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Monday, March 4, 2019

‘शिव (Śiva) nāma mahimā’

On this auspicious festival day i.e., Śivarātrī, I thought to post here something as a part of ‘satsaṅga’.

Life has been keeping me over loaded with responsibilities and work from various fronts, so it has been years since I wrote anything on my lord, and it’s again the same amount of time since I connected actively with any of the audience through comments or through any other means. I have lot many topics in mind which all are readily waiting to be written down, but life is not that luxurious for me. I’m going through some family problems, some health issues popping up here and there, and as if all these weren’t enough I am super loaded with office work. Further, my office is so far that it is around 47 KMs distant from my home, so even though I travel by office bus, I start at 7 AM and reach back home by 9 PM. Where can I find any energy remaining in me during weekdays to even open this site? On weekends I end up with family related pending responsibilities and some sundry things. To compensate the load that I have upon me, I have even closed myself from all the social networking sites such as Quora etc., yet there is no substantial time getting generated. I’m only hoping that this period would soon go away and I would gain some air to breathe.

For all these reasons, I have around 70 comments pending to be read and approved/published & responded. I want to say sorry to all my reader-folks who have posted comments and haven’t heard from me for a long time. Out of those comments I randomly gazed at few and found some jerks trying to pose challenges on some topics which have already been duly refuted by me. If they don’t have time to carefully read my lengthy content in my articles, I don’t have time to show them again what I have already done and dusted. I simply can’t waste any time on such comments. But the other folks whose queries are genuine are also not responded back due to aforementioned struggles with time and life.

I am still trying my best and assure all my readers that some good stuff would surely come here in future, but only thing that I cannot confidently promise is the ‘date’. So, may our divine parents bless you all and may they themselves manage my time and make some room for me to work on penning down my learnings.

Alright! Let me get back to the topic!

Śiva nāma mahimā


The name ‘Śiva’ is just a two-lettered name but it encompasses the greatest glory within it. The very word ‘Śiva’ when uttered, even casually, destroys all the sins the way fire would burn a heap of cotton instantly. In this context, Śiva Purāṇa has said something beyond which there remains nothing to be said further. In the ‘vidyeśvara saṃhitā’ there is this great verse. From this it becomes clear that the name ‘Śiva’ can destroy that amount of sins which no human can even commit in his lifetime. Mind blowing verse indeed!

pātakāni vinaśyanti yāvanti śivanāmataḥ।
bhuvi tāvanti pāpāni kriyante na narairmune॥” (Shiva Purana 01:23:27)
“O sages! By uttering the name ‘Shiva’ as many sins get incinerated instantly, as many a human can never commit in this world”.

For the same reason of the highest stature of this name, Vedas have kept it carefully in such a central place. The heart of Yajurveda is the śatarudriyaṃ hymn and in the center or  the heart of that hymn is placed this auspicious name ‘namaḥ śivāya ca |’. The entire corpus of scriptures that we have such as primarily the itihāsa-s and purāṇā-s, they all expand or elaborate what Veda has said. This is known to us from Mahābhārata which says,  “itihāsapurāṇābhyāṃ vedaṃ samupabṛhmayet | (MBH)”.

Therefore, how beautifully the Śiva Purāṇa has elaborated the significance of the name ‘Śiva’ without going against the heart of the Veda, we can understand!

You all know my opinion about ‘śrīmad bhāgavataṃ’, yet since a lot of people believe in that text, It would be pleasant surprise to them to note the greatness of Śiva nāma that it also echoes. So, even though this text is a dubious Purāṇa yet the author has done a good job by retaining the essense of all scriptures in this verse.

yad dvyakṣaraṃ nāma gireritaṃ nṛṇāṃ sakṛtprasaṅ‌gādaghamāśu hanti tat ।
pavitrakīrtiṃ tamalaṅ‌ghyaśāsanaṃ bhavānaho dveṣṭi śivaṃ śivetaraḥ ||” (SB 4:4:14)
“Satī continued: My dear father, you are committing the greatest offense by envying Lord Śiva, whose very name, consisting of two syllables, śi and va, purifies one of all sinful activities. His is the one whose command is opposed by none. Lord Śiva is always pure, and no one but you envies him”.

Here, we would note one more term, “alaṅ‌ghyaśāsanaṃ” being told about Mahādeva, this term means, “One whose command is not opposed by anyone”. This is a highly loaded word. Unless the command giver is the Supreme being himself, this term cannot be applied on any person, on any lesser god. This shows that Lord Śiva is the one Supreme being who has no boss, but who is the boss of everyone including the Gods. This is again in perfect sync with what ‘śvetaśvatara upaniṣad’ says as ‘na tasya patirasti loke‘, meaning, “He has no ruler above him in this world”.

Exactly for this same reason, being in very much in sync with Vedas, Śiva related all the Purāṇa-s keep on using the phrases “śivaśāsanataḥ (by the order of Shiva)” and “mahādevaśāsanāt (By the command of Mahadeva)”, only to help our minds understand that he is the ‘One-Above-All’ Supreme Boss of all the universes.

Everyone preaches only the etymology of  word ‘Śiva’ as meaning, “auspicious”. While that is very much a valid meaning of that name, yet not everyone seems to know that there is another etymological meaning to the same word which expands the meaning based on the supremacy of the Lord. The God Śiva is he who is defined as – “sarvaṃ vaśīkṛtaṃ yasmāt tasmāt śiva iti smṛtaḥ ||”, meaning, “Because everything exists in his control, therefore he is called Shiva”. This meaning perfectly is in sync with the term ‘śivaśāsanataḥ‘ or ‘mahādevaśāsanāt‘ used by Śiva related all the Purāṇa-s. And this phenomenon is very much evidenced in ‘kena upaniṣad’ too where it tells us that against the will of Śiva gods couldn’t even perform those actions which were their very inherent powers – agni couldn’t burn a grass blade, vāyu couldn’t blow it away etc., and this story is exactly narrated in purāṇa-s sūta saṃhitā (skānda purāṇa) and śiva purāṇa to name a few.

So, from all these evidences, now, we can understand why the śaiva purāṇa-s do not out of malice or vengeance use these terms saying, “By the will of Śiva they could perform so and so deed…” etc., while talking about other gods. All the gods are the forms of this Śiva but they all are there for some or the other function, and all of them function under the command of Śiva without ever transcending it (hence his command cannot be transgressed, alaṅ‌ghyaśāsanaṃ). All such phrases are there to constantly remind us that this God who wears rags, snakes and looks outwardly as a lower deity always trying to put himself down and raising others above him, is not to be taken too literally. He is the Boss, who is too much devoid of all pairs of opposites that he doesn’t care about his status.

In summary, the greatness of the name Śiva is manifold, out of which we have discussed two shades of it viz. the ability to destroy any volume of sins, and second the indication of him being the supreme ruler of all of us.

Today is Śivarātrī, the auspicious night of wedding of my divine parents, and also the same was the time at the beginning of creation when Śiva had displayed his infinite pillar of cosmic fire of consciousness to Brahmā and Viṣṇu. In remembrance of these two events this Śivarātrī is celebrated.

I wish Happy marriage anniversary to my divine parents. With this short piece of write-up, I would stop here with a hope to be at their service with better researched content soon in future.