Shivayah

Definition - What does Shivayah mean?

Shivayah is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as “Lord Shiva” or “to Shiva.” It is best known for its inclusion in the important Hindu mantra Om Namah Shivaya, which means “Salutations to Lord Shiva.”

It is said that Shivayah can also refer to the inner self, because through deep meditation, a seeker can experience the whole universe as Shiva, and then themselves as Shiva because Shiva is the totality. As such, when Shivayah is used in the mantric form it can become a song of devotion or even a love song to the self.

Yogapedia explains Shivayah

In different traditions, the syllables of Shivayah have slightly different meanings, especially when it is part of the Om Namah Shivaya mantra. For example, In some traditions of Shaivism, the Om Namah Shivaya mantra is said to represent the universal unity within Lord Shiva of all five elements. Each syllable refers to a different element, such that:

  • Si (or shi) represents fire

  • Va representa pranic air

  • Ya represents ether or sky.

In the interpretation of Shaiva Siddhanta Shaivism, it is said that the sounds represent:

  • Si - Shiva

  • Va - his revealing grace

  • Ya - atman

Finally, in one scripture, The Tirumantiram, Shivayah is explained in terms of its representation of the embodiment of Lord Shiva, where:

  • Si represents his shoulders

  • Va stands for his mouth

  • Ya symbolises his cranial center.

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