Mantra of Shri Krishna

One mantra very much recommended in certain Upanishads is the 8-syllabled “Om namo Narayanaya”, which means “salutation to Narayana”. Narayana is Vishnu, of whom Shri Krishna is considered the fullest avatara or incarnation. Vishnu is the middle member of the Trinity, the one Life and Light of the World.

The Trinity itself is regarded as “not really so” but a “life-idol” to represent Parabrahman, transcending fact and thought. Shri Krishna, speaking in the Bhagavad Gita, gives us immense material for meditation on the subject of the one Self equally dwelling in all. After we have studied that and meditated upon it, namo Narayanaya will mean much to us and help to open the highest gates from thought into the Infinite.

A mantra which I received from Sri S Subramania Iyer, who had it in turn from Sri T. Subba Row, who declared it to have been given to him as one of the “most powerful” of all mantras, is the 5-divisioned, I8-syllabled mantra to Shri Krishna, as follows:


[ pronounce î as ee, ri as between ri and ru, i.e. vowel r, ã as in ‘father’, a as in ‘India’, o as in ‘go’.]

Again and again the devotee repeats this mantra, and by it he attains to the path of Shri Krishna in this world. The following explanations are from the Gopalatapani and Krishna Upanishads.

“Once the Sages came to the great Brahma and asked: Who is the Supreme God? Whom does Death fear? Through the knowledge of what does all become known ? What makes this world continue on its course?

”He replied: Shri Krishna verily is the Supreme God. Death is afraid of Govinda (Shri Krishna). By knowing the Lord of Gopi-jana (Shri Krishna) the whole is known. By Swaha the world goes on evolving.

“Then they questioned him again: Who is Krishna? Who is Govinda ? Who is the Lord of Gopi-jana ? What is Swaha?

”He replied: Krishna is he who destroys all wrong. Govinda is the knower of all things, who, on earth, is known through the great teaching. The Lord of Gopi-jana is he who guides all conditioned beings. Swaha is his power. He who meditates on these, repeats the mantra, and worships him, becomes immortal.

“Again they asked him: What is his form? What is his mantra? What is his worship?

”He replied: He who has the form of a protector of cows (the verses of the great teaching). The cloud-coloured youth (the color of the fathomless deep). He who sits at the root of the tree (whose spreading branches are the creation and evolution of the age). He whose eyes are like the full-blown lotus (always resting in the pure lotus hearts of his devotees). He whose raiment is of the splendor of lightning (shining by its own light). He who is two-armed (the life and the form). He who is possessed of the sign of wisdom (with which the silent sages are initiated). He who wears a garland of flowers (the string of globes or planets). He who is seated on the center of the golden lotus (at the heart of all). Who meditates upon him becomes free. His is the mantra of five parts. The first is Klim Krishnaya. Klim is the seed of attraction. The second is Govindaya. The third is Gopi-jana. The fourth is Vallabhaya. The fifth and last is Swaha. Klim — to Krishna — to the Giver of Knowledge — to the Lord of the Cowherds — Swaha.

“Om. Adoration to the Universal Form, the Source of all Protection, the Goal of Life, the Ruler of the Universe, and the Universe itself.

“Om. Adoration to the Embodiment of Wisdom, the Supreme Delight, Krishna, the Lord of Cowherds! To the Giver of Knowledge, adoration!“