• Welcome to Tamil Brahmins forums.

    You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our Free Brahmin Community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

    If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

The power and glory of the nAma mantras

Not open for further replies.


Active member
The most simple, and popular group of mantras, which has the name 'nAma mantras', comprise adoration of a single devata each.

• PurANas such as shrImad BhAgavatam say that the nAma mantra is most effective and easiest way to obtaining the grace of the devata in this Kali Yuga. This is because the name of God is not different from the God, so chanting the name is pleasing to the Lord and is equivalent to invoking him.

• A nAma mantra is not just chanted for a given number of times. It is actually nAma-smaraNa--remembrance of the name, an uninterrupted God-thought that flows like a thin strand of the sesame oil, that is, continuously without any break.

• A nAma mantra when chanted in a group as nAma-saMkIrtanam--celebration of the glory of God, fosters bhakti and chitta-shuddhi. The same mantra chanted as dhyAna mantram--mantra for meditation, with uninterrupted flow, leads to liberation.

• The nAma mantras are popular because of their ease of chanting (unlike the bhIja mantras), flexibility of practice (just the smaraNa-japa is required without any insistence on a method or timings of practice, although they could help too), and their etymological nature (meaningful words with etymological derivations) requiring no experiential knowledge.

• Although a nAma mantra can be chanted without any upadesha--teaching, from a guru, it will be more effective with proper initiation.

A nAma mantra can take these forms:

• Just the name itself: RAmA
• The name prefixed by shrI: shrI RAmA

shrI and namaH added, indicating that the devotee bows to the devata. Such namaskAra form is the most frequently used form of nAma mantras. In this form, 'ya' is suffixed to the devata's name for a male deity and 'yai' for a female deity.

Examples: AUM shrI RAmAya namaH |
AUM shrI DurgAyai namaH |
AUM namaH shivAya |
AUM namo NArAyaNAya |
GovindAya namo namaH |

• The namaH form of mantras usually start with AUM, to remind that the devata is none other than AUM, the shabda brahman, which is the first manifestation of Brahman.

• The 'jaya' form of mantras celebrate the devata's victory:
shrI RAma jayam |
shrI RAma jaya RAma jaya jaya RAma |
jaya jaya Shankara hara hara Shankara |

Other forms of nAma mantras include:
pAhi/rakSha--seeking protection:
jaya gaNesha pAhi mAm | shrI gaNesha rakSha mAm |

hare--removing illusion:
hare RAma hare RAma RAma RAma hare hare |
hare KRShNa hare KRShNa KRShNa KRShNa hare hare ||

sharaNa--seeking refuge:
svAmiyE sharaNam aiyappA!

AUM sharavaNa bhava is a popular mantra for the devata KArtikeya (Skanda, Muruga). It adores one who was born in the sharavaNa bush. Esoterically, the mantra seeks sa--tejas--shine, ra--aishvarya--wealth, va--satchidAnanda--eternal happiness, na--kIrti--fame, bhava--become: May I become endowned with these.

Some verbal conjunctions of namaH

Nama (nama)--to bow, laT lakAr--present tense
Person .. Singular . Dual ...... Plural
First ... namAmi ... namAvaH ... namAmaH
Second .. namasi ... namathaH .. namatha
Third ... namati ... namataH ... namanti

namaH + te = namaste: I bow to you.
namaH + astu + te = namostute: (may the) Salutations (be) to you.
namaH + tubhyam = namastubhyam: My respectful obeisances unto you.

Some related nAma mantras

• A popular GaNesha shlokam:
gajAnanam bhUta gaNAdi sevitam ... namAmi vighneshvara pAda pangkajam ||

• From the Yajur Veda:
shivo namasi (Yaj. S. 3-63)

• A vivAha--wedding, mantra:
AUM viShNu deva viShNu namasi

• From the nIrAjanam in the daily pUjA:
saM bAhubhyAM namati saMpata tryairdyAva pRutvee jana dEva ekaH
with thousands of arms, benefactor of all three kinds of wealth, the only One Supreme God of the entire Universe

• From the ShivashadAkShara stotram:
namanti rishayo deva namantyapsarasanganA |
narA namanti devesham nakArayA namonamah || 2 ||

• From the shrI Rudram:
namaste astu bhagavan-vishveshvarAya mahAdevAya

• From the shloka while lighting a lamp:
dIpa jyotir namostute

• From the DurgA shloka:
AUM sarvamangala mAngalye shive sarvArtha sAdhike
sharaNye trayambake gaurI nArAyaNI namostute

Thou auspicious one, the source of all auspiciousness. Thou art blessed. Thou the bestower of all desires the refuge of all. Thou possesses supreme wisdom and beauty. Salutations to Thee the Power Divine

• From the SarasvatI shloka:
saraswatI namastubhyaM varade kAmarUpiNi |
vidyArambhaM kariShyAmi, siddhirbhavatu me sadA ||

I bow to you, O divinity of learning, giver of boons, giver of form to desire, i am going to start studying, may it always be my success.

Nama Mantras - Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia
Sharavanabhava: Saravanabhava - The Mantra for ALL

Here is a good resource of shlokas for children:
Shri Saideoji

Thanks a lot for sharing such an informative, useful post elucidating the meaning behind the mantras and their significance.

With Respect and Regards
• From the nIrAjanam in the daily pUjA:
saM bAhubhyAM namati saMpata tryairdyAva pRutvee jana dEva ekaH
with thousands of arms, benefactor of all three kinds of wealth, the only One Supreme God of the entire Universe

Dear Shri Saidevo,

I have to interfere once again. The above line does not give a full idea. The sanskrit for "thousands of" is not there. Again "jana deva ekaH" will merely mean 'people, deva (is) one and only'.

The above line is from Mahanarayanopanishad (mantra-13).

The full mantra runs as:

विश्वतश्चक्षुरुत विश्वतोमुखो विश्वतो हस्त उत विश्वतस्पात् ।
सम् बाहुभ्याम् नमति सम्पतत्रै: द्यावा पृथिवी जनयन् देव एकः॥

viSvataScakshuruta viSvato mukho viSvato hasta uta viSvataspAt |
sam bAhubhyAm namati sam patatrairdyAvA pr^thivI janayan deva ekaH ||

dyAvA pr^thivI = heaven and earth
sam janayan = one who creates
ekaH = one, one without a second (in this context)
deva = a deva, (self-luminous entity)
viSvataH cakshuH (viSvataScakshuH) = having eyes everywhere (on all sides)
viSvataH mukhaH (viSvatomukhaH) = having face(s) everywhere (on all sides)
viSvataH hastaH (viSvato hastaH) = having hands everywhere (on all sides)
uta = and
viSvatah pAt (viSvataspAt) = having feet everywhere (on all sides)
(saH) = (he) ...This is not there in the sloka but is understood.
bAhubhyAm = by, with two hands
patatraiH = by, with two legs
sam namati = controls, joins

The deva (self-luminous entity) who created the heaven and the earth, is one without a second. He has eyes, faces, hands and feet everywhere and controls (joins) them with (by) his hands and legs.

This mantra has been taken from Taittireeya Samhita IV.6.24. It is found with slight alteration in Atharva Veda XII.2.26

Giving the second line alone for chanting as a "nAma mantra" is, to put it mildly, a disservice to Hinduism.

• From the ShivashadAkShara stotram:
namanti rishayo deva namantyapsarasanganA |
narA namanti devesham nakArayA namonamah || 2 ||
Here, "deva" in the first line is singular meaning (a) deva, whereas it should correctly be "devAH", the plural, devas; but when joined with the second half the visarga is omitted and it is recited as "namanti r^shayO devA namantyapsarasAm ganaH", because "gaNa" (flock) also requires visarga as masculine singular. It is gaNaH, not gana, since apsarasangana might appear to (but will not) mean an apsaras woman (angana). You have utilized capital n to indicate ण् in sanskrit, in other places, hence my doubt.

There is another, equally good, version also. It is:

namanti munayassarve namantyapsarasAm gaNaH |
narA namanti deveSam nakAraya namonamaH ||

In this case also this is only one of the six (second) slokas and depicts Siva as "nakAra" which means "negation, the word No". Will it not be better to recite the first sloka of the same stotra which depicts Siva as OmkAra?

ऊँ कारम् बिन्दु सम्युक्तम् नित्यम् ध्यायन्ति योगिनः ।
कामदम् मोक्षदम् तस्मात् ऊँकाराय नमो नमः ॥

omkAram bindu samyuktam nityam dhyAyanti yoginaH |
kAmadam mokshadam tasmAdomkArAya namo namaH ||

(He is) omkAram joined with bindu, which is always meditated upon by yogis. (He) is the fulfiller of wishes and bestower of liberation. Therefore, (I) prostrate before (the God in the form of) omkAra.
Not open for further replies.

Latest ads