Shanti Mantras

What are Shanti Mantras and how they are performed?

Dr.Ashutosh Upadhyay

Shanti mantras are Sanskrit Hindu prayers or chants for peace, especially as found in the ancient scriptures known as the Upanishads. The word shanti means “peace” and mantra means “incantation”, “prayer” or “song of praise”. Shanti mantras are usually recited at the beginning and end of religious rituals and discourses, to calm the mind of the reciter and the environment around them. Shanti mantras also invoke the blessings of God and remove any obstacles to the task being started.

Shanti mantras always end with three utterances of the word “shanti”, which means “peace”. This is done to emphasize the importance of peace in all the three realms: physical, mental and spiritual². Some examples of shanti mantras are:

ओम (ॐ) असतो मा सद्गमय।
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय।
मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥
ओम (ॐ) शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ॥

  • Om Asato Maa Sad-Gamaya: This mantra means “Lead me from untruth to truth, from darkness to light, from death to immortality. Om peace, peace, peace.”

ॐ सह नाववतु ।
सह नौ भुनक्तु ।
सह वीर्यं करवावहै ।
तेजस्वि नावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

  • Om Saha Naav-Avatu: This mantra means “Let us together be protected and nourished by God’s blessings. Let us together join our mental forces in strength for the benefit of humanity. Let our efforts at learning be luminous and filled with joy, and endowed with the force of purpose. Let us never be poisoned with the seeds of hatred for anyone. Let there be peace and serenity in all the three universes.”

ॐ सर्वेषां स्वस्तिर्भवतु ।
सर्वेषां शान्तिर्भवतु ।
सर्वेषां पूर्णंभवतु ।
सर्वेषां मङ्गलंभवतु ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

  • Om Sarveshaam Svastir-Bhavatu: This mantra means “Let it be so ordained, that all the people experience well-being, peace, fullness, and auspiciousness. Om peace, peace, peace.”

To perform shanti mantras, one can chant them aloud or silently, with or without a rosary, with or without a specific posture, and with or without a specific intention. The most important thing is to chant them with sincerity, devotion, and faith. Shanti mantras can be chanted individually or in a group, at any time of the day, and as many times as one wishes. Shanti mantras can help to create a positive and peaceful atmosphere and to connect with the divine presence within and around us.

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