Navkaar Mantra is the fundamental mantra in Jainism and can be recited at any time of the day. While reciting this mantra, the devotee bows with respect to humans who have cleared their gathi karmas (Arihantas), fully liberated souls (Siddhas), spiritual leaders (Acharyas), teachers (Upadyayas) and all the monks. This is worship of the virtues of all the supreme spiritual people instead of just worshipping one particular person. The Namokâr Mantra does not mention specific names of Tirthankaras and Siddhas. Instead, at the time of recitation, a Jain remembers their virtues and tries to emulate them. In this mantra Jains bow down to these supreme spiritual personalities, and therefore, it is also called Namaskar (show of respect) Mantra.
Namo Arihantanam means I bow to the Arihantas (Prophets).
Namo Siddhanam means I bow to the Siddhas (Liberated Souls).
Namo Ayariyanam means I bow to the Acharyas (Preceptors or Spiritual Leaders).
Namo Uvajjhâyanam means I bow to the Upadhyaya (Teachers).
Namo Loe Savva Sahunam means I bow to all the Sadhus (Saints).
Eso Panch Namokkaro, Savva Pâvappanâsano Mangalanam Cha Savvesim, Padhamam Havai Mangalam
This fivefold bow destroys all sins and obstacles and of all auspicious mantras, is the first and foremost one.
In this mantra, Jains salute the souls that have obtained liberation or on their way to it: the Arihantas, Siddhas, Acharyas, Upadhyayas, and normal monks. In this prayer there is no mention to anyone by name, including Tirthankaras. By saluting these souls, Jains believe they receive the inspiration from them for the right path for total freedom from the karma of their soul. Jains do not ask for any favors or material benefits from the Tirthankaras or from sadhus and sadhvis. This mantra simply serves as a gesture of deep respect towards beings they believe are more spiritually advanced and to remind followers of the Jain religion of their ultimate goal of nirvana or moksha.
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