Shiva Pan.cAkSharI

Vidyasankar Sundaresan vsundaresan at HOTMAIL.COM
Thu May 20 00:31:39 UTC 1999

Three possible reasons -

1. The SatarudrIya has namaH SivAya ca SivatarAya ca, without the praNava
before the five syllable mantra. The traditional praise of this mantra says
that among the three vedas (leaving out the atharva), the yajurveda is in
the middle, in this veda, the SatarudrIya is in the middle, in the
SatarudrIya, the pancAksharI is in the middle.

2. From a non-Vedic perspective, the number five is specially associated
with Siva, so that there would have been a tendency to get a mAntric

3. Leaving out the praNava opens the field for non-dvijas. Perhaps, the
story about the conservative opposition to Ramanuja's shouting out the
eight-syllable mantra for all to hear was because of the presence of the

As for the vIraSaivas, the six-syllable mantra, along with the praNava,
allows an equivalence with their doctrine of shaT-sthala, so that may be why
they say this is superior to the five syllable one. But such variations of
the same mantra is nothing new. The SrIvidyA mantra has a fifteen syllable
version and a sixteen syllable version. The Goddess of the latter is
specifically called shoDaSI, in addition to being called tripurasundarI.


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