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Hari or Har(i) (Sanskrit: , Gurmukhi: , IAST: Har?) is a name for the supreme absolute in the Sikh Guru Granth Sahib and Hindu Vedas. In Rigveda's Purusha Suktam (Praise of the supreme cosmic being), Hari is the first and most important name of god (Brahman), second and alternative name of supreme being is Narayana according to Narayana Suktam of yajurveda. In the Hindu tradition it is often used interchangeably with Vishnu to such an extent that they are considered to be one and the same. In Vedas, it is required to use the mantra "Harih om" before any recitation, just to declare that every ritual we perform is an offer to that supreme divine even if the hymn praises any demigod.

No depiction of Hari (God) is permitted in Sikhism. Hari in Purusha Suktam, Narayan Suktan and Rudra Suktan in vedas usually depicted as having a form with countless heads, limbs and arms (a way of saying that Supreme divine is pervaded everywhere and cannot be limited). Lord Hari is also called sharangapani as he also wields a bow named as sharanga.

The word "Hari" is widely used in Gurmukhi, Sanskrit and Prakrit literature, Hindu, Buddhist and Jain religions. The name "Hari" also appears as the 656th name of Vishnu in the Vishnu sahasranama of the Mahabharata and is considered to be of great significance in Vaishnavism. The Guru Granth Sahib, eternal Guru of the Sikhs contains this word more than 8500 times.


The Sanskrit word " (Hari)" is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root "*el- to shine; to flourish; green; yellow" which also gave rise to the Persian terms zar 'gold', Greek khloros 'green', Slavic zelen 'green' and zolto 'gold', as well as the English words yellow and gold.

The same root occurs in other Sanskrit words like haridr?, 'turmeric', named for its yellow color.

Other Names of Hari

There are multiple names of Lord Hari mentioned in the holy scriptures of Hinduism such as the Bhagwad Gita and Mahabharata. A few names which are used quite frequently,


"Hari alone is the One Creator; there is only the One Court of Har(i). Har(i)'s Command is the One and Only-enshrine the One Hari in your consciousness. Without Lord Hari, there is no other at all. Remove your fear, doubt and dread. Praise that Hari who protects you, inside your home, and outside as well. When that Har becomes merciful, and one comes to chant Hari's Name, one swims across the ocean of fear. ||1||"

- Guru Granth Sahib 83

In Indian religion and mythology

A statue of Harihara among the group of monuments at the Badami Cave Temples
  • The Harivamsha ("lineage of Hari") is a text in both the Puranic and Itihasa traditions.
  • As the name of tawny-colored animals, hari may refer to lions (also a name of the zodiacal sign Leo), bay horses, or monkeys. The feminine Har? is the name of the mythological "mother of monkeys" in the Sanskrit epics.
  • Harihara is the name of a fused deity form of both Vishnu (Hari) and Shiva (Hara) in Hinduism.
  • Hari is the name of a class of gods under the fourth Manu (manu t?masa, "Dark Manu") in the Puranas.
  • In Hinduism, beginning with Adi Sankara's commentary on the Vishnu sahasranama, hari became etymologized as derived from the verbal root h? "to grab, seize, steal", in the context of Vaishnavism interpreted as "to take away or remove evil or sin",[1] and the name of Vishnu rendered as "he who destroys samsara", which is the entanglement in the cycle of birth and death, along with ignorance, its cause;[2] compare hara as a name of Shiva, translated as "seizer" or "destroyer".
  • In the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, Hari is a name of both Krishna or Vishnu, invoked in the Hare Krishna mantra (Hare is a vocative form of Harih, used in mahamantra).
  • The element hari is found in a number of Hindu given names, e.g. Bhartrhari, Harendra (i.e. hari-Indra), Harisha (i.e. hari-Isha), Hariprasad, Harikesh (Harikesha, "golden-haired", also a name of Shiva and of Savitar), etc.

See also


  1. ^ Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit Dictionary (1899):
  2. ^ Sri Vishnu Sahasranama, commentary by Sri Sankaracharya, translated by Swami Tapasyananda (Ramakrishna Math Publications, Chennai)

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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