The Aṣṭākṣara Mantra: Spiritual Growth from “Śrī” to “Ma” in Puṣṭimārg

How to Cite

Priya Kothari. (2022). The Aṣṭākṣara Mantra: Spiritual Growth from “Śrī” to “Ma” in Puṣṭimārg: Journal of Vaishnava Studies. Journal of Vaishnava Studies, 24(2), 201–215. Retrieved from


The Puṣṭimārga, the path of grace illuminated by devotional teacher and philosopher Vallabhācārya (ca. 1479-1531 C.E.), is characterized by the gradual ascension of burning desire to see Lord Kṛṣṇa. Vallabha’s second
son Viṭṭalanātha revealed that these stages are inscribed into the aṣṭākṣaramantra: Śrī Kṛṣṇaḥ Śaraṇaṃ Mama (“Shri Krishna is my Refuge”), the powerful eight-syllable mantra of self-surrender to Kṛṣṇa in the Puṣṭimārgi tradition. The utterance of each syllable bears divine fruits that destroy sins, suffering, and the bonds
of transmigration, awaken the desire for knowledge and firm dedication, and cultivate the qualities of humility and divine longing with total love.

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