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What’s In A Mantra? Om Shanti Meaning Explained

by Shannon Terrell September 11, 2020

If you’ve ever set foot in a yoga class, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the words, Om Shanti.

But is the meaning of Om Shanti? Why is it associated with yoga and meditation? Where did it come from?

Sit back and relax because you’re about to get a crash course that will help you understand this ancient phrase and put it to use in your life.

What Does Om Shanti Mean?

Om Shanti is a meditation mantra. It’s also used as a greeting in various forms of yoga. In fact, you might have even heard it in a Buddhist chant or two.

Om Shanti and Om Shanti Om are commonly understood to translate roughly to ‘peace be with you.’ However, its meaning represents something more significant than that.

The meaning of Om in Sanskrit

Well, there’s no word-for-word translation available, likely because Om actually has no direct translation.

Om is said to be the primordial sound of the universe. It represents the cycle of death and rebirth. It connects us to all that is, was, and will be.

In a way, Om represents our reality.

The meaning of Shanti in Sanskrit

What about Shanti? Well, there is a direct translation for Shanti in Sanskrit: ‘peace.’

So, how should we decipher the Om Shanti meaning? Universal peace.

Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti: a wish for threefold peace

There are different ways of expressing Om Shanti, and one of those ways is Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.

Why is the Shanti repeated in this context?

Well, we know that Om Shanti is a wish for universal peace. The meaning of Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti is Peace of mind, Peace in speech, and Peace in the body.

om shanti

Om Shanti Meaning In Yoga

Why are Om Shanti and Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti used in yoga?

Well, these mantras are used as a form of greeting and goodbye. When said aloud to a fellow yoga practitioner, they are a wish for the other person to experience divine peace.

Think of it as a variation on, “Peace be with you,” “Shalom,” or “Namaste.”

The words may sound different, but they essentially mean the same thing:

“I acknowledge you, and I wish you well.”

How to use Om Shanti in your life

Besides being used as a greeting, Om Shanti can also be used as a meditation mantra.

Some experienced meditation masters explain that sutras and mantras serve to raise our conscious awareness.

They go further to say that, all spiritual progress is born out of self-awareness and that we are meant to express the divine through our bodies. That’s why we are here.

Using mantras like Om Shanti during meditation helps to center your mind and body.

Repeating the phrase Om Shanti not only grounds you to your practice, your body, and your breath but also serves as a focal point. Mantras concentrate our energy and keep us focused. They remind us of why we’re here and what we should orient ourselves toward.

Diving Deeper Into Your Spiritual Curiosity

We hope you have found this article enlightening!

If your interests go beyond the meaning of Om Shanti and you feel called to explore your unique spiritual development, you’re not alone. There’s a huge personal growth and spiritual development movement going on right now.

At Mindvalley we know that starting that journey can sometimes feel daunting, especially if you’re growing and transforming alone without the support of those around you. And when it comes to your spirituality, it can feel even more isolating! Spirituality is all about embracing the challenge to go within ourselves for the answers we seek, so it’s often a solo trip.

That’s why we hooked up with the best, most celebrated spiritual teachers on the planet to help guide the way and provide free Spiritual growth content to support all of our Mindvalley Tribe. That’s you!

So if you’re starting out your own path to self-discovery and are eager to have your spiritual growth supported in the best way, check out Mindvalley’s Top 3 Free Spiritual Growth Masterclasses next. 

by Shannon Terrell
Shannon Terrell is a writer based in Toronto, Canada. She revels in the thrill of exploration, whether it be new cultures, new landscapes, or new ways to bring on the happy. If she’s not hiking or practicing yoga, she probably has her nose in a book.

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