is one of the earliest mantras known to
man. Salutations offered by this mantra
are supposed to provide the reciter with
great spiritual and material success, removes
evil and negative feelings of the mind and
give divine peace. This mantra is attributed
with powerful healing and curative properties.
Navkar Mahamantra's other name is Pancha
Mangal Maha Sruthskandh and . Reciting of
Navkar Mahamantra is equal to 1 Crore Stotra's.
Navkar Mahamantra is the top most mantra
of Jainism because it has meaning ( saranch
) of 14 Purva 's.
( Purva : A group of fourteen Jain canonical
Navkar Mahamantra contains 9 Pads , 8 Sampadas
and 68 letters.
Namo Arihantanam » I bow to
Namo Siddhanam » I bow to
Namo Ayariyanam » I bow to
Namo Uvajjhayanam » I bow
to the Upadhyayas
Namo Loy Savvasahunam » I
bow to all the sadhus of the world
Eso Pancha Namokaro » This
Savva Pava Panasano » Destroys
Manglanamcha Savvesim » And
amongst all auspicious things
Padhamam Havaimanglam » Is
the most auspicious one
What is the role of Passions in our
life? What are different karmas? Why do pay
homage to Arihantas first?
- What is Navakar Mantra?
- Who are Arihants?
- Who are Siddhas?
- Who are Tirthankars?
- Who are Jina?
- Who are Acharyas?
- Who are Upadhyayas?
- Who are Sadhus?
- Who are Sadhvis?
- Who are Jinas?
The Navkar Mantra is the most fundamental
mantra in Jainism and can be recited at any
time of the day. While reciting the Navkar
Mantra, the aspirant bows with respect to
Arihantas, Siddhas, Ächäryäs,
Upädhyäyas, Sädhus, and Sädhvis.
The mantra enables us to worship the virtues
of all the supreme spiritual people instead
of just worshipping one particular person.
For this reason, the Navkar Mantra does not
mention the names of any Tirthankaras, Siddhas,
Acharyas, Upädhyäyas, Sädhus,
or Sädhvis. At the time of recitation,
we remember their virtues and try to emulate
them. In this mantra we bow down to these
supreme spiritual personalities, and therefore,
it is also called Namaskär or Namokär
Mantra. The Navkär Mantra contains the
essence of Jainism. It points out that if
we want to be truly liberated, we have to
give up worldly life (samsär). The first
stage of renunciation is to become a monk
(sadhu) or nun (sadhvi). While progressing
on a spiritual path, some may be designated
as Upädhyäyas or Acharya. The ultimate
aim is to attain omniscience, becoming an
Arihanta, which leads us to liberation, the
becoming a Siddha.
The term Arihanta is made up of Ari, meaning
enemies, and hant, meaning destroyer. Consequently,
Arihanta means destroyer of enemies. In this
case the term enemies refers to passions such
as anger, greed, ego, and deceit which are
internal enemies, because they defile the
true nature of the soul. A soul can only reach
the state of Arihanta by overcoming all its
inner enemies. Once a soul has shed all of
its four defiling (ghati) karmas namely Jnanavarniya
(Knowledge obscuring) Karma, Darshanavarniya
(Perception obscuring) karma, Mohniya (Deluding)
Karma and Antaraya (Obstructive) Karma, it
becomes an Arihanta and attains perfect knowledge
(Kevaljnana), perfect perception (Kevaldarshana),
and infinite power (Ananta Virya) and it becomes
a passionless (vitragi). Arihantas are divided
into two categories: Tirthankar and Ordinary.
Arihantas who have attained Tirthankar Näm
Karma become Tirthankaras while the rest of
them become Ordinary Arihants. There are twenty-four
Tirthankaras during every half time cycle.
These Tirthankaras reinstate the Jain Sangh
(four-fold Jain Order) consisting of Sädhus
(monks), Sädhvis (nuns), Shrävaks
(male householders), and Shrävikäs
(female householders). The first Tirthankar
(Arihanta) of this time period was Lord Rushabhdev,
and the twenty-fourth and last Tirthankar
was Lord Mahävira, who was lived from
599B.C. to 527B.C. Tirthankaras are also called
Jinä (conqueror of inner passions) from
which the term Jain, follower of a Jinä,
is derived. At the time of Arihanta's nirvän
(death), the remaining four non-defiling (aghati)
karmas such as Nam (Physique determining)
Karma, Gotra (Status determining) Karma, Vedniya
(Feeling producing) Karma and Ayushya (Age
span determining) Karma, are destroyed. Ordinary
Arihants are those souls who attain salvation,
but do not possess Tirthankar Nama Karma and
hence, do not establish the Jain Order. After
attaining salvation they are called Siddhas.
Since Siddhas have attained ultimate liberation,
we do not have access to them. However, Arihantas
offer us spiritual guidance during their lifetime.
In order to show our special reverence for
their teachings, we bow to them first, hence
the first verse of the Navkar Mantra. Currently,
as per scriptures except at Mahavideh kshetra,
there are no Arihantas. The last Arihant was
Jambuswami. According to the Agams (Jain scriptures)
there will be no more Arihantas during the
remaining period of the current half-time
Siddhas are liberated souls. They have reached
the highest state, salvation, and have attained
Moksha. They have eradicated all their karmas,
and therefore do not accumulate any more new
karmas, thus freeing themselves forever from
the cycle of birth and death (Akshaya Sthiti).
This state of freedom is called Moksha. They
are experiencing ultimate, unobstructed bliss
(Aksha Sukh) and are not subjected to any
kind of suffering. They possess perfect and
total knowledge (Anatjnan, Kevaljnana, omniscience)
and perception (Anat Darshan, Kevaldarshana,
omniperception), that means they know and
perceive everything in total that is happening
now, that has happened in the past, and that
which will happen in the future all at the
same time and they also possess infinite vigor
(Anant-Virya). They have no desires and are
completely detached thus making them immune
from any sense of craving or aversion (Anant
Charitra, Vitragatva). Despite the fact that
all Siddhas retain a unique identity, they
are equal (Aguru-laghutva) and formless(Arupitva).
The message of Jina, Lord Mahävira the
last Tirthankara, is carried by the Acharya,
our spiritual leaders. The responsibility
of the spiritual welfare of the entire Jain
Sangh rests on the shoulders of the Acharyas.
Before reaching this state, one has to do
an in-depth study and have a thorough mastery
of the Jain Agams. In addition to acquiring
a high level of spiritual excellence, they
also have the ability to lead the monastic
communion. They should also know the various
languages of the country and have acquired
a sound knowledge of other philosophies, ideologies,
and religions of the region and the world.
This title is given to those Sädhus who
have acquired a special knowledge of the Agams
(Jain scriptures) and philosophical systems.
They teach Jain scriptures to deserving aspirants,
including sädhus and sädhvis.
A male person who renounces the worldly life
is called a monk or sädhu, and a female
is called a nun or sadhvi. When householders
become detached from the worldly aspects of
life and aspire for spiritual uplift, they
renounce their worldly lives and become Sädhus
or Sädhvis, by accepting Deekshä.
Before such initiation, they must stay with
Sädhus or Sädhvis for a period of
time to understand religious studies and to
observe the code of conduct for renounced
life. When they feel confident, they request
an Ächärya to initiate them into
the renounced order. If the Ächärya
feels that they have the desire and capability
to face the rigors of renounced life, then
he gives them Deekshä. At the time of
Deekshä, the newly initiated sadhu or
sadhvi adopts five major vows:
Observance of Aparigraha (non-possessiveness)-not
to acquire more than what is needed to maintain
day to day life (Savvao Pariggrahao Virman
Vrat) Some of the special things they observe
are they do not accept the food cooked for
them. They do not eat before sunrise or after
sunset. They drink only boiled water. They
walk bare feet. They do not stay in one place
for a longer time. They do not touch any person
of opposite sex. They do not get involved
in social affairs there by meaning they are
not a social workers. All nuns wear white
clothes. They offer spiritual guidance to
us. Their goal to become is to be liberated
from this worldly life and that is why their
activities are directed towards uplift of
their souls to Paramätman (the state
of liberation). Self-discipline and purity
is the main part of their daily lives.
- Observance of Ahimsa (non-violence)-not
to commit any type of violence (Savvao
Panaivayao Virman Vrat)
- Observance of Satya (truth)-not to indulge
in any type of lie or falsehood (Savvao
Musavayao Virman Vrat)
- Observance of Asteya (non-stealing)-not
to take anything unless it is given by
the owner (Savvao Aadinnadanao Virman
- Observance of Brahamcharya (celibacy)-not
to indulge in any sensual pleasure (Savvao
Mehunao Virman Vrat)