Shanti Mantra

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The Shanti Mantras or "Peace Mantras" are Hindu prayers for Peace (Shanti) from the Vedas. Generally they are recited at the beginning and end of religious rituals and discourses.

Shanti Mantras are found in Upanishads, where they are invoked in the beginning of some topics of Upanishads. They are supposed to calm the mind of the reciter and environment around him/her. Reciting them is also believed to be removing any obstacles for the task being started.

Shanti Mantras always end with three utterances of word "Shanti" which means "Peace". The Reason for uttering three times is for calming and removing obstacles in three realms which are:

  • "Physical" or Adhi-Bhautika,
  • "Divine" or Adhi-Daivika and
  • "Internal" or Adhyaatmika

According to the scriptures of Hinduism sources of obstacles and troubles lie in these three realms.

  • Physical or Adhi-Bhautika realm can be source of troubles/obstacles coming from external world, such as from wild animals, people, natural calamities etc.
  • Divine or Adhi-Daivika realm can be source of troubles/obstacles coming from extra-sensory world of spirits, ghosts, deities, demigods/angels etc.
  • Internal or Adhyaatmika realm is source of troubles/obstacles arising out of one's own body and mind, such as pain, diseases, laziness, absent-mindedness etc.

These are called "Tapa-Traya" or three classes of troubles. When Shanti mantras are recited, obstacles from these realms are believed to be pacified.

Shanti Mantras[edit]

These are the Shanti Mantras from the different Upanishads and other sources.

Brihadaranyaka Upanishad and Ishavasya Upanishad[edit]

ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदम् पूर्णात् पूर्णमुदच्यते |
पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ||
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः || [1]
Auṃ pūrṇamadaḥ pūrṇamidam pūrṇāt pūrṇamudacyate
pūrṇasya pūrṇamādāya pūrṇamevāvaśiṣyate
oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ
Aum! That is infinite (Brahman), and this (universe) is infinite.
The infinite proceeds from the infinite.
(Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe),
It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone.
Aum! Peace! Peace! Peace![2]

Taittiriya Upanishad[edit]

ॐ शं नो मित्रः शं वरुणः।
शं नो भवत्वर्यमा।
शं न इन्द्रो बृहस्पतिः।
शं नो विष्णुरुरुक्रमः।
नमो ब्रह्मणे। नमस्ते वायो।
त्वमेव प्रत्यक्षं ब्रह्मासि।
त्वामेव प्रत्यक्षम् ब्रह्म वदिष्यामि।
ॠतं वदिष्यामि। सत्यं वदिष्यामि।
तन्मामवतु।
तद्वक्तारमवतु।
अवतु माम्।
अवतु वक्तारम्।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥ [3]
Auṃ śaṃ no mitraḥ śaṃ varuṇaḥ |
śaṃ no bhavatvaryamā |
śaṃ na indro brihaspatiḥ |
śaṃ no viṣṇururukramaḥ |
namo brahmaṇe |
namaste vāyo |
tvameva pratyakṣaṃ bhrahmāsi |
tvāmeva pratyakṣam brahma vadiṣyāmi |
ṝtaṃ vadiṣyāmi |
satyaṃ vadiṣyāmi |
tanmāmavatu |
tadvaktāramavatu |
avatu mām |
avatu vaktāram |
Auṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ ||
Aum May Mitra be blissful to us. May Varuna be blissful to us. 
May Aryaman be blissful to us. 
May Indra and Brihaspati be blissful to us. 
May Vishnu, of long strides, be blissful to us. 
Salutation to Brahman. 
Salutation to you, O Vayu. 
You, indeed, are the immediate Brahman. You alone I shall call the direct Brahman. 
I shall call you righteousness. I shall call you truth.  
May He protect me. 
May He protect the reciter*.
May He protect me. 
May He protect the reciter. 
Aum, peace, peace, peace![4]

* Reciter = the one who is currently reciting this mantra. Identifying oneself here as "the reciter", and not as "I", is a sign of self-realization, of transcending beyond self and ego being dissolved.

Taittiriya Upanishad, Katha Upanishad, Mandukya Upanishad and Shvetashvatara Upanishad[edit]

ॐ सह नाववतु |

सह नौ भुनक्तु |

सह वीर्यं करवावहै |

तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै॥

ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥

Om saha nāvavatu
saha nau bhunaktu
saha vīrjaṃ karavāvahai
tejasvi nāvadhītamastu
mā vidviṣāvahai |
Om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ ||

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![5]

Kena Upanishad and Chandogya Upanishad[edit]

ॐ आप्यायन्तु ममाङ्गानि वाक्प्राणश्चक्षुः
श्रोत्रमथो बलमिन्द्रियाणि च सर्वाणि।
सर्वम् ब्रह्मौपनिषदम् माऽहं ब्रह्म
निराकुर्यां मा मा ब्रह्म
निराकरोदनिराकरणमस्त्वनिराकरणम् मेऽस्तु।
तदात्मनि निरते य उपनिषत्सु धर्मास्ते
मयि सन्तु ते मयि सन्तु।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥ [6]
Auṃ āpyāyantu mamāṅgāni vākprāṇaścakṣuḥ
śrotramatho balamindriyāṇi ca sarvāṇi |
sarvam brahmaupaniṣadam mā'haṃ brahma
nirākuryāṃ mā mā brahma
nirākarodanirākaraṇamastvanirākaraṇam me'stu |
tadātmani nirate ya upaniṣatsu dharmāste
mayi santu te mayi santu |
oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ ||
Aum! May my limbs, speech, vital air, eyes, ears, strength,
And all the senses be fully developed.
All that is revealed by the Upanishads is Brahman.
May I never deny Brahman:
May Brahman never disown me.
Let there be no repudiation (from Brahman);
Let there be no infidelity from my side.
May all the Dharmas extolled by the Upanishads shine in me
Who am intent on knowing the Self.
May they shine in me!
Aum! Peace! Peace! Peace![7]

Aitareya Upanishad[edit]

ॐ वाङ् मे मनसि प्रतिष्ठिता
मनो मे वाचि प्रतिष्ठित-मावीरावीर्म एधि।
वेदस्य म आणिस्थः श्रुतं मे मा प्रहासीरनेनाधीतेनाहोरात्रान्
संदधाम्यृतम् वदिष्यामि सत्यं वदिष्यामि तन्मामवतु
तद्वक्तारमवत्ववतु मामवतु वक्तारमवतु वक्तारम्।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥ [8]
auṃ vāṅ me manasi pratiṣṭhitā
mano me vāci pratiṣṭhita-māvīrāvīrma edhi |
vedasya ma āṇisthaḥ śrutaṃ me mā prahāsīranenādhītenāhorātrān
saṃdadhāmyṛtam vadiṣyāmi satyaṃ vadiṣyāmi tanmāmavatu
tadvaktāramavatvavatu māmavatu vaktāramavatu vaktāram |
auṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ ||
Aum! May my speech be based on (i.e. accord with) the mind;
May my mind be based on speech.
O Self-effulgent One, reveal Thyself to me.
May you both (speech and mind) be the carriers of the Veda to me.
May not all that I have heard depart from me.
I shall join together (i.e. obliterate the difference of) day
And night through this study.
I shall utter what is verbally true;
I shall utter what is mentally true.
May that (Brahman) protect me;
May That protect the speaker (i.e. the teacher), may That protect me;
May that protect the speaker – may That protect the speaker.
Aum! Peace! Peace! Peace![9]

Mundaka Upanishad, Mandukya Upanishad and Prashna Upanishad[edit]

ॐ भद्रं कर्णेभिः श्रुणुयाम देवाः।
भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः
स्थिरैरङ्गैस्तुष्टुवांसस्तनूभिः।
व्यशेम देवहितम् यदायुः।
स्वस्ति न इन्द्रो वृद्धश्रवाः।
स्वस्ति नः पूषा विश्ववेदाः।
स्वस्ति नस्तार्क्ष्यो अरिष्टनेमिः।
स्वस्ति नो बृहस्पतिर्दधातु
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥ [10][11]
auṃ bhadraṃ karṇebhiḥ śruṇuyāma devāḥ |
bhadraṃ paśyemākṣabhiryajatrāḥ
sthirairaṅgaistuṣṭuvāṃsastanūbhiḥ |
vyaśema devahitam yadāyuḥ |
svasti na indro vṛddhaśravāḥ |
svasti naḥ pūṣā viśvavedāḥ |
svasti nastārkṣyo ariṣṭanemiḥ |
svasti no bṛhaspatirdadhātu
auṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ ||
Aum! O gods, may we hear auspicious words with the ears;
While engaged in yagnas,
May we see auspicious things with the eyes;
While praising the gods with steady limbs,
May we enjoy a life that is beneficial to the gods.
May Indra of ancient fame be auspicious to us;
May the supremely rich (or all-knowing) Pusa (god of the earth)
Be propitious to us;
May Garuda, the destroyer of evil,
Be well disposed towards us;
May Brihaspati ensure our welfare.
Aum! Peace! Peace! Peace![12]

Other Sources[edit]

There are various Other sources of Shanti Mantras, of which some of the most famous are:
ॐ द्यौ: शान्ति रन्तरिक्षँ शान्ति:
पृथिवी शान्ति राप: शान्तिरोषधय: शान्ति:।
वनस्पतय: शान्ति र्विश्वे देवा: शान्ति र्ब्रह्म शान्ति:
सर्वँ शान्ति: शान्तिरेव शान्ति: सा मा शान्तिरेधि॥
ॐ शान्ति: शान्ति: शान्ति:॥

Aum dyauḥ śāntirantarikṣaṁ śāntiḥ
pṛthivī śāntirāpaḥ śāntiroṣadhayaḥ śāntiḥ 
vanaspatayaḥ śāntirviśvedevāḥ śāntirbrahma śāntiḥ
sarvaṁ śāntiḥ śāntireva śāntiḥ 
sā mā śāntiredhi 
Aum śāntiḥ, śāntiḥ, śāntiḥ

May peace radiate there in the whole sky as well as in the vast ethereal space everywhere. 
May peace reign all over this earth, in water and in all herbs, trees and creepers. 
May peace flow over the whole universe. 
May peace be in the Supreme Being Brahman. 
And may there always exist in all peace and peace alone.
Aum peace, peace and peace to us and all beings!
(Translation by Swami Abhedananda, Ramakrishna Vedanta Math, India)
ॐ असतोमा सद्गमय। 
तमसोमा ज्योतिर् गमया। 
मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय॥
ॐ शान्ति: शान्ति: शान्ति:॥

Aum asato mā sadgamaya
Tamaso mā jyotir gamaya
Mṛtyormā’mṛtaṁ gamaya
Aum śāntiḥ, śāntiḥ, śāntiḥ

Lead us from the unreal to the real
Lead us from darkness to light
Lead us from death to immortality
Aum peace, peace, peace!

References[edit]

  1. ^ Mantra Pushpam, Page 6
  2. ^ Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, Translated by Swami Madhavananda, Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkata.
  3. ^ Mantra Pushpam, Page 4
  4. ^ Taittiriya Upanishad, Translated by Swami Gambhirananda, Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkata.
  5. ^ Taittiriya Upanishad, Translated by Swami Gambhirananda, Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkata.
  6. ^ Mantra Pushpam, Page 206
  7. ^ Kena Upanishad, Translated by Vidyavachaspati V. Panoli, Published by Mathrubhumi Press, Kozhikode.
  8. ^ Mantra Pushpam, Page 12
  9. ^ Aitareya Upanishad, Translated by Swami Gambhirananda, Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkata.
  10. ^ Mantra Pushpam, Page 196
  11. ^ Mundakopanishad, Page 1, publisher Meharchand Lacchmandas Publications, New Delhi
  12. ^ Mundaka Upanishad, Translated by Swami Gambhirananda, Published by Advaita Ashram, Kolkata.

Books for Additional Reading[edit]

  • Mantra Pushpam, Text in Sanskrit, compiled by Swami Devarupananda, Published by Ramakrishna Math, Khar, Mumbai, India.
  • Brihadaranyaka Upanishad with the Commentary of Shankaracharya, Translated by Swami Madhavananda, Published by Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, India. ISBN No : 81-7505-102-7
  • Eight Upanishads (Vol. 1) with the Commentary of Shankaracharya, Translated by Swami Gambhirananda, Published by Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, India. ISBN No : 81-7505-016-0
  • Eight Upanishads (Vol. 2) with the Commentary of Shankaracharya, Translated by Swami Gambhirananda, Published by Advaita Ashrama, Kolkata, India. ISBN No : 81-7505-017-9
  • Vedanta Spiritual Library, 108 Upanishads.
  • "The Principal Upanishads" by Swami Sivananda, The Divine Life Society Publications, Uttaranchal, Himalayas, INDIA.