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Hari (Sanskrit: हरि) has many meanings and sometimes refers to a colour, green, yellow, or fawn-coloured/khaki. It is the colour of the Sun and of Soma. The word Hari is widely used in Dharmic literature as worshipable lord covering Hindu, Buddhist, Jain and Sikh religions.

Hari is a famous name of Vedic Supreme God Vishnu (Narayana). It appears as 650th name of Lord Vishnu in Vishnu sahasranama of Mahabharata. In Hindu sacred texts such as Vedas, Mahabharata, Puranas and Bhagavad Gita, Lord Vishnu is frequently addressed as Hari which means Lord who destroys Samsara, that is, entanglement in the cycle of birth and death along with ignorance, its cause.

Alternate meaning used especially in Sikhi is Lord who takes away all the illusions, attachments, desires, ignorance, pains & material existence of his devotees and destroys their material bondage, that is, gives them moksha.

Religious usage[edit]

  • The Harivamsha ("lineage of Hari") is a text in both the Puranic and Itihasa traditions.
  • Vaishnavites believe that Supreme God (conceived as Vishnu) has form and is without form. He has a transcendental form which is beyond conception of material senses but his form exists.
  • It is a name of Supreme God in Sanātana Dharma.
  • In the Gaudiya Vaishnava tradition, Hari is a name of both Krishna or Vishnu meaning "he who takes away", referring to Krishna who takes away all distress and anxieties, and lovingly robs the heart of His devotee. During religious festivals it is a common occurrence to hear people call out Haribol ! Haribol ! meaning "please call out the name Hari", the Hare Krishna mantra contains the name in the vocative.
  • According to Adi Sankara's commentary on the Vishnu sahasranama, Hari means "One who destroys samsara", which is the entanglement in the cycle of birth and death, along with ignorance, its cause.
  • In the Sikhism religion it is the holy symbol consisting of the three Gurmukhi letters and is used as "हरि" "ਹਰਿ". The Guru Granth Sahib which Sikhs revere as their 11th guru contains this word more than 8500 times.


The Avestan cognate is zari, sometimes incorrectly identified as the first part of the name of Zarathustra. The English words "gold" and "yellow" are probably also both cognates of hari. Many words in other unrelated languages in Asia are also derived from the word due to the influence of Sanskrit as a language of learning in the region. For example, the word for "day" in Malay and Indonesian, and the word for "king" in Tagalog are "hari". It is also a commonly used name in many Indian languages.

See also[edit]



  • Cited from Sri Vishnu Sahasranama, commentary by Sri Sankaracharya, translated by Swami Tapasyananda ((Ramakrishna Math Publications, Chennai))

External links[edit]