From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

By Swami Harshananda

Hiṇkāra literally means ‘the sound hiṃ’.

Vedic sacrifices were the most important aspect of religion in the ancient days. Out of the several acts enjoined in the same, chanting of the sāmans[1] was also the one.

Uttering the word ‘hiṃ’ marked the opening of the sāman in some sacrifices. It was repeated thrice by the hotṛ priest. Sometimes, the udgātṛ priest did it, but he replaced ‘hiṃ’ by ‘hūm ā’ twice. When ‘hiṃ’ was repeated thrice, followed by ‘bhūr bhuvas suvarom’ it was called ‘abhihiṇkāra’.


  1. Sāmans are the ṛk-mantras set to music according to the Sāmaveda.
  • The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore