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The Vedic shanti mantras or "peace mantras" are prayers for peace (shanti) found in the Upanishads. Generally, they are recited at the beginning and end of religious rituals and discourses.
Peace is the fundamental parameter of happiness and mental cum social wellness.
The mantras are supposed to calm the mind of the person who recites them and also the environment around.
Understanding the meaning of the mantras and then reciting them is believed to remove any obstacles for the task being undertaken. They work like a sankalp and a reminder of the purpose of life.
Shanti mantras always end with the sacred syllable “Om” (Auṃ) and three utterances of the word "shanti", which means "peace".
AUM is composed of a vowel, which produces interleukin-2 and a nasal consonant, which is consistent with delta activity in the EEG. We only produce a vowel when we are in pain; whenever we are disturbed, we weep using a nasal consonant.
The reason for uttering the word SHANTI three times is to calm and remove obstacles in the three realms:
- Physical or Adhi-Bhautika: Obstacles coming from living beings in the external world.
- Divine or Adhi-Daivika: Obstacles coming from unseen forces in the nature (the natural calamities).
- Internal or Adhyaatmika: Obstacles arising out of ones own body and mind (within)
The scriptures call them ‘tāpatraya,’ (‘the three miseries.’) Adhi: means related to (Taittiriya Upanishad)
These also define the three etiological causes of any illness in the body: Internal physical causes, internal mental causes and external environmental causes.
So, by praying repeatedly, we redirect our mind towards our soul that we need to prevent any illness from these three forces.
It can also be interpolated as the mind, body and soul. So the origin of diseases can be in the mind, body and natural forces.
Probably this might have been the basis behind triple talaq in Islam: I leave you physically, mentally and from my heart.
Dr KK Aggarwal
Padma Shri Awardee
President Confederation of Medical Associations in Asia and Oceania (CMAAO)
Group Editor-in-Chief IJCP Publications
President Heart Care Foundation of India
Past National President IMA