Jain Om (Bijaskhara, Navokar/Navkar)

This Jain Symbol is a modified version of the Hindu Om. The five parts that make up the symbol symbolize the five lines of the Namokar Mantra, a daily prayer whose recital by believers is a central part of the Jain religion. The Namokar (or, namkar) mantra honors the five Jain Panch Parmeshtis, or great entities. The five parmeshtis are:

  • Arihantas, (Tirthankars or Jinas), the pure souls, the saints.
  • Siddhas, liberated souls who are beyond birth and death
  • Acharyas, leaders of Jain congregations
  • Upadhyays, initiated monks and nuns
  • Sadhus and Sadhvis, male and female laypersons (householders)

The Namokar mantra is as follows: I bow to the Arahants, the perfected human beings. I bow to the Siddhas, liberated bodiless souls. I bow to the Acharyas, the masters and heads of congregations. I bow to the Upadhyayas, the spiritual teachers. I bow to the spiritual practitioners in the universe, Sadhus. This fivefold obeisance mantra, Destroys all sins and obstacles, And of all auspicious repetitions, Is the first and foremost. Or: I bow to the enlightened beings I bow to the liberated souls I bow to religious leaders I bow to religious teachers I bow to all ascetics of the world These five salutations are capable of destroying all sins. And they are the most auspicious of all benedictions.

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