Sri Sri Ravi Shankar:
Yes, mantras are very powerful. The power of mantras is greater than the power of the horoscope. Don’t worry too much about horoscope. Om namah shivaya , Om namoh narayana are much more powerful. Shiva has five letters which refers to the five elements. All the five elements earth, water, fire, air and ether are referenced when you chant Om namah shivaya. You don’t have to imagine that Shiva has a big trishul and is sitting somewhere. Artists had made that mistake. Shiva is not a person. Shiva is tattva.
It’s said in the Upanishad:
“Shivam shantam, advaitam, chaturtam, mannyante sa aatma sa vigyeya.”
What is Shiva? Shiva is so auspicious, so benevolent, so soothing, so beautiful, so comforting. ‘Chaitanya atma’ – the consciousness is Shiva, not a person but that energy.
In Kashmiri Shaivism, there is a book called the Shiv sutras. In some books of Kashmiri Shaivism, it has been so beautifully described. Some of these books are so precious, so nice - all that knowledge, those books are lost.
The main purpose is to express the timelessness of mind, the consciousness. That fourth state of consciousness which is neither awake nor asleep is called shiv tattva.