For the last six weeks or so we have been working with the Gayatri mantra during our Monday Night Meditations at the Isian Centre of Metaphysics. A little daunting at first as the mantra is longer than others we have chanted up until now; however, like with all things, with practice, our reciting of this mantra has improved greatly as our familiarity with the Sanskrit has also increased.
While normally I would change the mantras recited during the Monday Night Meditations at the start of each month, I felt that additional time was needed for us to become familiar with the beauty of the Gayatri mantra. With this in mind, I decided that we will continue exploring the different interpretations of this mantra for a few more weeks, with a mantra change occurring after the June public holiday, where we will commence with the Pancha Shanti peace mantra.
There are a number of Shanti, or Peace, Mantras that are found within the Upanishads, a part of the ancient Sanskrit texts that contain some of the central philosophical concepts and ideas of Hinduism. It is believed that when reciting these mantras, generally at the beginning and end of religious rituals and discourses, that they calm the mind of the chanted as well as the surrounding environment.
There are a number of such mantras, however we will be focusing on what is known as the “Pancha Shanti Peace Mantra” which is as follows:
Oṃ saha nāv avatu
saha nau bhunaktu
saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai
tejasvi nāv adhītam astu
Om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ
A general interpretation of the meaning of the Pancha Shanti Peace mantra is:
“Aum! May He protect us both together; may He nourish us both together;
May we work conjointly with great energy,
May our study be vigorous and effective;
May we not mutually dispute (or may we not hate any).
Aum! Let there be peace in me!
Let there be peace in my environment!
Let there be peace in the forces that act on me!”
Green Message expands upon the above interpretation as such:
“Om, May God protect us both (the Teacher and the Student) (during the journey of
awakening our Knowledge),
May God nourish us both (with that spring of Knowledge which nourishes life when
May we work together with energy and vigour (cleansing ourselves with that flow of
energy for the Knowledge to manifest),
May our study be enlightening (taking us towards the true Essence underlying
and not giving rise to hostility (by constricting the understanding of the Essence in a
particular manifestation only),
Om, Peace, Peace, Peace (be there in the three levels – Adhidaivika (divine level),
Adhibhautika (physical level) and Adhyatmika (internal level) ).”
If you feel that either the Gayatri and the Pancha Shanti Peace mantra resonates with you then join us Monday evenings at the Isian Centre of Metaphysics. All are welcome.