Meet Shiva

Shiva is the deity of transcendence, the cosmic force that returns all matter and energy, all manifestation and activity, back to its Source. This return is the final stage of an evolutionary process that begins with creation through the power of Brahma, maintenance through the power of Vishnu, then dissolution through the power of Shiva back into the unified field of pure consciousness, the same unified field that quantum physics has discovered. This ground state is the universe’s interface with God. Manifested forms dissolve in it into waves of a nonmaterial, abstract field, and new forms continually emerge from it to continue the cycle.

We can see this evolutionary process all around us. A seed becomes a plant that blossoms, creates new seeds, and dies. We manifest into a body that grows, develops, dies, then we later re-emerge as a new, more highly-evolved person. Socio-economic systems emerge, grow over centuries, and crumble like ours is doing now, then are replaced by more highly-developed, more egalitarian ones. As society enters this dissolution phase, more and more people are turning intuitively to Shiva because we need his support.

The universe begins with God’s thought, “I am one. Let me be many.” God first becomes the Divine Mother, Mahashakti. She gives birth to the universe, or more accurately, she becomes the universe. She does this by manifesting her creator aspect (Brahma and his partner Saraswati), her maintainer aspect (Vishnu and his partner Lakshmi), and her destroyer aspect (Shiva and his partner Durga-Parvati).

All these aspects of God working together unfold and administer the universe. Everything in creation is fundamentally One: God. And God, according to panentheism, is also beyond the creation.

When, after trillions of billions of years, God wants to be just one again, Shiva and his partner close down the show, they all return into the Divine Mother, she returns into God, and creation takes a rest. This is the glorious divine play. Our purpose in it is to get enlightened, and when we achieve that, our boundaries of separation disappear, and we live this cosmic unity as our own deepest nature. Then we enjoy 200 percent of life – the fullness of the material relative along with the fullness of the spiritual absolute. The deities will help us reach enlightenment because they love us and are us. The essence of the creation is love.

This little philosophical sketch is an the interpretation of Vedas set forth by Shankara, the 8th-century proponent of Advaita Vedanta (unity, non-duality). In contrast, some devotional schools of thought maintain a fundamental separation between Creator and creature, similar to the Western religions. Some of them also assert that their preferred deity is superior to the others. A story in the Vedic literature tells of how Vishnu – called Hari – and Shiva – called Hara – were upset that their devotees were quarreling over whose deity was the best. To end the conflict, the two gods showed they are fundamentally the same by appearing to their worshipers as a blend of the two, Hariharan. The devotees, though, are still quarreling.

According to Shankara, all these divine beings are different aspects of the One. They offer different paths to the same goal: enlightenment, union with God. All are worthy of reverence, but people tend to have a preference for one of them based on their personal affinities.

To decide which one you prefer, you can start by gazing at pictures of them. These images are just conventions, but they can be useful. The Vedic deities are fundamentally beyond form and gender, but they appear to us in certain set images to help us better relate to them. (Yes, they really can be seen.) They are cosmic forces, administrators of natural law who keep creation functioning. If we project contemporary concepts of femininity and masculinity onto these divine beings, we will distort them (just as these concepts distort us).

Whose appearance interests you the most? Whom do you want to get to know better? Do you feel a heart connection? If so, listen to Vedic chantings of their names (each deity has over a thousand) on YouTube and notice how you respond. Then learn more about them on the internet. Trust your intuition, but if it’s not clear, a good Vedic astrologer can help you choose which one suits you best.

Shiva is labeled the destroyer, but that’s only a small part of his domain. Maharishi Mahesh Yogi described Shiva as eternal silence, infinity, unboundedness, the state of least excitation, the Absolute, non-duality, unity, beyond relative activity, the pure light of existence, the Self of everything, Atma – our own being. He summed up by saying, “And that is worth knowing.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4Ao9M_wjfc)

The procedures we discuss here will put you in touch with Shiva, his partner Durga-Parvati, and an offspring of their union, Ganesha. Ganesha is the great remover of obstacles, like a cosmic snowplow clearing our road of evolution. He rides on a mouse because mice are so skilled at getting around obstacles. Durga-Parvati, as representative of the Divine Mother, has two sides: the loving, caring side for her children and the fierce, protecting side against those who threaten them. She is the demon slayer par excellence.

Getting to know this holy family is a journey of joy. Contact with them through bhakti – devotion – awakens a divine energy that permeates our heart, mind, and body and improves our thoughts, activities, and relationships.

Since a human being is the cosmos in microcosm, these three and all the Vedic deities exist within us and are activated when we become conscious of them. According to the book Human Physiology: Expression of Veda and Vedic Literature by Dr. Tony Nader, Shiva’s seat is the brain, Ganesha’s is the brain stem, Durga’s is the base of the spine. Shiva meditates in the cave of your skull, connecting you to your transcendental Source, while Ganesha stands guard at the entrance and Durga slays any prowling demons you may have generated. They aren’t limited to these areas, though; they permeate our whole body and being. But their presence is strongest in these places.

Meditation is essential for tuning in to their presence within you. I recommend Transcendental Meditation because it is very effective at achieving samadhi, transcendental consciousness. The key to its effectiveness is its effortlessness. TM doesn’t use concentration, contemplation, or control, which are mental activities that hold the mind on the active thinking level and hinder it from reaching the deeper, non-active, transcendental level. Focusing your attention on a mantra and repeating it precisely over and over is concentration – not an effective way to transcend. Trying to clear the mind of thoughts is a self-defeating exercise in control, as is sitting in a rigid posture. We transcend not by making it happen but by allowing it to happen. Because effortlessness is opposite to the active, goal-oriented way we are habituated to function in our society, TM’s free-flow, non-concentrative method of thinking the mantra needs to be learned from a certified instructor in a course with follow-up sessions. It’s worth it. I’ve read websites that claim to teach it, but they’re not authentic.

If you don’t want to do TM, you can use “Haum”, Shiva’s beej (seed) mantra, or combine it with“Namah Shivāya”, his panchakshara (five-syllable) mantra, so it becomes “Haum Namah Shivāya”. Try both ways and see which you prefer. Many people add “Om” instead of “Haum”, but “Om” is actually a separate mantra that invokes all the gods. If you want Shiva, “Haum” is better. Ammaji’s advice applies: “You don’t reach God by digging lots of shallow holes. You reach God by digging one deep hole.”

Each meditation is a dip into an inner sea of tranquility. Sometimes if you’re under stress you may not notice much, but it’s then all the more needed.

Kundalini

Kundalini yoga connects you to Shiva, Durga, and your inner serpent power. It’s a set of practices and exercises enlivening a concentrated spiritual force that dwells at the base of your spine and rises up through your chakras as you become more enlightened. Kundalini is depicted as a cobra named Bhujagendra coiled 3 1/2 times around the sacral bone at the base of the spine in Muladhara chakra, your inner powerhouse. Awakening this serpent gives you powers of higher consciousness and greater mental and physical energy.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi described it this way: “Kundalini is the symbol of life force that is present in each living being. As the body becomes purer and purer, this germ of life, it is like a serpent, it becomes awake. Higher states of consciousness depend on how much this kundalini is awake. Chakras are the milestones on the path of kundalini. The kundalini finds its absorption in all these centres, here and here and here and eventually here in the cortex, the thousand-petaled rose, a thousand-petaled lotus. And by the time kundalini comes here, everything, the whole thing becomes full of light. Full of light means full of awareness. Light means not this light, but pure Being. And when this whole area becomes aware of Being clearly, then it is cosmic consciousness. Then the Being is never lost irrespective of our engagements during the day or restfulness in the night. It remains permanent. And this is what is called the state of enlightenment.” (Lecture, Lake Louise, Canada, 1968)

Your kundalini can be awakened through a combination of yoga, chanting, and meditation. Contemporary kundalini yoga was developed by Yogi Bhajan, and his organization’s website provides an overview (https://www.3ho.org/kundalini-yoga) and specific instructions (https://www.3ho.org/files/pdfs/breath-of-fire.pdf).

Andrew Hall has created an excellent series of videos, among them:
Wake up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QGiHuW7Jino
Charge up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zzv8jaUWiI4
Complete Spinal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUOMNmkzXSw

Guru Rattana is another skilled teacher: https://www.kundaliniyoga.org/classes.

Kundalini chants generate an uplifting resonance in your nervous system. Try listening and chanting along to these, eyes closed, feeling the reverberations:
ShivShakti: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z7l678L1q_s
Nipun Aggarwal: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ulij4QBS7B4
Meditative Mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEZAIVA970Y
Nirinjan Kaur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mY3rReIlA7A

Sound waves at 55 hertz stimulate kundalini:
LoveMotives: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1E3XnNRfIM&list=RDlUjn0EJ0FYc&index=2
Inner Peace: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvMmXL1WEo8

Shiva and Durga are the Vedic deities governing kundalini. Shiva meditates in your brain wearing his Bhujagendra, Lord of the serpents, as a garland around his neck. Durga, meaning “fortress”, rides on a female tiger or male lion in the fortress of your sacrum wrapped in her Bhujagendra. From opposite ends of your spine they work together to foster your evolution. This dynamic interplay between Shiva at the top of the spine and Durga at the root is also the basis of cranial-sacral therapy.

The serpent archetype has very different meanings in the Vedic and Biblical traditions. In the Vedic it is ruled by Mahashakti, the Divine Mother whose primal creative energy manifests the universe and sustains its dynamic activity. She encompasses all the gods. Vishnu, the maintainer of creation, rests upon the coils of a giant snake in an ocean of milk. In the Biblical tradition, however, the serpent is ruled by the evil Satan, who turned woman into his victim, made her subordinate to man, and condemned humanity to suffering. In contrast, the Vedas are free of guilt and give the female side of creation equal importance to the male side. Eros and Deus are intertwined. When portrayed together, the deity pairs are often androgynous and almost identical to show they are fundamentally beyond gender. Unfortunately Hinduism has in some ways distorted the Vedic tradition and become just as patriarchal as the Western religions. Fortunately women in India are now developing a strong feminist movement to change this.

The aspect of Shiva most involved with kundalini is Aja Ekapada, referred to as the lightning deity and the pillar of fire. “Aja” means “self caused, not born”, and “Ekapada” means “one foot”, a moniker in many cultures for snakes. One of his forms is a fire serpent. Zeus too was originally a fire serpent called “old one foot”. You can picture Aja Ekapada as a jagged lightning bolt in the shape of Shiva Nataraja, Lord of the cosmic dance, standing with one foot on your head. He shoots ethereal energy down your spine through the two channels on either side of the central column.

At the bottom, the channels merge into the head of Durga’s Bhujagendra, who is coiled around her, its mouth covering the opening to your central spinal column. Aja Ekapada’s charge lights up Bhujagendra’s eyes. Seeing this, Durga surges kundalini energy through the tail of her tiger or lion into the end of the serpent. Stimulated, Bhujagendra sticks its long tongue, now flaming, up your spinal channel, blasting through the karmic blockages of each chakra and embracing Aja Ekapada at the top. Aja Ekapada spurts more ethereal energy down the side channels, and the circuit continues.

Another metaphor for this: Shiva impregnates Durga with his lightning bolt, and she delivers their kundalini baby through the central channel and out the thousand-petaled lotus at the top of your head, giving birth to a new, enlightened you.

The sutra that encapsulates all this is “Aja Ekapada Durga Bhuja namaha”. (“Namaha” means “I bow”.) The best time to practice it is after meditation. Sit preferably cross-legged without back support and picture Aja Ekapada as a jagged bolt of lightning atop your head and Durga wrapped in Bhujagendra at the root of your spine. Invoke him by thinking, “Jai, Aja Ekapada; Sri, Aja Ekapada; Aum Haum Aja Ekapadayē namaha” and her by thinking, “Jai, Durga; Sri, Durga; Aum Dumg Durgayē namaha”. Feel the dynamic interplay as they exchange energies as described above. Project the sutra as a gentle thought into your inner silence, wait about 15 seconds, project it again, then continue, thinking it easily with pauses while having your awareness on your sacral region. Notice any sensations such as tingling and warmth or a subtle activation at the base of the spine. If you feel an impulse to hop up into the air, do so. After about five minutes lie down and rest for five minutes to integrate the effects into your nervous system. If you feel unpleasant sensations or strong emotions, lie there longer until they dissipate. If you ever feel nervous or irritable after meditating, it’s a sign you’re not resting long enough.

While resting it is beneficial and enjoyable to listen to chants of Sahasranama, the thousand names of Shiva, Ganesha, and Durga. These can be downloaded from YouTube or purchased over the internet. The chanting shouldn’t be too fast and should have as little instrumental accompaniment as possible. Music can interfere with the Sanskrit sound vibrations. Bring your attention to the body part where the deity dwells, and imagine yourself merging into the deity, letting all your problems of relative life dissolve. You’re making a heart connection to the divinity within you, so your attitude in all this should be reverent.

Music is fine outside of meditation. You might particularly enjoy the hymns Mahimna, Chalisa, Rudram, and Gayatri. The vocalist Mahakatha’s music is both contemporary and authentic.

If you have time, do the wake up and meditation before breakfast and the charge up, spinal, puja, and meditation before dinner. Done regularly, this program will enliven the three deities and your kundalini, suffusing you with the powers of higher consciousness. Many people report increased vitality, tranquility, clarity, benevolence, and best of all a real sense of closeness to these sacred beings who are a part of you. Some people have quick and dramatic results, others require more time. Patience and persistence pay off. Some notice an initial effect which then fades, but if they stick with it for a few months it returns stronger. If you’re too busy to do all of this, I would say the most important is twice daily meditation, second is puja, and third yoga.

A word of caution, though. A few people have experienced mental breakdowns from a too sudden activation of kundalini. If you are under psychiatric care, you should first discuss this with your doctor.

Rudraksha beads stimulate kundalini and generate a spiritual influence that brings the wearer closer to Shiva and increases transcendence in meditation. Rudraksha trees grow in the mountainous regions of Asia, where Shiva likes to hang out. They are named after Rudra, an early Vedic name of Shiva. The abundant fruit they shed represents Shiva’s tears of compassion for the suffering of all creatures. These reddish-brown globes are strung into necklaces of 108 and worn by devotees. The beads come primarily from Nepal (large) and Java (small). The large can irritate sensitive skin, so in that case the small are the better choice. They also cost less. They all have a tendency to decrease sexual desire. The five-sided beads, though, do that only slightly and so are favored by those of us who enjoy the physical side of love. For more information: https://www.rudraksha-ratna.com/c/rudraksha.

Puja

A puja is a ceremony of worship that connects you to the deity both on the level of heart and of ethereal vibration. It’s a series of Sanskrit sounds that you chant or sing while contemplating their meaning, gazing at an image of the divine being, and performing symbolic offerings. The sound vibrations soothe the physiology into a transcendental state similar to meditation. Breath and heart rates decrease, brain waves slow and begin to flow in coherent, orderly patterns. At the same time you are active and alert: chanting, contemplating, making offerings. This combination of transcendence and activity is a preparation for enlightenment, as described in a key verse (II-48) of the Bhagavad-Gita: “Established in Being, perform action.” A properly performed puja gives us a taste of enlightenment, cosmic consciousness.

You’ll need a puja set consisting of an offering tray, three small bowls or plates, a candle holder, incense holder, and camphor lamp. These are usually brass and can be purchased at your local esoteric store or on the internet. You’ll also need three murtis (pictures or statues), a larger one of Shiva and smaller ones of Durga and Ganesha. You’ll need white cotton cloth, white candles, camphor powder, sandalwood powder, and incense sticks.

Choose a table oriented so you are facing east and cover it with a white cloth (a bed sheet is fine). Put a book underneath the cloth to make a raised platform; set the murtis on it: Shiva in the middle, Durga on his left, Ganesha on his right. Set the tray on the platform in front of them and below it the bowls or small plates of water, rice, and sandalwood powder from your left to right. To your left of the tray set the candle holder with a white candle and the camphor lamp. Put some rice into the hollow of the camphor lamp to protect the metal and then a bit of camphor onto the rice. To your right of the tray set the incense holder with a stick of incense onto a piece of white cardboard that will protect the cloth from falling ashes.

As offerings you’ll need a piece of sweet fruit, a small square of new white cotton cloth, and a half dozen flowers (if flowers aren’t available, leaves will do; if these aren’t available, use rice; rice can be used for any item that isn’t available). Put the offerings on your left where you can easily reach them.

What follows is the text of the puja, then this text again with translations and instructions. I found it easier to learn the puja step by step: Print out the first version and memorize it without the meaning. Then print out the second version and learn what it means and how to do it. Some people might prefer to go right to the second version and learn all the steps simultaneously: Print it out, prop it up on the puja table, and read it aloud while contemplating the meaning and performing the actions. Do this until you know it well enough to dispense with the paper. Both ways take a long time. You can’t really expect full results until you’ve integrated all three phases – sound, meaning, and actions – without having to read. That’s when the deep spiritual experiences start happening. Quite wonderful.

The memorizing technique that works best for me is to take short sections and make up bizarre sentences and stories based on sound associations to the Sanskrit words. For example, the first line, “Apavitrah pavitro va sarva vasthan gatopi va”, becomes “Appalling vistas of poverty serve vast greedy vanguards”. Give your imagination free rein.

These stories help me connect the sounds. I gradually expand this until I can recite the whole section, then I add the meaning. I repeat the section – many times. The humorous meaning gradually fades away, and I’m left with the Sanskrit words and their meaning. I move on to the next section and repeat the process until I know the full puja and how to perform it. This process is an excellent mental gymnastic and produces a real feeling of accomplishment and, best of all, a real connection to these deities. It’s definitely worth the effort, but it’s not quick.

One thing to keep in mind: This is YOUR puja, your personal worship of the deities. You can change, shorten, or lengthen it as suits you. This is a heart matter. If it pleases you, it pleases them because it brings you to your inner place of unity with them.

Puja Text

Apavitrah pavitro vā sarva vasthan gatopi vā
Yahsmaret Pundari-kaksham Sa bahya-abhyantarah shuchih
Aum shanti shanti shanti

Avahanam
Aum Gung Dumg Haum namaha

Jai Ganesha, Sri Ganesha
Vināyakāya
Adyakshāya
Varadāya
Shasvatāya
Aum Gung Ganapatayē namaha
Dhya-ya-mi jyotir mayam
Avahanam samarpayami Sri Ganesha charan kamalebhyo namaha
Asanam samarpayami Sri Ganesha charan kamalebhyo namaha
Pushpam samarpayami Sri Ganesha charan kamalebhyo namaha
Abhīp-sitartha siddyar-tham pujito ya surā surai
Sarva-vighna haras tasmai Ganadipatayē namaha

Jai Durga, Sri Durga
Mahashakti Shakambāri
Matadevi Maheshwāri
Saumyā-Mā Shambāvi
Lalita Ambikā
Kriya Tarini
Gauri Rakshakāri
Raj Rajeshwāri
Kali Kundalini

Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, Kshang, Aum
Aum Dumg Durgayē namaha
Dhya-ya-mi jyotir mayam
Avahanam samarpayami Sri Durga charan kamalebhyo namaha
Asanam samarpayami Sri Durga charan kamalebhyo namaha
Pushpam samarpayami Sri Durga charan kamalebhyo namaha
Vindhya-sthām vindhya-nilayām
Divyasthā-nanivāsinīm
Yoginīm yoga-jananīm
Chandikam prana-mām-yaham
Tham, Tham; Thah, Thah Chandika Shraddhā

Jai Jai, Shiva, Maheshwara
Sri Sri, Shiva, Omkara Nataraja
Jai Jai, Shiva, Vishweshwara
Sri Sri, Shiva, Mahadeva Shambho
Jai Jai, Shiva, Maharupa Mahakala
Sri Sri, Shiva, Swayambhu Gyāndeep
Jai Jai, Shiva, Someshwara
Sri Sri, Shiva, Parameshwara
Jai Jai, Shiva, Jaradishamana
Sri Sri, Shiva, Kalagni Rudra Bhairava
Jai Jai, Shiva, Hara Bhole
Sri Sri, Shiva, Shankara Sukada
Jai Jai, Shiva, Lingaraj Kailash
Sri Sri, Shiva, Shambhava Avyāya
Jai Jai, Shiva, Pashupati namaha
Sri Sri, Shiva, Pranesha namaha
Jai Jai, Shiva, Pushkara namaha
Sri Sri, Shiva, Atmaveda namaha
Jai Jai, Shiva, Bhaktavat-salāya namaha
Sri Sri, Shiva, Sarvajanāya namaha
Jai Jai, Shiva, Aja Ekapada namaha
Sri Sri, Shiva, Sanatana namaha
Aum Haum Shivayē namaha
Dhya-ya-mi jyotir mayam

Avahanam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Asanam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Snanam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Vastram samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Chandanam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Akshatān samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Pushpam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Dhupam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Deepam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Achmaniyam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Naivedyam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Achmaniyam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Tambulam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Sri Phalam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Rudrāksham samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha

Arartikyam
Karpura-gauram karuna-vataram samsara-saram Bhujagendra haram
Sada vasantam hridayara-vinde Bhavam Bhavani sahitam namami
Arartikyam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
Achmaniyam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha

Aum sadā Shivāya vidmahe
Saha-shrākshāya dhīmahe
Tanno Shambho prachodayāt

Vamadevāya
Namo Ges-thāya
Namah Shres-thāya
Namo Rudrāya
Namah Kalāya
Namah Kala-vikarara-nāya
Namo Bala-vikarara-nāya
Namo Balāya
Namo Bala-pramat-tanāya
Namah Sarva-bhuta-damanlāya
Namo-manon-mananāya namaha

Yaj-jā-grato duura-mudaiti daivam
Tadu suptasya tathaiveti
Duuram-gāmam jyoti-shām jyoti-rekam
Tanme manah Shiva-sankalpa-mastu

Yat prajnyā-namuta ceto dhrtishcha
Yaj jyotir-antara-mrtam prajāsu
Yas mānna-rte kinycana karma kriyate
Tanme manah Shiva-sankalpa-mastu

Yo-sau sarveshu Vedeshu
Pathyate-nada Ishvarah
Akāryo nirvano hyātmā
Tanme manah Shiva-sankalpa-mastu

Aum namo Bhagwate Rudrāya
Nirakara momkara mulam turiyam
Gira Gyana gotita misham Girisham
Karalam Mahakala kalam krpalam
Gunagara samsara param nato-ham

Shiva, my Lord: Iha-tish-tha, Iha-tish-tha, Iha-tish-tha
Aum Haum Joom Sah
Tryambakam Yajā-mahe
Sugandim Pushti-Vardanam
Urvā-rukam-Iva Bandanān
Mrityor-Mukshiya Māmritāt

Jaya Jaya, Shiva, vidjayante taram
Shivo-ham, Shiva swarupa
Karma-sarva-bandha-vimoca-nāya namah, Atma samarpana svāhā

Atmā Tvam Girijā Matih Sahacarāh Prānnāh Shariiram Grham
Puujā Te Vissayo-pabhoga-Racanā Nidrā Samādhi-Sthitih
Sancārah Padayoh Pradakshina-Vidhi Stotrānni Sarvā Giro
Yad-Yat-Karma Karomi Tat-Tad-Akhilam Shambho Tava-Arādhanam

Kara-Carana-Krtam Vāk-Kāya-Jam Karma-Jam Vā
Shravana-Nayana-Jam Vā Mānasam Va-Aparādham
Vihitam-Avihitam Vā Sarvam-Etat-Kssamasva
Jaya Jaya Karuna-Abdhe Sri-Mahadeva Shambho

Pushpanjalim
Akhanda Mandala-karam vyaptam yena characharam
Tat padam darshitam yena tasmai Sri Shiva namaha
Sri Shiva param-sukhadam kevalam gyan-murtim
Vishvatētam gagana sadrisham Tatva-masya-di lakshyam
Ekam Nityam Vimala-machalam sarvadhi sākshi bhutam
Bhava-tētam triguna sahitam sad Shiva tam namami
Agyan timiran-dhasya gyanan-jan shalakaya
Chakshu runmilitam yena tasmai Sri Shiva namaha
Pushpanjalim samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha

Sankalpa

Text with meaning and instructions

This puja was selected and adapted from many sources, chief among them the book Siva Puja and Advanced Yagna by Swami Satyananda Saraswati (https://www.powells.com/book/siva-puja-advanced-yajna-9781887472623#product_details). His website has pictures of the mudras (https://www.shreemaa.org/mudras-puja/) and a series of free videos that show how to perform a puja: (http://www.shreemaa.org/new-class-shiva-puja-yajna/).

A note on pronunciation: A macron, a horizontal line above a vowel, indicates the sound is long, extended. The “ē” in “Ganapatayē”, “Durgayē”, and “Shivayē” is particularly long.

Stand or sit in front of the prepared puja table and bow. Pick up a flower, dip it into the water, and wave it to the rear, right, and left, sprinkling a bit of water while chanting:

Apavitrah pavitro vā sarva vasthan gatopi vā
Yahsmaret Pundari-kaksham Sa bahya-abhyantarah shuchih
(“Whether pure or impure, whoever opens oneself to the vision of unbounded awareness gains inner and outer purity”)
Aum (The primal sound that creates, contains, and sustains the universe, often written “Om”) shanti shanti shanti (“Peace to all”)
(Avahani – “Invitation” – mudra: Press your hands and fingers together in front of your chest pointed at the deities. See https://www.shreemaa.org/mudras-puja/) Avahanam (“Invocation”)
Aum Gung (“Gung”, often written “Gan”, is Genesha’s beej or seed mantra, a concentrated form of his name)
Dumg (“Dumg” is Durga’s beej mantra.)
Haum (“Haum” is Shiva’s beej mantra.) namaha (“I bow”. At the start of the puja we invite all three deities by reciting their names, aspects, and qualities, starting with Ganesha. By tradition Ganesha is the first deity worshiped in Vedic ceremonies.)
Jai (“Hail”, pronounced “jay”) Ganesha, Sri (“Shining”) Ganesha
Vināyakāya (“Remover of obstacles”)
Adyakshāya (“Lives in the now”)
Varadāya (“The evolutionary energy that transforms a seed into the fruit”)
Shasvatāya (“Giver of boons”)
Aum Gung Ganapatayē (another name for Ganesha) namaha
Dhya-ya-mi jyotir mayam (“I bring to my awareness”)
Avahanamsamarpayami (“I offer”) Sri Ganesha charan (“to the feet”) kamalebhyo (“beautiful and sublimely pure as the lotus”) namaha (We offer the invocation itself, symbolized by rice. Pinch up a few grains from the bowl and offer it onto the tray with a bow at “namaha”. We feel the upsurge of purifying waves of knowledge.)
Asanam (“seat”) samarpayami Sri Ganesha charan kamalebhyo namaha (We offer the deity a comfortable seat, symbolized by rice. Again we pinch up a few grains and offer it with a bow. We feel stabilized in immovable, all-pervading Being.)
Pushpam (“flower”) samarpayami Sri Ganesha charan kamalebhyo namaha (We offer a flower onto the tray with a bow at “namaha”. We feel the blossoming of inner Being.)
(Invitation mudra) Abhīp-sitartha siddyar-tham pujito ya surā surai
(“For gaining goals and perfection he is worshiped by the forces of Union and of Division”)
Sarva-vighna haras tasmai Ganadipatayē namaha
(“He takes away all difficulties; therefore we bow to the Lord of the Ganas, the wild companions of Shiva”)

Jai Durga, Sri Durga
Mahashakti Shakambāri (“Mother Divine”, the primal energizing force of creation who gives birth to all the deities and the entire universe; “Bearer of the Greens”, the nourishing power of nature as represented by green vegetables)
Matadevi Maheshwāri (“Mother Divine”; “Lord of Gods”)
Saumyā-Mā Shambāvi (“gentle, loving”; “Mother Divine”; “source of bliss”)
Lalita Ambikā (“beautiful”; “mother”)
Kriya Tarini (“action that enlightens”; “saves us from calamities”)
Gauri Rakshakāri (“shining”; “destroyer of demons”)
Raj Rajeshwāri (“ruler of emperors”)
Kali Kundalini (Goddess who rules our current age and in tandem with Shiva dissolves all manifestation when the universe ends; a spiritual energy that dwells at the base of our spine and rises up through our chakras as we become more enlightened)
Lam, Vam, Ram, Yam, Ham, Kshang, Aum (beej mantras in ascending order of the seven chakras or centers of consciousness through which the kundalini rises)
Aum Dumg Durgayē namaha
Dhya-ya-mi jyotir mayam
Avahanam samarpayami Sri Durga charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer rice)
Asanam samarpayami Sri Durga charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer rice)
Pushpam samarpayami Sri Durga charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer flower)
(Invitation mudra) Vindhya-sthām vindhya-nilayām (“the home of knowledge”)
Divyasthā-nanivāsinīm (“residing in divine illumination”)
Yoginīm yoga-jananīm (“the cause of union”; “the knower of union”)
Chandikam (“destroyer of ignorance and evil”) prana-mām-yaham (“I bow to this energy that dissolves thought”)
Tham, Tham; Thah, Thah (beej mantras for Goddess Chandika, a fierce aspect of Durga) Chandika Shraddhā (“faith”, which Maharishi Mahesh Yogi described as the wrapping that keeps the package, our spiritual journey, intact until it reaches its destination in the state of enlightenment)

Jai Jai, Shiva, Maheshwara (“Lord of Gods”)
Sri Sri, Shiva, Omkara Nataraja (“source of Om”; “Lord of the Cosmic Dance”)
Jai Jai, Shiva, Vishweshwara (“Lord of the universe”)
Sri Sri, Shiva, Mahadeva Shambho (“great benevolent, beneficent God”)
Jai Jai, Shiva, Maharupa Mahakala (“great form”; “Lord of time”)
Sri Sri, Shiva, Swayambhu Gyāndeep (“self caused”; “light of wisdom”)
Jai Jai, Shiva, Someshwara (“Lord of soma”)
Sri Sri, Shiva, Parameshwara (“supreme consciousness”)
Jai Jai, Shiva, Jaradishamana (“redeemer from afflictions”)
Sri Sri, Shiva, Kalagni (a combination of Kali, Goddess of destruction, and Agni, God of fire) Rudra (“the roarer”, an early name of Shiva. Taken together, Kalagni Rudra means “the fire that consumes ignorance and suffering”.) Bhairava (a fierce, destructive aspect of Shiva; Bhairava and his partner Kali preside over the end of the universe, dancing it down in a cyclone of swirling flames then merging themselves back into Brahman until the next creation. It’s somehow fitting that Kalagni Rudra’s seat is in your right big toe.)
Jai Jai, Shiva, Hara (“remover of suffering”) Bhole (“Lord of the common people”)
Sri Sri, Shiva, Shankara (“emancipator, bestower of happiness”) Sukada (“bestower of happiness”)
Jai Jai, Shiva, Lingaraj (“Lord of power” as symbolized by the axis mundi or central column of the world, by the phallus, and by Mt. Kailash in Tibet. The lingam is often shown inside a bowl-shaped vessel to represent the unity of Shiva and Durga, of Brahman and Mahashakti.) Kailash (mountain where Shiva dwells)
Sri Sri, Shiva, Shambhava Avyāya (“source of bliss”; “inexhaustable”)
Jai Jai, Shiva, Pashupati (“Lord of the animals”) namaha
Sri Sri, Shiva, Pranesha (“prana of prana”) namaha
Jai Jai, Shiva, Pushkara (“blue lotus”, refering to his beauty and purity and also to his protecting humanity by swallowing poison designed by demons to kill us all. He stopped it at his throat, but it turned his head blue.) namaha
Sri Sri, Shiva, Atmaveda (“soul of the Vedas”) namaha
Jai Jai, Shiva, Bhaktavat-salāya (“loves his devotees”) namaha
Sri Sri, Shiva, Sarvajanāya (“all wisdom”) namaha
Jai Jai, Shiva, Aja Ekapada (“lightning deity, pillar of fire”) namaha
Sri Sri, Shiva, Sanatana (“eternal Lord”) namaha
Aum Haum Shivayē namaha
Dhya-ya-mi jyotir mayam (rice in right hand)

Avahanam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer rice – We invoke his presence and feel the upsurge of purifying waves of knowledge)
Asanam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer rice – We offer him a comfortable seat and feel stabilized in immovable, all-pervading Being)
Snanam (ablution of water) samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (dip a flower into the water and sprinkle a few drops onto the tray – We feel the refreshment of pure consciousness. “Pure” in this context means unmixed, just the thing in itself, consciousness without an object.)
Vastram (cloth) samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer cloth – We feel cloaked and secure in omnipresent Being)
Chandanam (sandalwood powder) samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer a bit of sandalwood powder onto the cloth – We feel the tranquility of the transcendent)
Akshatān (whole, unbroken rice) samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer rice – We feel the transcendent nourishing the wholeness of life)
Pushpam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer flower – We feel the blossoming of inner Being)
Dhupam (incense)samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (pick up the incense holder and circle it in front of the deities – We feel waves of purity)
Deepam (light) samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (pick up the candle holder and circle it in front of the deities – We feel the light of wisdom)
Achmaniyam (water) samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (dip a flower into the water, circle it around the flame, and offer it – We feel waves of bliss)
Naivedyam (fruit) samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer the fruit – We feel the fulfillment of enlightenment)
Achmaniyam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (dip a flower into the water, sprinkle a few drops onto the fruit, and put the flower back – We feel fulfillment flowing out to others)
Tambulam (betel leaf)samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer rice – We feel our speech and communication being purified)
Sri Phalam (coconut) samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (offer rice – We feel the wholeness of life symbolized by the outer husk of activity, the inner kernel of thought, the milk of spirituality, and the transcendent, unmanifest space within)
Rudraksham (rudraksha beads) samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (take off your rudraksha beads or pick them up from the table and offer them – We feel Shiva’s boundless compassion for all beings)

(Put the incense stick into the candle until it flames, light the camphor with it, and put it back in the holder.)
Arartikyam (offering a camphor light, we feel the abundance of pure awareness)
(Pick up the lamp and move it in a broad circle in front of the deities while chanting:)
Karpura-gauram karuna-vataram samsara-saram Bhujagendra haram
(“White as camphor, compassion incarnate, the essence of creation, the devourer of creation”)
Sada vasantam hridayara-vinde Bhavam Bhavani sahitam namami
(Ever dwelling in the lotus of my heart, Shiva and Durga united, I bow to them)
Arartikyam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (we hold the camphor lamp in front of the deities – The light of life is spreading; we are diving into the depths of creative intelligence)
Achmaniyam samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha (dip a flower into the water, circle it around the flame, and offer it – Light is flowing through us out into the world)

(invitation mudra)
Aum sadā Shivāya vidmahe
(I meditate upon the perfect, full, eternal consciousness of Shiva)
Saha-shrākshāya dhīmahe
(contemplate he whose thousand eyes see everywhere)
Tanno Shambho prachodayāt
(May that giver of bliss grant me increase and bring me near to him)

Vamadevāya, Namo Ges-thāya
(I bow to the beautiful, beloved God)
Namah Shres-thāya
(I bow to the ultimate one)
Namo Rudrāya
(I bow to the remover of suffering)
Namah Kalāya, Namah Kala-vikarara-nāya
(I bow to the Lord of time)
Namo Bala-vikarara-nāya
(I bow to the illuminator)
Namo Balāya, Namo Bala-pramat-tanāya
(I bow to the source of strength)
Namah Sarva-bhuta-damanāya
(I bow to the maker of all the elements)
Namo-manon-mananāya namaha
(I bow to the mind of all minds)

Yaj-jā-grato duura-mudaiti daivam
(May divinity replace pain and suffering)
Tadu suptasya tathaiveti
(in my waking and sleeping consciousness)
Duuram-gāmam jyoti-shām jyoti-rekam
(May Shiva’s radiant aura of light illuminate my mind and extend far into the world)
Tanme manah Shiva-sankalpa-mastu
(May my mind be filled with that firm determination of Shiva)

Yat prajnyā-namuta ceto dhrtishcha
(Being firm in that supreme wisdom which fills consciousness)
Yaj jyotir-antara-mrtam prajāsu
(that inner light of bliss within all beings)
Yas mānna-rte kinycana karma kriyate
(may I always act from that imperishable truth)
Tanme manah Shiva-sankalpa-mastu
(May my mind be filled with that firm determination of Shiva)
Yo-sau sarveshu Vedeshu
(The Lord of All resides in all the Vedas)
Pathyate-nada Ishvarah
(as the subtle sound)
Akāryo nirvano hyātmā
(His soul is uncaused and dwells in the bliss of silence)
Tanme manah Shiva-sankalpa-mastu
(May my mind be filled with that firm determination of Shiva)
Aum namo Bhagwate Rudrāya
(I bow to the remover of pain)
Nirakara momkara mulam turiyam
(to him who is formless, the root of Om, dwelling in the transcendent)
Gira Gyana gotita misham Girisham
(beyond speech and knowledge of the senses, Lord of the mountains)
Karalam Mahakala kalam krpalam
(the terrible, the Lord of time, the giver of grace)
Gunagara samsara param nato-ham
(the home of all qualities, beyond dualities)

(Establishment mudra: press the hands together, fingers extended and touching the forehead.) Shiva, my Lord: (We honor the deity also in our native language) Iha-tish-tha (“I establish you within”), Iha-tish-tha, Iha-tish-tha
Aum Haum Joom Sah
(Beej mantras containing the compressed meaning of the Mrityunjaya mantra that follows)
Tryambakam Yajā-mahe
(“I meditate on Shiva, the three-eyed divinity,”)
Sugandim Pushti-Vardanam
(“the fragrant nourisher of health”)
Urvā-rukam-Iva Bandanān
(“Remove me from the bondage of death”)
Mrityor-Mukshiya Māmritāt
(“protect me from disease”)

Jaya Jaya (rhymes with My-a), Shiva, vidjayante taram (“Victory to you, Shiva”)
Shivo-ham (“I am Shiva” An expression of unity with the higher Self, transcendental pure consciousness), Shiva swarupa (“My true nature is Shiva”)
Karma-sarva-bandha-vimoca-nāya namaha (“I bow to the remover of the bonds of karma)”
Atma samarpana (“I surrender my soul to you”) svāhā (“I am One with God”)

(Atma samarpana – “surrender” – mudra: https://www.shreemaa.org/mudras-puja/)
Atmā Tvam (“You are my soul”)
Girijā Matih (“the Divine Mother is my intellect”)
Sahacarāh Prānnāh (“the primal forces are my prana”)
Shariiram Grham (“my body is your temple”)

Puujā Te Vissayo-pabhoga-Racanā (“My enjoyment of the world is your worship”)
Nidrā Samādhi-Sthitih (“my sleep is the state of samadhi in you”)
Sancārah Padayoh Pradakshina-Vidhi (“wherever I walk I am circling around you”)
Stotrānni Sarvā Giro (“all my speech is your hymns of praise”)
Yad-Yat-Karma Karomi (“Whatever work I do”)
Tat-Tad-Akhilam Shambho Tava-Arādhanam (“is your worship, O benevolent God”)

Kara-Carana-Krtam (“Whatever offense I have caused”)
Vāk-Kāya-Jam Karma-Jam Vā (“by my hands, feet, speech, or body”)
Shravana-Nayana-Jam Vā Manasam Va-Aparādham (“by my ears, eyes, or thoughts”)
Vihitam-Avihitam Vā Sarvam-Etat-Kssamasva (“by actions done or not done, all of these please forgive”)
Jaya Jaya Karuna-Abdhe Sri-Mahadeva Shambho (Victory to you, ocean of compassion, beneficent God”) (bow, surrender mudra)

Pushpanjalim (“Offering the full bloom of life in the form of a handful of flowers”) (We are offering back a tiny, symbolic bit of what has been given to us. Take the rest of the flowers in your hands.)
Akhanda Mandala-karam vyaptam yena characharam
(Unbounded, like the endless canopy of the sky; by whom the universe is pervaded)
Tat padam darshitam yena tasmai Sri Shiva namaha
(the sign of That has been revealed by him who is That)
Sri Shiva param-sukhadam kevalam gyan-murtim
(I bow to Shiva, the bliss of the Absolute, transcendental joy, self-sufficient embodiment of pure knowledge)
Vishvatētam gagana sadrisham Tatva-masya-di lakshyam
(beyond the universe, the aim of “you are That” and other expressions of wisdom)
Ekam Nityam Vimala-machalam sarvadhi sākshi bhutam
(the One, eternal, pure, immovable witness of all intellects)
Bhava-tētam triguna sahitam sad Shiva tam namami
(beyond thought and the three gunas – sattwa, rajas, tamas – positivity, activity, negativity – which are the three qualities of relative creation; to Shiva, the embodiment of absolute truth, I bow)
Agyan timiran-dhasya gyanan-jan shalakaya
(Our eyes blinded by ignorance and darkness)
Chakshu runmilitam yena tasmai Sri Shiva namaha
(have been opened by the knowledge of Shiva, to whom I bow)
Pushpanjalim samarpayami Sri Shiva charan kamalebhyo namaha
(“Offering a handful of flowers to the feet of Shiva, beautiful and sublimely pure as the lotus, I bow”) (offer the flowers, kneel on the floor and bow fully down, devotion mudra: press the hands together, fingers extended upwards with thumbs held against the middle of the chest)

Sankalpa

Sankalpa is an affirmation of your immediate goal. Rather than something distant and grand like enlightenment, you should choose something more concrete and close at hand that will be a step towards your ultimate goal. For example, “I meditate regularly twice a day” or “I serve Shiva”. It should be a single thought expressed positively, as if it’s already accomplished. For your first seven sankalpas, ask Shiva to bless your mantra.

The more spiritual your sankalpa, the better its chances of fulfillment. When spirituality is your first priority, the other aspects of life fall into place automatically. You’ll start operating from your higher self and will then have everything you really need. You may still feel some karmic bumps on the road, but your spirituality acts as a shock absorber. You’ll know that your problems are just on the surface; the depths are serene.

The deities can help us understand our karma, why it is necessary for our evolution. They can eliminate or soften some of it. But some of it we just have to go through in order to reach a higher stage in our development. Karma can be unpleasant, but it’s always good for us. It’s neither a punishment nor a reward for our actions; it’s just a consequence: What we do to others comes back on us.

At the end of the puja, when you are bowing in a deep, settled state, project your sankalpa as a gentle thought into the silence, wait about 15 seconds, and project it again, then once more. The sitting in silence is just as important as the thought. Then start to meditate (after puja is the ideal time to meditate) or open your eyes and go into activity. If you can, go out into nature now, even if it’s just up on your roof in Brooklyn. Gaze around and up at the sky, the ever-changing beauty of the clouds. Feel the all-pervading divinity around you and in you. This is your true Self.

By tradition we eat the fruit and enjoy the flowers until they fade, then place them and the rice outside in flowing water and bury the cloth in the earth. If no water is available, we can place them next to a tree or under a bush. Most people collect them for a while, then take them out.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi described the purifying, nourishing influence of puja: “Being able increasingly to maintain deep inner awareness along with thought, speech and action is a direct means of developing cosmic consciousness. …. As the proclamation is pronounced and the hand sprinkles the water, the mind conceives the whole of the outer world and inner Being, and the continuity of Being in the outer world. The water retains its integrity even as it is scattered as drops in the atmosphere. Established in its meaningfulness, the mind dwells on Being and Its manifestations of life in all creation. This wholeness of inner and outer life is felt in inner calm and outer activity. It is a very pleasing and elevated feeling – between the two movements of the hand (or between the silence and the starting) on the physical plane and on the mental plane.

“Activity in making the offerings enriches the atmosphere with the bliss of silence and animates the quietness of it with sublime and blissful liveliness. The air is automatically sanctified. A calm wave of spiritual influence is generated.” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, The Holy Tradition, p. 5)

We are enlivening and activating these deities not only in ourselves but also in the collective consciousness of humanity. The puja calls forth the presence of the deities on a subtle level where we are all connected. When performed by a group their presence is especially powerful. The bliss they bring to us is palpable.

Vacanas

Vacanas are short, informal poems of devotion to Shiva. They originated in South India during the tenth century, a time of social upheaval, and they took the side of poor against the rich, of spontaneous free expression against established orthodoxy, of passion against propriety. My favorite collections are Speaking of Siva translated by A.K. Ramanujan and Songs for Siva translated by Vinaya Chaitanya. Our times are similar to those, so they speak to us across the millennium and are now enjoying a revival by modern poets. Here’s a contemporary example:

Shiva Nataraja
By William T. Hathaway

In my autumn backyard I do puja to you,
chanting your names,
offering fruit, flower, and flame
to the Lord of the Cosmic Dance.
Falling leaves cast dancing shadows
over your shiny brass body.
The wind is blowing the leaves away,
bringing them home to earth, leaving bare limbs dancing.
A gust blows my candle out.
Chanting your names blows my thoughts out,
leaving me still, bringing me home to you.
Here we dance as One: Shivo-ham, Shiva swarupa.

Spirituality

The following is a selection of my writing on spiritual topics. If links are broken, you can search for the title. If you’re interested in my writing on other topics, search for “William T. Hathaway”.

Wellsprings: A Fable of Consciousness
https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/cosmicegg-books/our-books/wellsprings

Lost Civilization Re-Emerges
https://d8fa740d-f554-4014-9ea2-0d9884b63d43.filesusr.com/ugd/55457d_44460008b1844d3d86167c70dae69871.pdf
https://consciouslifenews.com/lost-civilization-re-emerges/11175620/#

Transcending Death, enlightened eschatology
https://www.johnhuntpublishing.com/blogs/fiction/william-t-hathaway-author-of-wellsprings-a-fable-of-consciousness-tells-us-of-the-possibilites-of-meditation/
https://new-age-spirituality.com/wordpress/content/3057

You Are God (Who? … Me?)
https://trans4mind.com/counterpoint/index-spiritual/hathaway.html
https://omtimes.com/2013/12/transcendental-consciousness/

Conscious Peace, a chapter from my book Radical Peace, People Refusing War
https://dissidentvoice.org/2012/10/conscious-peace/
https://www.countercurrents.org/hathaway090812.htm

Visit to the Brahmasthan
http://literaryyard.com/2014/01/12/visit-to-the-brahmasthan/
http://alternativeculture.com/spirit/brahmasthan.html

Post
http://www.soul-lit.com/poems/V23/Hathaway/index.html

Rip and Burn, a Christian young-adult novel about growing up in Southern California. The publisher’s edition is now out of print, so I’ve made it available at http://www.freebooks.com/christian/rip-burn/.

Conclusion

If you’re ready to free yourself a bit from the grip of relative life and discover your true nature as an eternal, enlightened being, Shiva will help you do that. As you rise to higher states of consciousness, you’ll become more content and self-sufficient and desires will fall away. Freedom from desire is the ultimate freedom. You won’t need anything because you are everything. You won’t even desire union with God; you’ll be living it. Repressing desires, however, takes you in the opposite direction. As long as we have desires, we need to accept them. They’re part of our evolution, and we can learn from them.

This whole process is not for seekers of instant gratification. It takes time, discipline, and persistence, especially in those periods when you’re not aware of your progress. Many of the changes are occurring deep within, beyond surface perception. But when you look back on your life before you began the practice, you’ll see how much you’ve changed, how fast you’re evolving. When done regularly, the procedures and techniques described here will gradually purify, refine, and strengthen your nervous system, fill you with transcendental joy, and improve every aspect of your life. Definitely worthwhile.

I wish you well on your journey to Shiva. Namaste.

William T. Hathaway
Email: williamPERIODhathawayATewetelPERIODnet

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