Definition of Salvation

Before explaining how the Shiva sādhana leads to salvation, we need to define the term. It has three meanings:

  1. “Better life next time.” This means that one’s next birth is more auspicious, with a life that is comfortable and conducive to rapid spiritual progress. (This is discussed in Bhagavad Gita chapter 6, verses 40-45.)

  2. “Heaven”, that is, a very long lifetime spent in a heavenly world such as “Shivaloka”.

  3. “Moksha” (“Nirvana”), which means liberation, the escape from the cycle of “samsāra” (death and rebirth).

Chanting of any Sanskrit mantra (or a name of God) leads one towards salvation. For this project, the name of “Shiva” is considered to be most efficacious. And the preferred mantra is “शिवाय नमः” (“Śivāya namaḥ“), which can be used in activity, without any counting or intense concentration. The reason for preferring this mantra is explained below.

Final thought and transition

How does chanting of the name of God lead towards salvation? The Vedic literature emphasizes the importance of one’s state of mind at the time of transition from this lifetime.

One way to view reincarnation is that one dream ends and another dream begins. And, the final thought of the first dream becomes the seed for the following dream. As Bhagavad Gita verse 8.6 puts it, “Whatever object one remembers at the time of death, when one gives up the body … that very same object one attains.”

Thus, for the purpose of gaining salvation, one is advised to think frequently of God (e.g. by chanting a chosen name of God), so that the thought of God is present in one’s mind at the time of transition to the next lifetime. The sādhana presented by this website facilitates the remembering of God in an easy way.

Preferred Mantra

For the Shiva Boons and Salvation, one needs a Sanskrit “mantra” that is suitable for “householders” to use in activity. This mantra is not to be used for meditation, nor for “japa” (counting repetitions). Rather, one just repeats the mantra as desired in one’s daily activities. (It can be silent.) The preferred mantra is “शिवाय नमः” (“Śivāya namaḥ“).

Note, this mantra is not prefixed by “OM“, because “OM” is too “inward”, it withdraws the mind from the world, and so it’s not good to use in daily activity. Also, note the word order is “Shivāya namaḥ”, not the other way around. This form of the “five-syllable” (panchakshara) mantra is found in the Shiva Purana, where it’s said to be accessible to all people.

On a future webpage, we will discuss the possibility of using mantras other than the one given above, and explain how one could choose a more optimal mantra. For instance, a follower of Vishnu will find a mantra on the Vishnu webpage.

If you have not already done so, you will want to learn the procedure for gaining Boons from Shiva.

Shivāya namah!