What is Om Namo Narayanaya?
A common question among both new and seasoned yoga practitioners is, “Exactly what is Om Namo Narayanaya and why is it so important?” There is a reason why this powerful mantra is heard so often in yogic traditions and why it is considered to be one of the most sacred Sanskrit salutations within Vedic texts.
Mantras themselves are sounds and vibrations that invoke spiritual healing powers, release divine cosmic energy and elevate the self into a higher state of consciousness. Mantras in Sanskrit are particularly potent because the phonetics and sound patterns of this ancient language encompass mystical energies that directly correspond to the nadis, or subtle nerve channels of a person’s astral body.
Om Namo Narayanaya is an eight-syllable Sanskrit Vishnu mantra that is well known within the yoga community as a mantra of peace.
The Meaning of Om Namo Narayanaya
Narayana is God in infinite form and is another name for Vishnu, the preserver and protector of the universe in Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism. Om Namo Narayanaya thus pays tribute to Lord Vishnu.
The eternal vibration or the sound of all creation that resonates through every atom of the body. It is also known as the sound of the universe.
To selflessly honour, salute or bow to.
As nara can mean either ‘human’ or ‘water,’ and ayana means ‘resting place’ or ‘eventual goal,’ Narayana is often depicted as the supreme being that resides on the ocean. Narayanaya is consequently interpreted as a spiritual resting place for all living beings.
So it goes to say that this mantra is an enduring vibration that humbly bows to a state of peace and rest. It is used during times of trouble or agitation to restore serenity to the body, mind and spirit. Whenever the mind is noisy or when the personal energy is off-balance, it brings you back to your centre, calms the mental processes and restores harmony. It also implies a resting place for all beings and is consequently chanted with the positive intent to spread vibrations of happiness, peace and good health to all of humanity.
Purpose and Technique
The purpose of mantra during meditation is to provide a tangible point on which to concentrate and unchain the spiritual energies that vibrate within its Sanskrit words. Therefore, it is essential to pronounce Om Namo Narayanaya correctly and properly so that sound and thought can converge together, allowing the experience of higher consciousness and peace.
Traditionally, mantras are chanted out loud, whispered or recited mentally in cycles of 108 repetitions. 108 is a significant and auspicious number in religion, astronomy, numerology, and spirituality. For instance, there are 108 deities in Hinduism, 108 Buddhist virtues, 108 sacred stars in Chinese astrology and 108 lines of energy from the heart chakra. Techniques such as counting with the fingers, writing while reciting or using mala prayer beads with 108 beads on each necklace, are used to ensure the exact number of repetitions.
“One who recites this Narayana-mantra is free from fame with a pure heart and attains all: life, offspring, wealth, health and cows.”
— The Upanishads
With the proper technique, pronunciation and intent, mantras can manifest amazing things in life. Reciting Om Namo Narayanaya while visualizing infinite peace, love, balance and harmony increases its spiritually powerful vibrations and dissolves any distractions or obstacles that result from ignorance, pride and the ego. It is truly a chant for world peace.
I love learning new things!!1 This is awesome, Andrea and I am so glad that you shared it!! I would just think that doing exactly 108 repetitions would be tough. Practice makes perfect, I guess.
It does indeed! And I’m glad you found it useful to your practice!
Andrea, what a wonderful post! This is exactly what I needed to read today 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing. I enjoyed learning about this mantra and the specific meaning that it holds. I did yoga and meditation in San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala, which included several “Kirtan”s. This mantra was one that we chanted, and these groups made me feel so powerful and connected.
Guatemala must have been amazing! Glad you enjoyed it!
Hey Andrea, this is a great post and some very interesting information. I could really use some meditation in my life, I just don’t know where to start. I will be bookmarking your site for future reference for sure. Thanks again for this awesome article!
You’re welcome Katie! Right here is exactly where you can start!
Hi Andrea, I have a great interest in chanting so I was delighted to read your article on Om Namo Narayanaya. Your website looks very beautiful and the article was interesting to read with lots on insights into the practice of chanting. Thank you for sharing. Blessings, Roux
You’re welcome! Thank you for your kind words, Roux!
I always wanted to do a mantra myself but I have never seen any good pattern until I found your article. This is a good content and the step by step information are very organize and easy to understand. I have done a mantra practice before when I was as young as 14years old and it helps me with something. I can’t explain how did it help me but I know there’s something happened to me. I always become a leader in our school even become a core commander of our PMT days. My leadership skills comes out as if they trusted me a lot might be because I am more conscious about every words that comes out in my mouth. Now that I’m 33 and with all the stressed and problems that came in my life I thought about doing it again to relax myself and find my innermost importance in this world. The technique of using mala prayer beads while reciting is very helpful as it’s hard to count while you’re in your deepest mind searching. I hope I can find one of this in my country. This is a good read and I will be doing this mantra. It’s just hard to pronounce the Narayanaya. Thanks so much!
You’re welcome Charred!
Wow Andrea! What an interesting topic! I’m always wanting to learn how to meditate better and this is the most perfect thing I’ve found. 🙂 I will try the mantra next time I meditate.
Thanks for your help!
You’re welcome, as always, Grace!
Thanks for the wonderful post. I don’t know a lot about Mantra other than what I had been told, that it is a powerful technique to clear the mind of all negative forces and bring peace. So I listened to the audio of Om Namo Narayanaya and while I found it soothing to listen to, I’m sure to get maximum benefits one would need to be actually meditating. Thanks for an enlightening post 🙂
That’s great, Gaylene! I’m happy you benefited from it!
I have been interested in Yoga for sometime but don’t know a lot about it. I found this very interesting and I will come back a reread it later to gain more understanding. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future. Thanks for sharing a great post
You’re welcome Terry!
hey Andrea. Great post. Some really interesting information here. I think most people nowadays lead such busy lives that we get caught up in everything that is going on around us and rarely take time out just to sit, relax and embrace something like this mantra. I totally believe things like this can help put some perspective on life and help us better cope with day to day stress. thanks for sharing.
Glad you enjoyed it, Andy. Thanks!