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….”