery over life and death and everything around you because everything is made of these five elements. The most fundamental practice of Yoga is bhuta shuddhi, or purifying and taking charge of the five elements in your system.
If you master the five elements, you have completely mastered your physicality because your whole physicality is just a play of these five ingredients. If these five elements are taking instructions from you as to how they function, then health, wellbeing, success, and mastery over life come as a natural consequence.