This stotram is very similar in spirit to the śiva pañcākṣara stotram. The pañcākṣara stotram has five verses, each of which begin with one of the syllables of the mantra namaḥ śivāya (“na”, “ma”, “śi”, “va”, and “ya”). This stotram does the same, but also includes a verse at the beginning for the syllable “oṃ”.
The first verse of this stotram, dedicated to the syllable “oṃ”, was used as the lyrics for the song “Omkaaraaya Namaha” on the popular album Chants of India by Ravi Shankar, produced by George Harrison.
ॐकारं बिन्दुसंयुक्तं नित्यं ध्यायन्ति योगिनः ।
कामदं मोक्षदं चैव ॐकाराय नमो नमः ॥ १ ॥
oṃkāraṃ bindusaṃyuktaṃ nityaṃ dhyāyanti yoginaḥ ।
kāmadaṃ mokṣadaṃ caiva oṃkārāya namo namaḥ ॥ 1 ॥
The syllable oṃ, located within the bindu1, is the object of the yogi’s constant meditation. It is the granter of both material desires and liberation. Salutations to the syllable “oṃ”.
नमन्ति ऋषयो देवा नमन्त्यप्सरसां गणाः ।
नरा नमन्ति देवेशं नकाराय नमो नमः ॥ २ ॥
namanti ṛṣayo devā namantyapsarasāṃ gaṇāḥ ।
narā namanti deveśaṃ nakārāya namo namaḥ ॥ 2 ॥
Lord Śiva, the supreme divinity, is honored by ṛṣis (great sages) and devas (divine beings), by apsaras (nature spirits, akin to Greek nymphs) and gaṇas (myriad of lesser demi-gods governed by Lord Gaṇeśa), as well as by humankind. Salutations to Lord Śiva as the syllable “na”.
महादेवं महात्मानं महाध्यानं परायणम् ।
महापापहरं देवं मकाराय नमो नमः ॥ ३ ॥
mahādevaṃ mahātmānaṃ mahādhyānaṃ parāyaṇam ।
mahāpāpaharaṃ devaṃ makārāya namo namaḥ ॥ 3 ॥
Mahādeva (Lord Śiva), the supreme soul, the ultimate goal of all meditation, destroys even the greatest sins. Salutations to Lord Śiva as the syllable “ma”.
शिवं शान्तं जगन्नाथं लोकानुग्रहकारकम् ।
शिवमेकपदं नित्यं शिकाराय नमो नमः ॥ ४ ॥
śivaṃ śāntaṃ jagannāthaṃ lokānugrahakārakam ।
śivamekapadaṃ nityaṃ śikārāya namo namaḥ ॥ 4 ॥
The Auspicious One, font of divine peace, lord of the universe, who brings prosperity to the world, the eternal one-footed Śiva2. Salutations to Lord Śiva as the syllable “śi”.
वाहनं वृषभो यस्य वासुकिः कण्ठभूषणम् ।
वामे शक्तिधरं देवं वकाराय नमो नमः ॥ ५ ॥
vāhanaṃ vṛṣabho yasya vāsukiḥ kaṇṭhabhūṣaṇam ।
vāme śaktidharaṃ devaṃ vakārāya namo namaḥ ॥ 5 ॥
The divine one, riding a bull, wearing the king of serpents as a garland, with the divine mother Śakti seated at His left side. Salutations to Lord Śiva as the syllable “va”.
यत्र यत्र स्थितो देवः सर्वव्यापी महेश्वरः ।
यो गुरुः सर्वदेवानां यकाराय नमो नमः ॥ ६ ॥
yatra yatra sthito devaḥ sarvavyāpī maheśvaraḥ ।
yo guruḥ sarvadevānāṃ yakārāya namo namaḥ ॥ 6 ॥
Wherever a deva resides, there also is the all-pervading Maheśvara (Lord Śiva). He is the guru of all the gods. Salutations to Lord Śiva as the syllable “ya”.
षडक्षरमिदं स्तोत्रं यः पठेच्छिवसंनिधौ ।
शिवलोकमवाप्नोति शिवेन सह मोदते ॥
ṣaḍakṣaramidaṃ stotraṃ yaḥ paṭhecchivasaṃnidhau ।
śivalokamavāpnoti śivena saha modate ॥
Whoever faithfully recites the ṣaḍakṣara mantra (oṃ namaḥ śivāya) is in the presence of Śiva Himself, and will attain the abode of Śiva and will rejoice with Him.
॥ इति श्री रुद्रयामले उमामहेश्वरसंवादे षडक्षरस्तोत्रं सम्पूर्णम् ॥
॥ iti śrī rudrayāmale umāmaheśvarasaṃvāde ṣaḍakṣarastotraṃ sampūrṇam ॥
Thus ends the Ode to the Six-Lettered Śiva Mantra, as told by Maheśvara (Śiva) to His wife Umā (Pārvatī).
Bindu here refers to a point in the brain closely associated with the ājñā cakra, which is itself located mid-brain behind the center point between the eyebrows (hence the nickname “third-eye cakra”). The ājñā cakra is the main point of focus for many yogic and tantric meditation techniques. The practitioner will focus their gaze and attention at the point between the eyebrows, often mentally or vocally chanting “oṃ”. When an advanced yogi, in a state of deep meditation, hears the subtle sound of the oṃ vibration (called nāda), that sound is emanating from the bindu point. ↩
Lord Śiva is sometimes depicted as having only one leg, a form called ekapada rudra, or ekapada bhairava. The single leg is said to represent the śivaliṅgaṃ, a formless depiction of Śiva’s infinite nature. The ekapada is also said to represent the axis mundi, or “cosmic pillar”, where heaven and earth intersect.