Mool Mantra

ੴ ਸਤਿਨਾਮੁ ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖੁ ਨਿਰਭਉ ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ ਅਜੂਨੀ ਸੈਭੰ ਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ ॥ (sggs 1). 

Both “Mool” (also spelt Mul) and “Mantra” are Sanskritwords — “Mool” simply meaning “Root” (or Source, Primordial, Base, Foundation, Origin…); and Mantra simply meaning incantation (text of the Gurbani…). Hence Mool Mantra (or Moolmantar, Mool Mantar ) means Root-Mantra. Just as the fragrance is boxed in the flower, and the light of the sun is hidden in the colors, similarly, the Essence of the Divine is summed up in the Mool Mantra. Revealed by Baabaa Nanak, it’s the commencing or opening (first) composition of Sri Guru Granth Sahib (SGGS). It also appears (in full or short form) before the commencement of most of the Raagas within the SGGS. The Mool Mantra is said to encapsulates the Essence of the Divine Message, thus it’s the heart of the Sikh-Thought.

Note that neither Baabaa Nanak (the author of this opening composition of the SGGS) nor Guru Arjan Dev Jee (the compiler of the SGGS) named or called this very first line of the SGGS as “Mool Mantra“!! Exactly who, why, and when this opening composition of the SGGS was attributed this name – “Mool Mantra” – is beyond the scope of this blog entry.

However, in the Gurbani, there is reference of Mool Mantra and its meaning along with Beej Mantra, Naamu Mantra, Mahaa Mantra, Gur Mantra

  • ਮੂਲ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਰਸਾਇਣੁ ਕਹੁ ਨਾਨਕ ਪੂਰਾ ਪਾਇਆ ॥੫॥: Mool Mantru Hari Naamu rasaainu kahu Nanak pooraa paaiaa: ||5||: O Nanak! Hari Naam (the Lord’s Name) is the Mool Mantra, which is the Source of Nectar (ਸਭ ਰਸਾਂ ਦਾ ਘਰ-Home of Elixir, ਗਿਆਨ ਦਾ ਮੂਲ-Source of Giaan…). (Whosoever contemplate the Naam) attains the Perfect Lord. ||5|| (sggs 1070).
  • ਅਉਖਧ ਮੰਤ੍ਰ ਮੂਲ ਮਨ ਏਕੈ ਮਨਿ ਬਿਸ੍ਵਾਸੁ ਪ੍ਰਭ ਧਾਰਿਆ ॥: Aoukhadh mantara mool man ekai mani bisvaasu prabh dhaariaa: (The Lord’s Name) Naam is the Mool (Root, Source, Base, Foundation, Origin…) of all Mantra- the only Cure for the mind, and in (my) mind I have placed reliance (only on You) Lord. (sggs 675). 

Thus – as time and again indicated by the Gurbani – the important thing to remeber is that all Mantras are in the Lord’s Name (“ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ”): (ਬੀਜ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਹਰਿ ਕੀਰਤਨੁ ਗਾਉ ॥ – Beej Mantru Hari Kirtann Gaaou, sggs 891), (ਮਹਾ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਗੁਰ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਬਸਿਓ ਅਚਰਜ ਨਾਮੁ ਸੁਨਿਓ ਰੀ ॥੩॥ – Mahaa mantru gur hirdai basio acharaj Naamu sunio ree, sggs 384), (ਹਰਿ ਕਾ ਨਾਮੁ ਦੀਓ ਗੁਰਿ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ॥ – Hari kaa Naam deeo guri mantru, sggs 190), (ਨਾਮੁ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਗੁਰਿ ਦੀਨੋ ਜਾ ਕਹੁ ॥ – Naamu mantru guri deeno jaa kahu, 257)…

And, where is That “ਹਰਿ-Hari” (One Truth, ਸਚ, ਮੂਲ…) located? Within our Hearts, repeatedly indicates the Gurbani (ਹਰਿ ਜਪਿ ਹਿਰਦੈ ਮਾਹਿ: Hari japi Hirdai maahi, sgggs 1370).

This opening composotion of the SGGS has nine statements:

  1. ੴ : Ik Oankaar
  2. ਸਤਿਨਾਮ: Satinaam
  3. ਕਰਤਾ ਪੁਰਖ: Kartaa Purakh
  4. ਨਿਰਭਉ: Nirbhou
  5. ਨਿਰਵੈਰੁ: Nirvairu
  6. ਅਕਾਲ ਮੂਰਤਿ: Akaal Moorati
  7. ਅਜੂਨੀ: Ajoonee
  8. ਸੈਭੰ: Saibhang
  9. ਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ: Gurprasaadi 

The first eight statements indicate the Divine Qualities (ਗੁਣ, ਲਛਣ, indications…) of the One (i.e., That Ik, which is One or Saabat-ਇਕ, ਸਾਬਤ…), and the ninth statement indicates how to Realize That One – ਗੁਰਪ੍ਰਸਾਦਿ (Gurprasaadi -ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਕਿਰਪਾ, ਗਿਆਨ ਦੀ ਰੋਸਨੀ, ਗਿਆਨ ਦਾ ਪ੍ਰਕਾਸ…), that is, through the Grace of the Gur-Giaan (ਬੀਜ ਮੰਤ੍ਰੁ ਸਰਬ ਕੋ ਗਿਆਨੁ ॥: Beej mantru sarab ko Giaan, sggs 274).


Filed Under: Gurbani, Mantra, Mantar, Mool, Beej
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