By Swami Harshananda
Dvayamantra literally means ‘mantra in two parts’.
In Śrīvaiṣṇavism, the practical religious aspect of Viśiṣṭādvaita Vedānta, prapatti or śaraṇāgati is a very important step of spiritual practice.
In prapatti, one has to receive three mantras or sacred formula from a competent ācārya.
- The first is the aṣṭākṣarīmantra viz., "Om namo nārāyaṇāya"
- The second is the dvāya or dvāyamantra, a twofold mantra.
- The third is the caramaśloka, the 66th śloka of the 18th chapter of the Bhagavadgītā. "sarva-dharmān parityajya..."
The dvayamantra is:
- Śriman-nārāyaṇa-caranau śaranarh prapadyel - It means that ‘I take refuge at the feet of Sri-nārāyaṇa’.
- Śrimate nārāyanāya namah I - It means that ‘Obeisance to Srī-nārāyaṇa.’
In both the mantras Nārāyaṇa is described as being with Śrī or Lakṣmī. Though the commentators declare that these mantras are part of the Kathaśruti, the recensions available now do not contain them. This dvāyamantra is called ‘mantra-ratna’ and is considered a tāntrik mantra. Hence all have the right to receive it for spiritual evolution.
- Śaraṇāgati means total surrender to God.
- Ācārya means spiritual preceptor.
- Aṣṭākṣarīmantra means the eight-syllabled mantra.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore