Hari (Sanskrit: हरि) is among the primary epithets of the Hindu preserver deity Vishnu, meaning 'the one who takes away' (sins).[1] It refers to the one who removes darkness and illusion, the one who removes all obstacles to spiritual progress.

Painting of Vishnu, Crafts Museum, New Delhi, India

The name Hari also appears as the 650th name of Vishnu in the Vishnu Sahasranama of the Mahabharata and is considered to be of great significance in Vaishnavism.

Etymology edit

The Sanskrit word "हरि" (Hari) is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root "*ǵʰel- 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 haridrā, 'turmeric', named for its yellow color.

In Hinduism, beginning with Adi Sankara's commentary on the Vishnu sahasranama, hari became etymologized as derived from the verbal root hṛ "to grab, seize, steal", in the context of Vaishnavism interpreted as "to take away or remove evil or sin",[2] 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;[3] compare hara as a name of Shiva, translated as "seizer" or "destroyer".

Other names of Hari edit

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

In Indian religions edit

In Hinduism edit

In Sikhism edit

The name "ਹਰਿ" (Hari) is frequently used as a name for Waheguru in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib:

ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਹਰਿ ਨਾਮੁ ਹੈ ਗੁਰਮੁਖਿ ਪਾਵੈ ਕੋਇ ॥
Hari, Hari, Hari, Hari is the Name (of the Lord); rare are those who, as Gurmukh, obtain it. (SGGS, Ang.1313)[5]

In the Varan Bhai Gurdas, an early explanation and interpretation of Sikh theology, Bhai Gurdas also associates the name "ਹਰਿ" (Hari) in the form of Hari Krishan in the Dwapur Yuga with the letter "ਹ" (h) in "ਵਾਹਿਗੁਰੂ" (Waheguru).[6]

However, in the context of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib, the name "Hari" refers to the one monotheistic God of Sikhism, as similar to "Hari" is used in Vaishnavism for Parabrahman as well.

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ www.wisdomlib.org (12 April 2009). "Hari, Hāri, Harī: 45 definitions". www.wisdomlib.org. Retrieved 2 August 2022.
  2. ^ Monier-Williams, A Sanskrit Dictionary (1899):
  3. ^ Sri Vishnu Sahasranama, commentary by Sri Sankaracharya, translated by Swami Tapasyananda (Ramakrishna Math Publications, Chennai)
  4. ^ Sharma, B.N. Krishnamurti (2000) [1961]. History of Dvaita school of Vedanta and its Literature (3rd ed.). Bombay: Motilal Banarasidass. pp. xxxii–xxxiii, 514–516, 539. ISBN 81-208-1575-0.
  5. ^ "Sri Guru Granth Sahib". srigranth.org. p. 1313. Retrieved 12 June 2021.
  6. ^ Bhai Gurdas Vaaran. Vaar 1, Pauri 49.