The Adi Mantra: Ong Namo Guru Dev

The Adi Mantra: Ong Namo Guru Dev

If you’ve been to Mantra Fusion on Sunday morning recently, you may have heard this new mantra: Ong Namo Guru Dev, also called the Adi Mantra. Like many mantras that originated in Sanskrit, it has many translations, but here are two:

I bow to the Creative Wisdom, I bow to the Divine Teacher within.

I bow to the All-that-is. I bow to the Divine Wisdom within myself.

Ong Namo Guru Dev is a reminder of the power that lies within. We spend so much time looking for answers outside of ourselves and constantly wondering, “Am I doing this right?”

This perpetual outward focus can be harmful. It is frequently said that comparison is the thief of joy, but in many ways the detrimental effects of comparison go beyond that. If we force our bodies into poses we’re not ready for, we may injure ourselves. If we live by the standards and values of others, we forgo our connection to our true selves, and, very often, our happiness. It’s easy to convince ourselves that we don’t have the answers. It’s easy to forget that we’re already whole. But we are. We don’t always need to be searching for wholeness outside of ourselves.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that we have nothing to learn from others. The recognition of the teacher within is different from arrogance. Ong Namo Guru Dev is about witnessing yourself as part of a long lineage of teachers, connected to all those you’ve learned from in the past and all the teachers you still have yet to meet. It’s about trusting the experience of looking inward, an action that may initially give way to fear or uncertainty but which will ultimately bring you great peace.

In his famous poem, “Song of Myself,” Walt Whitman wrote “I contain multitudes.” Bear witness to your multitudes, honor your wisdom, and trust that you know the way.

by Kelsey Leach