A mantra is a sacred word or sound which is considered to have powerful spiritual and psychological effects. Mantras have been used by many cultures and religions around the world for thousands of years.
The word mantra comes from man meaning ‘mind, consciousness, soul’ and tra meaning ‘to free’. By chanting mantras, you can uplift your vibration and elevate your consciousness to higher levels. It also improves concentration and helps calm the mind for meditation.
In your yoga practice, you might encounter many different mantras with unique meanings, usually in the ancient language Sanskrit. When you chant one of them, you invoke the power contained in those particular syllables.
If you have ever been to a yoga class, you have probably heard the mantra ‘Om’. This sound does not have a specific meaning, instead it is believed to be the sound of the universe.
In its original form ‘Aum’ the mantra represents the union of the three main masculine deities in Hinduism and the forces within the Universe. “A” represents Brahma (creation), “U” represents Vishnu (maintenance), and “M” represents Shiva (destruction).
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti ॐशान्ति
Shanti is a Sanskrit word meaning “peace” and specifically refers to a state of profound inner peace. It helps us cultivate a calm and peaceful mind, even when the external world is hectic.
“Om Shanti Shanti Shanti” is usually chanted at the end of a spiritual practice (such as a yoga class) to invoke peace in the entirety of your being. Your body will be at peace, your mind will be at peace, your speech will be at peace.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
लोकः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु
This is a Sanskrit prayer of love for the world around us, meaning “May everyone, in the whole world, be happy”. It can be sung, chanted, or meditated upon to offer as a blessing for the whole world.
By chanting this mantra, we move away from our limited, often egoistic worldview, and focus our energy on the happiness of all beings. It is a beautiful reminder that we are part of something bigger than ourselves.
May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all.
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