Today I've heard Swahas song "Om namah Shivaya" from album Salutations. There was text: "Om namah Shivaya, Om namah Hari Hari". I was looking for meaning and founded bhajan "Hari Om Namah Shivaya"... What does it mean? I thought Hari is name of lord Vishnu... Does the word Hari have any other meanings? Thank you

1 Answer 1


First we see the meaning of the Om,

The Mundaka Upanishad in the second Mundakam (part), suggests the

Om meaining

means to knowing the Self and the Brahman to be meditation, self-reflection and introspection, that can be aided by the symbol Om. It is life, it is speech, it is mind. That is the real. It is immortal.

Om Namah Shivaya is one of the most beloved and ancient Hindu mantras. It comes from part of a Hindu prayer, the Shri Rudram Chamakam, which is found in the second oldest of the vedic texts, the YajurVeda

Om namah Shivay:

Meaning from Here

It is a salutation to Shiva, meaning “I bow to Shiva.” It is also seen as a salutation to the divine.

Om Namah Shivaya is a panchaskara mantra, meaning it’s made up of five syllables or literally the five holy letters (na – mah – shi – vaa – ya). It is preceded by Om or Aum, which is said to be the sacred primordial sound. The five holy vowels are the seed sounds of the five elements of creation—earth, water, fire, air, and ether—and as one chants it, one is working through the process of creation in reverse, hence perhaps the mantra’s reputed power of destroying manifestations of sin and imperfections.

Yes, you are right Hari refers to Lord Vishnu (Narayan).

Hari Meaning:

Sri Chaitanya Upanishad Text 12 From the Atharva Veda.

Hari” means “He who unties [harati] the knot of material desire in the hearts of the living entities”

Om namah Hari Hari


It is a salutation to Lord Vishnu, meaning “I bow to Lord Vishnu.” It is also seen as a salutation to the divine.

But for Lord Narayan (Vishnu) there is described Mantra in Vedas is Om namo Narayan

The Narayana Upanishad

Om Namo Narayanayeti mantra upasaka Vaikuntha bhuvanam gamishyati, or ‘Whosoever chants the „Om Namo Narayanaya mantra” reaches the ultimate goal Vaikuntha planet where one attains eternal enchanted life.’

Vaikuntha is the supreme spiritual abode; there is nothing that exists beyond Vaikuntha, Vaikuntha signifies „no desires”.

In your Question, Hari Om Namah Shivay, as I know there is no such mantra in vedas, it is man-made Mantra.

Harivamsha Parva of Mahabharata in 2.125.29:

“Shivaya Vishnu roopaya , shivarupaya Vishnuve , shivashca hirdhayagam Vishnu , Vishnuscha hridayagam shive “

Meaning :

Shiva is in the form of Vishnu, as Vishnu is in the form of Shiva . Shiva is in the heart of Vishnu as Vishnu is in the heart of Shiva. ONE CANNOT be without the OTHER.

So, Your Mantra is Only Combination of both Vaishnavites and Shaivites.

Hari= Lord Vishnu

Om= knowing the Self and the Brahman to be meditation

Namah = Salutation (Bow down)

Shivay= Lord Shiva

Hope it will help you

  • 1
    Where did you get that quote about Om Namah Shivaya? You should always cite the source of anything you quote. And you should cite the source of that Adi Shankaracharya quote. Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 1:54
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    And where in the Atharvana Veda is that quote about the meaning of Hari? Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 1:55
  • Yeah sure, I edited it , u can see the reference now... Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 10:18
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    Why do you say "as Sankaracharaya explained in Harivamsha Parva"? Adi Shankaracharya is not the author of the Harivamsa. Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 19:37
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    OK thanks. Also, where did you get the quote about Om Namah Shivaya from? Commented Jun 8, 2016 at 19:44

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