Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Definition - What does Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu mean?
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu (Sanskrit: लोकः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु) is a Sanskrit mantra that often chanted at the conclusion of a yoga practice. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu means “may everyone, in the whole world, be happy.” It can be chanted, sung or meditated upon to offer as a prayer, or shloka for the whole world. Another popular translation is “may all beings, everywhere, be free and happy.” This is still accurate, except the mantra doesn’t specifically say the word free, but rather, it is implied.
It is said that this mantra is thousands of years old, but it is not specifically found in the Vedas, which holds the documentation of many other popular mantras. Rather, lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu is thought to be part of a Shanti mantra, a peace mantra.
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu can sometimes be heard at the end of a puja (a ceremony of thanksgiving), as part of the group participation and offering. In modern society, this mantra appears mostly during kirtan or group chanting. Often this mantra acts as a group offering of happiness for the whole world.
Yogapedia explains Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Another common translation, attributed to Integral yoga, is: “May the entire universe ever be filled with peace, joy, love and light.” The literal translation of each word from the Sanskrit is as follows:
- Lokah means the world, but it can refer to any world or realm or universe. Its meaning isn’t just limited to our planet earth. Loka is the origin of the word location.
- Samastah means the whole or the entire. In this sentence, it is a descriptor of the word loka or world.
- Sukhino is from the word sukha or sukhin, which means happiness or joy.
- Bhavantu means “may everyone.” This is the verb in the sentence and it is in its imperative form, meaning that its indication is forceful and intense, not to be taken lightly. It functions more as a command than a request.
This mantra flows and has such melodious sounds that it is important that it is pronounced correctly.
The “o” is pronounced like the “o” in the word open. The “a” is open, but short like the “u” in the word upon. The “i” is short and pronounced like the “i” in the word imagine. The “u” is pronounced like “oo” in the word hoot. In the word bhavantu, the “h” next to the “b” makes the sound of an aspirated “b”. This gives the “bha” sound an additional burst of air when you pronounce it. This is important as it changes the meaning and the effect it has on the person chanting and listening to it.
Repeat this mantra over and over until you find that it begins to flow and feel quite natural with the rhythm of your breath.
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