Mantras are personal affirmations or sounds used to bring us to more conscious states of awareness. The word mantra has two parts: man, which is the root of the Sanskrit word for mind; and tra, which is the root of the word instrument. Through repetition of the mantras, we help the mind to shift from negative thought patterns into positive ones.
Aum is the fundamental sound of the universe. Yogis believe that the universe began with a sound, and the sound was AUM. Aum is the base of all other sounds - from the sound of ocean waves to the sound of a baby's cry. Aum represents the waking, dreaming and deep sleep states of consciousness. Aum is often used in the beginning or end of a yoga class or Satsang as a way to mentally clear the space.
Shanti means "be calm" and refers to inner peace, having enough knowledge and understanding to keep oneself calm in the face of discord or stress. Shanti Mantras are repeated 3 times to command peace in the three realms which are:
- "Physical" or Adhi-Bhautika
- "Divine" or Adhi-Daivika
- "Internal" or Adhyaatmika
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
- Lokah: Location/All Worlds/All Places
- Samastah: Equally
- Sukhino: Happy/Without Sorrow
- Bhavan: Free (Divine Mood)
- Tu: Declaration (May it be so)
"May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all."