Navakar Mantra (alternatively known as Namokar Mantra, Namaskar Mantra or Navkar Mantra) is the central mantra of Jains. By chanting this mantra an aspirant is offering respects to five spiritual guides or masters called Panch Parmesthi together. These five people are Arihantas, Siddhas, Acharyas, Upadyayas and Sadhus or Sadhvis. The most important point to note here is that the mantra makes no mention of any names of any specific people including Tirthankaras and Siddhas. The reason for this is that the mantra seeks to guide an aspirant’s focus on to the virtues and spiritual aspects of the Panch Parmesthi rather than on the names and lives of earlier spiritual guides. It is common belief among Jains that by chanting this mantar and striving to emulate the virtues of Panch Parmesthi, the aspirant will become inspired and be shown the path to liberation.
Let us look at the mantra, its meaning and the Panch Parmesthi a bit more closely:
Namo Loe Savva Sahûnam
Eso Panch Namokkaro, Savva Pâvappanâsano
Mangalanam Cha Savvesim, Padhamam Havai Mangalam
I bow to the Arihantas (Prophets).
I bow to the Siddhas (Liberated Souls).
I bow to the Acharyas (Preceptors or Spiritual Leaders).
I bow to the Upadhyaya (Teachers).
I bow to all the Sadhus (Saints).
This fivefold bow (mantra) destroys all sins and obstacles
and of all auspicious mantras, is the first and foremost one.
I bow to the Arihantas – Arihantas means prophets. The word is made of two root words – Ari and Hanta. Ari means ememies and hanta means destroyer. Hence Arihanta is literally Destroyer of Enemies. But just like no mention of actual prophets or gurus is made in the mantar, here too enemies means human vices in each of us rather than real physical enemies. Thus Arihant is a person who has successfully destroyed his ego, anger, physical craving, greed, etc.
I bow to the Siddhas – Liberated people. People who have attained salvation and who have broken free of the chain of birth and death. They are said to be free from the karmic debt and do not collect any more karmas.
I bow to the Acharyas – Spiritual leaders are those people who carry the word and message of the Tirthankaras. Since the last Tirthankara was Mahavira, Acharyas after him are all those who dedicate their life to spreading and upholding the message Lord Mahavira.
I bow to all the Upadhyaya – Upadhyayas are teachers who have complete knowledge of Agamas, the Jain scriptures. They are also teachers because they teach the scriptures to other aspirants.
I bow to all the Sadhus – A sadhu or sadhvi is a man or a woman who was previously a householder and who subsequently, having been disillusioned with the material life, has given up worldly matters for the sake of spiritual upliftment.
You can type this mantra anytime of the day. However, it is important that you set aside separate time everyday for chanting this mantra as repeated chanting at the same time of the day will bring results quickly.
You can type or ‘chant, copy, paste‘ this mantra. It is important that when you type this mantar you contemplate on the virtues and spiritual aspects of each guide you are bowing to.
You can type this mantra any number of times per day. Try to be punctual and chant a minimum number of times in every session.
Navakar Mantar will bring humility in a person and helps in removing the egoistic nature of the mind. Hence you also become tend to become a more understanding person. Also, as stated in the mantra, chanting it will destroy one’s sins and will remove all obstacles hindering your progress.
Start now! Delaying only results in postponement of progress.