|ओं नमः शिवाय|
Mahashivaratri was celebrated this year on 21st Feb (2020). For the three weeks leading upto Mahashivaratri, Swamini Brahmaprajnananda ji had asked the students of the Tattvabodha course to participate in a Japa Sadhana. The sadhana was to chant “Om Namah Shivaya” around 500 times each day by going over 5 malas.
Shiva, in the form of Dakshinamurti as the teacher of self knowledge blesses those who seek. Swaminiji suggested that we could ask for clarity and the ability to “do-what-it-takes” towards each one’s moksha pursuit. Prior to starting the sadhana, the students were asked to take a sankalpa towards the goal of completing 21 days of chanting the mantra and a few stipuations were laid out. Those who would be able to join the Mumbai Mahashivaratri event could offer the sadhana in the form of bilva leaves to the Shiva Linga during the puja. The others could offer the sadhana in their homes with a puja on the same day. For those would find it difficult to make the time for a 5-mala, 21 day commitment, she suggested a sadhana of chanting 1 mala a day of the same mantra. The Vedanta students who live in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Delhi, US, Canada and Australia and range in the age group of 30 – 65 years were then asked to share their experiences. The richness of their experience and the blessings received has been compiled below.
21 days of Shiv mantra chanting really helped in being more focussed and very peaceful.
The world is always the same -I’m less reactive.🙏
– Sheela S, Mumbai
The Shiv mantra chanting of 21 days helped me get clarity of my professional goals and have got my direction!!
– Dr Bina N, Delhi
The chanting gave me the following
- A routine to follow in spite of things happening.
- It reduced the frequency of subjective thinking both because of the time spent in japa and also be aware throughout the day
- Gave positive results in my wife’s health
- I was able to relate to Ishwara in a better way and was comfortable spending the time
- Helped me stay awake and occupied on Shivaratri. I was able to watch my mind a lot better and bring it back to the mantra. That in itself was exciting.
- Had some positive changes at work from senior management in the form of kind words of appreciation, salary hike and longevity of work as soon as I returned from holidays. I spent 10 days of the 21 days in India.
All blessings are due to Swamini ji’s grace only🙏
– Prashanth M, Sydney
I have been chanting the shiva panchakshara for quite a few years now. Ever since, I am much calmer…. less reactive. I have observed that … on those days when I cannot sleep easily, all I have to do is keep chanting this mantra and I doze off… waking up fresh and cheerful!
Another observation is that when there is some palpitation and a racing pulse, the mantra again comes to the rescue and calms my system. What started as a regular japa … has now become a part of me.
All the above added to the fact that, it sets the mood for my prayers and swadhyaya. I also get the feeling that I am getting in sync with the panchabhutas… and thus the environment. It gives me the feeling of being better connected too. Om Namah Shivaya🙏
-Usha S, Mumbai
The chanting for 21 days developed and helped sharpen in me a sense of responsibility to myself and my priorities. The namah to Shiva helped restrain my wandering mind and brought it back to Bhagavan’s feet. The grace helped me find resolution to things that were a source of uncertainty and worry and helped reinstill trust in myself and my abilities to find solutions and get things done. The chanting gave me the strength to embark on the 34 hour fast from previous night through all of Shivaratri and following morning on only water and 1 cup of green tea in the whole duration. I had a day of wonderful darshan of abhisheka and bhajans. I feel very blessed 🙏
– Jaya R, Bengaluru
As far as chanting goes, it’s been very calming, and keeps one focused. Mind is definitely clearer. Since I got initiated into the panchakshari, we are meant to do these 10 Malas everyday. These 21 days gave me discipline to continue it forward. 🙏🏼
-Sonal S, UK
I chant Shiv Paanchakshara stotram, Bilwastakam and Shiv Manaspuja stotram daily for quite a few years. During chanting I connect to all the 12 Jyotirlingas as also Pashupatinath Mahadev of Nepal and offer my Manas pranam. I feel blessed that he has given me so much than I am worthy of. This invariably makes tears roll down my cheeks and then I feel my pooja with Ashru Abhishek is complete. It gives me so much inner pleasure and peace that I feel my day is full and my confidence gets strengthened day by day that He is with me every moment. This gives so much of security.
Sometimes when I am out, somehow it so happens that some Darshan I get. During recent visit although I could not get Sandhya Arti, morning itself I had got arti at the very origin of Narmada Devi where there is Shakti Peeth and next day at Jatashankarv at Amarkantak where natural Jyotirlingas are formed just like at Dehradun Sahastrdhara. During the fortnight as I was in M.P I could not sit for meditation, but my Manas japa was on and I could visit so many temples. This is all Ishwara’s grace and your blessings. Om.
– Purnima B, Mumbai
I felt good to be able to have the discipline to chant regularly and was happy to find it is getting easier to bring my mind back to the chant. Over the last 3 weeks, many days I felt that I had more patience to be fully present with the children and their inputs than average. I prayed asking lord Dakshinamurti to grant me more clarity and focus and for grace that the teaching can get through all the layers built. I have a long way to go and am grateful for the opportunity 🙏🏽
– Varsha S, Benglauru
21 days of chanting Shiva mantra has
- Helped me to drop a certain habitual pattern of thinking which was very rigid and bothersome for a very long time. Now my mind is free and available for anything I do.
- Some health issues I was struggling with have improved.
- I experience more tranquillity, clarity and oneness as I begin to understand that everything here is Isvarah. Thanks Swaminiji.🙏
– Rashmi K, Mumbai
21days of mantra helped me in thinking clearly and putting my views in front.Earlier I used to keep mum. I became more organised. I was very hyper– I became calm and don’t panic. Thanks Swaminiji aapko . 🙏🙏🙏
– Neelima B, Mumbai
I haven’t done 21 days (I chant a Buddhist Mantra usually and had been unsure) I chanted for 2 days and I feel a connection (immense peace and ability to have a good hold over responses to various situations) and want to continue. My heartfelt thanks to Swaminiji
–Shilpi B, Delhi
Deep appreciation Swaminiji🙏
- Gave positive results in my family’s & close friend’s health. Not 1 but 5 people which I never expected within a few days of starting the sadhana. It was complete grace.
- Professionally I am doing well in my teaching classes which didn’t happen late last year. This I desired and it got fulfilled as I was eager to reach out to more people. Also introduced in the meditative practice of my classes and I got feedback from a few that they got very good sleep.
- I was less angry (once or twice) and more patient within my close-ones in this period which is a positive change for me.
- I was connecting more easily with Ishwara though been doing japa sadhana for a few years. I was able do more malas in the last week of Shivaratri easily in less than 7 mins.
- Helped me fast on Shivaratri as I can never fast due to weakness in the body and low energy in cold weather. But I was able to fast due to grace and support by Bhagavan, thanks to the suggestions by Swaminiji on celebrating Mahashivaratri. I did have tea/coffee/fruits but that was a big achievement. I was more focussed and meditative listening to mritunjaya mantra on the day and night of shivaratri. That in itself was amazing.
- I got the blessed opportunity to attend shivaratri puja conducted by Swaminiji’s contact locally at a temple and offer bel leaves which is very difficult to obtain here along with doing abhishekam and listening to rudram. Thanks to a good friend who got it specially for us inspite of being unwell.
- After listening to Swaminiji’s podcast on japa meditation, for me the 4th method of chant worked earlier but more so in this period.
-Nirmala Iyer, UK
I chanted the Shiv panchakshari mantra with the Sankalpa of getting chitta shuddhi for attaining Moksha only. It was very different from when I chant to attain material comforts. Also this helped me realise that I still have a long way to go in this journey but the path is right for me. The following incident confirmed this- had been to our home god temple, there I was sitting and doing my japa, once I opened my eyes saw that someone had or Ishwara had placed 4 bananas in front of me. So felt very blessed. 😀 Om.
-Sowmya L, Bengaluru
Chanting Shiva mantra has made me feel relaxed and calmer. Thanks.
-Ramita S, Queensland
I couldnt chant for these 21 days but I have been chanting the mantra for quite some time now. Started with completing 50k as recommended by you and now almost completing another 50k. Over the whole duration, I see myself having evolved a lot with my raga dveshas much reduced over time. My reaction to circumstances, especially challenging ones is in calmness. I see myself more accepting towards situations.
More than anything, I feel myself in Ishvarahs protection and love every moment and the mantra has almost become a part of me and I find myself chanting the mantra many a times without even being aware of it. There is a complete surrender to Ishvarah and the desire for moksha only increases with time.
-Gunjan S, Delhi
The 21 days of chanting brought me to become more at peace and accepting of my personal progress on this pursuit in knowing I can only contribute and not control the results of my time spent. Relating to Shiva helped me have more courage to face the suffering in my life and helped me become more objective in several difficult situations. It brought me more love and patience towards relating to other difficult people in my life.
-Melissa B, US
I actually liked the idea of chanting for 21 days and was looking forward to sit and chant everyday. I felt that there was some power that made me relax more day by day. On the 21st day, I placed the bilwa leaves on the linga as per your suggestion. Till now, I had not given much importance but felt a difference this time.
I still need to go a very long way and am glad got a chance to listen to your knowledge sessions.
Thank you 🙏🏼
–Rekha A, Canada
I chanted the Shiva mantra at noon everyday. It was a pleasant experience. It made me look forward to it whenever I woke up in the morning. Whenever I was free, the chant popped up in my mind and I found myself repeating it. This happened several times during the day. However, the pleasantness went away as soon as I stopped chanting. It was back to the daily routine for me.
– Asha Pai, Mumbai
I enjoyed chanting the Shiva Mantra. I liked the vibrations that it produced in my mind during chanting. The reverberation continued much after the chanting was over. I felt calm and relaxed.
– Ganesh P, Mumbai
I was chanting the Mantra even in my critical condition of health. After few days I lost my beloved sister and I could not go for last homage. But I was steady and calm.
I think chanting the Mantras has given me the strength to bear all this. Om.
–Varsha P, Mumbai
The 21 day chanting of the mantra has made my mind calmer, my day is more disciplined with japa being given equal importance as study and I found that I wanted to keep chanting even after the 5 malas were done. Hope to continue this as a daily routine. Pranaam 🙏
-Neethi J R, Mumbai
I heard the japa meditation podcast and from that I was able to do chanting. Was also able to attend the Maha Shivratri occasion which initially I thought I wouldn’t be able to. I made it to the temple that day & offered bel leaves…was able to remain awake post 12midnight (not the entire night though) & I feel extremely blessed being able to do all this.
I managed chanting more than 5times a day…During chanting somewhere I felt little more secured & protected personally… also felt that certain matters that crossed my mind while chanting were being taken care of. Om🙂
-Aarti D, Mumbai
I did the 21 days mantra and I am still continuing to do so at least 2 malas daily. It helps to support my prayer and helps me to be in a prayerful attitude all the time. I feel blessed.
-Lata Tarneja, Mumbai
I learned from Shiv mantra is that it keeps my mind focused. Most important change for me is how nicely the mantra fits in with my pranayama, instead of using a standard count.
-Sanjay C, US
@ peace with who I am as a part of the whole …
Om Tat Sat
-Renate V, Victoria.
|ओं नमः शिवाय|
Chanting the mantra for clarity, I could in a way understand the meaning of atma, I, being asanga, which also stands for vairagya i.e. objectivity and growing out of certain thought patterns and desires.
I could see the fallacy of karma and considering myself to be the karta and hence even getting associated with punya-papa. I could do a better enquiry into what is punya and papa and can I really get identified with them? As the fallacy was seen more clearly, the understanding of I being the akarta became stronger. Got better clarity for understanding the meaning of Been there, done that.
And it was also quite funny that somehow I could see Shiva, either in the form of the chant or the linga or the Shiva form, or even in the chandala form at many places eg on auto rikshas, railway station, shops, people at road corners, etc 🙏
-Sonali A, Mumbai
My 21 day Chanting Om Namah Shivaya has bought me Tranquillity. More clarity in my understanding of my self .I see how Bhagwans grace and blessings flow in my life and around me in this world .I have become more prayerful – the japa continues throughout the day unconsciously. Thankyou swaminiji 😘💕
-Seema P, Mumbai
I am sorry to say that I could not complete the 21 day japa. But the days I did it, gave me great focus and a sense of tranquillity that I could sit still for the 35 minutes it took. I mean to make it a part of my day.
-Shakuntala B, Bengaluru
Compiled by Varsha Shankar, Bengaluru