7 Amazing Shiva Chants/Songs

Adiyogi bust at the Isha Yoga Centre, Coimbatore, India (the largest bust in the world)

Lord Shiva has been worshipped in India for several thousands of years. At the same time, many in India will scoff at the idea of “worshipping” Shiva because Shiva represents our own true nature,  the one Absolute reality, no-thing and emptiness and so Shiva is something to be sought within and merged with. Yogis revere Shiva as the first yogi (Adi yogi) who passed down the yogic science to humanity.

Here are some of my most beloved chants, mantras and songs of Lord Shiva. Each one is different in style and mesmerizingly wonderful in its own way.

1) Karpur Gauram

A soul-stirring rendition of this ancient Sanskrit shloka by guru Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev.

‘Karpur Gauram’ meaning

2) Shiv Panchakshara Stotram

Composed by Adi Sahankaracharya (c.8th century CE), this strotam is well-known for expressing devotion to Shiva. This rendition by singer Shri Rameshbhai Oza is simply beautiful. The meaning of the lyrics is well explained here.

3) Shiva Shambho

A soulful version of this popular song by Shivaratri Café.

4) Nirvana Shakatam

Another composition of Adi Shankaracharya, this chant strikes a chord with every true seeker of Truth. This rendition is by Sounds of Isha. The meaning of the chant is explained here.

5) Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya is considered to be one of the most powerful chants offered to Lord Shiva. Being one of the most popular chants in India, we thought it deserved two recommendations. The first is a ~13min version by the Art of Living which repeats the chant 108 times in a lovely melody. The number 108 holds a special significance in Hinduism as it expresses cosmological truths (1).

6) Shivoham

Shivoham means ‘I am Shiva’. This mantra has been used by yogis since times immorial, to remind themselves of their Absolute nature. This rendition by Bhanumathi Narasimhan of the Art of Living is incredibly peaceful.

7) Mahamrityunjaya Mantra

Also known as the Tryambakam mantra, this mantra is a verse from the Rig Veda (and also recurs in the Yajur Veda).(2) The mantra is associated with overcoming fear, healing and rejuvenation. It is also considered to bestow longevity and immortality as the term ‘Mahamrityunjaya’ translates as the ‘great conqueror of death’. This rendition by 21 Brahmins transports one right back to ancient Vedic times.

(1) For an explanation of the significance of the number 108, see: Art, Cosmology and the Divine| Part II : General Equivalences by Subhash Kak
(2) Source: Wikipedia

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Shruti Bakshi

Shruti Bakshi is the Founder of the LivingWise Project. She has worked for several years in banking and financial services in London, Paris and Mumbai and holds an MBA (INSEAD) and MPhil in Finance (Cambridge). She is also a certified Hatha yoga instructor. Shruti writes about life at the intersection of spirituality and modern society. Her debut novel ‘From Dior to Dharma’ was released in May 2017.

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