Shri Shri Shiva MahadevaThe embodied soul is supreme, whole, eternal, consisting of nothing, stainless. It is the ultimate atomic particle, the Natha. It is supreme Shiva, all pervading. It is the ultimate, that jiva, it is Hamsa, the soul of Shakti -
The daily puja or worship outlined below is taken from a panchanga or ritual manual. The puja is based on the worship of the lingam, Shiva's emblem and an obvious symbol for the penis.
In Hindu temples devoted to Shiva, the lingam, very often associated with a yoni as its base, is generally placed before an image of Nandi the bull, his vehicle or vahana. Before bowing to the lingam itself, the worshipper touches the testicles of the bull, which sits facing the lingam. Often, the lingam is part of a combined yoni-lingam symbol, representing the male and female sexual organs. Flowers and liquid are poured over the lingam and yoni emblem.
Shiva is also known as Maheshvar, the great Lord, Mahadeva, the great God, Shambhu, Hara, Pinakadhrik, bearer of the axe and Mrityunjaya, conqueror of death. He is the spouse of Shakti, the goddess. He also is represented by Mahakala and Bhairava, the terrible, as well as many other forms including Rudra. Shiva is often pictured holding the damaru (sound file .wav format: 190K), an hour-glass shape drum, shown below with his trishula. His usual mantra is om namah shivaya.
In the image top left, Shiva is shown as a sadhu, a yogin. He is the Lord of Yoga. On his matted locks is a crescent moon, from which streams the river Ganga. Around his neck and arms are serpents, while he also wears the rudraksha beads sacred to him. He is smeared with ash, as that is all that remains at the dissolution of the universe, which he presides over. This dissolution of the universe comes when his third eye opens, the whole metaphor referring to the realisation of one's own consciousness, which is Shiva. His right hand shows the mudra dispelling fear, while in his left he holds the trident, symbol of the three worlds, on which is bound the damaru. He sits on a tiger skin and on his right is a water pot.
Shiva is fivefold, his five faces being Ishana, Tatpurusha, Aghora, Vamadeva and Sadjyojata, and eightfold (see puja below) as the eight directions. Shiva-Shakti also have a form called Ardhanarishvara, the meditation image showing the devi as red coloured and voluptuous, as one half of the body, the deva as the other half having a terrifying and fierce aspect.
Mahadeva Shiva is also lord of all beings of the underworld, including bhutas (elementals), pretas (ghosts), and pishachas (flesh eaters) and the rest. He is sometimes pictured on a horse, followed by his retinue of siddhas (accomplished ones), bhairavas (terrifying forms of Shiva), yogis and the rest. As Rudra, he is identified with the star Sirius (Sothis), and is the supreme hunter.
The lingam used in Shiva puja is often made of different materials. While the Todala Tantra recommends lingas made of clay, they are also fashioned from quartz, stone, and in the case of the Matrikabheda Tantra, an alchemical work, from a Mercury amalgam.
Om I bow to Shiva and the five devatas and offer this scent and flower Om! Om I bow to the Sun and the planets and offer this scent and flower Om! Om I bow to the Guardians of the Directions and offer this scent and flower Om! Om I bow to all Goddesses and offer this scent and flower Om! Om I bow to the guru! (Left) Om I bow to the guru's guru! (Right) Om I bow to the source of the gurus! (Centre) Om I bow to Ganesha. Om namah shivaya. Om hail to Hara. (Establish Linga in North) Om I bow to Maheshvara. (Oblate Linga) Om O One Holding the Trident, truly be here!
Nyasa -- Placing
Om Sham I bow to the thumbs Namah. Om Shim I bow the index fingers Svaha. Om Shum I bow to the middle fingers Vashat. Om Shaim I bow to the ring fingers Hum. Om Shaum I bow to the little fingers Vaushat. Om Shah I bow to the front and back of hands Phat. Om Sham to the heart Namah. Om Shim to the head Svaha. Om Shum to the peak Vashat. Om Shaim to the armour Hum. Om Shaum to the 3 eyes Vaushat. Om Shah to the missile Phat.
Dhyana -- Meditation
Om. Meditate always on Mahesha, like a mountain of silver, with a beautiful crescent Moon as his crest-gem, whose body is as bright as a jewel, gracious of appearance, his hands holding axe, deer, bestowing boons and dispelling fear, seated in the lotus position, surrounded and praised on all sides by immortals, wearing a tiger-skin, seed and sprout of the Cosmos, destroying fear, with five faces and three eyes. (Place a flower on the head. Perform mental worship. Place the flower on the linga.) O Bearer of the Staff, enter herein! Indwell here! Reside here! Reside here! May happiness be here! May happiness be here! O Rudra, I perform your worship!
Upachara -- Offerings
Om hail to Pashupati. (Bathe Linga) Om this is water. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is arghya. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is for sipping. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is for bathing. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is scent. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is flower. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is birch-leaf. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is incense. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is flame. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is food. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is for sipping again. Om namah Shivaya! Om this is betel nut. Om namah Shivaya! Om I offer this scent and flower to Sharva, the Earth form (East) Om I offer this scent and flower to Bhava, the Water form (NE) Om I offer this scent and flower to Rudra, the Fire form (N) Om 1 offer this scent and flower to Ugra, the Air form (NW) Om I offer this scent and flower to Bhima. the Aether form (W) Om I offer this scent and flower to Pashupati, the Magician form (SW) Om I offer this scent and flower to Ishana, the Sun form (S) Om I offer this scent and flower to Mahadeva, the Moon form (SE) Om hail to Nandi. Om hail to Bhringini. Om hail to Kshetrapala. Om hail to Vamadeva.
Japa -- Mantra RecitationHara Maheshvara Shulapani Pinakadhrik Pashupati Shiva Mahadeva!
You are the secret at the core of every secret! Take this recitation! O Maheshvara, of Your grace, bestow siddhi on me! All hail to You, O one with closed eyes! Hail to You, with divine vision! Hail to You who holds the staff! Hail to You who holds the Vajra! Hail to You who holds the trident, sceptre, noose and sword in Your hands! Hail to You, Natha of the Three Worlds, the Lord of all Beings! Om namah Shivaya. Hail to You the Peaceful One! Cause of the 3 Causes! I offer myself to You, O Parameshvara, You who are my goal and refuge!