Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya
Learn Tantric Qigong
Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, one of the oldest extant mantras in Hinduism, is considered to be a Mukti (liberation) Mantra. It can be translated as “Om, Reverence to the Lord Vasudeva” This mantra is sometimes represented as a chant or stotra to Krishna or Vishnu. Vasudeva is an alternate name for Krishna, an incarnation of Vishnu the Preserver. In Hindu theology, Brahma is the creative force, Shiva the destroyer or agent of change, and Vishnu is the deity of balance, salvation, and preservation.
Some aspirants feel that the mantra can also be translated as something like “Homage to the Enlightened One Within” aka, your inner Divine Self. Swami Kripalu has been purported to have said that Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya could be taken to mean simply “Thy Will Be Done.” This translation would indicate the complete surrender of the individual to the Divine.
On both physical and psychic levels this mantra is used to bring balance to oneself – Yin and Yang, active and receptive, and one’s male and female polarities. It can be used in conjunction with Solar / Lunar practices and Level 2 Cobra Breath, bringing balance to the major spinal nadis. These nadis must be balanced before true Kundalini can be activated safely and without drama.
Those of you familiar with the Sanskrit “Tantric vowels” or Bijas, can map out which of your chakra energies are activated using this mantra. In a sense, this is a good mantra to balance your chakras, spinal channels, and inner and outer divinity. (c) 2012 Keith E. Hall / Inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.
It’s a good idea to get a recording of this mantra if you would like to learn it. I have reviewed hundreds of recordings of this mantra and present my preferences below.
Top Contenders, and the nominees are:
Multi-Colored Chant ~ Chaula Hopefisher
This is perhaps my favorite rendition of Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya, the primary reason being that it is eminently sing-able by non-professional singers and tone deaf devotees like me. Ms. Hopefisher does a lovely job of creating a simple tune that anyone can follow in a call and response format. Highly recommended but difficult to find. Check it out on Amazon:
Mantras for Precarious Times – Deva Premal This is a somewhat fast rendition of the mantra, with a simple tune that most people will be able to sing along with. Very nice.
Divine Melody – Anand Richa
This young artist from India has created a lovely, heart-centered, devotional version of the mantra. Very sweet and pretty easy to sing along with. Some interesting Indian musical accompaniment . Very touching. You can download her album here.
Hidden in the Name – Wah!
You can sing along fairly well with this cover of Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya and it has some interesting electric guitar giving it an unusual electronic jazzy kind of sound. And, a little wah wah pedal, just like the group’s name! Call and response format.
The following are also excellent:
Breath Of The Heart - Krishna Das
Renown on the kirtan circuit, Krishna Das presents an accomplished, masculine version of this mantra.
Pros: Starts out as a traditional sounding devotional stotra. Slow and soulful.
Cons: Some notes are held a long time. About 2 ½ minutes into the mantra the speed picks up and he does a sort of Hindu scat kind of chanting. He adds other mantras and warbles into the mix making it difficult to sing along with. A little over 6 minutes into the chant he adds piano and a fast rendition of the chant. Good for listening, not so good for singing along unless you cut out the middle, and just go with the first 2 ½ minutes and the last 3 ½ minutes. Still, very good for getting you into a wild, free, communal kirtan spirit.
Embrace – Deva Premal
A truly masterful and heartfelt rendition. The only caveat: She sings so well that she may be difficult for some non-singers to follow. Still, great for listening and following along as well as you can.
Sing, Dance, Enjoy! – Henry Marshall and the Playshop Family
A wonderfully lyrical and upbeat version. The CD and MP3 album also contain some other beautiful and powerful chants.
Kirtana – Robert Gass
Beautiful, lyrical call and response format.
The Sound of Om – Thomas Barquee
Pros: Starts with a lovely quiet melody, some nice sitar
Cons: Almost 4 minutes into this the pace picks up and the melody changes making it hard to follow. Probably more music than chanting. Better for listening than trying to chant along with.
(c) 2012 Keith E. Hall and www.inner-tranquility.com. All rights reserved.