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Namah Shivaya!

Ever since I learnt (knowledge takes you on such a trip, though) that the panchakshar (five-lettered) mantra is capable of dissolving (burning/erasing .. whichever way you are tuned to look at it) your 'sanchit-karma' (accumulated karmic energies), and that greeting people with "Na-Mah Shi-Va-Ya' instead of 'Hey!" or "Hello!" or "Thank You!" or "Sorry!" is a good practice, it has become a habit.

Now, some people, especially my school-friend, Rajasree Datta has poked me more than one time about why "Namah Shivaya" and why not "Om Namah Shivaya" (the shashtakshar - six-lettered - mantra).

To be honest, I am proud to admit that I have no fucking clue of that! Oh please ... don't cringe your face just because I happened to use an f-word on my blog. The intention is not to show disrespect to you - the intention is just to try and sound a little 'cool' - which, I know, is shallow, but I hope you can sometimes accept that in me.

Come to think of it, it's really great that I don't have to be a role-model for anyone. No pretensions of trying to the mama/kaka for my nieces and nephews to idolize, no mother-in-laws or father-in-laws who should always be made to feel that their daughter has found the catch of an era in me (which I am, btw), and I am thankful to my mom and dad for simply liking me despite of my superficial short-comings. It's great that I have been given an eco-system in my life in which I can be myself ... be it shallow, hollow even, deep, profound, or whatever I am at a given time.

Digressing!

A season comes once a year when I take to reading the Shiv Purana. The beauty of mythology is that it tries to explain science through stories (myth-o-logy) to people who would otherwise not be able to make any sense whatsoever. For instance, if I were to be told when I was a 6-year old illiterate, or if a farmer who has spent all his life in mud and sun is told about the concept of protons, electrons, and neutrons making up the three basic units of the universe and how aligning them in the correct configuration creates things, we would have been lost ... and found it difficult even to sleep.

Untimely, misplaced, and incomplete knowledge does that to the mind. Instead of providing it with the answers, it gives you reasons (plural) to keep questioning.

Thankfully, though, I was spoken with in the language of faith, not knowledge. People I looked up to, people I believed in just said that the creation, at its root, has the holy trinity of Bramha, Vishnu, and Mahesh, and just keep communicating with them positively and good things will be created for you. That was enough for me to believe that life will be good because its in my own ability to send out good vibes.

The Shiv Purana mentions of how Parvati was mesmerised by the idea of marrying with Shiva, and how, to help her achieve exactly that, the ever-wandering (and some people call him the first journalist of the universe because of his gossip-monging nature) Narad Muni asked her to meditate on the panchakshar mantra of "Namah Shivaya".

I usually try to interpret mythological happenings like these in the frame of an individual's life, and to me Narad Muni is the symbol of a person's awareness. Awareness, with a positive intention, can lead to states of even higher consciousness and more prosperity, and when mixed with a negative intention, can create rifts.

To me, this little story just implicates that an easy way for your shakti (kundalini/energy) to unite with the supreme consciousness (shiva) is to meditate on the "Namah Shivaya" mantra. Nothing else is really required. No rituals, austerities, compassionate acts of kindness - nothing.

Of course, for people floating in the worldly matters it is unnatural to realize that the very purpose of the soul assuming a human body is to raise the kundalini from the muladhara to the sahasrara - and nothing else. We are so blinded by the illusions around us that our Narad Muni, our awareness, is almost always mixed with some nonsensical objective, and talks to us with that intention. Truth be told: you were not born to make a massive change to the world, or to make babies and take care of them for a lifetime (even animals do that, so you have done it in some lifetime). All these can be by-products, but not the basic purpose for your existence in a human body (the only life form with a vertical spinal cord thereby making it possible for the kundalini to rise from the muladhara to the sahsrara).

Your only purpose - whether you believe it or not (yet) - of taking a human form or, in other words, being blessed with a human form is to facilitate you with the opportunity to raise your kundalini. When you know that all you seek is for the Shakti within you to meet the Shiva and result in divine bliss, your Narad Muni will tell how to do that.

"Namah Shivaya" is one such, simple way. I think you are most welcome to add the pranav mantra "Om" to this, but I don't know what difference does that make, to be honest. I am sure it does.

For the time being, though, "Namah Shivaya!"