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I salute the Lord of Pārvatīwho is tranquil, seated in padmāsana, has the moon in His crest, has

five faces (four in the four directions and one upward-turned), has three eyes (per face), bears a
trident, thunderbolt, sword, axe and the symbol of granting freedom from fear in the (five hands on
the) right side and bears a snake, noose, bell, the fire of cosmic dissolution and a goad in the (five
hands on the) left side, is variously adorned and resembles (in complexion) a crystal gem.

I salute the great Lord who is seated under the wish-fulfilling tree prettily in padmāsana, is
resplendent like molten gold, is tightly embracing the heavy-breasted Pārvatī on His left side, is
lustrous with various adornments, bears the symbol of granting boons, axe, deer and symbol of
granting freedom from fear (in His hands), has three eyes, sports the infant moon on His crest and
is embraced by Gaṇeśa and Kārtikeya.

I do not know Your true nature, of what sort You are, O Maheśvara! Of whatever nature You are,
to That, O Mahādeva, repeated salutations!
2 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Today, by His grace, we are going to start studying some slokas about Lord Siva and about the
greatness of the Panchakshari mantra. This class will be divided into three sections. The first
section will be the Panchakshari mantramahima, the second Shivotkarshamanjari and the third
Shivotkarshamanjari is a set of verses written by Nilakantha Dikshita and Atmarpanastuti is a
composition of Appayya Dikshita.
The first section is Panchakshari mantra mahima, for which I will be taking from various sources
which talk about the greatness of the Panchakshari mantra.
The verses stated above are the invocatory verses of the Panchakshari mantra mahima. Acharyal
has chanted the dhyana sloka of the the Siva Panchakshari mantra in His speech delivered in
Tiruvanmiyur in the year 1986. The same is played before starting the class.
Now that we have invoked the blessings of Acharyal, and Parameshwara through Him, we will
start off with chanting the invocation of the first section.
Since we are going to study the greatness of the Panchaksari Mantra, let us dwell a bit on the
dhyana slokas.

The Siva Panchaksari Mantra, for males, is preceded by Pranava. dhyana sloka,
which is the first verse of the invocatory verses, describes

Ishana mukha of the Lord. The dhyana sloka says, “I bow to the Lord
of Parvati, who is extremely peaceful, is seated comfortably in the Padmasana, who bears the
moon which has the mark of rabbit on His head, has ten hands, the five right hands bearing the
trident, thunderbolt, sword, axe and the symbol of granting freedom from fear, the five left hands
bearing the snake, the noose, the bell, the fire used at the time of Pralaya and the goad (being the
Lord of beings as Pashupati), is adorned with many ornaments and is like a crystal gem in
complexion, which is so fair (Acharyal, when describing Lord Siva whom He saw in His dream
says that the Lord was extremely fair and radiant - Yoga Enlightenment and Perfection, Chapter
HathaYoga). means complexion as well as lustre.

The Shakti Panchaksari Mantrais preceded by dhyana slokas the

second verse in the set of invocatory verses stated above. It says, “I salute the great Lord who is
seated in the beautiful Padmasana gracefully, at the base of a Kalapakavruksha, (whose
complexion is) shining like molten gold, tightly embracing Ambal who is heavy breasted, on the
left side (Ambal is always described as having heavy breast and thin waist fitting the samudrika
lakshana), who is adorned with various ornaments that add glitter to His molten-gold-complexion,
whose four hands bears the symbol of granting boons, the axe, the deer and the symbol of granting
freedom from fear, bears the infant moon (infant - as it is not yet fully grown) on His crest and is
embraced by Ganesa and Karthikeya, thus seated majestically with His whole family.”
The final verse of the invocatory verses is from the Siva Mahimna Stotra which says, “I do not
know or understand Yourtattva or Your nature. Of whatever nature You are, to That, O Mahādeva,
repeated salutations!”We cannot describe or grasp His nature as He is beyond our grasp.
Pushpadanta offers hisrepeated salutation to Him whose greatness is beyond the grasp of all.

Panchakshari in the Shatarudriyam

There are many sources that talk about the greatness of the Panchakshari mantra. Acharyal has
said that the Panchakshari mantra is given for the attainment of Moksha. The greatness of this
mantra is such that those who chant this mantra attain liberation. The Taitriya Samhita of the
Krishna YajurVeda says,

There are 64 arts and 24 vidya-s (comprising of Veda, Vedanga, dharma shastra-s, etc.).The Veda
is the best among these vidya-s as it is the very breath of Bhagavan. The YajurVeda which is the
loftiest among the four Veda-s, has two branches, viz., Krishna YajurVeda and the Shukla
YajurVeda. The Shatarudriyathat has eleven chapters (consisting of the Namakam, Chamakam and
the Purusha-suktam) is part of the Krishna YajurVeda. Generally the Namakam is referred to as
Rudramwhile the Chamakam is called as such, but all of them together is called Shatarudriyam.
The Shatarudriya (eleven chapters of the Rudram)is considered a gem and is the best among all
chapters of Krishna YajurVeda which is, in turn, considered the best among the Vedas. It is called
Shatarudriyam because, the Trishati of Siva is found in the Rudram. This is the only archana for
any God which is there in the Sruti itself. Thus it is only Siva’s Trishati that alone is found in the
Sruti, while for the other Gods it is not so, thus echoing that He alone is the greatest – as said in the
Shivotkarshamanjari . Since it has three hundred nama-s of Lord Siva, it is called

The Panchakshari - ,is the best in the eleven anuvakas or chapters of Rudram. In the

mantra , the two letters and are the loftiest.

The Krishna YajurVeda consists of seven chapters. The Rudramin the fourth chapter is in the
middle. Thus, the Rudram is the glorious pendant of the garland which isKrishna YajurVeda. In the
heart of theRudram is the Panchakshari mantrawhose middle letters are .

Panchakshari is five lettered - . We are going to look into various derivations of the
Panchakshari mantra. Let us look into some now, just as an introduction.
4 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Basic meaning of

The basic meaning of is prostrations to Siva. It becomes a mantrawhen Pranava or is

added. Some of the derivations are:

1. – i.e, –He gets rid of all kinds of inauspiciousness.

Hence means as there is no inauspiciousness. This is an absolute description

wherein, instead of defining as He who has , it is being defined as He who has no

inauspiciousness, which clearly points out that there is no impurity there.
2. Panchakshari mantra is which means salutation to the Lord known by the name
Siva. What is immediately apparent is that the mantra in itself has a meaning. There are
mantra-s which have letters like in it, wherein, the meaning, though can be derived
through the bija of the mantra, does not have any direct meaning. The specialty of this
mantra is that it directly has a meaning.
3. Since the direct meaning of this mantra itself is ‘salutation to Siva’, it is called Sharanagati
mantra. This brings in the attitude that everything is an offering (arpana) to Siva. When it
is said that we are surrendering to Lord Siva, it means that everything is His and nothing is
ours. Thus, chanting of the mantra does not just mean simply reciting ‘obeisance to Siva’
but with the attitude that everything is His. This means that we surrender to His laws as
well. Anything that comes or does not come, is Siva Prasada. This mantra thus helps in
developing such an attitude. This attitude prepares one for moksha. Thus the simple direct
meaning of the mantra itself is capable of ushering in such an attitude.

Mantra is very sacred and powerful. It is said This means that mantra protects
those who repeatedly chant them. Every syllable in the Veda is said to be a mantra. The
Panchakshari mantra is in the Rudram which is in the Veda:

Many puranas talk about the greatness of the Panchakshari mantra. We will be seeing the bhashya
to the Rudram as well, while now, let us look into the Skanda Purana. It is the biggest purana
written by Vyasa. In the Brhamotharakhanda of Skanda Purana, there is a conversation between
Suta Maharishi and the other sages:
(O best of Brahmanas, we wish to listen to the greatness of Lord Siva and we also want to hear the
greatness of His mantra).

(This much alone is the Supreme eternal good for mortals, i.e, when one develops a desireless
devotion to the Lord’s narratives.)

(The Japa yajna is loftiest among all merits, all those that give prosperity and among all the

(Just as the Supreme God among all Gods is Lord Siva, the destroyer of the three cities, similarly
among all mantras, the Supreme mantra is the six-lettered mantra.)

This refers to the Siva Panchakshari ( –- Pranava while the

same holds for the Shakti Pnachakshari as well. Thus the Panchakshari mantra is the loftiest and
the best among all mantras as said by Maharishi Suta narrated by Vyasa himself.

(This five-lettered Panchakshari mantra grants liberation to those who chant the mantra. It is
resorted to by all the best of sages who desire Siddhi.)
How is this so lofty that it grants liberation? The following verse answers this:

Siva, the all-knowing, the complete Supreme (as said in ), who is Existence-
Consciousness-Bliss, revels and takes delight in this Panchaksharimantra. The mantra itself is the
6 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

devata. Hence, when the mantra is chanted, the devata is verily present there. Siva is thus there in
the Panchakshari mantra.

(By this king of mantras which is the essence of all Upanishads, all the sages attain the Supreme
Reality which is free of blemish.)
This mantra is the Atma of all Upanishads and therefore there is no need to study the Upanishads
for those who chant this mantra.

(Siva, with a desire to do good to all embodied beings who are tied up with this bondage of
samsara, did not instruct but Himself chanted the mantra.)
Thus He showed the way by Himself chanting the mantra and thus making it doubly sacred.

(What is the use of many mantras, or holy places, or austerities or sacrifices for one in whose heart
dwells the mantra“ ”.)

All these become redundant;nothing is needed to one who has the mantra in his heart.

(Embodied beings wander in this terrible samsara which is full of sorrows only as long as they do
not chant this mantra even once.)
Thus liberation is guaranteed for one who chants this mantra even once. The fear of samsara
persists only till the time he does not chant this mantra.

(This six-lettered mantra is the lamp on the road to liberation. It is like the badava-fire for the
ocean of ignorance and for the dense forest of sins. )
Just as we had read in the Gurupaduka stotram, this mantra is like the Pralaya fire which dries up
the ocean of ignorance and also burns the forest of sins. Ignorance of our true Self is the cause of
sins which is also destroyed by this fire which is the mantra. Thus it destroys not only the sins but
also the root causeof sins. The sins stand in the way of our experiencing happiness here and also is
an obstacle to Sreyas. This mantra gets rid of ignorance and grants the ultimate bliss itself.

(This mantra does not require special initiation, homa or rituals or tarpana, or any specific
auspicious time to chant or any special instruction or rules binding the chanting of the mantra)
For many mantras, one has the adhikara to chant the mantra only after chanting the nyasa and
other preliminary steps. This mantra is not so. It is always pure ( . We cannot make it impure in
any way! It will only purify the one who chants it! It is so easy. Siva being an Ashutosha, so easily
pleased, the mantrawhich stands for Him also is so easy, not having any rules binding it! It looks as
though the Lord is waiting for us to chant the mantra regardless of when and where it is chanted!

(The two letter are capable of destroying great sins. When they are joined with they grant
liberation itself.)


and and thus chanting the mantra grantsthe

ultimate liberation!
Panchakshari mantra
mantra mantra

mantra mantra

In order to drive home the point that all kinds of sins and sage
Suta narrates a story that happened in days of yore.
There lived a Yadukula king named Dasharha, long before the advent of Krishna. It is from this
king that Krishna got the name Dasharha, - one who belongs to the lineage of Dasharha. He was a
very good ruler who took care of his subjects very well and was very righteous. He was very
intelligent and maintained law and order.
8 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

He was very famous, full of enthusiasm, extremely mighty and had knowledge of the Shastra-s. He
was very well read and spoke only of dharma and was very valorous, heroic and courageous.He
was married to Kalavati, the beautiful daughter of the king of Kasi.

She was a match for him in all ways, being beautiful, having all the Samudrika lakshana and had
very noble qualities. The night they got married, the king called for her and expressed his wish to
cohabit with her.

Despite the persistence of the king, she refused his advances. The king, possessed by desire tried to
forcefully attain her. She protested and warned him not to come near her as she had taken a vrata.
She pleaded with him, who was well versed with dharma and adharma, not to force her to yield.
She tried to drive sense into him saying that a union between husband and wife that happens with
mutual consent alone gives joy and not otherwise. Though she pleaded thus, the king, possessed by
kama, wanted to forcefully attain her. Driven by desire, he embraced her but stepped back in
shock, as she was burning fiercely and had become like hot iron! She was so tender, yet in a trice,
had became like molten iron. The king could not even go near her anymore, leave alone touch her.
The king asked her how was she able to do this. She replied,

“When I was a child, sage Durvasa came to our village. Out of infinite compassion, he gave me the
upadesa of the Panchakshari mantra of Lord Siva.”

“My body was rid of all impurities because of the mantra and cannot be touched

by a sinful man ( –
The queen explained that the king, though a just ruler, had incurred the sin of having been with
women who were given to madirpaana. Though the king was extremely dharmic, and was ruling
the kingdom with righteousness, and upheld the law and order in his kingdom, he did have this
vice. Sullied by this sin, he was not able to touch her, who was blessed with the Panchakshari

She asked the king, “How can you be qualified to touch me, when you do not have your bath nor
do any Japam, nor worship Ishvara?”

The king, touched by the truth, realized his folly and requested her with great faith, “O beautiful
one, please give me the upadesa of the Panchakshari mantra.”The king who was earlier gripped by
desire, now had great respect for her and requested her to give him the upadesa to purify himself.
The queen told him that he, being her husband was her Guru. One cannot give upadesa to the Guru.
She requested him to approach their kulaguru Garga and humbly submit his request to him.
The next morning, the king had a bath in the sacred river Yamuna, and having purified himself,
went to their Kulaguru Garga, accompanied by the queen. He submitted to Garga all that had
happened and with great humility, pleaded with him to bless him with the Pancaksarimantra, on
which he had now developed immense faith. Pleased, Garga, the foremost of the Brahmana-s, gave
him the mantropadesa:

ThePanchakshari mantra is extremely sacred and its upadesa cannot be given just like that! Under
a sacred tree, in the banks of the sacred river Yamuna, the guru Garga himself, gave him the
10 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

The king had purified himself by bathing in the sacred river. The Guru Garga, having much respect
for the mantra, made sure that all the necessary aspects were taken care of.

He made the king sit facing east, himself prostrated at the lotus feet of Siva, and then placed his
hands on the head of the king and blessed him with the mantra, which is Siva Himself.

Just then a wonderful incident happened. The moment the king was touched by the Guru and was
given the upadesa, hundreds of crores of crows flew from his body. All those who had assembled
were stunned on witnessing this miracle.

The guru Garga said, “The moment the Panchakshari mantra went into your heart ( ,
immediately, (not after he had done a lakh of Japam contemplating on Siva) the very moment, the
crores of bundles of sins flew away from you, not being able to stay there any longer!”

That moment the Panchakshari mantra is borne by one, loads of sins accumulated by the person
over thousands of crores of births are destroyed completely (reduced to ashes that they can never
come again and fructify) at that very moment. The king had borne the mantra that day and hence
all his sins flew away from him in the form of crows. Bhagavan had enacted this leela, which was
marvelous and unforgettable, for one and all to see so that their faith may be engendered with
Not just the faith of the king and those who witnessed the miracle first hand, but that of all those
who hear/read about the greatness of the Panchakshari mantra is greatly strengthened.
Thus, having given the upadesa, the Kulaguru Garga, blessed the king to rule the kingdom well
with his wife. The couple returned home stunned, with their minds filled with the marvelous events
that had happened and wondering about the grace of Bhagavan who had so gloriously revealed the
greatness of the Panchakshari mantra. he couple shone with lustre, having got rid of all sins and
filled with punya alone.
Thus, in the first chapter of the Brahmottarakhanda of the Skanda Purana, sage Suta says that he
has briefly told about the mahaprabhava of thePanchakshari mantra. The Panchakshari mantrais,
without any doubt, the summit or the supreme pinnacle of the entire Vedas, Upanishads, Puranas
and all other Shastra-s. It is the foremost among those mantras that get rid of sins.
Such is the greatness of the Pancaksarimantra (as seen in the story of Dasharhah), that, the
moment one is initiated with the mantra, thousands and thousands of sins flew away from him.
One cannot even imagine the extent to which sins will be destroyed if the japa is done regularly!

As seen earlier, is a mantra, which comes in the Vedas (Upanishad) itself in the middle
of the Shatarudriya. The mantra is found in the 8thanuvaka of the Rudram -

Many have written bhashya for this mantra. Among them, the bhashya of Sayanacharya and
Bhattabaskara are famous.

Sayanacharya’s bhashya
Sayanacharya’sbhasya is very famous and normally referred to by people. In his bhashya, the
vyakyanam for isgiven as,

He is of the form of mangalam which means that He does not have any faults ( ). There is
no impurity in Him, the greatest impurity being ajnana or avidya, which cannot touch Him.

(Svetasvatara Upanishad 4.10)

(Know Mayato be prakriti and the great Isvara to be the controller of Maya.)

He has Maya under His control. He has subjugated ignorance - it cannot touch Him. All other
impurities are within Maya, as all are only effects of Maya - both subtle & gross. When Maya
itself cannot touch Him, then what to talk of the effects of Maya? They cannot touch Him either.
He is totally in a different paradigm all together.
12 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

A rotten mango which is impure, dirties the hand and the table on which it is kept; the table/hand
can be cleaned. But the space occupied by the fruit cannot be sullied by the impurity. The space
that was occupied by the mango is not considered impure! Akasa cannot be touched by any

Similarly Isvara is not touched by any impurity ( ) or Maya. Hence He is called mangala

rupah - . negates all impurities. It is an absolute definition of being totally


Bhatta Bhaskara’s bashya

The bhashya of Bhatta Bhaskara says,

It means that there is no impurity in Him. Here impurity is defined. Anything that is within the
realm of Maya is impure as it is tinged with ignorance. Maya is trigunatmika.

Maya is trigunatmika characterized by Sattva, Rajas and Tamas. Siva who is beyond the three
gunas cannot be certainly touched by them!
This is explained taking the example of Akasha which gives space for everything but is not tinged
or sullied by anything - not affected by the five elements because it is in a realm which is beyond
all these. Though everything is in it, it is beyond everything. Supposing there is a dead body, the
ground on which it is placed is washed while, the akasha is not cleaned – for it cannot be sullied!

- Siva is beyond the three gunas. He does not have any guna that can be affected by

- Thus the common meaning of the word Siva itself is mangalam.

Prostrations to such a Siva who is Himself mangala.
Siva is auspicious in all ways. Anything that is good, auspicious, pure is Him, is a known fact! That
Siva ( ) is auspicious ( ) in all ways is accepted by all, even though He is in the
cemetery, wearing a garland of kapala, smeared with bhasma, with snakes all over Him!
The episode of the wedding of Siva and Parvathi can be recollected here. At the time of the
wedding of Siva and Parvathi, Himavan and his wife were all ready for the kanyadanam and were
expecting the arrival of Siva. Siva arrived, mounted on Nandi, wearing a skull garland, with ashes
smeared all over his body and snakes writhing on his person and was accompanied by all the deva-
s. Parvathi and her mother were watching the arrival of the bridegroom from their palace.
Parvathi’s mother was shocked on seeing the appearance of the Lord - three eyed with a skull
garland with ashes smeared all over the body, matted locks, dressed in tiger skin! The Lord,
though, appeared splendorous and handsome for Parvathi!
He appeared as Maheswara to Parvathi alone who explained to Her mother that He is the definition
of auspiciousness itself!
During Daksha yaga, Daksha did not give offerings (havir bhaga) to Siva and further commented,
“He is just called Siva but there is no Siva in Him!”

itself means mangalam in Sanskrit. Thus He is mangalam and no amangalam can touch Him
as it has to be within the gunas. He is beyond three gunas.

He always gives auspiciousness alone to others and gives it in abundance too. He does not give any
inauspiciousness at all - He is called Siva because He gives auspiciousness.

The Rudra says,

- the bhashya says

Siva mangalam He Himself is pure without any impurities and is

auspiciousness Himself. He alone does not remain so but also gives that to everyone.
Prostrations to Siva who is mangala rupa and the giver of mangala.
Nobody will want sorrow and inauspiciousness. All desire mangalam which gives joy. Even if one
desires worldly pleasures, though it might be amangalam in the ultimate analysis, one goes towards
it only because one thinks it is mangalam. Thus we want auspiciousness always and He is that
auspiciousness itself and He grants that auspiciousness, which means that He gives Himself to His
The Veda
14 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Whatever good we want, He is only the way as He is the giver. He alone gives. So He is Siva. This
is a pramana to show that He gives .

What good does He give?

He gives He gives both worldly good - here and hereafter (in the other worlds other
than this) and supreme good of moksha of not being required to be born here and become
entangled in this samsara and suffer sorrows. He does good to both worldly and spiritual people.
He is called Siva also because of this characteristic (guna) of bestowing both types of goodness.
Thus there are two aspects because of which He is called Siva:


He is because of being Sat-chit-ananda rupa and who is beyond Maya.


This is because He has the characteristic of goodness where He gives everything that is good to
everybody. The bhashya says Thus He is Siva in both ways.

The Atharvashika Upanishad says,

Siva, who is the doer of good, is the only one who is fit to be meditated upon, having given up
everything else. Everything else is only fit to left while He alone is fit to be meditated upon. He is
of the form of auspiciousness ( and gives that too ( and hence is the only way of
attaining supreme good.
Thus as per the bhashyaof Bhattabhaskara and Shayanacharya, Siva is pure because He is beyond
the gunas.

Sivarahasya bhashya
The greatness of Siva is talked in the Sivarahasya (an Itihasa or Upanishad). Though it is not a
specific bhasya to the Rudra explicitly, it is obvious from the flow that it is a bhashya to the Rudra.
It talks about

The Sivarahasya bhashya is in the form of verses.

He is one who is beyond the gunas and hence pure. It indicates purity. Thus it means prostrations
to the One who is pure.
Then he goes on to say how He is beyond the gunas and hence pure, by explaining it further:
The last line gives the meaning of Every word talks about the characteristic of Isvara.


primordial initial subtle desire, creation happened. Siva is one
who is devoid of that creative urge or the desire to create. This is a form of or purity. Despite
having the power to create the entire universe, He does not have even the desire to create. That
desire does not touch Him. Whereas we are overpowered by desire, it is a shakti for Siva, which He
wields, in order to create the universe.

shakti, Maya meansconsciousness and hence this would mean

that He is aware of everything. - He is awareness itself. His awareness is in a different level

unlike ours, who are generally aware of things around us.

He is not perishable. He is always there as
existence – existence cannot change or deplete and hence He is not perishable at all. This talks
about His swarupa.

–He is the Atma of all, undying and imperishable.

– Anandaghana He is of the form of PurnAnanda. – comparative

degree. Whatever ananda one may think of, He is greater than that. If it had been , then
there is a possibility for us to misunderstand that the greatest happiness we may enjoy is Him,
which is not so. He is more than whatever ananda one can experience. It is like a moving target
until we realize that ultimate state. It is not sullied by any sorrow and hence complete ananda. Siva
is thus such Anandaghana.
16 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

–Gives that ultimately so that everybody can become Him.


So far, He has been talked of as the

Parabrahmasvarupa, where even Maya is not present.



–Always complete. There is nothing pending for Him to be achieved.

In fact all His aspects are quite opposite to ours – while we are subject to death, He is always there
being ever-existent; while we have sorrow, He is complete ananda, and so on. gap, –
without gap – always eternally complete. There is no lacuna, or anything that is yet to be attained
or any yearning.

–He, –

– sreyas


– He takes on ( the
– He is pure in spite of having taken on the

---- Maya Maya

Mayacannot do anything to Him. His nature thus cannot be touched because He
takes on the

When it is said He wields

(Bhagavadgita 9.8)

(Bhagavadgita 9.9)
We accrue merit and sin for every act of ours, however small it may be. As is said in the verse
above, He Himself declares that He creates again and again, wherein, destruction is also implicit.
Does this make Him a great karmi? No. These karma-s do not bind Him as He is beyond them –
like a magician who does not accrue merit or sin because of his magic. Neither does a magician
accrue merit on making someone happy out of his magic nor sin as it is only an illusion by which
He is not bound. Similarly, Siva wields the creative shakti but is not affected by the karma-s
concerned with creation, destruction, etc.

– nama

to Him, salutations -

This is said to explain . does (

mangala to loka-s,to such an extent that, nothing more can be done than that ( ). We had
seen in the earlier bhashya that This can be taken for
18 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Padmapadacharya’s Bashya

Padmapadacharya has written a bhashya for the mantra


The first explanation is given in the one-and-a-half verses stated below:

bhava here is, “

Detailed interpretation:

The word namaskara,

prasada. In the current
context, the same interpretation of

In the mantra
-– prakruti
pratyaya is joined, giving the meaning ‘to Siva’. Thus

pratyaya when joined with , gives the meaning ‘to Siva’, and indicates a fruit. Thus the
meaning that is interpreted is that, ––

We offer flower, leaves and fruits during worship. For instance, when we buy a mango fruit, we
offer it to Bhagavan, instead of we ourselves consuming it. Thus during the puja, we give up the
offering to Bhagavan. Similarly, we sacrifice the entire universe.

One sacrifices everything in order to attain proximity to Bhagavan ( ) here itself ( -––
the form ofSalokya loka Samipya – being always near Him and having His
darshanam Sarupya – having the same form as His, Sayujya
It is not done to attain the fruits in a different loka, one attains everything here itself.

The presence of Bhagavan, which is the

We have the wrong notion that we derive happiness from the world. But
happiness is something that is got when the world is sacrificed. The mantra

ananda”. Here both the bhakti bhava along withvairagya is embedded in the
mantra. Bhagavan can be attained only when one forsakes the world.

An egg cannot be left to hatch and eaten as well. There is a quote which says,

Attempting to attain Bhagavan while holding on to the world is like wanting to cross a river
holding on to a crocodile that is afloat, thinking it to be a log of wood! Holding on to the world is
like holding on to the crocodile! We do not see the crocodile for what it is! We think it to be a log
of wood that will help us cross the river! It is our wrong understanding. Thus we should remove
this wrong understanding of this world and sacrifice it. Only then we can attain Bhagavan. This
bhava is brought out in the mantra

Meaning 2
20 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Detailed interpretation:


---- means

- doing namaskara.

In the last meaning eant doing of everything for the sake of Siva. In this interpretation
means the very common meaning of doing namaskara.

This namaskara is for the sake of attaining the state of

What is

To do service. If one has to serve one has to be humble. One has to feel lower and deem
that one to whom we are doing service to is higher. Only then it is called service. One cannot be
sitting on a high pedestal and do service. The inner feeling one should have is what is underlined
here. A person may have great wealth and may help the poor, but the inner feeling should not be
that of “I am greater and he is lower.” It will amount to giving alms to a beggar! This cannot be the
attitude when one is doing service. The attitude should be, “I am having money, and this is an
opportunity that I have got to help others, who are same as God Himself.” Only if such an attitude
is present it will amount to service.
In the case of Mother Teresa, though she helped lepers, she considered it as service. She had wealth
because of donations and yet she considered helping the poor as service. She did not think she
wasdoing charity;charity itself should be done as service to the poor. In the poor she saw God. She
felt that helping them is serving God.

thus In order to attain that state of i.e. to become a servant, I do

I bow down to Siva in order that I may become somebody who does service to Him. Why are other
forms of worship not mentioned and why is namaskara specifically mentioned? Because
namaskara is a symbol of becoming humble, a symbol of surrendering, a symbol of becoming
lower. One is giving up one’s self. So when we do namaskara to Siva it means ‘I am Your servant
and I want to do seva to You’. So the act of namaskara itself ushers in the attitude to do service. It
is a strong symbol of humility and helps set the attitude, “I am bowing to You Siva, Please make
me more humble. Please take me as a servant so that I can serve You.”
And what is got out of this attitude?
The japa can either be done (with some desire) or

dharmic -
Doing of namaskara to Bhagavan
gives one the service attitude which is not going to push one down, but that is going to get one
- the attainment of all things.

If it is done as one attains the ultimate knowledge .

Ego leads us nowhere! One with Ahamkara cannot be successful even in worldly attainments!
What to talk of the attainment of knowledge? Thus one does namaskara in order to become
humble, to do service to Him – when namaskara is done without desire, it leads one to knowledge
and when it is done with desire, one attains all that is desired!
The magic of becoming lower in order become higher and because of which Ishvara grants
everything is explained in this interpretation.
Q: In the first meaning Siva indicates ananda; what is the meaning of Siva in the second

A: In the second meaning, the word Siva refers to the Supreme Lord of all –

Meaning 3

Gist: – bhavavikaras ; – He who is not subject to bhavavikaras. - ; = ;

– for getting rid of ahanta and mamata.
Detailed interpretation:

Padmapadacharya first gives the meaning of and then goes on to explain the meaning of

This jagat has come from Brahman; it is Brahman that has ‘become’ the jagat. How is the jagat?
It undergoes transformations or bhava vikara-s namely,
& ; it is undergoing change all the time.
22 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

in refers to the bhava vikaras that the jagat undergoes. As it is Brahman that becomes this
jagat, is Brahman too subject to these vikara-s? No, – Bhava vikaras are not applicable to the
supreme Brahman.

Brahman which is the cause of this jagat is not subject to the bhava vikara-s of this universe. –
By the word , - rules out/negates The letter is used to indicate the absence of
bhavavikaras for Brahman.

(There is no variety here (In Brahman)).

There is no variety whatsoever in Brahman as seen from this Upanishadhic statement; this
statement negates any differentiation/variety. True, the universe comes from Brahman; but the
world does not ‘truly’ exist. It is not a real transformation like milk becoming curd. We do see the
jagat and all its vikara-s but the vikaras do not apply to Brahman ; Brahman is changeless.

It is only because we see variety in this world that this teaching ( ) has been given.
If we do not see variety, this teaching would be out of place. It is only because we see
differences/variety that we have been asked to see more subtly and realize that there is actually no
variety in reality. This is like seeing water in a mirage; we see the water which is actually not there.
Therefore, Padmapadacharya quotes the Upanishadic statement to negate variety in Brahman

–variety – negates, – By the statement ‘There is no variety here’. – The

word denotes Siva – He who does not change – .

+ =

= = take me

- – O Siva, the Lord of all devas.

also refers to Lord Siva – he who is not touched by bhavavikaras ( )

Thus the interpretation here is “O Siva, take me to Yourself, so that I may attain You who are
beyond bhavavikaras.”
- Only on reaching You, will I be purified from impurities like ignorance,
ahanta, mamata etc.
Ahanta & mamata are obstacles that prevent one from being devoted to Bhagavan; one needs to get
rid of them in order to reach Bhagavan. The interpretation here is significant in that one is asked to
seek Ishvara to get rid of ahanta and mamata! Of course, one needs to put in effort to curb
ahankara, mamakara and other such impurities. But such impurities can be removed absolutely
and in totality only on attaining atma-sakshatkara.

– Attachment to body – Ahanta

– Attachment to wife, wealth etc –Mamata

– Destruction of attachment to body, wife, wealth etc.

Ahanta and mamata will be destroyed only when Bhagavan takes us/leads us to Him; we do not
have the capability to get rid of these attachments on our own.

Therefore, O Lord, take me ( ) to You ( ) so that I may attain atma-tattva ( ) on reaching

which I will be cleansed of all impurities.

Q: Does the word , have a link with the goal viz., getting rid of ahankara and mamakara? Is
absence of bhavavikaras directly linked to getting rid of ahankara and mamakara?
A: With each interpretation of the Panchakshari mantra, Padmapadacharya gives a goal. In an
earlier meaning we had seen the interpretation, ‘Prostrations be to You so that I may attain the state
of dinatva’. Here, the interpretation is ‘O Lord of the Devas, take me to You (Who is unaffected by
bhavavikaras) so that I may be cleansed of ahanta and mamata’
Q: Attaining a changeless state implies the destruction of ahanta and mamata is it not? There
seems to be a tight link between the two.
A: Yes. Only on attaining atma-sakshatkara, one can get rid of ahanta and mamata. All
varieties/differentiations disappear when one attains the unchanging self, the Lord.
Q: In earlier meanings, it is explained that we prostrate to Ishvara to attain something, for e.g
dainya. Here, His true nature which is indicated by + itself serves as a goal that is to be
attained is it not?
A: The devotee prays to Ishvara, ‘O Lord! Take me to You, who are bereft of bhava vikaras’.
What is the goal? To get rid of ahanta and mamata. The word indicates that though the world
which is full of variety has come from Brahman, Brahman is not affected by the ‘differences’. We,
on the other hand, see the differences and feed our ahankara and mamakara. It is only on attaining
atmasakshatkara (Isvara) that one ceases to see differences/variety and is then truly rid of ahanta
and mamata. Bhagavan alone can take us to Him, who is untouched by bhava vikaras.
One should do adhyatma sadhana to get rid of ‘I & Mine’ and one should get rid of ‘I & Mine’ to
attain supreme knowledge. They feed each other like viveka&vairagya.
24 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

In Satasloki, Bhagavatpada describes that kama, krodha and lobha are three gates to hell. One
should do adhyatmasadhana to overcome these obstacles. If one identifies himself with this body,
how can he get rid of kama, krodha etc., Only if one perceives the difference between the Self and
the body which is affected by kama, krodha etc, one can truly win over them.

Meaning 4

Gist :Siva, the tattva, the personification of the & of the trinity
Brahma, Vishnu implying that He is the One who does the creation, preservation and destruction of
the universe and or beyond them, is to be meditated upon, with the understanding that oneself and
Sivaare the same ( -- Isvara
This brings out the tattva Thus the supreme tattva expounded by the
Vedanta is contained in the nama

Detailed interpretation:

Siva is one Who is of the form of the trinity - Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra.

The three shaktis, and (also mentioned in Lalita Sahasranama) are

related to Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra respectively. Brahma creates the universe with His
, Vishnu protects the creation with His and Rudra destroys everything using His
. The powers to create, preserve and destroy are personified by the three shakti-s. Siva is the
Supreme Isvara who wields all three shakti-s. It is not that the trinity is different; it is the same
Isvarawho takes on different forms.
Interpretation 1 for the word Siva: One who has the three shakti-susing which He creates,
sustains and destroys.

Interpretation 2 for the word Siva: One who is beyond these three shakti-s; Siva is

– –
Siva is Nirguna Parabrahmam; He is beyond the aforementioned shakti-s.

Thus Siva can be interpreted as Isvara (One who wields the 3 shakti-s) or Parabrahman (One who
is beyond the 3 states).

= =

indicates vibhakti. In , the suffix indicates

This indicates that the same Siva who has the three shakti-sis the One Who is beyond the three
shakti-s. Just because He creates, He does not become a karta or a great doer of actions. He creates
the entire universe, protects it and destroys it as well and yet all these shakti-sdo not bind Him;
none of these shakti-scan overpower Him. That Isvara who creates, sustains and destroys using the
powers of and , is none other than the One who is beyond these shakti-s.
Pushpadanta in his Siva Mahimnah Stotram, says,
26 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

(Repeated salutations to the Creator who has excessive rajas at the time of the creation of the
universe. Repeated salutations to the Destroyer who has excessive tamas at the time of destruction
of that universe. Repeated salutations to the Compassionate One who is in excessive sattva and
gives happiness to people (or who has excessive sattva in order to give happiness to people).
Repeated salutations to Śiva who in the magnificent state that is beyond the three guṇas (or
repeated salutations to Śiva for the attainment of the magnificent state of Effulgence that is beyond
the three guṇas.))
When He takes on rajo guna, He creates and is called Bhava. When he takes on tamo guna to
destroy, He gets the appellation Hara. When He takes on the sattva guna to sustain the universe by
giving happiness to people He is known as Mruda, the compassionate One. He Who is beyond the
three gunas, is in the ultimate state which is called Turiya and is called Siva.

Interpretation 1 for

Here, He is known as Siva when He wields the threeshakti-sand is known as Siva when He is
beyond them as well. There is a here. What is the connection between both the Siva-s?
They are the same. That is the sambandha.

Interpretation 2 for

It can also be taken that there is between Siva and us. Siva is non-different from the
essence of oneself, the Atma.

and in an individual:
All the three shakti-s can be seen in an individual as well. One can see the play of these shakti-s in
the three states of , & experienced by the Jiva. is not there in the state. It
is predominant in the waking state. is there in the dream state where themind alone
works. The mind's vasanas are project a whole world there. In there is no and
and hence is predominant there.

(This obeisance is to Lord Dakṣiṇāmūrti who is in the glorious form of the Guru, who reveals to
devotees through a beautiful sign (the cinmudrā) His own Self, which is the same as that which
ever shines inside as “I” and is present in the states of childhood, etc., in the waking state, etc. and
in all other states as well, which are mutually exclusive.)
Bhagavatpada in this verse in Dakshinamurti Stotram, says that this individual who seems to go
through these states is actually beyond these states. The Atma is not touched by the states. States
come and go. Each state negates the others. So, obviously the ‘I’is not the states. ‘I am somebody
who is beyond the states. That ‘me’ is the same as Isvara to whom I bow.’
Similarly, the individual who has and is actually one beyond the three
states. “Though I seemingly go through the states, I, the Atma, am not perturbed by the states;
Theturiya of the individual maps to the turiya of Siva.” The individual who goes through the three
states maps to the three forms of Isvara as creator, preserver and destroyer who wields the
and .

There is a between that Isvara who is Prabrahman and the Jiva who is Atman.

Padmapadacharya, explicitly brings out the sameness with the statement ‘I am Siva and Siva is
me’. This is the . The Vedas are my pramana. With faith in the words of the Vedas I
contemplate that I am Siva and Siva is me.

The Vedas and Sastras talk about Advaita- non-difference in the Supreme Principle. With the
Vedas as the support, the bhavawhile chanting , is as follows :

“Just as Siva is the wielder of and , but is actually beyond the shakti-s, I too am
not the individual who is subject to the states such as waking, dream, deep sleep, youth, old age
etc; I am the Atma which is beyond these states. I am the same as Siva and Siva is none other than
me. With this advaitic contemplation in my mind I chant ”.

The word indicates the =

This is shown by the word . The relationship is that of –

Thus I contemplate on the non-difference between me and Isvara when I chant

This talked of in the Vedas and Sastras as ‘ is not to bring about difference
between oneself and Siva. It is not that Siva is somewhere else and one doesnamaskara to Him -
that is not the purpose of the Vedic statements exhorting us to do namaskara to Him. It is not to
increase the feeling of duality. It is to gain the realization of oneness that we bow to Siva - not to
bring about more distance between Siva and us.
28 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

, here, means . But when the Vedas and Shastras say ,it is with a view to
bring about the and not to strengthen the .

Meaning 5

Gist: – - One becomes the slave of Siva for the sake of Siva, in
order to serve Him.

– “I
am at Your disposal”. Unlike a servant who is paid wages for his work, a slave expects nothing in
return and only serves the Lord. Thus, here, one becomes the slave of the Siva, who is the creator,
preserver and destroyer of the whole universe and who is untouched by those actions as well. This
is the bhava of


W samkalpa


To gain the sadguna that is humility and to destroy pride and the like, this is an indispensable

The bhava that one is Isvara’s servant becomes stable when one repeatedly does manana on
. The devotee thinks, ‘I am Isvara’s dasa and hence offers repeated namaskara-s to Him.’
An example from Brahmanuchintana is pertinent here. A worm, out of fear of the wasp, meditates
on the wasp uninterruptedly, and, finally the worm becomes a wasp! Similarly when one repeatedly
chants , this dasa bhava becomes stable.

There was a similar interpretation seen for – –

–wherein, there is an aspect of the fruit with respect to the acts done as
While here there is not even a trace of expectation towards the result though the corresponding fruit
may accrue.

Also, it is pertinent to note that we do the japa of our own accord and that Bhagavan has not made
a slave of us. Meera has said,

with thebhava that there is such great joy in being a slave of Bhagavan. It is such a lofty position.
The attitude indicated here is that one willingly becomes a slave of Bhagavan and considers this
slavery to be the greatest attainment.
There is a composition named Anandasagarastava on Ambal, written by Neelakantha Dikshita,
whoseIshtadevata was Madurai Meenakshi Ambal. There is a reference to dasyam in one of these

(Anandasagarastava Sloka 23)

(You will give me liberation here itself, but still I pray, O Mother, that my body may fall in
Manikarnika Ghat (in Varanasi). The duty of the masters may well be to show compassion, but the
duty of the servant is only the performance of service.)
He says, “Left to Yourself, You will give me liberation now itself, being One who grants
everything! But I request You to give me liberation when I go to the Manikarnika Ghat in Kasi. It
is a duty of every individual to go to Kasi as it is said that Bhagavan gives the upadesa of the
Taraka Mantra for the one who reaches the Manikarnika Ghat in the last stages of his life, having
bathed in the Ganges. Hence, I shall do my duty as ordained by Bhagavan. Masters have
compassion, and being a Master, You will definitely grant emancipation here itself. Even when this
is so, it is the duty of the slave to fulfill the orders of the Master. So, allow me to obey Your orders!
Please do not be in a hurry to give liberation to me here itself!”
30 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Such is the compassion of Bhagavan! It is indeed such great joy to be a slave to such a Bhagavan!
Thus the greatest acquisition is being the slave of Bhagavan which is the be-all and end-all! If one
were to ask something in return for being the slave of Bhagavan, it is just like demanding
something in return for having taken nectar or for being gifted with something! Thus being His
slave is in itself the greatest gift and there is nothing more to aspire for!

Gist: –– karmasanyasa,

Jagadeeshwara, in order to attain liberatoion.

Detailed interpretation:
Padampadacharya emphasizes that this is a very important meaning of the Panchakshari Mantra
as this meaning serves as the means to attain moksha, renouncing everything else.

– Desiring to attain Jagadeeshwara

( –

How does this relate to

moksha, ).

The interpretation for

karma through karmasanyasa and taking up Paramahamsa sanyasa
so that one is always in the contemplation of the i.e., Siva, through which one attains mukti.

Here is talked about. While an earlier meaning also talked about renouncing, here, the
thrust is on sanyasa. Sanyasa cannot be forced on a person, it is basically chosen by the one who
takes it willingly. Acharyal has humorously said in one of His anugraha bhashana ‘Now-a-days
people buy a saffron robe from a shop, don it and claim that they have taken sanyasa!’

Those who are knowledgeable in Vedanta say that the highest meaning of
Paramahamsa sanyasa. Padmapada, being the disciple of Bhagavatpada, voiced only what had
been said by Bhagavatpada, who did not propound any new philosophy. He brought to the forefront
the Upanishadic philosophy and in that the highest adhikari is the Paramahamsa sanyasi, who has
renounced the world and is always contemplating on the Atma. (The sanyasa iseither the Vidvat
sanyasa or the Vividhisha sanyasa – the sanyasa got after or before acquiring knowledge.)
Whatever be the sanyasa, he is the supreme adhikari to attain moksha. Thus the direct means to
is sanyasa.
Bhagavatpada says in the bhashya to the Gita,

Vedanta is meant mainly for the sanyasi, who has taken up sanyasa asrama directly from the
brahmacharya asrama. They do not undergo the Gruhastasrama as they do not have any desires at
all. It is for them, whose main occupation is , that the Upanishads directly teach; all others
have lesser adhikara. There is nothing else ordained by the shatras for sanyasis. They are supposed
to do only and are hence the highestadhikaris to attain moksha.

is an exalted state. On just taking up sanyasa, one is guaranteed a place in Brahma

loka! Sanyasa is such a lofty state.

When one initially nurtures the bhava to give up everything, it will not immediately result in
. By repeatedly dwelling on this bhava, one graduates to the stage of . At this
stage, one does not give up karma because one does not like karma; karma falls off the person of
its own accord. The person gains great maturity; he loses adhikara to do karma and gains the
adhikara to attain jnana.

Thus the very important implication of of giving up everything else. It can

be seen that Paramahamsa sanyasa is for the highest adhikari who chants
adhikari uses this mantra to attain that Supreme.
Thus the attitude while chanting the mantra is:
“I bow to Siva, seeking Him alone. I give up karma and take up Paramahamsasanyasa so that I
always contemplate on the ultimate truth Siva by which mukti is attained.”
32 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Thus, as seen, an important implication of the

.Paramahamsasanyasi is the highest adhikari and the highest adhikari uses
this mantra to attain the Supreme.
Comparison between the first and the sixth meaning:
Panchakshari Mantra, wherein one renounces the entire
world for the sake of , the there refers to both happiness in general and the bliss of the
Atma which in turn leads to moksha and also includes happiness bereft of any sorrow.
Here, in the sixth meaning, one renounces everything referring directly to karmasanyasa, where
one leaves everything and takes up sanyasa, while there (in the first meaning) one submits
everything to Isvara for the sake of happiness. Though in the first meaning also, the refers to
Siva, there, one goes towards the aspect of while here one strives towards liberation from
samsara itself!

– –
“I meditate on SagunaIsvara/NirgunaIsvara for the attainment of mukti.”
Isvara is different from prakruti; He is different from all that is nashvaram. One can do dhyana on
Isvwara with the understanding that Isvara is different from prakruti – i.e all that is nashvaram. Or
one can meditate on His nirgunasvarupa; one can meditate on one’s Atma.
Detailed interpretation:

The word Siva meansmukti or which means mangalam,

auspiciousness. The ultimate auspiciousness is mukti; everything else is tinged with sorrow,
amangalam and is temporary. Even the punya that is obtained by performing good karma is
'malinam' as it leads to another birth. Thus everything other than mukti will have at least this kind

of impurity; there is no malinam of any kind in mukti. Therefore the ultimate kalyanai.e. Siva is

- - for the sake of mukti, is the direct meaning that can be taken here.

- What should one do in order to gain mukti? One should do , where means
dhyana. Thus meditating or contemplating on the ultimate tattva( )is the means to mukti.
How is the tattva to be meditated upon?
- One must contemplate with viveka. One meditates on Isvara, an amsha of Isvara or the
Sadguru, not on the world! – with the mind/heart, i.e., through this mantra, with the mind/heart,
one understands – here, in one of the interpretations, Padmapadacharya deals with
the dvaita bhava as well.
In the Dakshinamurti stotram we have seen that the Atma, Guru and Isvara are one and the same –
. Such a Jagadguru is both the deva and Isvara. By saying , we do dhyanam on
the Jagadguru or Isvara.When we are asked to meditate on Isvara or the Guru, a dvaita bhava is

In an earlier interpretation for , we had seen that one is to meditate on Isvara with the
bhava that one is not different from Isvara. However, here, it is said that one has to contemplate on
Isvara or Guru as one who is glorious, creator of the universe etc. It is not said here that one should
maintain the attitude that one is Isvara, which will otherwise become a repetition; rather one
meditates on Isvara( ) (as separate from oneself) with advaita bhava. One may do saguna
dhyana or nirguna dhyana in the aforesaid manner on Isvara, which is indicated by

-through the mantra, one understands that –dhyana, must be done, or or -on
an amsa of Isvaraor Isvara or the Jagadguru (as all are the same), - - for the
attainement of mukti.
Thus it is learnt from the mantrathat dhyana must be done for the attainment of mukti.

- with viveka. That is, one must understand that Isvara and Guru are not subject to maya.
They are different from this ephemeral world and are the highest - knowing thus one does
meditation. If meditation is done on something that is subject to samsara, the interest wanes.
Thebhava that one is meditating on the entity who is soglorious, fuels the meditation. Of course, all
these are not to be thought during meditation! One should cultivate this bhava.

The here refers to two aspects:

1. Unlike the earlier instance where one meditates with the bhava that one is non-different from
Isvara,here one must mediate on Isvara as different( ) from oneself.

2. Another aspect of the word refers to Isvara who is different from/not subject to maya who
is the one meditated upon.
To summarize, the interpretation of the meaning here is that one should do dhyana on the highest
tattva (Isvara / Guru) with viveka for attaining mukti.
Isvara is different from prakruti; He is different from all that is nashvaram. One can do dhyana on
Isvara with the understanding that Isvara is different from prakruti – i.e all that is nashvaram. Or
one can meditate on His nirgunasvarupa; one can meditate on one’s Atma.
34 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Question: Do we have to keep thinking of all these meanings for while chanting the
Answer: This is not feasible! We should act as per the instructions of the Guru. Further,since our
mood keeps changing, we could think of the meaning that is in tandem with our mood. Whatever
meaning comes to our mind or whatever meaning we find delightful at a particular point of time,
may be thought of while chanting the mantra.

(Srimad Bhagavatam 7.1.32)

(Therefore, everyone should somehow cause their mind to dwell on Krishna)
It is said somehow make the mind think of Krishna. Adopt any means, do whatever you can - but
make the mind dwell on Isvara.
There are numerous interpretations in various books on how the mind dwells on Isvara. One need
not think of all of these while actually doing the japam - like the interpretation seen above.
The meaning seen above brings out the loftiness of the mantra. This increases our faith in the
mantra. When offering namaskara to Isvara, now one realizes
that there are so many meanings and glorious interpretations!The mantra encompasses everything.
This increases the shraddha and respect for this mantra. The more we keep reading, the more is the
mahima of the mantrathat gets registered in our mind.

Meaning 8
The bhashya of Padmacharya for the eighth interpretation is:



I offer myself, as bhojyam food, to Siva who is

Prostrations to the One who eats up the person doing the namaskara and thereby makes him one
with the Atman.
Detailed interpretation:

pratyaya is joined with + = it represents the person who is doing

The - means one who swallows everything. He is

the lord of the cosmos ( ) who destroys / swallows everything during pralaya& takes
everything into Himself, being the .
Question: What is the connection between the one doing the namaskara and Him being the
Answer: He is the eater & the one doing the namaskara is the one eaten by Him. The person doing
the namaskara is His dasa, who surrenders whole-heartedly to Him, left to be eaten / taken by
Him, as His food.

First interpretation:

– Looking at the adhyatma standpoint, it implies that one offers oneself to

Him who is the with the plea to reach theAtman and become one with Him.
What is the connection between Him eating us up & making us one with the Atman?

He is , the destroyer of the universe because of being the Supreme Brahman which is the
substratum (adhistanam)of everything into which everything dissolves. Everything is created on
the substratum of the Supreme Brahman with the help of maya, which has further proliferated in
different ways. At the time of pralaya, everything becomes latent in the Supreme Brahman. Thus
He swallows everything; the entire universe goes into the Supreme Brahman.

In this manner, everything becomes layam in Him. He,the swallows up everything as He is

the substratum of everything, while we see this universe as real since we are deluded by maya.

When we do namaskara, with tha bhava ‘I offer myself as food to Shiva, the ’ He
destroys the separate entity called the “I” and makes us one with the substratum. By thinking in
this manner ( , one pleads to take him and make him one with the Atman( ).
When all differentiations like ‘I’, ‘You’ etc are removed, all that remains is the Parabrahman
which is none other than the Siva. This is because when that (Parabrahman/Shiva) is seen
everything else disappears; Maya/ignorance completely disappears. Shiva ‘eats up’ the
Thus by doing namaskara, one becomes His dasa, is eaten up by Him and is made one with the
Atman, thus being freed from ignorance, all duality/variety and becomes one with the substratum.
He is called the Eater because He is the only one who remains as substratum of all, while
everything is just like the painting on the canvas.
36 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Second interpretation:

Another interpretation is that the jiva is the and Bhagavan is - supreme bhokta. Thus
we too are bhoktas. We too are Shiva! We are bhoktas in small ways; we do alpabhogam. The
Lord, however, consumes the entire cosmos at the time of pralaya.
But how can it be said that we are bhoktas?

We are because of the presence of Siva in us else we too would be akin to insentient things
like a book etc. A book cannot be a as it is not endowed with consciousness. It is
consciousness that impels activity, awareness and hence one is able to do bhoga. Thus, when I do
bhoga, it implies that it is Isvara, who, in my form does bhoga! This bhava too is included in this

When this (jiva) does namaskara, Bhagavan gives His own state (moksha) to the jiva. Thus
here the bhava of is replaced by the moksha bhava wherein the jivabecomes one with the
Supreme Brahman.
This verse is thus a prayer to Isvara – ‘O Lord, I offer prostrations to You. Please make me a
like You. In any case it is You who is in me as a !’

To summarize, there are three interpretations to the nama this bhashya:

1. Isvara as Rudra, devours the world during pralaya being the to whom the jiva
whole-heartedly surrenders out of devotion by offering oneself as food to the Eater.
2. Isvara is the adhara of the world. When we offer ourselves to Him and become one with
Him, there is no separation. In this way, He ‘eats’ us. This is similar to the rope
‘swallowing’ the snake.

3. Isvara being the a . Because of His presence in the

jiva, he too is a bhokta to some extent. While Isvara is , the jiva is

Meaning 9
Gist: –– Brahmavidya, Brahmavidya,
while one is actually of the nature of Isvara Himself. Thus it is only the absence of the vidya that
differentiates oneself from Isvara.

verythingis in maya. Siva is the one who makes all the entities with
name and form as one with maya, thus creating this universe. One prays to such a Siva to bestow
that knowledge, which makes him one with Him, the absence of which now makes one feel as an
entity separate from Him.
Detailed interpretation:
Here, Padmapadacharya is dealing with the concept of the universe being only the name and form
manifestation of the supreme. It does not have any separate existence of its own. It is only a name-
form vikara.
The Upanishad says,

-If we take the example of the clay pot, the pot is also in the form of the
clay. The pot does not have a separate existence, it exists as clay. The pot is only a vikara of the
cause that is clay. It has its source in a name ( ), the pot. That is, the vikara which is the
shape is given a name called ‘pot’. Thus, the clay is first given a shape and then is named.

-It is true only as clay. The truth in it is only clay. Clay alone is existent in a pot.
The word ‘Pot’ is the ‘shabdha’ or name that is given to the clay. Thus, the vikara of the pot exist
in speech ( ) only - , i.e. the vikara exists only as a word.It is true as clay,
while the vikara of name and form exist only as word.
The whole universe is like that. In dharshtantha, Bhraman is the clay. It is the material cause of
this universe. Thus it is Brahman that manifests as the universe. The universe thus exists in name
and form alone, while the truth is that Brahman alone exists.

How is it interpreted that everything comes from Siva?

- - Everything exists contained in/rests in ‘this’.

What is the ‘this’ referred to here?

–maya,whichis the adhara for the entire prapancha; everything rests in it.

He is called – where the

38 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

– to make something vyaktam Ignorance has to be with chaitanya for projection to happen.
Maya is a shakti and there has to be wielder of this shakti. For e.g electricity, by itself is useless
unless someone finds a way to use electricity to power a fan or light. Electricity, by itself, without a
wielder, is not capable of powering a fan. Therefore, any shakti requires someone to wield it.
Isvara is the one who manifests/wields maya, gave it name and form and created the entire cosmos
using this shakti.

- This prapancha exists only as name and form; it exists in

maya. Siva is the one who creates the entire world using maya, in conjunction with name and form.

ThusIsvara is the nimitta karanaor the essential cause of this cosmos. He uses His
shaktimaya,gives it some properties,to create the world - just as a potter uses clay to create a pot.

In the mantra , Siva means the cause Brahman, Who manifests as everything else. Just
because Brahman manifests as the universe, it does not mean that It has transformed or converted
in to everything. Brahmanalone exists while It’s manifestation, the universe, exists only in name
and form. The moment the sound (shabdha) ceases, the universe will cease to exist.
Thus Siva is the karana for the entire world.

Padmapadacharya has used the word (those who are intent in knowing Brahman to
address us.

- I am this Jiva restricted by this body, have numerous raga-

dveshas and samskaras and am caught in this vicious cycle of birth and death.

- is Shri or Lakshmi,the ultimate auspiciousness. It refers to Jnana.

-The individual, the jiva, is the one who does not have this .

What is ?
It is the knowledge that Isvara is Brahman who wields maya, giving it a name and a form and
projects the universe. In reality He alone is; the universe exists only as words ( ). The
individual is a jiva only because he does not have this vidya and not because he is essentially
different from Isvara.

-There is no doubt that the jiva is Isvara in essence. It is only lack of this
knowledge that prevents one from realizing this identity.

is hence chanted by the jiva with the prayer for attaining this vidya. The bhava here is

This universe does not exist in reality; it exists only as words. It is You, O Lord, who gives it a
name and form and brought about creation by wielding maya. I am non-different from You in
reality but I do not realize this as I do not have Lakshmi or . Therefore, O Lord of
Lakshmi (knowledge), grant me this vidya.

Padmapadacharya calls the Lord, to indicate thatIsvara is the lord of knowledge and that one
can attain this knowledge only if he gives/wills it. Isvara is the One who has created this universe
using maya (avidya) therefore He alone can destroy this avidya by granting the individual the
that will enable one to realize the truth that jiva is non-different from Him.

Question: Should it be taken that does not come from the word but from , that
stands for maya. Can it not be taken that everything rests in Him (Siva)?
Answer: It can be taken that everything rests in Him. How does everything rest in Him? Everything
rests in maya and maya is used by the Lord to create. Maya, anyway, does not exist in reality for if
she does, she would not be called Maya.
All are in Him in the latent from. This is so because of the fact that everything comes back again
during creation. Since they come back, they are not destroyed and hence are present in latent form.
During pralaya, when everything becomes layam, it goes only to Him, there is no manifestation.
During creation it manifests again, that too, only in name and form. Thus He is called Siva because
everything sleeps in Him.

reminds one that Bhagavan is the substratum of everything. This entire universe that is
perceived is Bhagavan alone, completely. Just as clay alone exists, i.e., when we look at the clay,
we are actually looking at the pot! Similarly, when the universe is perceived, it is Brahman that is
actually present there, which is what is actually seen. The name and the form, which is the
universe, is only a seeming existence. It does not have any existence of its own. It exists only as
Brahman. It exists only as Siva. Its true nature is Siva.

Meaning 10

Gist: –prayer to take one, – anandasvarupa.The bhava is to take one doing

the namaskara to Siva who is anandasvarupa by giving knowledge.

Detailed interpretation:

40 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

The Vedas and the devas, all of them talk of Siva as anandasvarupa. The Vedas talk of Brahman as
, and also says,

(Know Brahman to be ananda.)

Thus the fact that Isvara is ananda is proclaimed both by the Vedas and the devastoo praise Isvara
as such. Thus here means

Here, the plea to Siva is:
“I am suffering, in the grip of maya. Since I do not know my true nature, (as also explained in the
previous meaning), I am - without that ananda, having identified myself as one who is
undergoing these miseries, without the understanding that I am anada itself. To me who am in such
a state, please give me that knowledge and the ananda because You are one who is praised by even
the devas and is talked of in the Vedas as anandasvarupa. Take me – , to that ananda by giving
me knowledge.”
Here, the bhava of the one doing the namaskara is to take him away from the sorrow that he is
suffering, to the abode of ananda. –
anandasvarupa and that the ananda is not to be searched somewhere outside!
Thus he pleads Siva to take him to the ananda that is very much within himself.

Meaning 11
bhashya says,

Gist: – Siva, the One with the proper understanding of the letter in the word , –Siva,
Who is with complete auspisciousness. The bhava here is "O Siva! You have the proper
understanding and are complete auspiciousness itself. Take me, who am & to Your
Detailed interpretation:

In the last two meanings, the ninth and the tenth,

samsara and a prayer to Siva
to take him to His state – this is japa. There

In the eleventh meaning Padmapadacharya interprets

He gives such a meaning to

Sat-chit-ananda only to rule out other misunderstandings with the things that are succumbing to the
forces in the world. But, ultimately, the ultimate Supreme cannot be described in words. If it is
explained that the ultimate description of the Supreme is , ,then it would
mean that it is within the grasp or reach of words.

Since the Supreme cannot be described in words, the Vedas point to the Supreme by saying
Whatever we see or perceive or whatever that can be described is not That. Thus the Vedas point
out to all that It is not, and explains that the Supreme is That which is beyond description and that
which cannot be grasped.

Such a meaning of the “ ” in the word ‘ ’ can be known only by Siva. The answer given by the
Vedas to the question, “What is the Supreme?”, is by pointing out to all that It is not, expressed as
Thus the is The inner meaning of the
can be measured by Siva alone, wherein,


He says that we are , not able to understand the which the Vedas use to point to the
Supreme, hence - one without the proper understanding. He prays Siva to grant
auspiciousness ( ) to such a person lacking the proper understanding. This is the bhava behind the

When there is only in the mantra, where did the come from?

This is not explicit but it is the bhava embedded in the mantra. When Siva is addressed as
one who has the proper understanding of the ‘ ’, it is embedded that when one does the japa of the
mantra, one prays to Siva to take him to that state.
42 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

The word itself stands for Isvara, it does not mean ‘for Isvara’. The pratyaya ’ ’ refers to
He who is full with , auspiciousness. This means that He alone is complete ( ) with
mangalam or auspiciousness. For that matter, the jiva too is mangala or auspicious but it is not
complete (not ). Thus, though it can be said that the others have become one with Siva, He
alone is , one Who is complete, Thus Siva alone is the one who is complete with
or kalyana, and hence He is called as

Here also points out to Siva and the entire word too points out to Him alone. Hence, by
saying , one calls out Siva twice as both points to Him only. The bhava follows that, ‘O
Siva who are both & , take me, who am , one without the proper
understanding& or not , who is not complete with or auspiciousness, (as there is
both mangala and amangala in me)to that state and make me become one with You.’ This is just
like when one calls out to Bhagavan as , it is implicit that one prays to Bhagavan to give
him protection. The bhava is embedded in the nama. Similarly here the bhava should be
understood as embedded in the mantra.
The Hindi meaning:

The Hindi meaning for the bhashya given above says that, Siva, the One who is bereft of all
sorrows or negativities ( ), above whom there is none that is superior, who has no limits, who
is bliss itself, is the only One who can be called with and hence called

1. Siva is thought of with the meaning intended by the two words & wherein there is
a plea inherent in that to make oneself who is the opposite of that, like Siva Himself.

2. When the mantra is said, it amounts to calling Siva twice ( ), which is like reminding
Him again and again to make us one with Him, with an urgency, with a plea requesting Him
to take us with Him.

Meaning 12
Gist: – One without maya, – Siva, the Lord of all powers (Who attained Parashakti as
His wife), the giver of all auspiciousness/happiness, or Who is the Lord of Mahavidya, the giver of
that Mahavidya. Here, the bhava is, “O Lord, Who has the proper understanding and the Lord of
Mahavidya, please give me, who am & , Your state.”

The commentator addresses Him as - He whose auspiciousness is so great. also means

, . By using the word theauthor brings out that Siva is extremely / greatly

+ = , represents Paramesvari / shakti. means He who has attained

,as His wife.

This can be interpreted in two ways (a) and (b)

(a) – The Lord of Paramesvari

The direct meaning of is He who has reached .In the perspective of a devotee with
worldly desires, it means He who has attained Parasakti ( ) as His wife. Parasakti is the
repository of all auspiciousness, power, might and all kinds of prosperity. He is the lord of that
Parasakti, the repository of all power. When it is said that He is the lord of that Isvari itself, who
has all prosperities, then one could imagine His powers. He is the lord who wields that power.
He is the only one who can give anything that is good. When one does the japa of this mantra with
devotion, He grants all that is desired. Everyone experience sukha / dukha in daily life, it is
He who is sought after for happiness by all.

(Shivanandalahari 13)
(In this useless worldly life, Which is unfit for real meditation, I the blind and foolish one am
always on the move, And it is only right for you to protect me. Hey Lord of all beings, Who in this
world is poorer, Than me to show your mercy? And which protector is there for me, In all these
three worlds, Than you, who is an ace in protection of the poor?)

b) – The Lord of Mahavidya

44 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

means He who is the lord of . Here represents Mahavidya, He who is the lord of
Mahavidya. He is the Supreme Brahman, the chaitanya shakti which wields maya to create the
entire universe. We all exist in ignorance within the realm of maya while He is the wielder of that
mayayet unaffected by it. He is the lord of that vidyaand hence He is the one who can give that
vidya. Being the giver of Mahavidya( ), He alone can lift us out of ignorance.

We have seen in an earlier interpretation that represents Lakshmi (Mahavidya). Thus

represents the individual jiva who is without Mahavidya ( ). It is because of maya that the jiva
is without Mahavidya, totally deluded and steeped in ignorance. Thus the jiva is + , without

The commentator brings out the contrast between the two in - while the Lord is
:, the jivais ignorant as . Siva is the lord of that Supreme knowledge ( ) whereas the
jiva is without knowledge, in a very low state. Through this contrast he brings out the bhava with
which the jiva pleads to Siva to make him who is as

To the one who is , without knowledge ( ), ( ), please give the state of Siva ( ) by
all means ( ).

We have seen two interpretations (a) (b)

a) The jiva is controlled by Maya and is in a miserable state whereas Siva is the lord of
Paramesvari. The jiva prays to Siva to give the greatest auspiciousness / prosperity /
happiness ( ) that is His state.
b) The jiva is in very low state controlled by maya whereas Siva is the wielder of maya and the
lord of Mahavidya, because of which He is the only one who can grant that Mahavidya. The
jiva prays to give that vidya and make him one with His state.

This mantra is applicable to both and and grants the fruit to the
jiva with any type of devotion – or .

Meaning 13
Gist: – Siva, Who is beyond maya/ignorance, –Siva, Who gets rid of the ignorance of
other people by giving them knowledge, He Who attains that state through knowledge. Here the
bhava is, “O Siva, Who are beyond maya and Who is the One who bestows knowledge to others,
please grant me, who am in ignorance, that knowledge, by which, I who am actually You, will
become You.”

and both the words refer to Bhagavan Himself. Thus by canting the mantra once, we
chant the Lord’s name twice just like that seen in the earlier meaning. There is a shade of
difference in the meaning which is detailed below.

One attains or or liberation by knowing Him. Thus one reaches the state of Siva
through knowledge, after the ignorance is got rid of. Therefore Siva is known as as He
Himself gets rid of the ignorance of other people. In reality, everybody is Siva Himself. The jiva
is actually Siva, but is under ignorance. This jiva who is actually Siva, on attaining knowledge
becomes one with Siva. Thus Siva is known to attain through

While we are under the grip of maya being deluded, Isvara is never under maya as He has the
ultimate knowledge. Therefore He is called , One who is not under the grip of maya,where
stands for maya.

+ - The Lord attains the state of Siva, , through – , knowledge.

Thus both the words and both refer to Siva alone. When it is said , it amounts
to calling Bhagavan two times to say that He is the one who through gets rid of the ignorance
and by which the jiva becomes Brahman. Here the prayer to Siva, while chanting the mantra, to
grant a state where there is no ignorance is embedded. He is addressed as One who is beyond
ignorance who is in the state of . Such a kind of proclamation indicates the request of the same
To summarise,
a. The Lord grants brahmajnana to the jiva and leads him to moksha
b. On acquiring jnana, the jiva realizes that he is the same as Siva.
The point made here is - Namah is that which is beyond maya. This state can be attained only on
acquiring brahmajnana.

Meaning 14
This contains three verses:
46 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Gist: Repeated prostrations to one’s own self who is beyond maya,who is Siva as well. The bhava
is meditation on the true who is the same as Siva.“I” refer to the one who is pure ( ) and
auspicious ( ). The jiva contemplates within ineself to know oneself.

Detailed interpretation:

Thus he summarizes the whole thing and brings out the essence of the Panchaksari mantra and the
bhava one should have while chanting this mantra.

Here, in this particular bhashya, repeated namaskara-s( ) are submitted.This brings out the

importance of doing namaskara ( ).

– – – One who is beyond Maya.

– I am one who is beyond Maya

– I am Shiva; I am also one who is beyond Maya.

Therefore, –“I prostrate to myself. I am myself Siva. It is not just that I prostrate to Siva
who is somewhere else, rather I myself am Siva. Repeated prostrations to myself who am Siva as
well as .”
Acharyal has talked about Ahamgrahopasana in a speech.

In Ahamgrahopasana, is what is to be grasped. One should enquire into who exactly is the
mentioned in the tattva. One is not the ‘aham’ one imaginesoneslef to be. He is not the
conglomerate of this body, indriyas etc. Realization of the true leads to jnana. Thus
ahangrahopasana is doing upasana on one’s self. This is not a tamasic or rajasicupasana as
practiced by asuras; it is the proper upasana on the atmatattva.
Padmapadacharya has touched upon this concept in this verse.

When one says , one should have the conviction ‘I am beyond Maya. I am Siva as well.’
One should meditate on the true who is the same as Siva.
One is verily Siva. There is no separation between oneself and Siva. One does not mistake oneself
to be what one sees as oneself – i.e this body, mind etc. Itis not said that ‘I’ with all the upadhis, is
the same as Siva. Devoid of all upadhis, the actual ‘I’ which is of the nature of Sat, Chit and
Ananda is the same as Siva.

We should understand the tattva “I am non-different from Isvara” from this mantra .

– I am one who is withoutMaya.

Namaskarams to oneself who is beyond Maya ( ) and beyond any impurities ( ). He

summarizes the ahangrahoopasana in this verse: “Isvara is auspiciousness ( ) itself. I am
also of the same nature. I and Siva are one and the same. Siva is all pervasive. I alone cannot
escape that all pervasiveness. I am in the form of chitsvarupa or Siva/Mangala svarupa.”

does not refer to the ashuddhatattvai.e, there is no false identification with the body and the like
here. refers to the ‘I’ that is pure; there is no amangalam in this . There are no kleshas here
as theyarise because of the threegunas. Kleshas surface only in the presence of Maya.
The prostration offered is to the ‘I’ who is shuddha and mangalam. In earlier meanings “I” referred
to the individual who is under the grip of maya with a prayer to take to His state. Here we worship
ourselves. Here “I” does not refer to the individual who is with ahamkara, mamakara and other
upadhis. That is why it is said - “I” refer to the one who is pure ( ) and
auspicious ( ). “I” should not be mistaken to be the individual with upadhis. “I” without any
upadhis is Siva; thus here namaskara is done to his own self.
The explanatory commentary says the following:

is that which is always graspedor known; Oneis dearest to oneself. As said in the Narada
Bhakti Sutra,

Thus it follows that Siva is seen in what is dearest to oneself. Upasanais not done on that which is
unknown or unfamiliar.
Ahangrahopasana is based on the concept that we are closest to ourselves and we know ourselves.
One may not know his true nature, but will certainly be aware of oneself! If one is asked, ‘Do you
know yourself’, everyone will answer in the affirmative. No one would say, ‘I don’t know myself!’
48 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

The main thrust of the bashya is that we are not trying to know that which is unknown or
unfamiliar to us; Jnanacomes from within us. This is the thrust of the meaning.

is the upasana done within oneself, to know oneself.

(Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.18)

(Svetasvatara Upanishad 6.19)

(He who at the beginning of creation projected Brahma (Universal Consciousness), who delivered
the Vedas unto him, who constitutes the supreme bridge of immortality, who is partless, free from
actions, tranquil, faultless, taintless and resembles the fire that has consumed its fuel, seeking
liberation I go for refuge to that Effulgent One, whose light turns the understanding towards the

Sruti refers to the Supreme Brahman as . Siva is beyond the three gunas( )
which is different from maya which is trigunatmika. Neither is He subject to any action or karma
( ). Though He is the creator, preserver and destroyer, He actually does not do any act. He is
always calm as there is no agitation in Him ( ). Thus does the Sruti describe Siva.
Here Padmapadacharya addresses the Lord as Shambhu and extols Him as one who beyond all
vikara-s ( ). Hence He has no form. This is because, anything that has a form will have parts.
Anything that has parts is subject vikara-s because the parts will, at any point of time, undergo
change like growth, decay etc.
If there is an entity that does not change, then it implies that it does not have any parts. Since Siva
does not have parts, He is without any vikara - , .Namaskarams nto such a

Thus, he explains the tattva behind in the first two verses of this meaning -
1. The first verse: Namaskarams to one’s own self which itself is the Sat-Chit-Ananda
svarupa, the paratattva, and not a separate entity somewhere.
2. The second verse: He talks about Siva who is beyond any guna-s and karma-s.
Namaskarams to that nirakara Parabrahman.
This can also be taken as ahangrahopasana, as here one does vichara on one’s true nature.
Generally the “I” is identified with the individual who has thoughts, doing actions and so on. But
here the “I” refers to the who resides inside as . The Sruti too declares thus
while describing Siva and one is the same as That Siva, non-different from Him.
It can also be taken as referring to Siva alone as the first verse has already dealt with the
ahangrahopasana. –(not able to understand this statement in this context…)
The next verse of the bhashya says,

- one who is without maya ( ) and its effects.

- root which means big (all pervasive) - He is everywhere.

- Since He pervades everywhere; He is not restricted to any particular form. Hence there is
no occasion to see Him as being restricted to any particular form or space.

- He who is with Ambal ( ). The Lalita Sahasranama extols Ambal as - One

who is sweet by nature. Siva is One who is or merged with Ambal who is ,
not one who just has Her by His side. There is no Siva without Shakti and no Shakti without Siva
as both are the same. The two aspects of the same tattva has been given as female (Ambal) or male
(Siva) by Sastra in order to facilitate our intellects to think. Either way, it is only the same tattva
that is thought of.

- He one who is always mangalam.

Siva is devoid of maya ( ); He pervade everywhere ( ); is not restricted to any particular

form ( ); is auspiciousness itself being with Ambal ( ); is always mangalam (
).When Siva is One who is all this and pervades everything, the individual jiva alone is not
excluded from this. Hence there can be no doubt that the jiva too is Siva alone because He being all
pervasive, brhat, cannot pervade everything excluding the jiva.

So, Padmapadacharya says, “Oh! Auspicious One ( ), since everything is not different from You
( ), nothing is apart from You. You pervade everything and nothing is different from You. So
everything is devoid of maya ( ) only.”

Siva is beyond maya ( ), beyond form ( ), and without any delusion ( ),

pervades everything which means everything is Him. Whatever we see is also Siva. When
everything is seen as Bhagavan, the fact is that, everything is devoid of maya.
50 Greatness of Siva Panchakshari

Thus there is no maya when everything is seen as Siva as one goes beyond maya. Hence it is said
in plural as as everything is devoid of maya and therefore nothing is subject to change. When
Bhagavan alone is seen, Bhagavan’s presence alone is there in everything - He alone is there.

He says, “Oh! Auspicious One! ( ), ” - He concludes that there is no doubt that

“I am that Shiva tattva ( )”.
The first verse of this bhashya explains that the person does upasana of himself understanding that
he is that Himself and does namaskara to his own self.

In the second verse, namaskara is done to Shiva who is of the nature of , who is
beyond any parinama or any vikara. We cannot have any greater description apart from this.
Though He has given thirteen different meanings for the mantra so far, here he presents the essence
of all these meanings, which is the crux of all the other meanings seen earlier as well.
In the third verse, he merges both the “I” and “Siva”. Siva is all pervasive and devoid of maya, is
beyond it. Since Siva is everything, everything should be the same as Siva and should have the
same characteristic that He has, as being devoid of maya, without any gunas, without any form, big
and so on. Thus everything is Siva basically, and prostrations to that One entity, that advaita,
which is the only One without any second.
There seems to be a slight tinge of duality in this (as namaskaram is being done), hence he negates
that duality by saying – “I am that One entity, do not have any doubt about it.”

Thus the mantra shows dvaita raahitaya – absence of duality. First one does namaskara-s
to oneself and then submits his namaskara-s to Siva, then understandd that the meaning of the
mantraitself is that “I and Shiva are the same”.