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Joined Mar 2011
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Well, TIL:
Quote :
Om Namaḥ Śivāya is one of the most popular Hindu Mantra and the most important mantra in Shaivism. This mantra is dedicated to Lord Shiva . This Mantra appears as 'Na' 'Ma' 'Śi' 'Vā' and 'Ya' in the Yajurveda in the Shri Rudram hymn.

Namah Shivaya means "adoration (namas) to Lord Shiva", preceded by the devotional syllable "Om". The syllable "Ya" at the end of the mantra denotes an offering. Thus the mantra Om Namah Shivaya actually means "I offer to Shiva a respectful invocation of His Name", and not merely "I respectfully invoke His Name".

In Siddha Shaivism and Shaiva Siddhanta Shaivism tradition Nama Sivaya is considered as Pancha Bodha Tatva of Lord Shiva and his universal oneness of five elements:
"Na" sound represents earth
"Ma" sound represents water
"Śi" sound represents fire
"Vā" sound represents Pranic air
"Ya" sound represents sky or ether
Its total meaning is that "universal consciousness is one".

The five letters also represent:
Na is the Lord's concealing grace
Ma is the world
Śi stands for Shiva
Vā is His revealing grace
Ya is the Ātman or soul [1]
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