The most prevalent of all mantras in the Kundalini yoga tradition is very simple and also very complex. You may hear this mantra used as a greeting, as a part of many kriyas and meditations, and as a closing to class. You’ll find it the “default” mantra, suggested by teachers as the mantra to have playing in your head constantly on each inhale and exhale. It even headlines Spirit Voyage’sKundalini Yoga and Music Festival: Sat Nam Fest.
So what is “Sat Nam“? What does it mean?
In very simple terms, Sat means Truth and Nam means Name. You could translate it as True Name or Truth is my name. It is a way of acknowledging that at our essence is the Essence. The “Truth”, which is bigger than any human truth, isn’t a matter of right or wrong or even a concept that we can clearly articulate. It is simply an acknowledgement that the Great Mystery is who we are.
As a greeting, saying “Sat Nam” is a bit like saying “I see your true nature” or “I recognize the divinity within you”.
The vibration of the mantra itself is important. “Sat” has a vibration that reaches upward through the crown chakra. It is an etheric vibration, as the meaning of “Truth” here correspondingly isn’t tangible but is more etheric. If you meditate very carefully upon the vibration of “Sat Nam”, you can feel the flow of energy moving from the Etheric (Sat) to the Material (Nam). Nam is “name” but more importantly it is a vibration. The word itself carries a vibration that makes the divine manifest into the earth plane. So “Nam” is a grounding vibration, a manifesting vibration. It acknowledges the Infinite made manifest as a vibration in this world. So chanting “Sat Nam” reaches up into the etheric plane and pulls the vibration of Infinity into your awareness, your consciousness, and your physical world.
This mantra is more than what it means in translation. It is an experience. By chanting “Sat Nam” or meditating upon it with your breath, you call into your awareness the state of the vibration of truth. You create an internal experience of what these words represent. Truth, enlightenment, consciousness and above all awareness, comes into your experience.