It is the time of Shivaratri and there are a number of mantras that are appropriate for use this time of year. Of course the traditional “Om Namah Shivaya” is always appropriate, but more focused effects can be gained from using mantras that are more tailored to the different forms of Shiva or Rudra. In fact, there are techniques for determining which form of Rudra is best matched to an individual based on the specifics of their birth chart. This technique is found in Sri Sanjay Rath’s book on Astrological remedies and is summarized here.
There are 12 signs starting from Aries (Mesha) through Pisces (Meena) each of which is owned by a particular planet. For example the Sun owns Leo, the Moon owns Cancer, and each of the remaining 7 planets used in vedic astrology own two signs each.
An individual’s chart is a map of the planets at the time of birth, with the sign on the horizon being the starting point, known as the ascendent, or lagna. If you take any particular sign and count 8 from there, the lord of that sign is called the Rudra. So for the first sign Aries, the 8th would be Scorpio which is ruled by Mars. So Mars is the Rudra for Aries.
If you find the planet with the highest number of degrees in a person’s chart, that will be known as the Atmakaraka. It represents the individual and most particularly the person’s soul from a spiritual perspective. The 8th lord from the Atmakaraka is called the Maheshwara; the form of Rudra responsible for protecting the soul and guiding it towards enlightenment.
As one might expect using the mantra of one’s Maheshwara is a very good thing; strengthening and protective. But reciting the mantras for all 11 forms of Rudra is a great spiritual practice, particularly on Shivaratri, or while the MahaRudra yagya is taking place.
These are the 11 forms of Rudra and their mantras:
- Kapali – OM Hum Hum Satrustambhanaya Hum Hum OM Phat
- Pingala – OM Shrim Hrim Shrim Sarva Mangalaya Pingalaya OM Namah
- Bhima – OM Aim Aim Mano Vanchita Siddhaye Aim Aim OM
- Virupaksha – OM Rudraya Roganashaya Agacha cha Ram OM Namah
- Vilohita – OM Shrim Hrim Sam Sam Hrim Shrim Shankarshanaya OM
- Shastha – OM Hrim Hrim Safalyayai Siddhaye OM Namah
- Ajapada – OM Shrim Bam Sough Balavardhanaya Baleswaraya Rudraya Phut OM
- Ahirbudhanya – OM Hram Hrim Hum Samasta Graha Dosha Vinashaya OM
- Sambhu – OM Gam Glaum Shroum Glaum Gam OM Namah
- Chanda – OM Chum Chandiswaraya Tejasyaya Chum OM Phut
- Bhava – OM Bhavod Bhava Sambhavaya Ista Darshana Hetave OM Sam OM Namaha