Last Updated: April 10, 2019

Definition - What does Shivo'ham mean?

Shivo'ham is a mantra that means “I am Shiva.” Shiva is the supreme being in the Hindu tradition of Shaivism and is one of the main deities in other branches Hinduism. In Sanskrit, shiva means “pure” and “auspicious.” Shivo'ham, therefore, is also sometimes translated as “I am pure consciousness.” It reflects the oneness of all creation and the unity with the higher Self.

Mantras are syllables, words, phrases or longer chants that may or may not have specific meanings, but are recited for the energy and transformative power of their sound vibrations.

Yogapedia explains Shivo'ham

Shivo'ham may be chanted alone but is often recited as part of the simple So'ham Shivo'ham mantra. In English, this mantra goes like this: “I am That. I am Shiva. I am pure consciousness.” The So'ham Shivo'ham mantra is believed to provide a connection to the source of truth while reducing the influence of the ego.

Shivo'ham also is included in longer mantras like the Atmastakam Shivo'ham mantra, which begins:

“I am not the mind, the intellect, the ego or the memory. I am not the ears, the skin, the nose or the eyes. I am not space, not earth, not fire, water or wind. I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva, I am Shiva.”

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