Many Yoga teachers do some rituals during a class without explaining the meaning behind it to students. And I feel like that students are intimidated to ask the reason why many things are done the way they are during an asana or meditation class.
I would even speculate if some teachers actually understand the nature and meaning behind some of their actions.
To answer these type of questions, I will start to write a “why do we… ” type of posts.
For our first one of the series, I selected the following question:
Why do we chant shanti 3 times?
Let’s start by understanding the meaning of śāntiḥ – the word comes from sanskrit and means peace.
When shanti is chanted 3 times, the intention is actually twofold:
The first meaning wishes:
The first shanti brings the intention of peace for those in the world with physical suffering, actual body pain and diseases.
The second shanti sets the intention of peace for those suffering from the materialistic world. It means with issues such as unemployment or struggling financially.
The third and last shanti evokes peace for those suffering spiritually. Spirituality does not refer to someone that attends church or temple and is praying all the time. Spirituality is leaving a life with a pure heart, not hurting others and wishing well to all.
Additionally, the chant of shanti 3 times, evokes peace in all the above level to:
- Oneself (inside me)
- All people (around me)
- All living beings (whole world)
In summary, when we chant shanti 3 times we are praying for the divine force to bring peace for ourselves, all human beings and all living beings in the physical, material and spiritual realms.
Now that you know the meaning, your intention for peace will be even more powerful.
If there is any other ritual or topic that you would like addressed, please write your question down on the comments below and I will happily answer them in the coming weeks.