Definition - What does Om Shanti mean?
Om Shanti (Sanskrit: ॐ शान्तिः) is an invocation for peace or an invocation to God and is usually chanted three times to become om shanti shanti shanti. This mantra means “om, peace, peace, peace.” The phrase can be seen as a salutation, but it appears mostly in Hindu and Buddhist prayers, writings and ceremonies.
The word “om” is thought to constitute the divine in the form of sound. It is the universal sound where its utterance is the sound of creation itself. The word “shanti” means a deep and profound level of peace. It is the root of the word shalom in Hebrew or “salam” in Arabic. Originally, shanti came from the Sanskrit root “sham,” which means, calm, soothing and happy. Sanskrit has many linguistic and phonological changes that can occur and transition words to other forms of itself; thus “sham” eventually changes into “shanti”.
Yogapedia explains Om Shanti
Traditionally the word shanti is chanted three times after om as it is invoking peace on three levels of consciousness: waking, dreaming and sleeping. It has also been thought that it is chanted three times to harmonize the three lokas, or worlds: earth, heaven and hell. It can also be said that shanti is chanted three times to soothe and bring peace to the body, mind and spirit.
Om shanti or om shanti shanti shanti can be said to be a wonderful prayer all on its own. Asking for peace from the creator, the God of your experience and it is also considered a prayer asking for protection or peace from the world around you.
When pronouncing Om Shanti, the om should be allowed to resonate throughout the body including the cavities in the head. The “a” in the word “shanti” should be long and drawn-out like in the word “father”. The “a” is two beats long. The “t” in the word “shanti” should be pronounced pressing the tongue against the teeth; this sounds different than the English version of “t”.
The pronunciation of the word “shanti” shouldn’t be confused with the English word “shanty,” which has a different vowel sound and means a broken-down little shack.
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