The significance of sound Shiva

By Sadhguru | THE HANS INDIA |   Feb 25,2017 , 11:52 PM IST

(File Photo): Sadhguru
(File Photo): Sadhguru

Sometime ago, I had some guests from Australia. I was driving them around in Mysore to show them a few places. These people, if I drove fast, they would say “Shit!” If I braked, they would say “Shit!” If they saw something beautiful, they said “Shit!” 

If they saw something ugly, “Shit!” If they liked something they said “Shit,” if they didn’t like something, again “Shit!” I was just listening to this. “Why do they go on chanting this like a mantra throughout the day? Maybe they are constipated, and they are trying to invoke themselves?” 

This is over in the morning, why are you dragging it through the day? Then I observed this person. When he is getting angry, he says “Shit,” and it settles down. So I did not want to disturb it. Anything that is working for anybody, I do not want to disturb it. If it works, it is fine.  

So we say Shiva, he says shit. The difference is only cultural. “What? Are you equating Shiva and shit? This is the highest, that is the lowest, are you equating these two?” 

I am not equating the two. It is just that in your mind, can you store Shiva in one place and shit in another place? Can you? In your mind, everything is together. Especially, if it is stored alphabetically, Shiva and shit must be next to each other. 

With a whole understanding of life, with a very deep understanding of life, we have arrived at the sound that we call as “Shiva.” The personification, the story, is just to make you understand so many dimensions of it. We know the sound Shiva can do incredible things to you. 

If you are receptive enough, the sound Shiva can be explosive – just one utterance will explode within you in such a powerful way. This sound has that kind of power. This is a science that has been understood from a very deep experience within ourselves. We have looked at it in great depth. 

The sound “Shi” in Shiva fundamentally means power or energy. In the Indian way of life, we have always symbolised the feminine as power – Shakthi. Somehow, the English language found the same word to describe the feminine as “She.” 

“Shi” fundamentally means Shakthi or energy. But if you just go on doing too much “Shi,” it will take you off-balance. So “Va” in the mantra is added as a damper to slow it down and keep the balance. “Va” comes from “Vama” which means mastery. 

So in the mantra Shi-va, one energises it and the other balances or takes control of it. Undirected energy is of no use, it could be destructive. So when we say “Shiva” we are talking about directing the energy in a certain way, in a certain direction.