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(C) 1995 by Richard S. Brown
All rights reserved.

Sri Kailash Shila

By Richard Shaw Brown

"Om namah shivaya!" "Om namah shivaya!" "Om namah shivaya!" This is the Sanskrit mantra (invocation) chanted by pilgrims and devotees of Lord Shiva as they walk (clock wise) around the great, unscaled, sacred Himalayan peak, Mount Kailasa. This chant means, "Om, I bow to Lord Shiva." And this act of great austerity is considered by both Hindus & Buddhists alike as a very pious and difficult sacrifice leading to good fortune and ultimate beatitude.

In the Sanskrit-English dictonary of Prof. V.S. Apte, "Kailasa" is defined as, "Name of a mountain, a peak of the Himalayas and residence of Shiva." In the same dictonary, "Shiva" is defined as, "Auspicious, propitious, lucky, in good health or condition, happy, prosperious, fortunate, God bless!, name of the third God of the sacred Hindu Trinity (Tri-guna-avatara's), who is entrusted with the work of universal destruction, as Brahma and Visnu are with the creation and preservation of the (material) world(s) respectively." 

Shiva also has many other meanings listed such as, "Final beatitude, the male organ (lingam), the Vedas (ancient Sanskrit scriptures), and the husband of Goddess Durga (Maya-devi), who is also known as Sati, Uma, and Parvati; and she is Shiva's shakti (material energy). Together Lord Shiva and Goddess Durga reside on Mount Kailasa for the duration of the cosmic manifestation or the life-span of the temporary material universe.

Stones (rocks) from Mount Kailasa are brought back by the stalwart devotees who take the one-two month trip to walk around the base of the sacred Mount. These stones or "bits" of Mount Kailasa are considered to be non-different from Lord Shiva, who is greater than the sum total of the entire universe; therefore it is considered an "offence" to buy or sell a Sri Kailasa-sila (stone). It is impossible to place a "material value" on a Sri Kailasa-mani. 

Time of invocation: Daily at Sunrise; 

Mantra of Invocation: Om namah shivaya!---108 times