Shiva Yoga – Ask A Swami

shiva_linga_rp19Frequently Asked Questions
From Shiva Yoga

1. What is the meaning of the term ‘Lingodhbhavamurti’ ?

Shiva is addressed as Lingodhbhavamurti, the self-existent Truth.

2. Is Shiva a male and Shakti female ?

The attempt to identify Shakti with woman and Shiva with man is a blasphemous error. As a matter of fact, they are neither male nor female nor even neuter, for the Shivagamas declare in unmistakable terms, that Shiva is the Sat aspect of reality while Shakti is its Chit aspect. Shiva and Shakti are, as it were, the transcendent and immanent, the static and dynamic, the personal and impersonal aspects of the Reality.

3. Who was Allama Prabhu ?

Allama Prabhu was a master mystic of Veerashaiva faith who lived in 12th century. He was a greatest Shiva-yogi.

4. What is Shiva-yoga ?

Shiva-yoga is a technique of opening the third eye. Shiva-yoga aims at awakening dormal pineal gland. It is an easy technique which is simple and scientific and yet powerful enough to transform the lower nature of man into the divine nature.

5. What are the features of Shiva-yoga ?

1) It is historical for it has a history of more than 5000 years. It goes as far back as the chalcolithic age. It was prevalent in the Indus valley civilization. And from there it spread to Egypt, Sumeru and other Mediterranean countries.

2) It is democratic in the sense that everybody is eligible to practise Shiva-yoga irrespective of caste, colour, creed, rank, age and position.

3) It is scientific in the sense that it is entirely based upon the laws of light and electricity.

6. Is Shiva-yoga of Sharanas same as that of Agamas ?

The Shivagamas and the Vachana literature of the 12th century, preserve intact the ancient culture of Shiva-yoga, speak of its glory and greatness in eloquent terms.

7. Why is Shiva-yoga sometimes called as ‘Piyush Yoga’ ?

In Yoga Shastra this pineal gland (‘Piyush Granthi’) is spoken of as the third eye, the function of which takes place through the middle of the forehead. Physiology has recognized the importance of the middle brain and of endocrine glands. It has therefore set a value upon the pituitary and pineal glands. The pineal is the seat of cosmic thought. When the pituitary and pineal glands have become fully developed and stimulated, their vibrations fuse and stir into activity the third eye, the eye of the soul. This activity provides the mind with a sensitive instrument, a transmitter by means of which vibrations of very differing types can be translated, interpreted and rearranged. This gives man personal access to the wisdom.

8. What are the other names of Shiva-yoga ?

Shiva-yoga goes by various names according to its different featurers like Linga-yoga (yogic tratak on Linga), Drishti-yoga (yoga using drishti or eyes), Piyush yoga (yoga to awaken piyush granthi or ‘pineal gland’), Animish-yoga (yoga of unwiking gaze or Animish drishti)

9. Is pineal gland vestigial or embryonical ?

The Pineal gland, which is known to be the relic of the third eye, is not vestigial but embroynical which means that it can evolve however its evolution is very slow. It is possible to quicken its evolution through practice of Shiva-yoga into a condition in which it can perform a function of apprehending events comprehensively.

10. What is an important step in Shiva-yoga practice ?

In Shiva-yoga the steadfast gazing at Linga is of vital importance, because it generates magnetism which galvanizes into activity the dormant pineal gland. As a result of sustained look at Linga, the transmuted energies rise up the nerve channel into the medulla oblongata through the pons, then pass down into the pituitary behind the eyes. The increasing pituitary radiations finally pass through the third ventricle until they awaken the dormant pineal and the third eye lights up between them.

11. Can Shiva-yoga be practiced independent of Ashta-vidhan Pooja ?

It is advisable to practice Ashta-vidhan pooja before Shiva-yoga practice however, as a yogic practice in itself Shiva-yoga can be practiced independently without Ashta-vidhan pooja.

12. I practiced Ashta-vidhan pooja and Shiva-yoga in the morning, can I practice only Shiva-yoga in the evening ?

Yes, in the evening – yogic practice of Shiva-yoga can be done independent of Ashta-vidhan pooja.

13. Who can practice Shiva-yoga ?

Everybody is eligible to practise Shiva-yoga irrespective of caste, colour, creed, rank, race, religion, sex, age and position. There is no harm in Shiva-yoga practice. A boy of 8 can do it, a man of 80 years can do it!

14. What is the best time for Shiva-yoga practice ?

The best time is early in the morning (between 4 and 6 hrs) or in the evening (between 19 and 21 hrs).

15. Should I remove specs during Shiva-yoga practice ?

During Shiva-yoga practice do not wear any metal ornaments on your body as it will prevent the even flow of energy (prana), throughout your body. You should also remove wrist-watch and specs or lenses.

16. What is the correct time duration for Shiva-yoga practice ?

Begin your practice with not more than 5 minutes (time of practice will increase on its own!),

17. What is the optimal time of Shiva-yoga practice ?

Start with only five minutes of practice. Time will increase on it own. Optimal time of Shiva-yoga practice is 30 minutes, but you can safely continue as long as you are comfortable.

18. Why should Shiva-yoga be practiced in the dark?

The whole aim of Shiva-yoga is to awaken the dormant pineal gland located in the third ventricle of the brain. Pineal gland’s activity is enhanced in darkness and inhibited when there is light around. Therefore, Shiva-yoga is to be practised in the dark, so make sure the lights in the room are turned off or the blinds are closed.

19. What should I do if my eyes become uncomfortable ?

In case your eyes become uncomfortable in the beginning, due to unblinking gaze, take a piece of cotton, immerse it in water and wipe your eyes. You will immediately feel a relief. Do not strain your eyes. Start with only five minutes of practice.

20. Why should I sit for some time after Shiva-yoga practice ?

Never leave your place immediately after the practice is over. Sit for 5-10 minutes in perfect peace and silence and the benefit derived from the practice of Shiva-yoga will be well preserved.

21. What is the cause of a headache during the practice of Shiva-yoga ?

It is due to tension. While worshipping Linga the whole body should be relaxed. If the body is tense, the mind also becomes tense. That tension falls upon the body. So, while looking at Linga, let your body be free, relax. Relax the whole body. Relax the mind also. If there are any bad ideas coming into the mind, you try to throw them. Relax the mind and relax the body. If there is no relaxation, there is tension. Headache is not a disease, it is due to tension, so relax your body, relax your mind.

22. How can Shiva-yoga practice leads to Self-realization ?

The pineal is the seat of the soul, it is the seat of cosmic consciousness which is termed Mahalinga in Shiva-yoga. The soul in the pineal is directly connected with the eyes through the optic thalamic nerve. In the waking state of consciousness the soul rests in the eyes. Shiva-yoga starts directly from the soul through the eyes and realizes the soul residing in the pineal through knowledge of identity. The scripture says “Atmanam Atmana viddhi ” – “Know the Soul by the soul”. Shiva-yoga fulfills this condition literally through the technique of opening the pineal gland.

23. How does Shiva-yoga offer clairvoyance ?

The concentrated gaze generates psychic heat or Tapas which stirs into activity the pineal gland. This produces psychic light or Tejas which, in turn, leads to the release of Ojas or thought force, which is at once a power of vision and power of execution. Shiva-yoga therefore lands one into a region of effective will and intuitive knowledge where to will is to create, to think is to see.

24. Does awakening of Third eye lead to control of time ?

The third eye is a four-dimensional organ. Hence it flourishes in a situation in which control of time has become a developed capacity. Any sort of slowing down of time will enable activity of the third eye to become facile.

25. Does awakening of Third eye lead to respond to higher vibrations ?

Our inner states of consciousness do succeed each other at different rates of vibrations. What escapes us on the slow, steady swing, we seize when the pace quickens.Our perceptions, like our passions, maintain themselves at higher and lower intensity. When our perceptions maintain themselves at a higher intensity, we will have a foretaste of cosmic consciousness. Poets and painters, musicians and mystics often enjoy the glimpse of cosmic consciousness. We may by a progressive expanding or a sudden luminous self-transcendence mount to the summit of cosmic consciousness. Shiva-yoga enables man to mount up to the heights of cosmic consciousness where he thinks not of the universe but with the universe and live in a harmony with the universal heartbeat.

26. How can unfoldment of the third eye lead to ESP ?

Man is but a spiritual embryo. His potential is immense. Man has powers latent within him and they show everywhere in the paranormal phenomena witnessed as ESP, that is, extrasensory perception. All men manifest ESP when they are asleep. If man could retain consciousness while the physical body is asleep, his psychic powers could be recognized and used up by him. Restoration of that memory or self-remembrance constitutes the unfoldment of the third eye.

27. What is the uniqueness of Shiva-yoga ?

Shiva-yoga, which aims at the awakening of the dormant pineal gland, is unique in the sense that it has an easy technique which is simple and scientific and yet powerful enough to transform the lower nature of man into the divine nature.

28. What is Ishtalinga ?

Ishtalinga is a miniature of Shivalinga. Ishtalinga is an indispensable aid to Shivayoga.

29. Does colour of Ishtalinga coating has any role in awakening dormant pineal gland ?

The colour of the paste is blue-black or indigo. The colour of the naso-ciliary plexus or Ajna chakra situated in the centre of the eyebrows is also indigo. This colour represents Mahat or intuition. The colour of the covering of Ishtalinga and that of Ajna chakra being akin in nature, they act and react upon each other thus enriching the magnetic force or intuitive power.

30. If gazing on Ishtalinga generates magnetic power, is Ishtalinga a crystal magnet then ?

Ishtalinga is an indispensable aid to Shivayoga and it is a stone with glazing covering. Since the steadfast gaze on the ishtalinga or Linga on the left palm generates magnetism, Linga is a crystal magnet. Linga is made of light grey slate stone and to be kept intact, it is covered all over with a fine durable paste prepared out of certain ingredients.

31. How is harmony between pituary and pineal glands is achieved through Shiva-yoga ?

All nervous energy which is connected with the pituitary is electro-positive and all somatic energy, that is, cellular and humoral which is connected with the pineal is electro-negative and the balance of these two polarized electricities is maintained by the electric ions in-breathed with the atmospheric air. The pituitary is physical in nature while the pineal is spiritual in nature; to raise up the physical to the spiritual constitutes the secret of Sadhana or worship, for by the meeting of the two energies which starts from the one and produce the other is enhanced and fulfills itself. This is how the union or the harmony between the two is achieved by Shiva-yoga.

32. Is Linga worship a phallus worship ?

The phallic worship of some primitive people has absolutely no connection with the worship of Shivalinga, and appears to be unwarranted when detached and impartial consideration is given to the form of Shivalinga.

33. Is Linga worship related to phallic worship ?

Linga-worship is prevalent not only in all the parts of India but it pervades many parts of Asia. It is not connected with low castes, with orgies, with obscene rites or with anything which can be called barbarous. It forms part of the aspirations of devout votaries and the worship offered to it is perfectly decorous. The worship of Shivalinga was the characteristic feature of the Dravidians. The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans borrowed Linga worship from the ancient civilized Dravidians, but in their pitiable ignorance construed it as the phallic emblem.

34. What is the meaning of term Linga ?

The simple clear meaning of Linga is a sign, mark or symbol. In the Upanishads and in many other places, Linga is invariably used in the sense of a mark or a symbol.

Avyakteshu parah purusho vyapako Linga
yeva cha Na Cheshita naiva cha Lingam
tasya Mahadadyam Vishesantam Lingam

These three instances respectively from the Katha, the Shvetashvetara and the Maitri Upanishads are sufficient to prove that in philosophical literature Linga is used in the sense of a mark or symbol and no other sense.

35. A word Yoni is found in the Upanishads. Is it related to Shiva-lingam ?

Many a time the word Yoni is found in the Upanishads, but it is taken to mean not as a female genital organ but merely as the source or prima causa of the Universe.

36. If Linga represents a symbol, what is it symbolic of ?

Cosmologically it is symbolic of the Universe, psychologically it is symbolic of name and form, mystically it is symbolic of the Logos.

37. What is the etymological meaning of Linga ?

Channabasava has given the etymological meaning of Linga: In the term Linga, there are three words “Li, zero and Ga. Li represents the Infinite while Ga stands for the finite and it is a zero that unites the finite and the Infinite. He who knows this secret is a real mystic.”

38. What is the cosmological meaning of Linga ?

Outwardly and in the initial stage, God is conceived to be the creator of the Universe. The Universe then is taken to be after the creator and the image of God is reflected in the spherical universe and is represented by it. To all outward appearance the Universe is a hemispherical thing bounded by the circular horizon and placed on something. And the Linga with circular basis represents the Universe.

39. What is the psychological meaning of Linga ?

The psychological explanation of the symbol is that Linga is the cosmic soul having self-consciousness. The cosmic soul first vibrates in its being towards creation. The vibration is Nada, the first expression as Nama or name. From the Nada, proceeds the Bindu, dot or form. These two Nama and Rupa or Nada and Bindu are what is known as Pranava. The Bindu is the disc like base and Nada is the line supervening the base. The line stands on the Bindu like a cylinder with rounded top. This forms the Linga.

40. Then what is the meaning and significance of the word Shishna-devah ?

In Sumerian language Shishna means seven and the Shishna-devah mean seven Gods. It is needless to say that the number seven carries great importance in mysticism. Occultism states that there are seven stages in cosmogony of the elements from Mahat or intelligence to Prithvi or earth. Of the seven elements which constitute the Universe, earth is the lowest and intelligence or Mahat is the highest. Both modern bacteriology and embryology furnish us with illustrations of the one Mahat becoming many egos or conscious units. One cholera bacterium put into water divides itself through the law of fission into two; each of these two becomes subdivided into two and so on into lakhs after lakhs in a few hours. Similarly, embryology tells us that when an embryo is merged into one through the union of the ovum and the sperm, there arise the two divisions of epiblast and hypoblast with mesoblast in the middle. The one epiblast cell which is positive in nature divides itself into two; these two becoming four and so on till they multiply themselves into many, with two as their common factor. Similarly the hypoblast cell which is passive in its nature goes on increasing in the same fashion. So also the one Mahat becomes many egos through the permutation and combination of the modes of matter. Since, there are seven states or modes of matter, the one spirit appears to be sevenfold according to the medium through which it functions. In other words, the solid, liquid, gaseous aerial, ethereal, egoistic and intellectual are the seven modes of matter through which the one spirit works. This is the meaning of the Shishnadevah, the seven Gods; strictly speaking it is the one Godhead with seven-fold consciousness. This is the mystic meaning attributed to Shivalinga which represents the highest Reality in Veerashaivism.


Frequently Asked Questions are collected from ongoing questions asked by audience at large. The answers are presented from the works of H.H. Mahatapsvi Shri Kumarswamiji



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