ॐ सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु मा कश्चिद्दुःखभाग्भवेत् ।
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
Om Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Nir-Aamayaah |
Sarve Bhadraanni Pashyantu, Maa Kashcid-Duhkha-Bhaag-Bhavet |
Om Shaantih Shaantih Shaantih ||
may every one be happy, may every one be free from all diseases
may every one see goodness and auspiciousness in every thing, may none be unhappy or distressed
Om peace, peace, peace!
We are stardust. Recycled elements from new and old stars, some matter as old as the universe itself, and some from stars that lived and died billions of years ago. We are made of this universe, and each of us is a story 13.82 Billion years in the making.
We feel a separation from the world. When we look out from our eyes, we look at the world being “outside” us in some way. We’re not sure where this separation begins, but we sure “feel” removed from the world. Does a bag of skin separate us from the world? Is it our thoughts, our name and story, or our spirit whatever it may be? We’re not sure what separates us from the world, but we just know that we are separate, and this knowing makes us feel that we need to look out for ourselves. To protect and shield ourselves. And so we suffer.
This English translation above doesn’t do justice. We’re not praying just for everyone. We are praying for “all”, every-thing-person-animal-atom-energy-quanta that exists. We are praying for the the welfare of the entire Universe, with no exception for “us” or another.
When we pray for all, we pray for ourselves too, and we begin to heal and become well. This prayer is really a reminder of our universal self. To know that we are no different from the Universe, even though our way of seeing the world doesn’t usually feel that way. We pray so we may be joined in with the whole again.
Our heart is a mirror; we humans come preloaded with empathy. You would have noticed that when you see someone crying, you feel sadness yourself. When you hear the laugh-track on the TV comedy, you want to laugh along too. When you see happy little children, you feel the same happiness. Our hearts have evolved with this empathy, reflecting emotions from the world we see around.
pashyantu, to see. The mirror reflects everything. For our heart to experience true joy, there must be joy in the world all around. In a selfish way, we are wishing that there’s happiness, health, auspicious signs and good fortune all around, because that’s what we want in our hearts.
Sukha is more than happiness. Su-kha literally means good space. When a wheel is moving around it’s center, the cart moves smoothly and quickly. When the wheel is not moving around it’s center (it’s eccentric), the cart moves in a jerky manner, causing vibration and damage. That’s why we take our cars to the wheel alignment shops. To restore good space in the center.
Su-kha means that the wheel is in full alignment. When we have alignment, things move smoothly just as it’s naturally supposed to. That makes us happy, but it’s more than that. We feel a sense of order, oneness, and comfort in knowing that all is well with the world.
When our outside world is out of alignment with our nature, we live lives out of balance. This is what we call “stress”. We are unhappy, of course, but we are also unhealthy, unstable and unable to meet our full potential. This is “dukha”, and we don’t want any of it. We pray for this return to alignment- positively as a prayer for “sukha” in the first line, and as the negation of “dukha” in the last line.
We close with the three Shanti (peace). We pray for peace in the Universe, peace in our hearts, and peace between.
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥
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