The Navkar Mantra is the most important mantra in Jainism. While reciting the Navkar Mantra, we are bowing down with respect Arihantas, Siddhas, Acharya (heads of sadhus and sadhvis), Upadhyaya (those who teach scriptures to sadhus and sadhvis), Sadhus (monks, who have voluntarily given up social, economical and family relationships) and Sadhvis (nuns, who have voluntarily given up social, economical and family relationships). Collectively, they are called Panch Parmeshthi (five supreme spiritual people). In this mantra we worship their virtues rather than worshipping any one particular person or Tirthankar. This mantra is also called Namaskar or Namokar Mantra as we are bowing down.
Namokar Mantra in English and the meaning of each line respectively
Namo ArihantanamI bow in reverence to Arihants Namo Siddhanam I bow in reverence to Siddhas Namo Ayariyanam I bow in reverence to Acharyas Namo Uvajjhayanam I bow in reverence to Upadhyayas Namo LoyeSavvaSahunam I bow in reverence to all Sadhus
Eso PanchNamoyaro This five-fold salutation Savva Pavappanasano Destroys all sins Mangalanam Cha Savvesim And amongst all auspicious things Padhamam HavaiMangalam Is the most auspicious one
The word Arihanta is made up of two words: 1) Ari, meaning enemies, and 2) hanta, meaning destroyer of the enemies. These enemies are inner desires known as passions such as anger, ego, deception, and greed within us. When a person (soul) wins over these inner enemies he/she is called Arihanta. Arihanta destroys the four ghati karmas namely Jnanavarniya (knowledge blocking) Karma, Darshanavarniya (perception blocking) Karma, Mohniya (passion causing) Karma and Antaraya (obstacle causing) Karma. Arihanta attains:
Kevalgyan, perfect knowledge due to the destruction of all Jnanavarniya Karmas,
Kevaldarshan, perfect perception due to the destruction of all Darshanavarniya karmas,
becomes passionless due to the destruction of all Mohniya Karmas, and
gains infinite power due to the destruction of all Antaraya Karmas.
Siddhas are the liberated souls. They are no longer among us because they have completely ended the cycle of birth and death. They have reached the ultimate highest state, salvation. They do not have any karmas, and they do not collect any new karmas. This state of true freedom is called Moksha.
Acharyas carry the message of Jina. They are our spiritual leaders. Acharyas must have to do in-depth study and achieve mastery of the Jain scriptures (Ã„gams). In addition to acquiring a high level of spiritual excellence, they have the ability to lead the monks and nuns. They know various languages with a sound knowledge of other philosophies and religions of the area and the world.
The title Upadhyayas is given to those Sadhus who have acquired a special knowledge of the Ã„gams and philosophical systems. They teach Jain scriptures to sadhus and sadhvis.
SADHUS AND SADHVIS
When householders become detached from the worldly aspects of life and get the desire for spiritual uplift (and not worldly uplift), they give up their worldly lives and become sadhus (monk) or sadhvis (nun). A male person is called sadhu, and a female person is called sadhvi. At the time of Deeksha, the sadhu or sadhvi voluntarily accepts to obey following five major vows for the rest of his/her life:
Commitment of Total Ahimsa (non-violence)-not to commit any type of violence.
Commitment of Total Satya (truth)-not to indulge in any type of lie or falsehood.
Commitment of Total Achaurya (non-stealing)-not to take anything unless it is given.
Commitment of Total Brahmacharya (celibacy)-not to indulge in any sensual activities
Commitment of Total Aparigraha (non-possessiveness) - not to get attached to anything except the soul
હું જ્ઞાયક છું ++ में ज्ञायक हूँ ++ I am the knower