Ganesha known as Ganapati, Vinayaka or by numerous other names, is one of the best-known and most worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bali and Nepal. Hindu denominations worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is diffused and extends to Jains and Buddhists. Although he is known by many attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him easy to identify. Ganesha is revered as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences and the deva of intellect and wisdom; as the god of beginnings, he is honoured at the start of ceremonies. Ganesha is invoked as patron of letters and learning during writing sessions. Several texts relate mythological anecdotes associated with his birth and exploits. Ganesha emerged as a deity as early as the 2nd century CE, but most by the 4th and 5th centuries CE, during the Gupta period, although He inherited traits from Vedic and pre-Vedic precursors. Hindu mythology identifies him as the restored son of Parvati and Shiva of the Shaivism tradition, but he is a pan-Hindu god found in its various traditions.
In the Ganapatya tradition of Hinduism, Ganesha is the supreme deity. The principal texts on Ganesha include the Ganesha Purana, the Mudgala Purana, the Ganapati Atharvashirsa. Brahma Purana and Brahmanda Purana are other two Puranic genre encyclopedic texts that deal with Ganesha. Ganesha has been ascribed many other epithets, including Ganapati and Vighneshvara; the Hindu title of respect Shri is added before his name. The name Ganesha is a Sanskrit compound, joining the words gana, meaning a group, multitude, or categorical system and isha, meaning lord or master; the word gaṇa when associated with Ganesha is taken to refer to the gaṇas, a troop of semi-divine beings that form part of the retinue of Shiva, Ganesha's father. The term more means a category, community, association, or corporation; some commentators interpret the name "Lord of the Gaṇas" to mean "Lord of Hosts" or "Lord of created categories", such as the elements. Ganapati, a synonym for Ganesha, is a compound composed of gaṇa, meaning "group", pati, meaning "ruler" or "lord".
Though the earliest mention of the word Ganapati is found in hymn 2.23.1 of the 2nd-millennium BCE Rigveda, it is however uncertain that the Vedic term referred to Ganesha. The Amarakosha, an early Sanskrit lexicon, lists eight synonyms of Ganesha: Vinayaka, Vighnarāja, Dvaimātura, Gaṇādhipa, Heramba and Gajanana. Vinayaka is a common name for Ganesha that appears in Buddhist Tantras; this name is reflected in the naming of the eight famous Ganesha temples in Maharashtra known as the Ashtavinayak. The names Vighnesha and Vighneshvara refers to his primary function in Hinduism as the master and remover of obstacles. A prominent name for Ganesha in the Tamil language is Pillaiyar. A. K. Narain differentiates these terms by saying that pillai means a "child" while pillaiyar means a "noble child", he adds that the words pallu and pell in the Dravidian family of languages signify "tooth or tusk" "elephant tooth or tusk". Anita Raina Thapan notes that the root word pille in the name Pillaiyar might have meant "the young of the elephant", because the Pali word pillaka means "a young elephant".
In the Burmese language, Ganesha is known as Maha Peinne, derived from Pali Mahā Wināyaka. The widespread name of Ganesha in Thailand is Phra Phikanet; the earliest images and mention of Ganesha names as a major deity in present-day Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam date from the 7th- and 8th-centuries, these mirror Indian examples of the 5th century or earlier. In Sri Lankan Singhala Buddhist areas, he is known as Gana deviyo, revered along with Buddha, Vishnu and others. Ganesha is a popular figure in Indian art. Unlike those of some deities, representations of Ganesha show wide variations and distinct patterns changing over time, he may be portrayed standing, heroically taking action against demons, playing with his family as a boy, or sitting down on an elevated seat, or engaging in a range of contemporary situations. Ganesha images were prevalent in many parts of India by the 6th century; the 13th-century statue pictured is typical of Ganesha statuary from 900–1200, after Ganesha had been well-established as an independent deity with his own sect.
This example features some of Ganesha's common iconographic elements. A identical statue has been dated between 973–1200 by Paul Martin-Dubost, another similar statue is dated c. 12th century by Pratapaditya Pal. Ganesha has the head of a big belly; this statue has four arms, common in depictions of Ganesha. He holds his own broken tusk in his lower-right hand and holds a delicacy, which he samples with his trunk, in his lower-left hand; the motif of Ganesha turning his trunk to his left to taste a sweet in his lower-left hand is a archaic feature. A more primitive statue in one of the Ellora Caves with this general form has been dated to the 7th century. Details of the other hands are difficult to make out on the statue shown. In the standa
Religious texts are texts which religious traditions consider to be central to their practice or beliefs. Religious texts may be used to provide meaning and purpose, evoke a deeper connection with the divine, convey religious truths, promote religious experience, foster communal identity, guide individual and communal religious practice. Religious texts communicate the practices or values of a religious traditions and can be looked to as a set of guiding principles which dictate physical, spiritual, or historical elements considered important to a specific religion; the terms'sacred' text and'religious' text are not interchangeable in that some religious texts are believed to be sacred because of their nature as divinely or supernaturally revealed or inspired, whereas some religious texts are narratives pertaining to the general themes, practices, or important figures of the specific religion, not considered sacred by itself. A core function of a religious text making it sacred is its ceremonial and liturgical role in relation to sacred time, the liturgical year, the divine efficacy and subsequent holy service.
It is not possible to create an exhaustive list of religious texts, because there is no single definition of which texts are recognized as religious. One of the oldest known religious texts is the Kesh Temple Hymn of Ancient Sumer, a set of inscribed clay tablets which scholars date around 2600 BCE; the Epic of Gilgamesh from Sumer, although only considered by some scholars as a religious text, has origins as early as 2150-2000 BCE, stands as one of the earliest literary works that includes various mythological figures and themes of interaction with the divine. The Rig Veda of ancient Hinduism is estimated to have been composed between 1700–1100 BCE, which not only denotes it as one of the oldest known religious texts, but one of the oldest written religious text, still used in religious practice to this day, though no actual evidence of this text exists prior to the 13th century AD. There are many possible dates given to the first writings which can be connected to Talmudic and Biblical traditions, the earliest of, found in scribal documentation of the 8th century BCE, followed by administrative documentation from temples of the 5th and 6th centuries BCE, with another common date being the 2nd century BCE.
Although a significant text in the history of religious text because of its widespread use among religious denominations and its continued use throughout history, the texts of the Abrahamic traditions are a good example of the lack of certainty surrounding dates and definitions of religious texts. High rates of mass production and distribution of religious texts did not begin until the invention of the printing press in 1440, before which all religious texts were hand written copies, of which there were limited quantities in circulation. A religious canon refers to the accepted and unchanging collection of texts which a religious denomination considers comprehensive in terms of their specific application of texts. For example, the content of a Protestant Bible may differ from the content of a Catholic Bible - insofar as the Protestant Old Testament does not include the Deuterocanonical books while the Roman Catholic canon does. Protestants and Catholics use the same 27 book NT canon, as well as the same 39 book OT protocanon shared by Jews.
The word "canon" comes from the Sumerian word meaning "standard". The terms "scripture" and variations such as "Holy Writ", "Holy Scripture" or "Sacred Scripture" are defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as terms which apply to Biblical text and the Christian tradition. Hierographology is the study of sacred texts; the following is an in-exhaustive list of links to specific religious texts which may be used for further, more in-depth study. A Course in Miracles The writings of Franklin Albert Jones a.k.a. Adi Da Love-Ananda Samraj Aletheon The Companions of the True Dawn Horse The Dawn Horse Testament Gnosticon The Heart of the Adi Dam Revelation Not-Two IS Peace Pneumaton Transcendental Realism The Nine Freedoms Havamal Eddur Great Hymn to the Aten The Akilathirattu Ammanai The Arul Nool The Borgia Group codices Books by Bahá'u'lláh The Four Valleys The Seven Valleys The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh The Hidden Words of Bahá’u’lláh Gems of Divine Mysteries The Book of Certitude Summons of the Lord of Hosts Tabernacle of Unity Kitáb-i-Aqdas Tablets of Bahá’u’lláh Revealed After the Kitáb-i-Aqdas Epistle to the Son of the Wolf Gleanings from the Writings of Bahá'u'lláh Bon Kangyur and Tengyur Theravada BuddhismThe Tipitaka or Pāli Canon Vinaya Pitaka Sutta Pitaka Digha Nikaya, the "long" discourses.
Majjhima Nikaya, the "middle-length" discourses. Samyutta Nikaya, the "connected" discourses. Anguttara Nikaya, the "numerical" discourses. Khuddaka Nikaya, the "minor collection". Abhidhamma PitakaEast Asian Mahayana The Chinese Buddhist Mahayana sutras, including Diamond Sutra and the Heart Sutra Shurangama Sutra and its Shurangama Mantra Great Compassion Mantra Pure Land Buddhism Infinite Life Sutra Amitabha Sutra Contemplation Sutra other Pure Land Sutras Tiantai and Nichiren Lotus Sutra Shingon Mahavairocana Sutra Vajrasekhara SutraTibeta
The Agamas are a collection of scriptures of several Hindu devotional schools. The term means tradition or "that which has come down", the Agama texts describe cosmology, philosophical doctrines, precepts on meditation and practices, four kinds of yoga, temple construction, deity worship and ways to attain sixfold desires; these canonical texts are in Tamil. The three main branches of Agama texts are those of Shaivism, Shaktism; the Agamic traditions are sometimes called Tantrism, although the term "Tantra" is used to refer to Shakta Agamas. The Agama literature is voluminous, includes 28 Shaiva Agamas, 77 Shakta Agamas, 108 Vaishnava Agamas, numerous Upa-Agamas; the origin and chronology of Agamas is unclear. Some are Vedic and others non-Vedic. Agama traditions include Yoga and Self Realization concepts, some include Kundalini Yoga and philosophies ranging from Dvaita to Advaita; some suggest that these are others as pre-Vedic compositions. Epigraphical and archaeological evidence suggests that Agama texts were in existence by about middle of the 1st millennium CE, in the Pallava dynasty era.
Scholars note that some passages in the Hindu Agama texts appear to repudiate the authority of the Vedas, while other passages assert that their precepts reveal the true spirit of the Vedas. The Agamas literary genre may be found in Śramaṇic traditions. Bali Hindu tradition is called Agama Hindu Dharma in Indonesia. Āgāma is derived from the verb root गम meaning "to go" and the preposition आ meaning "toward" and refers to scriptures as "that which has come down". Agama means "tradition", refers to precepts and doctrines that have come down as tradition. Agama, states Dhavamony, is a "generic name of religious texts which are at the basis of Hinduism and which are divided into Vaishnava Agamas, Saiva Agamas, Sakta Agamas. Agamas, states Rajeshwari Ghose, teach a system of spirituality involving ritual worship and ethical personal conduct through precepts of a god; the means of worship in the Agamic religions differs from the Vedic form. While the Vedic form of yajna requires no idols and shrines, the Agamic religions are based on idols with puja as a means of worship.
Symbols and temples are a necessary part of the Agamic practice, while non-theistic paths are alternative means of Vedic practice. Action and will drive Agama precepts. This, does not mean that Agamas and Vedas are opposed, according to medieval-era Hindu theologians. Tirumular, for example, explained their link as follows: "the Vedas are the path, the Agamas are the horse"; each Agama consists of four parts: Jnana pada called Vidya pada – consists of doctrine, the philosophical and spiritual knowledge, knowledge of reality and liberation. Yoga pada – precepts on yoga, the physical and mental discipline. Kriya pada – consists of rules for rituals, construction of temples; this code is analogous in the Buddhist text of Sadhanamala. Charya pada – lays down rules of conduct, of worship, observances of religious rites, rituals and prayaschittas; the Agamas state three requirements for a place of pilgrimage: Sthala and Murti. Sthala refers to the place of the temple, Tīrtha is the temple tank, Murti refers to the image of god.
Elaborate rules are laid out in the Agamas for Silpa describing the quality requirements of the places where temples are to be built, the kind of images to be installed, the materials from which they are to be made, their dimensions, air circulation, lighting in the temple complex, etc. The Manasara and Silpasara are some of the works dealing with these rules; the rituals followed in worship services each day at the temple follow rules laid out in the Agamas. The Agama texts of Hinduism present a diverse range of philosophies, ranging from theistic dualism to absolute monism; this diversity of views was acknowledged in Chapter 36 of Tantraloka by the 10th-century scholar Abhinavagupta. In Shaivism alone, there are ten dualistic Agama texts, eighteen qualified monism-cum-dualism Agama texts, sixty-four monism Agama texts; the Bhairava Shastras are monistic. A similar breadth of diverse views is present in Vaishnava Agamas as well; the Agama texts of Shaiva and Vaishnava schools are premised on existence of Atman and the existence of an Ultimate Reality.
The texts differ in the relation between the two. Some assert the dualistic philosophy of the individual soul and Ultimate Reality being different, while others state a Oneness between the two. Kashmir Shaiva Agamas posit absolute oneness, God is within man, God is within every being, God is present everywhere in the world including all non-living beings, there is no spiritual difference between life, matter and God; the parallel group among Vaishnavas are the Shuddhadvaitins. Scholars from both schools have written treatises ranging from dualism to monism. For example, Shivagrayogin has emphasized the non-difference or unity of being, rea
Dashanami Sanyasi is a Hindu monastic tradition of "single-staff renunciation" associated with the Advaita Vedanta tradition. The disciples of Adi Shankaracharya are called "Dash Nam Sanyasi" as the Title is further divided into ten groups viz. Giri, Bharati, Aranya, Aashram, Saraswati and Parwat. Dashnam Sanyasins are associated with the four Maths in four corners of India, established by Adi Shankaracharya. All the disciples were Sanyasins who embraced sanyas either after marriage or without getting married. Single-staff renunciates are distinct in their practices from Shaiva trishuldhari or "trident-wielding renunciates" and Vaishnava traditions of Tridandi sannyāsis. In the 8th century a section of the were organized by Adi Shankara into four maṭhas. However, the association of the Dasanāmis with the Shankara maṭhas remained nominal. Any Hindu, irrespective of class, age or gender can seek sannyāsa as an Ēkadaṇḍi renunciate in the Dasanāmi tradition. Ēkadandis were known during what is sometimes referred to as "Golden Age of Hinduism" See Gupta rule and Gupta and Pallava periodThe "Golden Age of Hinduism" flourished during the Gupta Empire until the fall of the Harsha.
During this period, power was centralized, along with a growth of long distance trade, standardization of legal procedures, a general spread of literacy. Mahayana Buddhism flourished, but orthodox Shrauta Hinduism was rejuvenated by the patronage of the Gupta dynasty; the position of the Brahmans was reinforced and the first Hindu temples emerged during the late Gupta age. The Mahābhārata, which reached its final form by the early Gupta period mentions "ēkadaṇḍi" and "tridaṇḍi"; the Ēkadaṇḍis existed in the Tamil country during the south-Indian Pandyan dynasty and the South-Indian Pallava dynasty. Being wandering monastics, they were not settled in the brahmadeyas or settlement areas for Brahmins. There existed tax free bhiksha-bogams for feeding the Ēkadaṇḍi ascetics in the ancient Tamil country.Ēkadaṇḍis and Tridandis were active in Eastern India, appear to have existed there during the North-Indian Gupta Empire. According to R. Tirumalai, "There appears to have been no sectarian segregation of the Shaiva and Srivaishnava".
At the beginning of what is referred to as "Late classical Hinduism", which lasted from 650 till 1100 CE, Shankara established the Dasanami Sampradaya. See Late-Classical Age and Hinduism Middle AgesAfter the end of the Gupta Empire and the collapse of the Harsha Empire, power became decentralized in India. Several larger kingdoms emerged, with "countless vassal states": in the east the Pala Empire, in the west and north the Gurjara-Pratihara, in the southwest the Rashtrakuta dynasty, in the Dekkhan the Chalukya dynasty, in the south the Pallava dynasty and the Chola dynasty; the kingdoms were ruled via a feudal system. Smaller kingdoms were dependent on the protection of the larger kingdoms. "The great king was remote, was exalted and deified", as reflected in the Tantric Mandala, which could depict the king as the centre of the mandala. The disintegration of central power lead to regionalization of religiosity, religious rivalry. Local cults and languages were enhanced, the influence of "Brahmanic ritualistic Hinduism" was diminished.
Rural and devotional movements arose, along with Shaivism, Vaisnavism and Tantra, though "sectarian groupings were only at the beginning of their development". Religious movements had to compete for recognition by the local lords. Buddhism lost its position, began to disappear in India. Shankara, himself considered to be an incarnation of Shiva, established the Dashanami Sampradaya, organizing a section of the Ēkadaṇḍi monastics under an umbrella grouping of ten names. Several other Hindu monastic and Ēkadaṇḍi traditions remained outside the organization of the Dasanāmis. Adi Shankara organized the Hindu monastics of these ten sects or names under four maṭhas or monasteries, with headquarters at Dvārakā in the west, Jagannatha Puri in the east, Sringeri in the south and Badrikashrama in the north; each maṭha was headed by one of his four main disciples. Monastics of these ten orders differ in part in their beliefs and practices, a section of them is not considered to be restricted to specific changes made by Shankara.
While the Dasanāmis associated with the Shankara maṭhas follow the procedures enumerated by Adi Śankara, some of these orders remained or independent in their belief and practices. The association of the Dasanāmis with the Smartha tradition or Advaita Vedānta is not all-embracing. One example is the Kriyā Yoga tradition that considers itself eclectic, with ancient unchangeable beliefs, outside the ambit of differences in the understanding of Vedanta. Other examples are the Tantric Avadhūta Sampradāyas and Ekadaṇḍi sannyāsa traditions outside the control of the Shankara maṭhas The Dasanāmis or Ēkadaṇḍis founded, continue to found or affiliate themselves with, maṭhas and temples outside the control of the Shankara maṭhas; the Advaita Sampradaya is not a Shaiva sect, despite the historical links with Shaivism: Advaitins are non-sectarian, they advocate worship of Siva and Visnu with that of the other deities of Hinduism, like Sakti and others. Cont
A lingam, sometimes referred to as linga or Shiva linga, is an abstract or aniconic representation of the Hindu deity Shiva in Shaivism. It is a votary symbol revered as self-manifested natural objects; the lingam is represented within a lipped, disc-shaped platform called a yoni that symbolizes the goddess Shakti. Lingayats wear a lingam inside a necklace, called Ishtalinga. Lingam is additionally found in Sanskrit texts with the meaning of "evidence, proof", or in sexual context where it means the "male generative organ, phallus". Lingam iconography found at archaeological sites of the Indian subcontinent and southeast Asia includes simple cylinders set inside a yoni, rounded pillars with carvings such as of one or more mukha, anatomically realistic representations of a phallus such as at Gudimallam. In the Shaiva traditions, the lingam is regarded as a form of spiritual iconography. Lingam, states Monier Monier-Williams, appears in the Upanishads and epic literature, where it means a "mark, emblem, characteristic".
Other contextual meanings of the term include "evidence, symptom", "gender, male organ, phallus". The term appears in early Indian texts on logic, where an inference is based on a sign, such as "if there is smoke, there is fire" where the linga is the smoke. According to James Lochtefeld, it is sometimes "simplistically called a phallic symbol", it is a religious symbol in Hinduism representing Shiva as the generative power, all of existence, all creativity and fertility at every cosmic level. The lingam of the Shaivism tradition is a short cylindrical pillar-like symbol of Shiva, made of stone, gem, clay or disposable material. According to Encyclopædia Britannica, the lingam is a votary aniconic object found in the sanctum of Shiva temples and private shrines that symbolizes Shiva and is "revered as an emblem of generative power", it is found within a lipped, disked structure, an emblem of goddess Shakti and this is called the yoni. Together they symbolize the union of the feminine and the masculine principles, "the totality of all existence", states Encyclopædia Britannica.
According to Rohit Dasgupta, the lingam symbolizes Shiva in Hinduism, it is a phallic symbol. Since the 19th-century, states Dasgupta, the popular literature has represented the lingam as the male sex organ; this view contrasts with the traditional abstract values they represent in Shaivism wherein the lingam-yoni connote the masculine and feminine principles in the entirety of creation and all existence. According to Wendy Doniger, for many Hindus, the lingam is not a "male sexual organ" but of a spiritual icon and their faith, just like for the Christians the cross is not an "instrument of execution" but a symbol of Christ and the Christian faith. According to Alex Wayman, given the Shaiva philosophical texts and spiritual interpretations, various works on Shaivism by some Indian authors "deny that the linga is a phallus". To the Shaivites, a linga is neither a phallus nor do they practice the worship of erotic penis-vulva, rather the linga-yoni is a symbol of cosmic mysteries, the creative powers and the metaphor for the spiritual truths of their faith.
According to Sivaya Subramuniyaswami, the lingam signifies three perfections of Shiva. The upper oval part of the Shivalingam represent Parashiva and lower part of the Shivalingam called the pitha represents Parashakti. In Parashiva perfection, Shiva is the absolute reality, the timeless and spaceless. In Parashakti perfection, Shiva is all-pervasive, pure consciousness and primal substance of all that exists and it has form unlike Parashiva, formless. According to Nagendra Singh, some believe. According to Chakrabarti, "some of the stones found in Mohenjodaro are unmistakably phallic stones"; these are dated to some time before 2300 BCE. States Chakrabarti, the Kalibangan site of Harappa has a small terracotta representation that "would undoubtedly be considered the replica of a modern Shivlinga." According to Encyclopædia Britannica, while Harappan discoveries include "short cylindrical pillars with rounded tops", there is no evidence that the people of Indus Valley Civilization worshipped these artifacts as lingams.
The colonial era archaeologists John Marshall and Ernest Mackay proposed that certain artifacts found at Harappan sites may be evidence of yoni-linga worship in Indus Valley Civilization. Scholars such as Arthur Llewellyn Basham dispute whether such artifacts discovered at the archaeological sites of Indus Valley sites are yoni. For example and Ryan state that lingam/yoni shapes have been recovered from the archaeological sites at Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, part of the Indus Valley Civilisation. In contrast, Indologist Wendy Doniger states that this rare artifact can be interpreted in many ways and has unduly been used for wild speculations such as being a linga. Another postage stamp sized item found and called the Pashupati seal, states Doniger, has an image with a general resemblance with Shiva and "the Indus people may well have created the symbolism of the divine phallus", but given the available evidence we cannot be certain, nor do we know that it had the same meaning as some project them to might have meant.
According to the Indologist Asko Parpola, "it is true that Marshall's and Mackay's hypotheses of linga and yoni worship by the Harappans has rested on rather slender grounds, that for instance the interpretation of the so-called ring-stones as yonis seems untenable". He quotes Dales 1984 paper, which states "with the single exception of the unidentified photography of a realistic phallic object in Marshall's repo
Om Namah Shivaya
Om Namah Shivaya is one of the most popular Hindu Mantra and the most important mantra in Shaivism. Namah Shivaya means "O salutations to the auspicious one!", or “adoration to Lord Shiva". It is called Siva Panchakshara, or Shiva Panchakshara or Panchakshara meaning the "five-syllable" mantra and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, it is a holy salutation to Lord Shiva. This Mantra appears as'Na"Ma"Śi"Vā' and'Ya' in the Shri Rudram hymn, a part of the Krishna Yajurveda and in the Rudrashtadhyayi, a part of the Shukla Yajurveda; this mantra is present in the Shri Rudram hymn, part of the Krishna Yajurveda. Shri Rudram hymn is taken from two chapters in fourth book of Taittiriya Samhita of Krishna Yajurveda; each chapter consist of eleven anuvaka or hymns. Name of both chapters are Chamakam respectively. Om Namah Shivaya mantra appears without OM in eighth hymn of Namakam as Namah shivaya ca shivataraya, it means "Salutations unto Śiva the auspicious one, unto Śivatara the one than whom none more auspicious can exist".
This mantra appears in the Rudrashtadhyayi, a part of the Shukla Yajurveda. In the Rudrashtadhyayi, the mantra appears in the 5th chapter verse 41 as Namah shivaya ca shivataraya. Namah Shivaya means "O salutations to the auspicious one!", or “adoration to Lord Shiva" preceded by the devotional syllable "Om". In Siddha Shaivism and Shaiva Siddhanta Shaivism tradition Namah Shivaya is considered as Pancha Bodha Tatva of Lord Shiva and his universal oneness of five elements: Na sound represents earth Ma sound represents water Śi sound represents fire Vā sound represents Pranic air Ya sound represents sky or etherIts total meaning is that "universal consciousness is one". In the Shaiva Siddhanta Shaivism tradition the five letters represents: Na is the Lord’s concealing grace Ma is the world Śi stands for Shiva Vā is His revealing grace Ya is the Ātman or soul The Tirumantiram announces, “His feet are the letter Na, his navel is the letter Ma. His shoulders are the letter Śi, his mouth, the letter Vā.
His radiant cranial center aloft is Ya. Thus is the five-lettered form of Shiva.”: Tirumantiram 941. TM This Mantra appears as'Na"Ma"Śi"Vā' and'Ya' in the Shri Rudram hymn, a part of the Krishna Yajurveda, thus predates the use of Shiva as a proper name, in the original context being an address to Lord Rudra, where Shiva retains its original meaning as an adjective, meaning "auspicious, friendly", a euphemistic epithet of Rudra. This mantra appears in the Rudrashtadhyayi, a part of the Shukla Yajurveda. Whole Panchakshara Stotra is dedicated to this mantra. Tirumantiram, a scripture written in Tamil language, speaks of the meaning of the mantra, it appears in the Shiva Purana in the chapter 1.2.10 and in its Vidyeshvara samhita and in chapter 13 of the Vayaviya samhita of the Shiva Purana as'Om Namaha Shivaya'. The Tamil Saivaite hymn Tiruvacakam begins with the five letters'Na"Ma"Śi"Vā' and'Ya'; this mantra is repeated verbally or mentally, drawing the mind in upon itself to Lord Shiva’s infinite, all-pervasive presence.
Traditionally it is repeated 108 times a day while keeping count on a strand of rudraksha beads. This practice is called japa yoga, it is sung and chanted by everyone, but it is most powerful when given by one’s guru. Before this initiation, called mantra diksha, the guru will require a period of study; this initiation is part of a temple ritual, such as a puja, homa, dhyana or and while smearing vibhuti. The guru whispers the mantra into the disciple’s right ear, along with instructions on how and when to chant it; this mantra is associated with qualities of prayer, divine-love, grace and blissfulness. When done it calms the mind and brings spiritual insight and knowledge, it keeps the devotee close to Shiva and within His protective global fellowship. Traditionally, it is accepted to be a powerful healing mantra beneficial for all physical and mental ailments. Soulful recitation of this mantra brings peace to the joy to the Ātman or soul. Many Hindu teachers consider that the recitation of these syllables is sound therapy for the body and nectar for the Ātman.
The nature of the mantra is the calling upon the higher self. Om Namah Shivay was a TV serial telecasted on an Indian TV Channel, DD National. In season 8, episode 2 of Family Guy, Meg chants Om Namah Shivaya several times, after Stewie pulls her heart out; these words were chanted by a prisoner as his heart was ripped out by Mola Ram in the 1984 George Lucas and Steven Spielberg film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. In Eat, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy and Indonesia, Elizabeth Gilbert explained that the first chant provided by her guru was "Om Namah Shivaya." Gilbert wrote that this meant "I honor the divinity within me." These words are chanted by characters Yogi & Reggie as in the 2014 video game Far Cry 4 as the protagonist experiments with their psychedelic concoctions. "Om Namah Shivaya" is featured in the "Mahadeva" tune by Astral Projection, a popular psychedelic trance band. "Om Namah Shivaya" is featured in the "Serpente" song in the SETEVIDAS album by the Brazilian singer Pitty, the princess of rock in
Yoga is a group of physical and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India. Yoga is one of the six orthodox schools of Hindu philosophical traditions. There is a broad variety of yoga schools and goals in Hinduism and Jainism; the term "yoga" in the Western world denotes a modern form of Hatha yoga, consisting of the postures called asanas. The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions; the chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Upanishads. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st millennium CE, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra. Yoga gurus from India introduced yoga to the West, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century with his adaptation of yoga tradition, excluding asanas. In the 1980s, a different form of modern yoga, with an increasing number of asanas and few other practices, became popular as a system of exercise across the Western world.
Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, is related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy. Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of modern yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia and heart disease; the results of these studies have been inconclusive. On December 1, 2016, yoga was listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage; the Sanskrit noun योग yoga is derived from the root yuj "to attach, harness, yoke". The word yoga is cognate with English "yoke"; the spiritual sense of the word yoga first arises in Epic Sanskrit, in the second half of the 1st millennium BCE, is associated with the philosophical system presented in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, with the chief aim of "uniting" the human spirit with the Divine. The term kriyāyoga has a technical meaning in the Yoga Sutras, designating the "practical" aspects of the philosophy, i.e. the "union with the supreme" due to performance of duties in everyday life.
According to Pāṇini, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga or yuj samādhau. In the context of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the root yuj samādhau is considered by traditional commentators as the correct etymology. In accordance with Pāṇini, Vyasa who wrote the first commentary on the Yoga Sutras, states that yoga means samādhi. According to Dasgupta, the term yoga can be derived from either of two roots, yujir yoga or yuj samādhau. Someone who practices yoga or follows the yoga philosophy with a high level of commitment is called a yogi or yogini; the term yoga has been defined in various ways in the many different Indian philosophical and religious traditions. The ultimate goal of Yoga is moksha, although the exact definition of what form this takes depends on the philosophical or theological system with which it is conjugated. According to Jacobsen, Yoga has five principal meanings: a disciplined method for attaining a goal. According to David Gordon White, from the 5th century CE onward, the core principles of "yoga" were more or less in place, variations of these principles developed in various forms over time: a meditative means of discovering dysfunctional perception and cognition, as well as overcoming it for release from suffering, inner peace and salvation.
White clarifies that the last principle relates to legendary goals of "yogi practice", different from practical goals of "yoga practice," as they are viewed in South Asian thought and practice since the beginning of the Common Era, in the various Hindu and Jain philosophical schools. The origins of yoga are a matter of debate. There is no consensus on its chronology or specific origin other than that yoga developed in ancient India. Suggested origins are the Indus Valley Civilization and pre-Vedic Eastern states of India, the Vedic period (1500–5