Sat Nam Definition

3:43 pm Mantras, Yoga Glossary

The Mantra Sat Nam

Sat Nam is a mantra commonly used in Kundalini Yoga and amongst its practicioners. It is frequently repeated three times at the end of a yoga session. But what is the importance of Sat Nam, what does it mean.

I’ve heard the following interpretations for Sat Nam via my Kundalini Yoga instructors:

  • Truth is my identity
  • My identiy is Truth
  • My True Self
  • Truth is our identity

It has been called the process of naming ones self Truth. It can be used similar to Namaste, (the divine in me aknowledges and pays tribute to the divine in you.) Where the “Truth” is the divine.

Being one who likes to get to “Source” info, I decided to do some further research into the nature of Sat Nam. I made an assumption that Sanskrit is a rather root dialect and that “Sat Nam” in Sanskrit would provide supplemental information on the nature of Sat Nam.

I found this Sanskrit Dictionary, and looked up the words, Sat and Nam.


  1. being
  2. real
  3. that which really exists
  4. the real existent truth

I’ve seen it written that Sat means Be, or more apprpriately Be-ness. Which would be the essence of being. (HPB’s Secret Doctorine) I suspect some careful analysis would find an interesting correlation between Be-ness and emptiness. (For those of Buddhist faith)

but onward to Nam.

  1. To bow
  2. To submit or subject oneself

And so one is bowing to Truth, to Be-ness the essence of being.

And the active interpretation of Sat Nam emerges.

Sat Nam


11 Responses

  1. Tony Says:

    Actually, according to tradition, in particular Sant Mat, Sat Nam is rather translated as “True name” or “True word”. The reference to the logos is not a far stretch. There is quite a bit of literature on the various names that are utilized, but it is well to consult a Master on the subject.

  2. hershel Says:

    Hi Tony, thanks for the feedback, it helps to increase the value of this website!

    To which tradition are you referring to?

    Glad you find the logos reference to be not a far stretch, just tryin to add some perspective to the term.

    Do you have any literature suggestions? It’s always good to get to source type material.

    Any recommendations on where might one be able to locate a Master on the subject would be welcome as well!

  3. Tony Says:

    Sant Mat or Surat Shabd Yoga is referred to as the yoga of the light and sound. Books that one could consult are as follows: The Path of the Masters by Julian Johnson, The Sar Bachan by Soamiji, Discourses on Sant Mat by Sawan Singh, the works of Kirpal Singh, Radhasoami Reality by Mark Jurgenmeyer. While this is not an exhaustive list it will get you pointed in the right direction. Most libraries should have the books mentioned except for possibly Jurgenmeyer’s. In any case, you can flip through it, and for the author’s sake perhaps buy it, at Barnes and Nobles or some such bookseller.
    The logos in scripture is the living word or the Shabd in the Sant Mat tradition.
    In the United States you can examine the Sawan-Singh branch of the tradition by looking over the Science of Spirituality, which is based in Naperville, Illinois. They have a web presence with good information. The current head of the lineage is Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj. Ruhani Satsang maintains a web site as well.

  4. hershel Says:

    Thank you for the kind recommendations Tony. I’ll add these to my ever growing reading list.

    Sat Nam

  5. chad Says:

    I like the way sata nam is coming together here. The technical definition of ‘true word’ comes to us from Tony and Hershel offers us the potential of using this idea as a greeting. If sanskrit is taken as a truly invocational language then we are using it to declare our identity. ‘to submit’ to the true word might suggest a little seperateness from our identity. By using Tony’s definition as a greeting as Hershel suggests, we are declaring our identity. By using sanskrit we are direclty connecting to the source of the majesty.

    i love it, thank you

    ps logos is generally a greek term but I too enjoy the cross reference and find it apt. We well know by now the secrets of India we readily available to the ancestors of the european cosmologists i.e, Plato, Heraclitus, etc. Interestingly, logos can mean word or thought or essence of who we are…this is getting good.

    Speaking and being have an interesting history together…some believe speaking manifests reality, either with voice or thought. ‘In the beginning was the word…’ kind of thing. The power of sound and light.

  6. hershel Says:

    Hi Chad, glad you are enjoying the Word here ;-)

  7. hershel Says:

    I have some new perspective to share on this. With Sat being related to Being, or Being-ness I currently think it is related to Monadic vibration. That is to say that Divine Spark that is a part of the spiritual whole that animates the individual consciousness.

    This would step the level of being up higher than the soul and the mental plan, up to the plane of the Monad.

    So if Being-ness is my Name, I guess I am I am.

  8. Tony Says:

    In a nutshell, yes. Lose the ego and intuit the real I. This is past a mental process or exercise. It pervades all and simply is all that exists.

  9. hershel Says:

    Thanks for your perspective Tony.

    Sat Nam

  10. David Says:

    many many years ago, i worked for north american Siks, and was lucky enough to meet some wonderful yogis. the exchange of “Sat Nam” was common. i asked what this meant, and at the time, was a meditating comtemplative gnostic christian. i was told it meant “Seek Truth.”

    over the years, i have evolved, and have been a tantric tibetan buddhist practitioner for years, now using the exchange of “Tashi Deleh” (good fortune) instead, but “Sat Nam” has never left my consciousness… it is central to my existence as a samsaric being, as a buddhist, and as one who strives to live compassionately in all things.

    thanks for sharing here… even if it is a bit different than what i was taught.

    Sat Nam
    Tashi Deleh

  11. hershel Says:

    You are most welcome, I am a continual learner, so while the perspective may seem different now, perhaps over time it shall change.

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