You’ve probably heard the phrase “om shanti shanti shanti” and maybe even said it out loud at the end of a yoga or meditation session. You may have even felt the meaning of the words change into the feeling of peace. Mantras are not just words; they are also sounds that carry a lot of power. These old, energising sounds have stayed in people’s minds for millions of years, and when they are chanted with respect, you can feel their depth.
Mantras Let You Get Past Your Mind
The word “mana” in Sanskrit means “mind,” and a mantra is a sound or phrase that helps you go beyond the mind. You might find it interesting to know that our mind is fed by the ether element, which is one of the five elements, and that chants bring the ether element back to life.
Have you ever walked into a room where people had just had a big fight, and for no reason, you got angry too? In the same way, when mantras have been chanted in a space, your mind feels calmer when you walk into that area. That’s how powerful mantras are. The good vibrations made by these mantras also stay in the surroundings, just like the bad vibrations made by anger.
When we repeat a phrase, it should fill our minds. When we repeat a mantra in our minds, it changes us in ways that go beyond our limited reasoning and intelligence.
What is the “Mantra of Peace”?
“Om Shanti” is the main song here. In some Sanskrit verses and hymns, it is chanted as om followed by shanti shanti shanti. In other places, it is sung as om shanti om shanti om shanti om shanti. The mantra is part of not only Hinduism but also Buddhism and Jainism. It is a prayer for peace, which is a part of every belief.
“Attention brings the principle to life, and whatever your mind pays attention to, that principle comes to life.” If you focus on something bad, you make it bigger or worse. If you focus on something good, you make it better. And if you think about peace, peace gets more alive. In meditation, this is what we do: we start with the “Shanti mantra.”
Why do you say the Shanti prayer three times?
There are a few different ways to look at the fact that the mantra is said three times. Some ways of thinking say that they are a request for peace in the body, mind, and spirit. It is also said to stand for peace in the past, present, and future, or the time to come.
In the past, every meeting would start with the Shanti chant. This happened for a good reason. Every time a group of people gets together, there are going to be different ideas, intentions, and interests. So how do we get everyone on the same page and make this a worthwhile effort? Chanting ‘Shanti Shanti Shanti would bring peace to the environment and bring people together to work towards a shared goal.
Gurudev says, “The mantras would be a way to pray that we can all live in a peaceful place and bring peace to each other.” “When there is peace as a base, conversations and other activities pick up speed, and there is listening and receiving. Only in such a setting is it possible to gain wisdom. If we don’t have peace inside, no one will listen. If you don’t listen, you can’t talk with someone. So, I would say that this is the most deep psychological understanding that ancient people had, to first chant “shanti-mantra.”
Three Ways to Find Peace
Sage Patanjali said that at the end of an Ashtanga yoga session, you should chant the Shanti mantra as a prayer for peace and unity on three levels.
Adi-Daivik (level of gods or angels)
The first is a prayer for peace on the level of divine angels or gods, whose protection from obstacles and blessings were thought to have been sought by people trying to learn practise or gain knowledge. These would include safety from things we can’t control, like floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes.
Adi-Bhoutik (level of the world)
The second place where we feel upset is in the world, where there is violence, noise, aggression, loud words, and so on. Again, we repeat the Shanti mantra to bring peace to the world and everything in it.
Adi-Atmik (level of self)
This is the most important one: disturbances and bothers on the level of the Self. These troubles or disturbances could be our vices, self-harming habits, negative feelings, cravings, and aversions that keep us from seeing the light that we are. The third time is a prayer for peace on a spiritual level.
Even on a physical, mental, and spiritual level, the chant brings peace, health, and unity. It calms the mind and helps us focus, and it feeds our soul.
Chanting Shanti Mantras Can Be Good for You
In a broad sense, it gives us a lot of peace, calms and focuses the mind so we can listen and learn, cleans the body and mind, and makes us feel relaxed.
Reduces stress. When you chant Om Shanti Shanti Shanti, your nervous system calms down, the sleeping phase begins, and feel-good hormones are released. It gets rid of all the worries and stresses we were feeling before we started singing.
helps keep your mind healthy. Shanti chants are known to improve the mental health of people who use them. People with anxiety often worry about things that are unlikely to happen. When you chant om Shanti Shanti Shanti, you bring peace and unity to all levels, including the physical, metaphysical, and causal.
Gives the body new life. Chanting is good for your heart. For instance, repeating om before the Shanti mantra calms the nervous system, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress, and makes the heartbeat more regular.
Health of the mind and heart. People say that chanting mantras helps them focus better, improves their attention span (which has gotten shorter since the rise of social media), improves their memory and concentration, makes them feel upbeat and hopeful, builds optimism, helps them deal with negative emotions and sleep better, and so on.
Getting ready for meditation. Chanting the Shanti chants is a great way to get ready for deep, blissful meditation. It takes you smoothly inside yourself. In this way, mantras are the key to getting to the cause. Mantras are a great way to “reach home,” which is the final goal of any spiritual practise and spirituality in general.