Om shanti om... These round and powerful sounds have certainly already vibrated in you, during a yoga class or a collective meditation. Do you know what they mean?
It is in fact the mantra of universal peace. A powerful expression to support the well-being of body and mind, to create harmony in a place, and to connect to a higher consciousness of existence.
But read on to find out more about the meaning of om shanti...
The mantra of peace
For thousands of years, human beings have used the sound power of mantras to cultivate physical, mental and spiritual harmony.
Thus in Hinduism and Buddhism, spiritual repertoires abound with formulas dedicated to inner peace. To this space of deep quietude, reached during a meditation, and where the tumult of the thoughts does not take place...
One mantra, in particular, resounds powerfully: Om shanti
This mantra is sung or recited to invoke calm throughout the whole being, and is found in many hymns, chants and sacred verses.
It is mainly stated in two ways: om shanti om, or om shanti shanti shanti, depending on the purpose.
The first is sung rather to generate a feeling of general peace.
Om shanti shanti shanti is used to act on three levels: body, mind and soul. It is also believed that the repetition of shanti promotes harmony between the three spheres of existence, or lokas, which are heaven, earth and hell. Finally, a third version suggests that repeating shanti three times promotes a deep calm in the three levels of consciousness: awakening, dreaming and sleep.
The meaning of Om shanti
Generally speaking, om shanti simply means "om, peace", and invites the protection and serenity of the Universe or God. This mantra also invokes protection and peace in the material world, drawing on the beneficial energies present around us.
The mantra of peace is divided into two particles:
• the monosyllabic phoneme om represents the primordial sound, or the divine form of sound. It is the word at the origin of all creation, capable of creating, nourishing, healing and harmonizing at all levels. Perhaps you have already felt a great calm after singing this sound several times. It is the power of om, which restores balance to the whole being,
• shanti means a deep level of peace and inner calm. A peace that permeates through the deepest and most subtle layers of consciousness. It comes from the Sanskrit root word sham, which means "calm", "soothing" and "happy".
Use and benefits of this mantra
Sing or recite om shanti during a time of turmoil, or simply to generate a sense of inner peace throughout the day.
With this mantra, you invoke universal serenity, and allow it to infuse through body and mind. From this space of calm, you approach daily life with confidence, mental clarity, and the knowledge that you are supported at all times.
You can sing om shanti during a meditation or to close your morning yoga session. To do this, sit in a comfortable position, take a few belly breaths, then sing om shanti om or om shanti shanti shanti over a long exhalation.
Also use the peace mantra during your daily tasks, repeating it to yourself internally. Favouring relaxation, it will help you to accomplish each gesture in consciousness.
The benefits of this mantra on the mind are numerous: it will notably help to reduce stress, optimize the body's functions and generate a peaceful and harmonious atmosphere around you .