By Yogi Baba Prem Yogacharya, Veda Visharada
Oh Shiva, I call your name silently from my heart. Teach me the secrets of yoga and the Self.
-Yogi Baba Prem
Shiva is often considered the lord of the Yogi’s, as Shiva, like Krishna, is credited with teaching the science of yoga. Commonly known as the destroyer, Shiva is often not embraced by western students of yoga largely due to a lack of understanding, occasionally, this lack of understanding even extends into India. Shiva is like a multifaceted gem, each facet reveals a different aspect of Divine Consciousness. Each of the names of Shiva reveals one facet of the expansive and unlimited gem known as Shiva, as he is commonly referred to as camphor colored indicating his purity. But it is the blue Shiva that has a particular importance to all practitioners of yoga and spirituality, and particularly interesting is the blue-throated Shiva, commonly known as Nila Kantha. Sometimes this form of Shiva is referred to as Nila Grivaya or blue necked Shiva.
Traditionally, the teaching of the blue-throated Shiva is that while the cosmic energies where being churned, Shiva drank the poisons of the universe and held them in his throat, which appeared as a blue color in the throat, hence the name blue throated (Nila Kantha). But there are many more secrets that this important teaching is awaiting to reveal. Initially, Shiva is teaching us to keep the poisons of life in the ethers and to not give them a home in our body and mind. This includes not only mental poisons but emotional and physical poisons as well. This deep universal truth has even permeated modern speech, as one may occasionally say or hear others refer to having a toxic relationship. We commonly refer to toxic emotions and toxic mental attitudes; these terms are quite common in the west and are appearing within India as well. We even refer to others as “toxic” on occasion. While they are not really toxic in the literal sense, we are referring to the mental and emotional energy they project. The blue-throated Shiva requires that one is conscious of the poisons present within themselves and others, but most importantly the blue throated Shiva reminds us to NOT allow these poisons into our life. An important message that is not only reinforced by the teachings of Nila Kantha, but appear in the Vedic teachings, as well as the Upanishads.
It is only at the higher levels of consciousness that the yogi or yogini can embrace the qualities of the blue throated Shiva and actually embrace the poisons while not allowing them to flow into the heart or other areas of the body. Otherwise, the teachings about the blue throated Shiva even ties in with the Ayurvedic concept of like increases like. Therefore, the poisons we allow into our lives cause similar poisons to increase overtime, becoming a vicious cycle. It is Shiva in his blue-throated form that teaches us to not allow these poisons into our body and mind. This teaching forms the basis of a majority of new-age beliefs, and forms a foundation of Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma, and it is commonly embraced within Vedanta as well. This primary teaching appears frequently within Hinduism as students are cautioned to not allow negative people into their lives and to watch those that they interact with on a regular basis.
Shiva and the chakras
The teachings of the blue throated Shiva can easily be equated with the chakras and the elements. It is only in the most advanced yogic states that one can swallow the poisons of life and keep them from moving past the throat. Shiva and his swallowing and holding the poison in his throat indicated that the poison should not progress further into the body/mind matrix. Less advanced yogis or students will have their speech poisoned by holding the poisons within the throat area. Secondary effects would be a poisoning of the mechanism of speech and toxic speech. If one were to take a few moments, surely they could recall an occasion where they met a person with toxic speech. Toxic speech is powerful and can have a profound impact on those that are close enough to hear it. This poison in the astral level associated with the 5th, Vishuddha, chakra can also cause powerful blocks between the astral and physical bodies, commonly resulting in disease.
By holding the poisons within the throat, it is revealed that even Shiva will not allow the poisons to enter his heart. For the student of yoga, it is critical to not allow the poisons of life to enter into ones heart. This can powerfully embitter the heart, resulting in toxic emotions, a hardened heart as some might say, and a multitude of physical diseases around the heart center. This is a key-point, as the majority of spiritual student’s have not developed the degree of consciousness to hold the poisons at the throat-level. Studies of heart disease have also suggested that there is an emotional component with some forms of heart disease, therefore, reinforcing the lessons of the blue-throated Shiva.
One must first access their level of consciousness. While we are all growing spiritually and achieving higher levels of consciousness, in reality very few of us are at the level of consciousness indicated by the blue throated Shiva. If one is not at that level, they should remove themselves from the toxins of the world whenever possible. This would include removing themselves from negative people. Food is an important consideration, as well; reducing toxic foods, which would include reducing heavily processed foods and ‘junk’ foods, while eating organic foods, increasing the use of organic products and similar lifestyle activities when possible. Using high quality herbs that are processed properly and free of metals and other contaminates is important.
It is important to have an honest assessment of toxic relationships. This would include personal relationships but also work relationships, as we spend the majority of our day with people at work. One has to perform a careful evaluation of these relationships, at times they may be required to interact with toxic relationships such as in the work environment, but one can limit their interaction with these toxic relationships. It is not necessary that one judge these relationships or more correctly the people involved, as it is more of question of what is healthy for you.
Cleansing the aura is important, as the aura is our first filter for negativity from others. A variety of mantras can perform this function, but merely using “OM” and visualize it flowing throughout your aura can be beneficial. A excellent purifying mantra from my book, Yogic Secrets of the Vedas is the punantu ma mantra:
Punantu Ma Devajanah
Punantu Manavo Dhiya
Punantu Vishva Bhutani Pavamanah
Yoga in general is cleansing to toxins in the mind and body, but there may be occasions when more powerful techniques are necessary, and yoga offers an array of techniques. Meditation is very beneficial. Mantra is very beneficial as the sound current of mantra has a cleansing effect on the mind and body. The Darshan of deities can have a profound cleansing effect on the aura and body. Additionally, all of these techniques aid in preparing us for embracing the level of consciousness represented by the blue-throated Shiva.
For information on ordering an MP3 of an important Shiva mantra visit
To learn more about Shiva, we recommend:
Shiva:The Lord of Yoga by David Frawley
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