Peace, Happiness and Non-suffering Everywhere? How can we do this?
It takes a village to raise a child. It’s the same thing with peace and happiness. Many must do their part steadily, with unwavering dedication, focus and commitment (shraddha) and then the goal will be accomplished.
What prayer or mantra does Amma recommend?
Amma has requested all devotees chant the ancient Sanskrit mantra: AUM Lokah Samastah Sukhinoh Bhavantu. Amma also asks everyone to visualize white flower petals of peace showering upon all of The Nature and all beings, like a gentle cool snowfall.
It would take 2536 people chanting 108 repetitions (1 mala) a day for 365 days or 365 malas = One-hundred million repetitions.
If just 100 people find 25 others to chant 1 mala per day for a year, the goal will be accomplished.
Regardless, the goal is worthy for personal, community and world peace and happiness. What could be better?
What does AUM Lokah Samastah Sukhinoh Bhavantu mean?
Loosely, from Sanskrit: May all beings in all the realms be happy and peaceful. However, it is so much more. It is a powerful pledge.
AUM: Sum of all sound vibrations taking you from the world of effects to the deep inner silence of the Source of all creation. AUM is not just the sound of God, but the vibration of the Divine Itself, the hum of the Universe or One Song.
Lokah: According to tradition there are 14 realms/worlds in three zones: Heaven, earth and netherworld. You can think of them as worlds of plants, animals, people, etc, which all must interact in harmony with one another peacefully.
Samasthah: All beings sharing the same location. Lokah Samastah: All beings in all realms sharing the same location harmoniously.
Sukhinoh: From sukha-sweetness, abiding in happiness, free from suffering.
Bhavantu: I am this Divine state of being.
• Bhav: A Divine mood or state of existence +
• Antu: May it be so-It must be so. I promise to do that. Antu transforms the mantra into a powerful pledge. Amen, derived from AUM, similarly means “sealed in truth.” Science of Mind practitioners will relate to the fifth step of spiritual mind treatment or affirmative prayer, when one arrives at whole-soul knowing that “It is done and so it is.”
What does Amma say about mantra practice and Lokah Samastah Sukhinoh Bhavantu?
“Mental purity will come through constant chanting of the Divine Name. This is the simplest way. You are trying to cross the ocean of transmigration, the cycle of birth and death. The mantra is the oar of the boat; it is the instrument you use to cross the samsara of your restless mind, with its unending thought waves. The mantra can also be compared to a ladder that you climb to reach the heights of God-realization.”
Link to commentary on Amma’s Amritapuri.org website
How do I pronounce and chant Lokah Samastah Sukhinoh Bhavantu?
Do your best to chant this sacred sound vibration formula properly. Silent vibrations are more powerful than audible chanting, per Amma and instructions for mantra japa. The more accurately you chant, the more powerfully it works. MOST IMPORTANT: Don’t worry about it. Just give your best effort. Your sincere dedication and intention outweighs errors in pronunciation.
How much time will it take?
With practice, you could do 108 silent repetitions of Lokah Samastah Sukhinoh Bhavantu in about 6-12 minutes. This timing correlates to about 2-4 TV commercial breaks, a long line at the grocery store, on-hold while calling for tech support or, preferably, to start your day or your meditation practice. You can do these mantras while doing pranayama or sun salutations, climbing steps, walking or on the treadmill at the gym.
What is a mantra? The word, mantra comes from the combination of two Sanskrit words: Manas and trayate.
• Manas is an expansive inclusive definition of mind including balanced sensory, mental and spiritual components. Manas mind includes the emotions, ego, intellect, intuition and psyche. About manas, Amma says, “The mind is like a cat. We may take care of it with a lot of affection, but the moment our attention wanders, it will stick its head in the pot and steal some food.” Amma says that we must have a firm grasp on the remote control of the mind.
• Trayate = means to liberate, protect, or rescue.
Therefore, a mantra, repeated properly and constantly, day after day, hour after hour, year after year, can help you focus the mind, rescue or keep it from trouble, protect it from negativity and subsequently, harmful or unproductive actions. A mantra can free or liberate you from crippling mental and psychic thoughts or vibrations, even when you don’t know you are exposed to them. When trouble or fear strikes, the mantra is so ingrained that it is said: You chant the mantra and it will chant you. Perhaps enchant you…?
Master Yogi Baba Hari Dass, in silence for more than 50 years, startled his students in the final moments of a New Year’s Day retreat at the Mount Madonna Center, Watsonville, CA several years ago. “Hate is more powerful than love,” he wrote on his little white board. As interpreters read his comments, the reverent silence of the hundreds of yogis gathered buzzed with incredulity, disbelief and even argument. The paradigm was shattering. The awful truth had been revealed. He let the outcries and side conversations go on for some time; patiently listening and questioning the students.
I rarely asked the Guru a question, partly because writing hurt his hand. Mostly, I admit, because I was afraid I would look stupid. But when the session was complete and He had finished lunch, I wrote two questions on a little piece of paper and handed them to him during tea.
1. If hate is more powerful than love, then is this why you always tell us we have to work very hard?
2. If we work hard and do our practices, then we can overcome hate with love?
He returned the paper to me. In his handwriting, the then 88-years young teacher had scrawled a small “yes” after each query.
Consciousness, like physical fitness, doesn’t maintain or expand without regular practice. Baba Hari Dass always says that sadhana is hard work. Ofen the answer to a question was a cryptic “R.S.”: Regular sadhana.) Without a steady discipline, mental health drops like a stone, just like bodily fitness after 96 hours of exercise.
What is the easiest way to keep my mind healthy, protected and expansive? The constant practice of mantra japa.
Mantra japa is the soft, quiet repetition practice of the Divine name. This spiritual practice is employed in every major religion and philosophy. Chanting the rosary is a mantra practice.
Mantra japa helps keep your mind clean and healthy, just like sweeping floors or washing dishes.
Mantra japa may be the most convenient spiritual practice. You can do it anywhere, any time. You can do it while walking, showering, sitting in meditation, painting a picture driving (just don’t close your eyes!) or doing chores.
Mindful mantra japa keeps the mind in the present moment. When you are fully present and conscious of THIS moment, there is no suffering. Suffering is the gap between how you think things should be and the way they actually are. In the present moment, there is no gap. Negativity or harmful thoughts cannot enter your field. Therefore, you are protected.
Sanskrit is a syllabary of sound vibrations discerned by ancients in tune with the vibrations of The Nature. Each sound in the Sanskrit syllabary relates to a chakra location in the subtle body energy field.
Sanskrit words are not just about meaning, wish, intention or supplication; they are sound vibration formulas of the thing, itself. Chant a sacred mantra properly, frequently, and in mass quantities and, in my experience, it works on negativities like sonic cleaning of your jewelry or teeth.
Amma is not my guru. I am not Hindu. Can I still join One-hundred Million Mantra for Peace Project?
Absolutely! Great question. The mantra is not from any religion or particular teacher. In fact, if you know a similar mantra from your religions or spiritual practice you are welcome to pledge and play. If you wish to chant in English: May all beings in all the worlds be happy and peaceful. You may chant in another language, as well.
The mantra is not chanted solely by devotees of Amma. It is an ancient sound formula discerned by rishis…wise ones who are in tune with Universal…Cosmic…essence sounds of The Nature. It is beyond any one teacher or religion.