What is Hari Om meditation

Hari Om meditation uses the science of chakras. The mantra ‘hari om’ uplifts the  energy when chanted and meditated upon. Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has designed an easy-to-follow 20 minute guided Hari Om meditation that you can do at any time of the day. Let us understand how the meditation works, who can do it, and how to best practice it.


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Understanding our subtle body

To understand how Hari Om meditation works, we need to know something about our subtle bodies. Just imagine our body as a circuit network. In the gross or the physical body, this circuit network is made up of arteries, veins, nerves, and the organs they are connected to. According to the yogis of ancient times, besides the gross body, there exists a subtle body or energy body that is invisible and cannot be touched. In this subtle space, all the life force energy or prana flows. The circuit network in the subtle body is made up of chakras (energy centers) and nadis (a channel). 

Chakras correspond to nerve centers in the gross body. It is believed that the human body actually has 109 chakras but among these, seven chakras are important. Each chakra is associated with different emotions. All these chakras are connected with each other through nadis through which life force energy or prana flows. The life force energy is also called kundalini shakti. Kunda in Sanskrit means a pot. Our bodies are like pots which contain energy known as kundalini shakti.

Hari Om meditation and the 7 chakras

When our life force energy flows through chakras in the upward direction, then there is a surge of positive emotions. When the same energy starts to flow downwards then one experiences negative emotions.  So, one experiences different emotions, feelings, and sensations. The amount of energy that flows upward depends on the condition of other chakras and nadis. Hari Om meditation helps us in activating these chakras.

While practicing Hari Om meditation, we pay attention to each of the seven major chakras in our body. As we do that, the kundalini shakti rises through the chakras and transforms negative emotions into positive ones. So for instance, if you are experiencing a lot of anger, Hari Om meditation can help transform this anger into awareness by turning the flow of energy at the chakra associated with both the emotions.

Decoding the 7 chakras and the play of emotions

“In the first chakra (Mooladhara Chakra), at the base of the spine, the energy manifests as enthusiasm or inertia. When the same life force energy comes to the second chakra (Swadhisthana Chakra), it manifests as sexual energy or creative or procreative energy.

The same energy goes up to the navel region, the third chakra (Manipura Chakra), and manifests in four different forms, which relate to four different emotions - greed, jealousy, generosity, and joy. That is why all these four emotions are depicted through the tummy. Jealousy is an emotion that one feels in the stomach. Generosity is depicted with a large tummy, e.g., Santa Claus. Joy is also depicted with a big tummy, e.g., Lord Ganesha and the Laughing Buddha.

The same emotion comes to the fourth chakra (Anahata Chakra), the heart chakra; manifests as three different emotions which are love, hatred and fear.

When this energy rises to the fifth chakra (Vishuddhi Chakra), at the level of the throat, it symbolizes grief and gratefulness. When you feel grief, the throat chokes, and when you feel grateful also the throat chokes.

The same energy then goes in between the eyebrows to the sixth chakra (Ajna Chakra), and manifests as anger and alertness. Anger, alertness, knowledge, and wisdom are all related to the third eye center.

The same energy goes to the seventh chakra (Sahasrara Chakra), at the top of the head and manifests as sheer bliss. That is why when you feel total bliss, the mind immediately goes to the top of the head. Something shoots up to the top of the head and you feel blissful.”

 - Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

The meaning of the Hari Om mantra

In Hindi, ‘Ha’ means pain and suffering and ‘Ri’ means remover of. Hari is that which removes pain and suffering. Om is the primordial cosmic vibration from which sprang the entire cosmos and creation. The Hari Om mantra helps us tap the healing power of Hari. During the Hari Om meditation, we chant this mantra while paying attention to the different chakras. The meditation practice is thus believed to ease suffering and even bad astrological effects.

How to do Hari Om meditation

Sit on a light stomach. Sit comfortably and preferably have back support. Turn on the guided Hari Om meditation by Gurudev and close your eyes. Stay relaxed and listen to the instructions. Do not try too hard to focus. You can also do some light stretches before you sit to meditate. That will deepen your meditation experience.

Explore more guided meditations

Muladhara chakra meditation

Agya chakra meditation

Sound to silence

Panchakosha guided meditation

Learn how to meditate effortlessly on your own in the Sahaj Samadhi program. 

Join the Art of Living meditation program for beginners