Are Shiva Murti and Siwa Murti the same thing?
The short answer, yes. But why do people hear it said and written both ways? Well, that’s a little bit of a longer answer. Siwa Murti (pronounced SHE-WA), the energy healing modality, is founded by the Balinese Master Teacher and High Priest Ratu Nabe. In Bali, it is written and called “Siwa”. When I was in Bali studying with him, it was called “Siwa” and written as “Siwa”. Siwa means God and Murti can mean statue or image of God, but Siwa Murti in this case means “God Healing”. That is because in Siwa Murti, we use universal energy laws and principles that is considered God energy. So where did Shiva Murti come from?
As I have been helping pioneer this modality into the American culture, Ratu Nabe has given permission to also call it Shiva Murti. Shiva is a more well known name in America due to some people’s knowledge of Lord Shiva, who is, yes you guessed it, God (In Hindu). The Balinese people are mostly Balinese Hindu, so there is a lot of overlap in names, but the images are very different. There is definitely the blue skinned Shiva in Bali, but the image we call Siwa in Siwa Murti is extremely different. Part of that is the cultural lens of Balinese culture and part of that is because we are invoking the strongest most powerful version of Shiva in order to fight disease and other ailments.
So calling this beautiful modality by either name is completely correct. I tend to lean towards Siwa Murti when I speak about it, as I am connected directly with Ratu Nabe and learned it that way in Bali. Also, I like to keep things as pure and reverent to Bali and Ratu Nabe. However, you will also hear me call it Shiva Murti and have that spelling on my website (I even own www.shivamurti.com) as I embrace that the familiarity for some might help them connect and understand it more.