Shanti Mantra

Definition - What does Shanti Mantra mean?

A shanti mantra is a prayer or chant for peace, particularly as found in the ancient scriptures known as the Upanishads. The term comes from the Sanskrit, shanti, meaning “peace”; and mantra, meaning “incantation,” “prayer” or “song of praise.”

A shanti mantra is often recited before and after Hindu religious rituals. In yoga, a simple “om shanti” or “om shanti, shanti, shanti” may be recited as a greeting or parting salutation and for the purpose of removing distractions and focusing the mind.

Yogapedia explains Shanti Mantra

Often, a traditional shanti mantra ends with three recitations of “shanti,” which, according to some scholars, represents removing physical, divine and internal obstacles. It is also said to symbolize three forms of peace: of the mind, in speech and of the physical body. For others, the shantis represent individual, collective and universal peace.

An example of a popular shanti mantra found in the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad is:

Om asato ma sad gamaya

Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya

Mrtyorma'mrtam gamaya

Om shanti shanti shanti

That translates as:

“Lead us from the unreal to the real.

Lead us from darkness to light.

Lead us from death to immortality.

Om peace, peace, peace.”

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