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I came across this article, and it seems to introduce many controversial ideas about the Mahamantra. He provides references and quotes, too.

https://www.jagatgururampalji.org/en/shiv-puran/om-namah-shivaya-panchakshari-mantra/

Can someone please check and clarify if he is correct or not?

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This is an article by the cult Kabir Panth's so called saint Rampal or may be by his followers. Kabir was a 15th century poet and saint.

Anyways, moving on ahead.

Q. Is Panchakshari Mantra Om Nama Sivaya.?

A. No. Pancha (Five) Akshari (Lettered) Mantra is "Na-Ma-Si-Va-Ya".

When you add OM to it. It becomes Shadakshari (6 lettered) Mantra.

Q. Is Panchakshari Mantra also Om (Pranava).?

A. Yes. The mantra Om can be divided into A-kara, U-Kara, M-Kara, Nada (Sound), Bindu (Full Stop/Silence).

Where.:

  • Na = A = Brahma = Sadyojata = Earth = Creation = Waking.
  • Ma = U = Vishnu = Vamadeva = Water = Preservation/Protection = Dreaming.
  • Si = M = Rudra = Aghora = Fire = Destruction/Reformation = Dreamless Sleep.
  • Va = Nada = Ishwara = Tat-Purusha = Air = Hide/Maya/Prakriti = Turiya/4th.
  • Ya = Bindu = Sada-Shiva = Ishana = Sky = Reveal/Moksha = Turiyaateeta/Beyond 4th.

Atharva-Sikha Upanishad.:

2.3 It is advised that the five gods Brahma, Vishnu, Rudra, Isvara and Shiva should be worshipped in the form of pranava [Aa + Uu + Ma + sound + Bindu (full stop)].

Pancha-Bramha Upanishad.:

One should chant the Panchakshara Mantra which is from Na to Ya (Namasivaya) and which is of the shape of five letters and is Lord Shiva’s body. After understanding the philosophy of the soul of Pancha Brahma, One should understand that every form is the form of those five (Sadyojata, Vamadeva, Aghora, Tat-Purusha, Ishana).

Sri Shiva Purana 1.8.:

Śiva said:—

I shall tell you the great secret of the five-fold duties, out of compassion for you.

  1. O Brahmā and Viṣṇu, the permanent cycle of the five-fold duties consists of creation, maintenance, annihilation, concealment, and blessing.

  2. Sarga is the creation of the world; Sthiti is its maintenance; Saṃhāra is the annihilation; Tirobhāva is the removal and concealment;

  3. Liberation (from the cycle of birth and death) is blessing. These five are my activities but are carried on by others silently as in the case of the statue at the Portal.

  4. The first four activities concern the evolution of the world and the fifth one is the cause of salvation. All these constitute my prerogatives.

6-8. These activities are observed in the five elements by devotees—Sarga (creation) in the Earth, Sthiti (maintenance) in the waters, Saṃhāra (annihilation) in the fire, Tirobhāva (concealment) in the wind and Anugraha (liberation, the blessed state) in the firmament. Everything is created by the Earth; everything flourishes by virtue of the waters; everything is urged by the fire, everything is removed by the wind and everything is blessed by the firmament. Thus intelligent men must know the same.

  1. In order to look after these five-fold activities (pañcakṛtya) I have five faces, four in the four quarters and the fifth in the middle.

  2. O sons, in view of your austerities you two have received the first two activities:—creation and maintenance. You have gratified me and are blessed therefore.

  3. Similarly, the other two activities (annihilation and concealment) have been assigned to Rudra and Maheśa. The fifth one of Anugraha (liberation) cannot be taken up by any other but me.

.

  1. I have taught this great auspicious mantra to you. This Oṃkāra came out of my mouth. Originally it indicates me.

  2. It is the indicator and I am the indicated. This mantra is identical with me. The repetition of this mantra is verily my repeated remembrance.

18-19. The syllable “A” came first from northern face; the syllable “U” from the western; the syllable “M” from the southern and the Bindu (dot) from the eastern face. The Nāda (mystical sound) came from the middle face. Thus the complete set cropped up in five-fold form. Then all of them united in the syllable of “Om”.

  1. The two sets of created beings—Nāma (name) and Rūpa (form) are pervaded by this mantra. It indicates Śiva and Śakti.

  2. From this also is born the five-syllabled mantra (Namaśśivāya). It indicates all knowledge. The syllables “NA”, "MA", "SI", "VA" and "Ya" follow the order of the syllables “A”, "U", "M", "Nada" and "Bindu".

  3. From the five-syllabled mantra the five mothers were born. The Śiromantra is born of that. The three-footed Gāyatrī also came out of the four faces.

  4. The entire set of Vedas and crores of mantras were born of that. Different things are achieved through different mantras but everything is achieved through Oṃkāra alone.

  5. By this root-mantra, the very enjoyment as well as salvation is achieved. All the royal mantras are auspicious and directly accord enjoyment.

So, Basically, Pranava = Panchakshari.

So, doing Japa of Om or Om Nama Sivaya or Nama Sivaya gives same benifits and moksha.

As, Infinity + Infinity = Infinity.

सर्वमन्त्र-सर्वयन्त्रसर्वतन्त्रसर्वपल्लवस्वरूपायेति ॐ नमः शिवायेत्युपनिषत् ॥

“Sarva Mantra Sarva Yantra Sarva Tantra Sarva Pallava Svaruupaya Iti Om Namah Shivaya

Om!” (Dattatreya Upanishad).

Atharvasiras Upanishad 3:08.:

"He (Rudra) is called the “one who has the shape of Pranava“, because the Brahmins read and propagate the Rik, Yajur, Sama and Atharva Vedas only after reading 'OM'".

For more you can check this link out.

I hope this clarifies all your queries. Prd..

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    Thank you so much for a detailed answer. I cherish Hinduism StackExchange for having members like you.
    – schttrj
    Oct 30, 2023 at 4:38
  • You are very much welcome. 😊.. Oct 30, 2023 at 11:15
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Such Misconceptions are set aside in the Puranas where 'Namah Sivaya' is clearly stated as the Panchaakshara Mantra.

वेस्मायतनलिङ्गादेः कार्य्यमेवं विशोधनम् । स्कन्दो नमः शिवायेति मन्त्रः सर्व्वार्थसाधकः ।। ३२७.७ ।। गीतः पञ्चाक्षरो वेदे लोके गीतः षड़क्षरः । ओमित्यन्ते स्थितः शम्भुर्म्मुद्रार्थं वटवीजवत् ।। ३२७.८ ।। क्रमान्नमः शिवायेति ईशानाद्यानि वै विदुः । षड़क्षरस्य सूत्रस्य भाष्यद्विद्याकदम्बकं ।। ३२७.९ ।। यदोँनमः शिवायेति एतावत् परमं पदम् । अनेन पूजयेल्लिङ्गं लिङ्गे यस्मात् स्थितः शिवः ।। ३२७.१० ।।

O Skanda! The formula ‘Namah Sivaya’ is capable of accomplishing all things. These five syllables(Panchaakshara) are commended in the Vedas. The six syllables(Shadakshara) are commended in the world. Lord Śambhu (Śiva) is present at the end of ‘Oṃ’ like the seed of a (holy) fig tree as a seal. It is known that ‘Obeisance to Śiva’ is the designation of Īśāna and others in order. One would acquire the collection of formulae by repeating the six syllables(Shadakshara). ‘Oṃ Namah Sivaya’ is the excellent formula.

- Agni Puraana, Chapter 327

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