Tomorrow evening, as part of Monday Night Meditations, we will be chanting the above Lokah peace mantra.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu means “May everyone, in the whole world, be happy.” It can be chanted, sung or meditated upon to offer as a prayer for the whole world.
It is said that this mantra is thousands of years old, but it is not specifically found in the ancient Sanskrit texts known as the Vedas, which holds the documentation of many other popular mantras. Rather, lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu is thought to be part of a Shanti mantra, a peace mantra.
The literal translation of each word from the Sanskrit is as follows:
- Lokah means the world, but it can refer to any world or realm or universe. Its meaning isn’t just limited to our planet earth. Loka is the origin of the word location.
- Samastah means the whole or the entire. In this sentence, it is a descriptor of the word loka or world.
- Sukhino is from the word sukha or sukhin, which means happiness or joy.
- Bhavantu means “may everyone.” This is the verb in the sentence and it is in its imperative form, meaning that its indication is forceful and intense, not to be taken lightly. It functions more as a command than a request.
Earlier this year, Hindu guru leader Amma (Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi) suggested to her followers that they chant the Lokah mantra every morning and night due to the rapidly deteriorating world situation due to the corona virus. Some six months after that request, this beautiful mantra is still being chanted.