Note: There are a wide variety of beliefs, texts, and teachings surrounding Hindu faith, including Lord Shiva. The following article is the perception of the author based on her own studies and understanding.
2017 was a year that many of us found difficult for a variety of reasons.
While there was much to be thankful for, there were also many challenges, struggles, and traumas to face during the process.
2018 carries the exact energetic frequency that enables us to clear out our past and heal ourselves thoroughly at the same time.
In numerology, 2018 is an “11” year, as 2+0+1+8 = 11. The number 11 is a mystical number and Hindus recognise it as auspicious and dynamic.
All years carry their own unique vibrational signature, and the energy that 2018 embodies, aligns perfectly with the energy of Hindu’s revered supreme God Shiva, lord of the universe, who in Hindu tradition manifests as 11 forms of Rudras.
As 2018 is an 11 year in numerology, it correlates energy with other entities that carry the vibration of that number, and the most powerful vibrational 11 entity in the universe is the 11 Rudras of Lord Shiva. The word Rudra is synonymous with the number 11 that it is often used to represent it.
The reason Shiva’s energy is so innately attuned to 2018 is because the Rudras make up 11 of the major 33 Gods in the Hindu pantheon. The Rudras are believed to exist somewhere between heaven and earth in our atmosphere, and consist of 11 positions of the heart. These are vital energies of life in the body made up of five sensory organs, five organs of action, and the one atman, which is also perceived as the mind, soul, or true self.
It is thought that Lord Shiva created these 11 Rudras so that he could have fierce and mighty mortal manifestations on earth. The Rudras are fearsome Gods but they also hold immense healing powers for those wishing to banish negativity and destroy potent and diminishing energies.
Hinduism perceives that all creation and cosmic activity exists due to three forces, known as Gods called the Hindu Trinity. These Gods are Brahma the creator, Vishnu the sustainer, and Shiva the destroyer. It is thought that all we perceive was created by Brahma’s dreams, and that everything we experience is the vibrational result of Brahmans imaginative heart and mind. Simplified, in Hinduism all existence is believed to be a manifestation of this God’s conscious dream state awareness.
Brahma is not to be confused with Brahman, who is the ruler and the absolute highest and ultimate God in Hinduism. Brahman is also perceived as the “Universal Self,” and as an entity hidden within all that exists; the cause, effect, manifestation, and source of all creation known, unknown, and yet to occur.
While many of us have grown conditioned to believe the world we live in is merely a physical, structured, rigid, limited platform, many Hindus recognise that we are in an alternative reality that has been projected onto earth by Brahma’s consciousness, or otherwise recognised as a lucid dream.
Shiva is in trinity with Brahma, therefore when we call upon Shiva’s energy, we also connect to the spirit of Brahma and gain the ability to see and feel our entire existence with wisdom, insight, and clarity, just as Brahma does. By attuning to this energy it is thought we can align with the energetic frequency of Brahma’s dreamlike state and experience conscious awareness and heightened sensory abilities so that we see, feel, and sense our spiritual existence with clarity and truth, rather than through earthly illusions.
Brahma is believed to be responsible for the continuous flow of divine consciousness and, like all Hindu Gods and Goddesses, permeates all that exists. He allows us to transform from perceiving ourselves as existing in physical/human form to perceiving ourselves as we truly are—energetic spiritual conscious beings of knowledge and light.
Shiva is depicted to have a third eye which sits between his eyebrows. This is the eye of insight, intuition, wisdom, and knowledge and when this eye is open it is able to clearly see the truth in all situations. Our unique challenge is to silence the ego so that we can use insight and inner knowing to attain the highest level of truth and fully awaken so that we see beyond the physical reality that has been presented and instead witness the entire universe as a manifestation of conscious awareness.
We each have dominant aspects to our human character and we each have oppressed, submissive, and controlled aspects to our being. Whenever we worship or call upon a God to guide us, we simultaneously awaken hidden parts of our nature and activate our innate gifts and abilities. Hindu Gods and Goddesses are not only external entities but they also exist within us all.
The Rudras are perceived to dwell within all that lives and are inherent within our conscious mind and each of our senses. There are two dominant natures of the Rudras, one being wild, unpredictable, and fierce, and the other peaceful and calm.
The most significant aspect of the Rudras that will help us throughout our 2018 journey, is fearlessness.
While we are often told it is important to achieve balance in our lives, this year it is not so much about finding that constant equilibrium, but more about learning how to master the extreme sides of our character so that we are no longer fearful of our most passionate feelings, or scared to delve deep into solitude and feel comfortable with being entirely alone so that we recognise the importance and meaning of oneness.
The word “Rudra” means fierce and the Rudra’s energy is felt as a fierce celestial deity of storms. Although this may sound turbulent, in reality there is nothing to fear as everything in the universe occurs for our highest good, even if it does not feel that way at the time. The energy of the Rudras is revolutionary and can be quite terrifying and forceful at times, however it enables us to eliminate the old and bring in the new; whether that relates to lifestyle changes, challenges, adventures, or relationships.
We all have secret wishes, ambitions, dreams, and aspirations that we have not yet put into action or fully actualised, and the Lord Shiva’s courage, strength, and determination can be called upon to assist us so that we achieve whatever we hope to manifest in our lives.
When we perceive a God as separate to ourselves we render ourselves powerless. Instead, we can perceive everything that exists in the universe as energy and matter, and all energy that is external is also internally within us. This means that there are no separate Gods. All Gods are inherent within all the bodies and minds of living things. As powerful as Gods are, we are equally powerful. As weak as Gods are, we are equally weak. All tendencies and characteristics that are in one, or all of the Gods, are also tendencies and characteristics within each of us.
It may sound dramatic, or possibly even terrifying, but Shiva is the destroyer of evil, which means he is known to effortlessly transform situations and turn them from negative to positive. We all have this ability within ourselves, and by calling upon Shiva’s immense powers we can eliminate our suffering and purify ourselves of negative thoughts, actions, and feelings.
Shiva is believed to be able to assist us with destroying any old habits, thought patterns, and behaviours so that we can release the old and prepare for the new. This includes destroying our imperfections, illusions, relationships, attachments, past karma, and any past memories that cause us to suffer, so that we can transcend all that holds us back and transmute the negative energies into positive energies.
The below chant, the Sri Rudram, is a powerful invocation of Lord Shiva in his mighty Rudra manifestations. In the middle of the hymn is the Panchakshari mantra, which is considered the essence of Shiva and invokes the five elements, and constitutes the entire power of the universe. The chant is also known to directly stimulate the chakras in the body of the sadhak.
It is believed that the most beneficial way to chant the mantra is to perform it in 11 separate rounds, which is known as a Laghu Rudra.
If you do not wish to chant along then you can listen in deep contemplation, while focusing on invoking Lord Shiva’s energy.
When Shiva’s followers call upon his energy they request to be blessed with the following:
>> Insight, clarity, and enlightenment
>> Spiritual elevation
>> Enhanced health, wealth, prosperity, and vitality
>> More strength, courage, and fearlessness
>> Increased joy and happiness
>> Less sickness and disease
>> Ablility to easily complete difficult tasks and eliminate procrastination
>> Enhanced harmony and peacefulness
>> Elimination of troubles and negative entities
>> Higher intellect, knowledge, and wisdom
>> More intuition and psychic awareness
>> The release of suffering and attachment, and understanding that everything is temporary
>> Banishment of the ego and destruction of illusions
Shiva is an unconventional God and does not abide by social norms or moral codes, therefore anyone from any lifestyle, culture, or religion can worship and call out to him simply by making an alter dedicated to love, forgiveness, and compassion, or by mentioning his name in thought or prayer.
Yoga, meditation, chanting mantras, and tantra are some of the methods used to connect with and worship Lord Shiva.
Author: Alex Myles
Image: Alice Popkorn/Flickr
Editor: Lieselle Davidson
Copy Editor: Sara Kärpänen