English Translation of Mantra upadesam by Periyavaa

As requested by several readers, here is the English translation…..


“This is a question for me for the past 50 years or so – when there are moola mantras for each devatha, which originates from the Supreme, there is no other mantra to represent Supreme other than “Om”. There has been a belief that ordinary people like us can chant only Om+some other deity’s name. Only sanyasis can chant Omkara Vicharam. Om is a sound that originates from anahatha chakra from our heart naturally for all of us. However only certain can hear them. Only those individuals even if they are not a sanyasi can chant Omkara – this is as per our Periyava….

To clarify this point, I decided to go to Sri Periyava – almost 37 years back – when He was camping at Thenambakkam, Madras. Location is near a well near where He was staying. He stands on the front of the well and devotees stand on the other side of the well to receive darshans and blessings….There were about 40-50 people standing – includes men, women  of all ages, some foreigners, some elderly etc….


During that meeting, there was an old Vaishnavite lady. She was requesting Sri Periyavaa “In last night dream, you came and did a mantra upadesam. However when I woke up I forgot the mantra. I came here to find out when I can come in “madi” (after taking bath, wearing pure dress etc – not sure how to translate this in English !) to hear it again in private?”. Then spoke Sri Periyava, protector of dharma sastra “ There is no need for madi and private etc. I will tell this mantra to all of you”. He continued “Um Baghava :, Um Bhaghava :, Um Bhagavaha :”…Devotees there were wonder-struck that they received mantra upadesam from Him without even asking….Periyavaa qualified, “There is no rule to chant this mantra – anyone, anytime this can be chanted.”

Pronunciation – “Um” – as in umbrella, “Bhagava :” should be said as “bhagavaha”. That day Periyava pronounced as “Bhaghavahu”.

Meaning: Bhaghavaha means “Lord”, “Om” stands for mangala akshara

This mahamantram, not prescribed in any vedic text, comes to us from Sri Periyava, that answered my long pending question….Person with any ishta devatha can chant this….Although “Baghavaha” represents male god, this can be chanted for Goddesses too….Sri Periyava has never mentioned any mantra other than Gayathri mantra to chant. This special mantra is a true exception…

I have been keeping this prayer to myself for a very long time. Only for the past 2 years, I have been sharing this with others… Several devotees, who worship Sri Periyava as their ishta devatha, have seen great benefits after chanting this mantra….”


Categories: Upanyasam


16 replies

  1. Dear Sri Mahesh by ‘UM’ do you mean ‘u’ as in ‘mukunda’ ? please clarify.
    Regards, Rukmani

  2. I am writing a serial- article in Tamil about the life history of Maha periavaa in a monthly magazine called “Deiva Darisanam”. I request all devotees of Kanchi Mahaan, to contribute their experiences with the great Saint so that I will publish them as a box-item inmy article. My email address is vramanathan_family@yahoo.com.

    • Dear shri Ramanathan,

      I am delighted to know that you have taken a very blessed role and our best wishes to you…..this blog is an accumulation of several incidents/articles…..I am sure that you have seen most of them…pl feel free to take any of the contents….there are several readers in this blog who have interacted with Him personally and they could possibly share some experiences…..

      Best wishes…..

      Mahesh Sent from my Slate

  3. Tears roll down my eyes….. reading this and the comments…. I have some collections on Maha Periya and would be glad to share with all. thanks and rgds
    ayappan ramamurthy – ayappan_r@yahoo.co.in (Employed currently away from India)

  4. murthymayuram@sify.com

    Mr Mahesh, Thanks for ur blog,
    How u got interest in maha periyavaa subject, can u brief about ur background

    Thanks & Regards

    • murthymayuram@sify.com
      Mr mahesh,
      if i get some article on mahaswami, shall i send it to you?( so that u can share thro’ this blog ) please provide me ur email.

      Thanks & Regards

    • I am not even a dot when compared to other great devotees of mahaswami…Since you asked, quick response is – honestly, I don’t know 🙂 It all started around the same time of arrest episode of HH Jayendra Saraswathi Swamigal in 2005, I guess. This incident shook me a lot…..It made me think that I should first understand the history of this peetam to measure the kind of damage etc. I started reading a lot about the Kanchi Mutt to greater degree….At that time I was working at a place with lot of free time (!) and I used it all to read about Mahaperiyava. The interest and bakthi intensifies as you read more. I hail from a place called Dalmiapuram, near Trichy. My parents are religious and fairly orthodox etc. They have gotten darshan of Mahaperiyava few times in their life…None of my other family members seem to have associated with the mutt all that much…

      I believe in “Avan arulale avan thaal vanangi” – even to pray Him, you need His blessings… Thats what probably happened to all of us…. Some are lucky to pray Him for a long time…

      • Hi Mahesh, True. You need HIS grace to pray HIM too.

        Jayanthi Ramesh

      • Namaskaram!! I read your post and pray to mahaperiyava to guide us..
        Since you mentioned dalmiapuram, our swami gnanananda started an ashram in dalmiapuram aka kallakudi. If you/your parents have any experience from swami gnanananda, would you please kind enough share with me. My I’d: sathguru@hotmail.cm

        VaiDehi kannan

  5. Very Intresting…thank you for sharing 🙂 I had a very similar dream two nights ago…wonder if Periyavaa wanted to convey this message to me through you. 🙂 My Guru came in my dreams and told me to chant a mantra very very similar to this…here it is Bhagava:, in the dream, it was something that conveyed the same meaning ! In that dream, I also didn’t take bath and wanted to tell my Guru to wait till I had my bath and came. But He didn’t mind giving me the Upadesa 🙂

    By the way, I love your blog ! 🙂

  6. Thankyou so much Mr.Mahesh……can u pl give me your phone numberr as i can have a good discussion on certain topics

  7. Sir,
    Thanks a lot for sharing such a wonderful thing.


  8. Hi Mahesh

    Excellent piece of information. Can I have Sanskrit version so that the Akshara is correctly pronounced with out mistakes?

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