In our lives, we encounter circumstances that may be difficult to overcome. Our perspectives of any situation may have preconceived notions of how we should act or how we should feel. This is something that is so beautiful about life, that in these circumstances, we must recognize that we’re not alone. Others experience their own trials in their own ways. We all must navigate ourselves to establish peace and our surroundings for balance. That is exactly what Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu stands for; a blessing to the world.
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu is a Sanskrit mantra that’s translation reads; “I wish peace and happiness to all beings. May my actions and behavior contribute to others in a way that brings peace and happiness.”
What is so profound about this chant is that it sheds light on our own ego. Why must we focus on the passive and material things of this world as we are beings that interweave into the lives of others? This mantra speaks to us to turn inward and reassess our values and priorities. To help us recognize that life itself is a blessing, for us and for others.
What Does Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu Mean?
This mantra first gained popularity from Jivamukti yoga. This form of yoga combines physical and spiritual practice with the added them of ethical responsibility. With vinyasa style poses, those who practice Jivamukti are to adhere to five beliefs. These beliefs are:
- Shastra – Scripture
- Bhakti- Devotion
- Ahims ā – No harm or violence towards others
- Nāda – Music
- Dhyana – Meditation
In its essence, Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu represents many things. Lokah alone can refer to the universe as a whole. It doesn’t limit ourselves to just the planet earth but illuminates to all beings in our universes and outside of our known universe. Samastah translates to entire, in this context it works to describe lokah’s meaning, of the universe or world. Sukhino translates to happiness or joy while Bhavantu represents everyone.
The meaning of this chant may come across as transparent by the translations. But, Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu is powerful. It represents several meanings that intent is to unite us on this planet and beyond. It’s chant wants us to recognize what we’re capable of inside and out. Here are some of its intended purposes for those who use it:
We Are All Connected
Although, our lives differ greatly from our friends and colleagues doesn’t mean that we as humans do. We are all sharing this human experience amongst one another. And equally we must respect the responsibility and sacredness of this connection. Samatah means that we are all beings at this moment. We exist in this universe as we are now, in the very same shared moment. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu teaches us to:
This mantra requests those who chant it to recognize the synchronicities in our lives. Although we see the world through a different lens doesn’t mean that those around us don’t experience similar events. Pain and sorry, delight and joy, they’re experienced from those around us. By exercising compassion we are able to see that we are not alone and how connected we all really are with one another.
This is true also for our planet. Recognizing others means that we’re able to realize consequences for our behaviors. As we are aware that our actions make an impact on those around us, we begin to allow kindness to be more than a gesture. Compassion begins to be a part of our being and is easily a part of who we are.
Sukhino represents finding balance. We can accomplish this by centering ourselves and releasing negativity. When we focus on happiness and joy we are emitting that energy out to others. This mindfulness can help us take the first important steps of understanding who we really are. As we are unable to have freedom when we deny others the same right. How we can do this is by certain actions that hinder the spirit or suppress the freedom of another. In this regard we must take responsibility for our actions and ourselves.
When we are able to accept that we are no different than those around us we are more available to accept opportunities without judgement. Fear, anxiety, or harmful actions lower our vibrations and limit our frequencies. By practicing kindness we can elevate this and ignite those around us.
Bhav is representative of our attitude. It’s our state of mind in our current existence. Within this shared space the more we become remembered by the divine within us we are able to attain enlightenment with more ease. We are also able to accept our true selves and accept love in its purest form.
Bhav says that we are pure love in a unified existence. Love, and all that it represents, is the most authentic way for humans to present themselves. For instance, Jivamukti yoga believes that the invisible energy that interweaves the universe is love. If we accept this we can encounter everyone within this state of clarity. The mantra and chanting helps to amplify the sounds of love, gratitude and acceptance.
Everyone has a unique voice and when using their voice they are contributing to our fabric of reality. They are slowly piecing together the world that they want to see by contributing their thoughts and creating action. We can practice this in different forms. We can be active through a specific cause, creating sacred sounds, or spreading messages of peace. The important thing to take away is that your voice and actions matter.
If you want to see change in something, or personally feel convicted by a specific cause or movement, use chanting. By chanting Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu you are calling upon this powerful message of unity. A unity that spreads further than your known network of friends and colleagues but to the universe as a whole. This chant will bring strength against your limitations and bring healing from the divine.
Chanting Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu calls on more than the ears around us. This chant is about encompassing the universe as a whole and all the universes that exist now. This chant has a cosmic influence that offers a blessing to all existing beings in this planet and beyond. This showcases the power and influence of the language of love and kindness as it transcends beyond our understanding.
Chanting has a direct impact on the Earth’s energy. Although, this is something difficult to demonstrate but luckily the Schumann Resonance is able to give us insight. The Schumann Resonance is the electromagnetic frequency of the earth. It’s regular frequency is 7.8hz. This frequency is also the same frequency as one of the most sacred chants using the word “Ohm”.
With this insight, we’re able to have a quantifiable measurement that chanting has frequency. This also can mean that raising our vibration, and consequently our consciousness, we influence energy. This is potentially an explanation of why this chant ends in “antu“. Using antu as the end of this mantra transforms this chant into a statement. It’s a commitment to the cosmic universe of focusing on happiness in our unified existence.
Why We Chant
Aside from the powerful meaning of Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, you may wonder why we chant at all. Well, chanting is more than something you can start and end your class with. It is something that encompasses universal sound and has life due to its deep roots of influence in our bodies. For instance, the power of chanting in Sanskrit is that the root words and letters have direct connection to the chakras within our bodies.
By vocalizing Sanskrit words, we are generating these vibrations that resonate deeply within us. This is because the very words we’re claiming found inspiration by us as human beings and our chakras. When activating these energy channels we are able to tap into a deeper level of transcendence and empathy. Plus, there are a handful of benefits:
When we engage in chanting we’re utilizing a specific sound and rhythm with moderation of our breathing. In this meditative state, we are combating imbalances that our minds may have to bring harmony. Chanting helps us to regulate our body’s tension and bring influence to the endocrine system. Chanting also helps us to bring balance to hormone production and consequently heightens our mood and improves our sense of self.
Strengthens Our Immunity
The hypothalamus plays a large role in our immunity. It is the part of the brain responsible for communication and regulation. A lot of functions we assume are automatic are actually under the control of the hypothalamus. For instance, our temperature and our metabolism are under the influence of this area of the brain. It is one of the most important links in our mind and body connection as it directly makes an impact.
This communication is between the nervous system and the endocrine system. As the hypothalamus takes in information the hypothalamus sends messengers out. These messages are the ones most commonly known for their influence of mood; serotonin and dopamine. These two chemical messengers influence our hormones and give us a happier state of mind.
During chanting, our breathing patterns help to adjust the rhythm of our body. Not only in terms of our sleep pattern or our circadian rhythm but on how we exert energy. But, through sound and breath, the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged and sends messages that we are in balance. The benefit of this is to communicate that we are not in the need to “fight or flight” as this system is known for. It lets our mind know that we are in balance. And this communication helps our body build stronger immunity.
Calms The Body and Mind
Chanting brings peace to the body and mind. That is exactly what it’s intention is as the Sanskrit interpretation of Mantra explains. The word mantra breaks down as “man” equates to mind and “tra” represents a vehicle. That means when we chant a mantra, we are encouraging our minds to think independently from what we’ve learned. We are wanting our minds to not become dependent on material pleasures but to look from gratification and truth from within.
This can give us a sense of peace as we’re not putting so much pressure on what we are or what we think we should become. Our society often gives us measures or milestones that we think we must achieve to become something that we’ve been told to be. Chanting helps our minds break free from these barriers to recognize, once again, that we have and are everything that we need. To think independently of what others may accept as a truth and recognize what our personal values and truths are. To recognize karma and apply it into our life.
In that sense, chanting moves beyond us as beings and transcends to a more profound meaning. It relieves us and offers us a comfortable place within a spiritual realm. Our understanding of values in the material world are relinquished. Instead, our focus shifts and we recognize the expansive world that we are a part of and what strength we embody. Through chanting we are able to influence our thoughts, reduce tension in our bodies, and bring our minds to a state of ease.
The beauty of this mantra is to enable our minds and bodies to recognize what this human experience is all about. That is the experience itself. We are all connected. Not just on this planet but within the cosmic universe. There is plenty that we don’t know, plenty that we still have to grow and understand, but that’s the intention of this mantra. We may not have all the answers at the moment but we accept where we are, who we are, and those around us. And because of that acceptance, we are able to accept ourselves and bring ease to our mind, our bodies, and our spirit.
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Lauren Howard holds a master certification in reiki, or energy healing, and has been practicing yoga for over 20 years. She began freelance writing as a means of spreading her truth and knowledge with a broader audience.