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Lord Shiva's aarti and its meaning in English language
Maha Shivaratri; the sacred night of marriage between Shiva and Parvati, will be celebrated on 27 February this year all across India and wherever Hindus live globally. On this occasion I find it apt to tell the meaning of Shiva's aarti in English.

This is neither the translation nor transliteration of the original devotional song. Here it is with a cautionary note that there are many slightly differing versions of this song:

Jai Shiva Omkara, har Shiva Omkara;

Brahma, Vishnu, SadaShiva, arddhagni dhara;

Omhara hara Mahadeva.

Victory to you Lord Shiva! Pray to Shiva representing the eternal truth of the whole Universe in the form of Om syllable! I pray to Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and to assembly of pantheons, among them particularly to the Lord Shiva to relive me of my afflictions. Oh the absolute Lord of the Universe; the Mahadeva, regenerate all that is positive in the Universe that may come to me.

Ekanan Chaturanan Panchanan Raje;

Hansanan Garudasan Vrishvahan Saje;

Omhara hara Mahadeva.

You being the absolute truth, the generator of the consciousness and being blissful, you are the totality of holy Hindu Trinity and its purposeful representation. As Vishnu you have one face, as Brahma you have four and as Shiva you have five. 

All representations are same and equally truthful. But in you reside all divinity of Sanatana Dharma and your believers get relieved and achieve salvation by seeing either of your forms. 

As Brahma you ride on a holy swan, as Vishnu you ride on a majestic eagle and as Shiva you ride on your wonderful sacred bull. Oh the absolute Lord of the Universe; the Mahadeva, regenerate all that is positive in the Universe that may come to me.

Do bhuj char chaturbhuj das bhuj te Sohe;

Tinon roop nirakhta tribhuvan jan mohe;

Omhara hara Mahadeva.

As Brahma, you posses two arms, as Vishnu four and as Shiva ten, all of which look equally wonderful and lovely. Your three forms make all the inhabitants of the three spheres; Earth, Heaven and Netherlands, enchanted and mesmerized when they see them. Oh the absolute Lord of the Universe; the Mahadeva, regenerate all that is positive in the Universe that may come to me.

Akshaymala vanmals mundamala dhari;

Chandan mrigmad sohe bhale shashi dhari;

Omhara hara Mahadeva.

Oh great Lord Shiva, you wear a garland of holy Rudraksha; born out of your blessings to gods and ancestors, another of forest fauna and third of skulls, together they reflect yogi aspect of you. Your rear-head which holds crescent, and forehead smeared with sandal-paste and musk, together can mesmerize anyone, even dead soul, with its ethereal beauty. Oh the absolute Lord of the Universe; the Mahadeva, regenerate all that is positive in the Universe that may come to me.

Shwetambar pitambar baghambar ange;

Sanakadik brahmadik bhootadik sange;

Omhara hara Mahadeva.

Oh, the greatest of the Lords, Shiva, your body is attired in white and yellow clothes and in tiger skin. You are in the holy company of Sant Sanaka; one of the four mind-born sons of Brahma, with Brahma himself and with thousands of frightful sprites. In all of your appearance and company you appear majestic and holily wonderful. Oh the absolute Lord of the Universe; the Mahadeva, regenerate all that is positive in the Universe that may come to me.

Kar mein shreshtha kamandalu trishooldharta;

Jagkarta jagharta jag palankarta;

Omhara hara Mahadeva.

Oh Shiva, you hold in one hand a great mendicant water-jar to heal and offer blessings to the whole Universe and in another you hold a trident to destroy it whenever you think it is needed but for the betterment of the whole Universe. This reflects both creative and destructive powers of you, the Lord, as in order and chaos. You create, you preserve and you destroy the whole world and beyond. All three are your characteristics. Oh the absolute Lord of the Universe; the Mahadeva, regenerate all that is positive in the Universe that may come to me.

Brahma Vishnu SadaShiva janat aviveka;

Pranavakshar ke madhye yeh tinon eka;

Omhara hara Mahadeva.

The ignorant, ill-willed and lowlife would consider Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva as three different gods but then they all are evidently one: Ex Uno Plurus. This is more evident in all the three being visible in single mystic syllable: Pranava or Om.  Oh the absolute Lord of the Universe; the Mahadeva, regenerate all that is positive in the Universe that may come to me.

Triguna Shiva ji ki aarti jo koi nar gave;

Kahat Shivananda swami Manvanchhit phal pave;

Omhara hara Mahadeva.

The little knowledgeable poet and earthily Shivananda; the absolute humble ardent follower of Shiva, says that one who recites this darkness removing devotional song to the Lord of three gunas ? Light, fire and darkness ? attains whatever he wishes which is legitimate, attainable and possible. Oh the absolute Lord of the Universe; the Mahadeva, regenerate all that is positive in the Universe that may come to me.

Here the poet claims that there is only one absolute truth though the paths to achieve that may be different. The poet chooses that path to be Shaivism and considers that it is Shiva who is the beginning, continuation and end of this whole Universe.

This rather simple song tells at the sophistication of Hinduism and does indeed reaffirm that Hinduism in the past since its inception and thereafter has been neither related with pre-Christian European paganism nor with pre-Islamic Arabic heathenism, in the remotest sense anytime in its history.

In fact Hinduism has the same theory as other religions have: Ishvara is one, though unlike in other religions he has form and many different ones too in Hinduism.

I must admit that I have seen English translations of the above aarti on net though I have mostly not copied them. Sure, since the Sanskritized Hindi is same so would be its English meaning.



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