The sound “Shi” in Shiva fundamentally means power or energy. In the Indian way of life, we have always symbolised the feminine as power — Shakti.
With a whole understanding of life, with a very deep understanding of life, we have arrived at the sound that we call as “Shiva.” The personification, the story, is just to make you understand so many dimensions of it.
We know the sound Shiva can do incredible things to you. If you are receptive enough, the sound Shiva can be explosive — just one utterance will explode within you in such a powerful way. This sound has that kind of power. This is a science that has been understood from a very deep experience within ourselves. We have looked at it in great depth.
The sound “Shi” in Shiva fundamentally means power or energy. In the Indian way of life, we have always symbolised the feminine as power — Shakti. Somehow, the English language found the same word to describe the feminine as “She.”
“Shi” fundamentally means Shakthi or energy. But if you just go on doing too much “Shi,” it will take you off-balance. So “Va” in the mantra is added as a damper to slow it down and keep the balance. “Va” comes from “Vama” which means mastery.
So in the mantra Shi-va, one energises it and the other balances or takes control of it. Undirected energy is of no use, it could be destructive. So when we say “Shiva” we are talking about directing the energy in a certain way, in a certain direction.