Saturday, September 22, 2007

Jai Shiv Omkara

Jai Shiv Omkara is a hymn in the Hindi language addressed to Shiva, and is often termed Shivji ki Arati because it is sung during arati ritual in temple as part of Shiva puja. It is a well-known hymn throughout the north of India. It is written by a monk called Swami Shivananda (not to be confused with the famous Swami Sivananda of Divine Life Society) probably in or around the city of Varanasi. In the late nineteenth century, Swami Vivekananda heard this hymn being recited in Varanasi, and then brought it back to the Belur Math (headquarters of the Ramakrishna Mission) in Bengal.

Of all the arati hymns, this one is unique because although it is addressed to Shiva and is Shaivite in nature, it brings out the idea that Shiva is to be realized as the Self of all, and in Shiva oneness of the so-called Triumvirate of Creator-Sustainer-Dissolver is realized. Shaivism teaches that the so-called Triumvirate or "Hindu Trinity" exists only in a matter of speaking. In reality, there is only that One, Shiva, who in different capacities maybe called Creator, Sustainer, and Dissolver. Shaivism, therefore, is not the religion of the Dissolver God, even if this is a popular understanding among many.

The Shaivite idea of oneness comes through fully in the Shiva Lingam, the aniconic formless form of Shiva, of which one part is considered Brahmā, one part Vishnu, and one part Rudra. Yet another way of describing the oneness is by relating the doctrine (as is done in the below hymn) that Shiva is Omkareshvara, the full embodiment of Omkara (the syllable Aum), where A is Brahmā, U is Vishnu, and M is Rudra. Thus Shiva is all three, and one at the same time. Jai Shiv Omkara means victory to Shiva who is in the form of Omkara (the syllable Aum). The hymn takes the popular (puranic) images of Brahmā, Vishnu and Rudra as three separate entities, and speaks of them as one within Shiva.

There are several variants of Jai Shiv Omkara. What follows is the most popular version and my free rendition of its meaning. Please note that many-a-times, the repeating stanza jai shiv omkāra is replaced with har har har mahādev.
[© Agnideva, 2007]

Jai Shiv Omkāra

aum jai shiv omkārā svāmī jai shiv omkārā
ā vishnu sadāshiv ardhāngī dhārā
aum jai shiv omkārā

Aum, victory to Shiva-Omkara, victory to Shiva,
To Brahmā, Vishnu and Sadashiva, partial holders of one body.
Aum, victory to Shiva-Omkara.

ekānan chaturānan pañchānan rāje
hansānan garudāsan vrishavāhan sāje
aum jai shiv omkārā

To the one-faced, the four-faced, the five-faced,
To the One whose mount is the swan, the eagle, the bull.
Aum, victory to Shiva-Omkara.

do bhuj chāru chaturbhuj dash bhuj te sohe
teeno r
ūp nirakhtā tribhuvan man mohe
aum jai shiv omkārā

To the One with two shoulders, four shoulders, ten shoulders,
The three worlds take delight in seeing Thine three forms.
Aum, victory to Shiva-Omkara.

akshamālā vanmālā rundamālā dhārī
chandan mrigamad sohe bhāle shashidhār
aum jai shiv omkārā

To the One garlanded in rudraksha beads, in forest flowers, in skulls,
Anointed with chandan and musk, forehead adorned with the crescent-moon.
Aum, victory to Shiva-Omkara.

shvetāmbar pītāmbar bāghāmbar ange
sanakādik brahmādik bhūtādik sange
aum jai shiv omkārā

To the One clad in white robes, in yellow robes, in tiger skins,
Worshipped by the Devas, the sages and all beings.
Aum, victory to Shiva-Omkara.

kar ke bīch kamandal chakra trishul dharatā
jag karatā jag hartā jag pālan kartā
aum jai shiv omkārā

To the One who holds the waterpot, the discus, the trident,
The Creator, the Sustainer and Dissolver of the world.
Aum, victory to Shiva-Omkara

brahmā vishnu sadāshiva jānat avivekā
pranavākshar ke madhye yeh t
īno ekā
aum jai shiv omkārā

The non-discriminating know Brahmā, Vishnu and Sadashiva
Are indeed one within the holy syllable Pranava (Aum).
Aum, victory to Shiva-Omkara.

triguna svāmījī kī āratī jo koī jan gāve
kahat shivānanda svām
ī manavānchhit phal pāve
aum jai shiv omkārā

Whosoever should sing this hymn of the three-fold Lord,
Says Swami Shivananda, he shall receive whatever he wishes.
Aum, victory to Shiva-Omkara.

Aum Namah Shivaya

1 comment:

Pinky M said...

Thanks for the English translation. Knowing the meaning makes the aarti more special.

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