Millions of people repeat mantras and say “Om Namah Shivaya” but they don’t know the meaning. They don’t even realize that they do not know what they are saying. They chant these Spiritual and Religious mantras for decades and generations repeating the mantra without understanding its meaning. It actually means — “Om,” a symbol of the Divine, “Namah,” Namaskara or to bow down, and then the name of God. It means “O Divine! I bow down to you in the form of Shiva, “Om Namah Shivaya”. We must stop praying without understanding what we are saying. Should we just pray or should ask and understand what we say to God? This is just one example of how we blindly follow myths and customs. It can be both useful as well as harmful. But each myth that was created was actually done so with a positive intention.
Be that as it may, one must seek and realize God. That is Life’s ultimate goal.
Understanding the true meaning of another mantra that is often used is “Shivoham” is key to unravel the most profound questions of Life. “Shivoham” means “God lives in me”. It is commonly mistaken and said without realizing its true meaning. It does not mean that God is “I” but that, “I” am a part of the Creator. We may appear to be in the form of human beings, but we don’t realize that we are only manifestations of God. We are the effects whereas God is the cause. Without God, we are nothing. Therefore, what are we? We are God appearing as man. Just as a ring, a bangle and a chain of gold appear as jewelry. Although it is so simple to understand, we human beings are unable to realize this truth because our own mind denies it, as it is under the influence of Maya, a cosmic illusion. A pot, a plate and a statue, which are all made of the same clay or porcelain, are considered to be the products that they visually seem to be. But can anybody deny that without the clay, there would be no pot, plate or statue? These are the effects of the cause ‘clay’, just as we are the effects of the cause which is God. Everything in this universe is God. The sun, the moon and the stars, the birds, the animals and the flowers are all manifestations of God. The mountains, the river and the seas, the bees, the flowers and the trees, the fish and the seals, you and me are all effects of the one power source, God. How can 8 billion people be God? We can understand how this seemingly impossible truth can be justified by the following analogy. We know there is only one sun. If we keep a bucket of water, we can see the reflection of the sun in the bucket. If we keep two buckets, we see two reflections, and if we keep ten buckets, we can see ten reflections of the sun. The sun is one, but all the ten buckets of water have the reflection of the sun as it gloriously shines in each of them. That is how the power of God gloriously shines in 8 billion people. Each is nothing but a reflection of the supreme power. If God manifests in each one of us, then what is God?
For this, we must seek to realize who we are before we realize what God is. Our ignorance makes us believe that we are the body, we are the mind, we are the ego, but the truth is we are none of these. We are the life energy popularly known as the Soul, the Spirit, the Atman, the Prana or the Chi. Only when we realize this truth can we truly realize what God is. Till then we will live and die like some blind people who believe that there is nothing in this world just because they can’t see anything. When will we overcome our blind ignorance and realize God?
Even science today admits that we human beings who appear to be made up of cells, which can be further broken down into neutrons, electrons, protons are finally, in essence, nothing but energy that appears as the physical body.
There are special Shivoham poojas for seekers of the truth at Shivoham Shiva Temple. Ask the archakas for the meaning of each pooja and about starting your quest to be one with God.
When we pray through Lord Shiva, we must understand that we are performing the poojas to remind ourselves and show our devotion to God, to the Creator who is a power, a power beyond human comprehension – an omnipresent, omnipotent and omniscient Power – that knows everything, is all-powerful and present everywhere. God is the Creator of the universe. It is with His universal laws that the cosmos continues to exist in a perfect manner. We pray through Lord Shiva to the Divine Soul.