Holy Five Syllables - Panchakshara Mantra
The core of the vedas
It is the core of the very famous chapter of vedas that stands in the middle of the vedas
- Rudra suktam.
This great mantra of veda samhita while hailing the God as the Lord of everything of the worlds, salutes the God as Namah shivaya cha shivataraya cha.
Meaning of the panchakshara mantra
The word shiva means auspiciousness and perfection. It refers to the God who is Perfect without any kind of dependency on anything external to make It complete. Naturally because of this self-perfection, It is completely blissful and ever auspicious. (All other auspicious things are in one way or the other dependent on the external circumstances etc.) The prefix namah is the mantra of salutation. The mantra namahshivaya salutationally invoke the Perfect God shiva.
The subtle meaning of this very holy mantra is:
namaH - not mine; shivaya - belongs to shiva. It is negating the ahankara (ego) and realizing everything to belong to Lord shiva.
Ways of chanting the panchAkshari
While many mantras have restrictions as to when and how it can be chanted etc., there is no such restriction to the panchakshara mantra.
The great prodigy sambandhar says in thevaram, "When you sleep as well as when you do not sleep, think of the Holy Five Syllables with heartful of devotion ! This is the mantra that terribly kicked out the death when chanted (by markandeya) with sincerity."
Whoever you are, whenever be the time, whatever be the situation chant the Holy Five Syllables. There are no restrictions of color, creed, caste, gender or any other restrictions. All it requires is sincerity.
This mantra could be chanted as it is as panchakshara
or could be chanted along with the pranava (aum) as shadakshara mantra (om namahshivAya).
In fact it is to be noted that pranava itself is panchakshara mantra (akara, ukara, makara, bindhu, natham).
Benefit of chanting the mantra
The thoughts make the person. The one who has the positive thoughts is happier and the one full of worries is the sad one. The thoughts not only have effect at that moment but they definitely make impression on the personality of the individual, which could have a very long lasting impact. In this background while the good thoughts itself would be making things better, what needs to be said about the super-powered mantras that are rich in meaning as well as energy !
Given the fact that "we tend to become what we keep thinking about", when one chants the Sacred panchakshara that hails the God as Perfection and Auspicious, it would take one towards that Blissful Perfection. It takes to the union with the Supreme God. What else can be more rewarding ! Even the worst sinner would get corrected and get to the glorious states if chants this mantra piously.
The supreme mantra very simple to chant and comes with no restrictions attached in order for everybody to chant and get benefitted. With no inertia in mind chant and keep chanting as much as possible namahshivaya.
Full of love, with melting heart, tears brimming, one who chants leading them to the Glorious path, the name that is the real essence of the four vedas is the mantra namaccivaya.