The Om Shanti Mantra
One of the most recognizable and common Sanskrit mantras in yogic tradition is the Om Shanti mantra. Customarily, it is incorporated at the end of religious prayers and teachings during which the word ‘Om’ is followed by three repetitions of ‘Shanti.’ This signifies peace and harmony in three areas of our being: within, without and all around.
Mantras themselves are sounds and vibrations that invoke spiritual healing powers, release divine cosmic energy and elevate the self into a higher state of consciousness. Mantras in Sanskrit are particularly potent because the phonetics and sound patterns of this ancient language encompass mystical energies that directly correspond to the nadis, or subtle nerve channels of a person’s astral body.
The Meaning of Om Shanti
When Shanti is chanted the first time, it invites peace within our bodies and calls for the dissolution of physical tension, ailments, discomfort and pain.
The second time, it purges any negative feelings and destructive elements from our mind, spirit, aura and nature of being.
And the final recitation of Shanti calls for peace in the world around us, protection from harm and favour during unforeseen circumstances.
“Om Shānti Shānti Shānti” is thus translated as:
“Om, Peace in me, Peace in nature, Peace in the universe.”
Purpose and Technique
Mantras, when recited with feeling and attention, become stronger with each repetition and saturate the essence of their meaning into the subconscious mind, eventually manifesting into reality. This is why they are so powerful.
As the Om Shanti mantra is typically delivered at the end of a prayer, teaching or yogic practice, it seals the efforts made and serves as a concluding reminder to remain in this sublime state of peace in our day-to-day lives.
When you chant this mantra, be mindful of the connotations each time you recite the word, ‘Shanti.’ The first time, willfully invite peace into your body; the second time, consciously feel peace in your mind and spirit; and the third time, deliberately set the intention for peace in the world around you. It’s important to use the correct pronunciation so that sound and thought can converge together, allowing the experience of higher consciousness and divine manifestation.
Remember that peace and harmony in the world grows by planting seeds of peace and harmony in each individual person, starting with ourselves. The inner calm that we foster in our own body, mind and spirit directly affects humanity as a whole.
“Peace is the most covetable possession on the earth. It is the greatest treasure in all the universe. Peace is the most important and indispensable factor for all growth and development. It is in the tranquility and quiet of the night that the seed slowly sprouts from under the soil. The bud opens in the depth of the most silent hours. So also, in a state of peace and love, people evolve, grow in their distinctive culture, and develop perfect civilization.”