Thursday, April 20, 2017



(Compilation for a discourse by N. R. Srinivasan, Nashville, TN, USA. April 2017)

Hindu prayers and worships end with popular slokas appealing to the Supreme for all round prosperity, Peace and Harmony whose authorship is not known. These compositions are often   based on Veda and Upanishad Mantras. The most popular mantras are reproduced below with meanings.

Here is a popular sloka that is inspired by   Veda Mantras:

Samudra Vasane Devi  | Parvata Stana Mandale | Vishnupatni Namastubhyam |Paada Sparsam kshamasva May ||

O! Mother Earth, who has the ocean as clothes and mountains and forests on her body, who is the wife of Lord Vishnu, I bow to you. Please forgive me for touching you with my feet.
Veda Mantra:

Asvakraante rathakrante vishnukaane vasundharaa | sirasaa sdhaarayishyaami rakshasva maam pade pade || mrittike hana paapam yanmaya dushkritam kritam ||

Oh Earth that is traversed by a horse, a chariot and Vishnu, I shall keep thee on my head; protect me at every step!  O excellent Earth1 Destroy my evil deeds as well as sins connected with me!

Stress reduction through tri-karana-shuddhi:

The spiritual teachings of India have always kept in mind the holistic development of the individual. The body, the mind, the intellect and speech have especially been identified as areas where continual development is necessary. The body, the speech and the intellect have been called tri-karanas (three main instruments). If these are kept fit, 9 out of 10 stressful circumstances will lose their ability to affect us. Please refer to the popular sloka in concluding prayers:

kāyena vāchā manasendriyair vā budhyaatmanavaa prakrite svabhaavaat |

karomi yadyat sakalam parasmai narryanaayeti samrpayaami ||

Whatever I do) with my Body, Speech, Mind or Sense Organs, whatever I do using my Intellect, Feelings of Heart or (unconsciously) through the natural tendencies of my Mind and whatever I do, I do all for others (i.e. without the sense of attachment to the results) that  I Surrender them all at the Lotus Feet of the Supreme Lord Narayana!

This sloka is inspired by  Veda mantra in Aghameshan sukta and the sloka in Bhagavadgita:
 Yanme manasaa vaachaa  karamanaa yaa dushkritam gatam |
tanna indro varuno brihaspatih savitaa cha npunantu punah punah ||  --Aghamarsahana sukta

May Indra, Varuna, Brihaspati and Savitar (Vyahritis of Parabrahman or Narayana) completely destroy the sins committed by me and my people in thought, word and action. [This mantra is addressed to Varuna, the Regent of Waters, while taking a dip in a natural water source.]

 Kayena manasaa budhyaa kevalaih indriyairapi | 

Yoginah karma kurvanti sangam tyaktvaa aatmasuddhaye ||  Gita 5-11 ||

Men of selfless action, giving up attachment, perform action through the body, mind and intellect as also the mere senses, for the purification of the mind.

Swasthi prajabhya paripalayantha / Nyayena margena maheem maheesaah / Gobrahmanebhyo shubhamasthu nithyam/ Lokah samastha Sukhino bhavantu //

Let good things occur to the king of the country, who looks after his people well, in the path of justice; Let Cows (wealth was measured by cows in those times)  and Brahmins (people in search of Supreme Being Brahman) have a pleasant life daily; Let all people of the world have a very pleasant life.   

[This sloka should have also been inspired from Veda Mantras. I do not understand why cows and Brahmins should be singled out to have a pleasant life among all living entities? This is the orthodox thinking by religious groups. I believe “go-brahmanebhyo” is one word and refers to gotrapatis of Vedic culture. We have today Dravid-brahmanas, Gowdiya-brahmanas, Saraswat-brahmanas, Sivalli-brahmanas etc. So go-abrahmans are those exalted sages who had realized Brahman.  All Hindus are identified by the lineage of these Gotrpatis today. Hence the reference to cow makes no sense and it seems to be the manipulation of religious protagonists who wanted to  make cow alone holy and Brahmins  a superior caste! Why not then horse and goat that were sacrificed during Yajanas and their meat was considered as Prasadam. Therefore in my opinion Gobrahmanebhya refers to those Nityasuris and prajaa refers to those that have the lineage from these Gotrapatis.

A shelter for cattle is called a Gotra in Sanskrit. The Vedic Aryans were obliged to put their cattle in the same shelter or Gotra. As a result the cattle of one family often got mixed up with cattle of other families and disputes arose over the ownership. To resolve such disputes, supervisors were appointed to act as judges and give fair and just verdict. These supervisors were of exalted character (Brahma-Jnanis  or knowers of  Brahman with occult power known as  Brahmanas) and were called Gotrpatis. Many of them were later recognized as spiritually illumined souls and their descendants belonged to the lineage of these Gotrpatis. Later the term Gotra came to mean clan. It broadly refers to people who are descendants of these Gotrapatis or   Kulapatis.  It broadly refers to people who are descendants in an unbroken male line from a common male ancestor].

Kale varshathu parjanyah / Prithawee sasya shalinee / Desoyam kshobha rahithah / Sajjanaah santhu nirbhayaah  //

Let the monsoon be timely and plentiful; Let earth be covered with vegetation; Let the country live without problems; and let good people never have fear.

Aputhrah puthrinah santhu / Puthrinah santhu pouthrinah / Adhanah  sadhanah Santhu / jeevanthuh sarada satham //
Let sonless people have son; Let people with son have grand-sons; And let people who are poor or rich; Live and see one hundred autumns.
OM sarve bhavantu sukhinah / sarve santu niraamayaah / sarve bhadraaNi pashyantu / ma kashcid duhkhabhaagbhavet // OM shaantih shaantih shaantih

May all be happy! May all be healthy! May all enjoy prosperity! May none suffer! OM Peace! Peace!  Peace!

Om Sarvesham swasthir bhavthu /   Om Sarvesham santhir Bhavathu / Om Sarvesham poornam Bhavathu / Om Sarvesham Mangalam Bhavathu.

Let comfort be everywhere; Let peace be everywhere; Let there be plenty everywhere; and let good things happen everywhere.

Om Santhi, Om Santhi, Om Santhi

Let there be peace; Let there be peace; Let there be peace.

The popular peace seeking slokas above in Hindu worship are believed to be inspired by the Brihadāraṇyaka Upanishad (BAU) verse 1.4.14. 

These are not the same as the verse 1.4.14 from Brihadaranyaka Upanishad.  But it implies this all-round peace well-being and happiness can be achieved only by practicing of Dharma.  Even the King who is the protector of Dharma is protected by practicing Dharma—Dharmo rakshati rakshitah meaning one who protects Dharma is also protected by Dharma.   

BAU says creation started with Non-beings (Material) coming first. Out of Non-beings came Beings. Finally Supreme Principal created Rishis, Sadhyas, Devas and Manushyas. It made only Manushyas Asat (mortal) and other heavenly bodies Sat (Immortal). After creating the four categories of Brahmana, Kshatriya, Vaisya and Sudra It created Dharma immediately in order to maintain peace in the society and made Kshatriya protector Dharma.  Upanishads also say Ritam   (orderliness) is Truth (Sathyam) and Sathyam is Dharma and that is Supreme Principal—Rita(g)am Sathyam Parabrhma.

Mahanarayana Upanishad says:
Dharme viswasya jagatah prtishthaa loke dharmishtham prajaa upasarpanti dharmena paapamapanudati  dharme sarvam pratishthitam tasmaat dharmam paramam vadanti //
Dharma is the support of all this universe. All people approach a person devoted to Dharma (loved by all). Through Dharma a person gets rid of sins. Everything is established in Dharma (All kind of peace is obtained by practicing Dharma). Therefore   they say Dharma is supreme means. Here is the Mantra from Brihadarnyaka Upanishad:

Sa naiva vyabhavat / sah  tachhre yoroopamatyasrijata dharmam | tadetatkshtrasya kshatram yaddharmaatparam nasstyatho abaleeyaan baleeyaam samaasamsate dharmena, yarthaa raajnyaivam| Yo vai sa dharmah satyam vai tattasmaatsatyam vadantamaahuh dharmaam vaa vadantam satyam vadateet-yetad-dhyevaitad-ubhayam bhavati //

Yet he did not flourish. He created that excellent form Dharma, Righteousness. This righteousness is the controller of the Kshatriya. Therefore there is nothing higher than Dharma. So a man who is weak hopes to defeat a strong man through righteousness as through the support of a king. That which is Dharma is verily Sathya.  Therefore,   they say about a person speaking truth, “He speaks what is Dharma”, or about a person speaking Dharma, “He speaks what is Truth”, for this alone is both. The Dharma is the controller of all and it is the controller of even Kshatriyas, There is nothing great.
It is worth recalling here some of the mantras popularly chanted at the conclusion of worship:

Saha-naa-vavatu |sahnau bhunaktu | sahaveeryam  karavaavahai | tejas-vi-naavadheetamastu maa vidvishaa vahai | Om Santih! Santih! Santih!

May the Supreme Spirit protect us! May it cause us to enjoy! May we strive together! May our studies be thorough and faithful! May we never quarrel with each other! May there be Peace! Peace! Peace!  [Hinduism consider these are part and parcel of Manava dharma]

Swastir Maanushebyah | Oordhwam jigaatu beshajam | sannoh-astu dwipade sam chatushpade! Om Santih! Santih! Santih! (Purushasookta

May the entire society prosper! Let the Flora sprout! May there be welfare for all humans (dwipade) and   all animals! May serenity prevail!

[This mantra calls for the welfare measures to be taken for all humans, animals and plant kingdom on earth which should be everyone’s concern as Manava dharma]

Dyauh Saantih antariksham saantih prithvee saantih aapah saantih oshadhyah saantih vanaspatayah saantih viswedevaah saantih brhma  saantih sarvam saantih saantireva saantih saa maa   saantiredhi || (Veda)

There is peace in the heavenly region; there is peace in the atmosphere; peace reigns on the earth; there is coolness in the water; the medicinal herbs are healing;  the plants give tranquility; there is harmony in the celestial objects and perfection in eternal knowledge; everything in the universe is peaceful; peace pervades everywhere; May that peace come to me!
[Thus good Lord established the Universe with all round peace. In turn it is our Dharma to preserve that peace all around]

We may recall here Hindu practice of the 'palika' ceremony. In the olden days, the families of the groom and the bride would actually plant a row of trees "pali" from which this function was called "Palikaranai" is derived. The act was symbolic of showering the couple to be with best wishes for a bountiful and happy married life. This can be achieved by caring for flora and fauna and calmness all around. In modern days the custom of germinating seeds is observed in ceremonies like chaula(mundane), Upanayana and Marriage. Ficve earthen pots are filled with earth soil –these are meant for five deities, Brahma, Indra, Yama, Varuna, and Soma. The one for Brahma is   kept in the center while the other four are kept at the four points of the compass (the pots for Indra, Yama, Varuna and Soma being kept in east, south, west and north respectively). Seeds of rice, black gram, green gram, sesame and mustard are soaked in milk and sown in the five different pots by five Suhaasinis. On the fourth day of the marriage when the seeds have germinated the pots are immersed in a sacred river or pond. This custom, called Panchapaalika, is meant  for the protection  and prosperity of  the family or the individuals for whom the function is performed. At the end of the function, an 'aarthi' ceremony is performed.

[The wisdom thought here is to create in the minds of newly wedded couple awareness of Nature and its protection for peace and prosperity. If the surroundings are peaceful and prosperous the individuals would also be peaceful and prosperous]

Please also go through my discourse on beginning and concluding mantras from Vedas  and Upanishads :

Swami Krishnananda offers the following explanation on the role and importance of Dharma in the Society:
“He created thereafter, a glorious something, in the form of a power or a principle, resplendent in its nature, because it is the ruling power, standing above even the so-called rulers of the world. Even a king cannot rule unless there is a ruling principle. The power of a king is an invisible something. It is not visible to the eye. We see a monarch, an emperor, or a supreme head of administration, as a power. Where is that power? You cannot see it anywhere. It is not in a box, tied up somewhere. You try to locate the existence of this power of a supreme master of administration, a monarch, or whatever he is, you cannot see it anywhere. Even the wielder of the power cannot see where it is. It is not there to be seen. But it is, existent and operating, and it is feared by everyone. Why is this fear when it is not even visible to the eye? What is this that you call law? What you call law, whether it is a family law, communal law, social law, political law, whatever law it is, it is something which you cannot see with your eyes. But yet, it is tremendously operating and nothing can be more effective in its action than law. What a miracle! A thing that cannot be seen at all anywhere, which apparently does not exist for tangible purposes, is the supreme guiding principle, of which everyone is a limb, as it were, and to go against which everyone is afraid. How can a visible person, solid in his substantial body, fear something which is ethereal, inconceivable almost non-existent for all practical purposes? This is an indication, as it were, that reality is always invisible. It is not necessarily physical. Even the physical, weighty object can be controlled by the operation of an invisible law. Such a law was made manifest –

Sreyo rupam atyasrjata dharmam. Tad etat kshatrasya kshatram / This is the Kshatra of the Kshatra; this is the Ruler of the rulers. That is called Dharma – Yad dharmah--Here, a monarch is afraid of the law. It is not a great wonder. Even the maker of law is afraid of the law that is made, because he is involved in that law. So, there is something Transcendent above the manifestation of law. It is not an occasion for us to discuss what law is, and how it is manifest. We are only concerned with the topic that we touched upon, here in this section, that Divine Order manifested itself as a ruling power in the world of this variety.

And, some light is thrown upon what Dharma is – tad etat kshatrasya kshatram yad-dharmah / Tasmat dharmad param nasti; atho abaliyan baliyamsam asamsate: Even a weak person can overwhelm a strong person by resorting to law, because strength and weakness depend upon the proportion or extent to which one is in harmony with the law. If you are disharmonious with the law, you are a weak person. If you are in harmony with the law, you are a strong person. So, your strength does not depend upon anything other than your participation in the working of the law.  So, law is the strength, not any other visible article of physical possession, as people wrongly imagine. When you participate in the law, whatever that law be, you become positive, healthy and endowed with strength. It can be the law of health; it can be the law of society; it can be the law of the universe; it can be the law of the Absolute. Whatever that law be, you have to participate in it by attuning yourself to it, and that law then becomes your friend. And when law becomes your friend, nobody can shake a hair of your body, because law is the supreme ruler. It is God operating in some form. So, the weakness of a person goes when he becomes attuned to the law, or Dharma.--atha abaliyan baliyamsam asamsate dharmena .

Yatha raajna evam, yo vai sa dharmah satyam vai tat: Truth and Dharma are same, says this passage of the Upanishad.  So, Dharma may be said to be the form of Truth. So to be in harmony with the law is another way of being in harmony with the Truth. Satyannasti paro dharmah /   There is no Dharma above Truth.  But you must know what Truth is, in order to know what Dharma is, and it is not an easy thing to know it. That which is ultimately true and is in consonance with the nature of things is the repository of aw, and so, Law and Truth are identical.

yo vai sa dharmah satyam vai tat /  Tasmat satyam vadantam ahuh, dharmam vadatiti: So, what is it that is usually referred to when a person is said  to speak the Truth? Well, he is speaking Dharma; he is righteous. That is what people say. So, truthfulness and righteousness are identified with each other. Dharmam va vadantam, satyam vadatiti /So, when someone is righteous, we also say, he is a truthful person. So truthfulness and righteousness are identical in their nature.  Etad hy evaitad ubhayam bhavati: It is difficult to distinguish between truth and righteousness because they appear to be the obverse and the reverse side   of the same coin.
Here is a Confucian Proverb which the Indian President APL Abul Kalam Azad often quoted:
Where there is righteousness (Dharma) in the heart, there is beauty in the character;
Where there is beauty in the character, there is harmony in the home;
When there is harmony in the home, there is order in the Nation;
When there is order in the Nation, there is peace in the World.

No peace invocation concludes without thrice repeating or invoking Saanti. The three repetitions are-- it is explained by Aachaaryas like Sankara, Raamaanuja, Madhwa--addressed to the three groups in which all the probable obstacles in the study of the scripture can be classified. They are: Aadhidaivikam (cosmic disturbances); Aadhi-bhoutikam (environmental disturbances); Aadhyaatmikam (inner disturbances). The first type of disturbance is from the phenomenal powers like lightning, thunder, rain, earthquake etc. Hence the first Saanti is chanted loudly. The second type is the environmental disturbance like noise around, animals growling, insects crawling etc. The second chant is softer than the first to indicate that it is directed to the environmental disturbances. The third type is disturbance springing from one’s own body like sickness, worry etc. The last chant is therefore in whispers directed to the inner disturbances.

Hindu Americans are drawn from Multi Traditions. indu American Temples have unifoermly adopted to sing the popular c omposition H Hindu American Temples invariably conclude their Temple worship by singing the popular composition Om Jaya Jagadisa arHHarey given below. Om Jai Jagdisa Harey   is a Hindu religious song for the deity Vishnu. However it also considered to be a monotheistic song. Although the religious hymn is a Hindi language composition, it is widely sung by many Hindus within the Indian Diaspora, regardless of their native language with or without understanding the meaning like chanting of Veda mantras.  The prayer is sung by the entire congregation at the time of Aarti, waving of the lamp in Hindu worship. It may have been inspired by the Dashavatara   of Gita Govinda of Jayadeva, a lyrical composition of 12th century, which has the same refrain: Pralayapayodhijale dhritavaanasi vedam | vihita vahitra-charitramakhedam Kesavadhrita-meenasareera Jayajagadisahare ||
This lyrical composition is by Swami Shivananda in 1870 AD:
English Literal Translation
जय जगदीश हरे
स्वामी* जय जगदीश हरे
भक्त जनों के संकट,
दास जनों के संकट,
क्षण में दूर करे,
जय जगदीश हरे
जो ध्यावे फल पावे,
दुख बिनसे मन का
स्वामी दुख बिनसे मन का
सुख सम्पति घर आवे,
सुख सम्पति घर आवे,
कष्ट मिटे तन का
जय जगदीश हरे
मात पिता तुम मेरे,
शरण गहूं मैं किसकी
स्वामी शरण गहूं मैं किसकी .
तुम बिन और दूजा,
तुम बिन और दूजा,
आस करूं मैं जिसकी
जय जगदीश हरे
तुम पूरण परमात्मा,
तुम अंतरयामी
स्वामी तुम अंतरयामी
पारब्रह्म परमेश्वर,
पारब्रह्म परमेश्वर,
तुम सब के स्वामी
जय जगदीश हरे
तुम करुणा के सागर,
तुम पालनकर्ता
स्वामी तुम पालनकर्ता,
मैं मूरख खल कामी
मैं सेवक तुम स्वामी,
कृपा करो भर्ता
जय जगदीश हरे
तुम हो एक अगोचर,
सबके प्राणपति,
स्वामी सबके प्राणपति,
किस विधि मिलूं दयामय,
किस विधि मिलूं दयामय,
तुमको मैं कुमति
जय जगदीश हरे
दीनबंधु दुखहर्ता,
ठाकुर तुम मेरे,
स्वामी ठाकुर तुम मेरे
अपने हाथ उठाओ,
अपने शरण लगाओ
द्वार पड़ा तेरे
जय जगदीश हरे
विषय विकार मिटाओ,
पाप हरो देवा,
स्वमी पाप हरो देवा,.
श्रद्धा भक्ति बढ़ाओ,
श्रद्धा भक्ति बढ़ाओ,
संतन की सेवा
जय जगदीश हरे
जय जगदीश हरे
स्वामी जय जगदीश हरे
भक्त जनों के संकट,
दास जनों के संकट,
क्षण में दूर करे,
जय जगदीश हरे
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare
Swāmī* jaya Jagadīśa hare
Bhakta janoṅ ke saṅkaṭa
Dāsa janoṅ ke saṅkaṭa
Kṣaṇa meṅ dūra kare
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare
Jo dhyāve phala pāve
Dukha binase mana kā
Swāmī dukha binase mana kā
Sukha sampatī ghara āve
Sukha sampatī ghara āve
Kaṣṭa miṭe tana kā
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare
Māta pitā tuma mere
Śaraṇa gahūṅ maiṅ kisakī
Swāmi śaraṇa gahūṅ maiṅ kisakī
Tuma bina aura na dūjā
Tuma bina aura na dūjā
Āsa karūṇ maiṅ jisakī
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare
Tuma pūraṇa Paramātmā
Tuma Aṅtarayāmī
Swāmi tuma Aṅtarayāmī
Pārabrahma Parameśwara
Pārabrahma Parameśwara
Tuma saba ke swāmī
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare
Tuma karuṇā ke sāgara
Tuma pālanakartā
Swāmī tuma pālanakartā
Maiṅ mūrakh khala kāmī
Maiṅ sevaka tuma swāmī
Kṛpā karo Bhartā
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare
Tuma ho eka agochara
Sabake prāṇapati
Swāmī sabake prāṇapati
Kisa vidhi milūṅ dayāmaya
Kisa vidhi milūṅ dayāmaya
Tumako maiṅ kumati
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare
Dīnabaṅdhu dukhahartā
Ṭhākura tuma mere
Swāmī ṭhākura tuma mere
Apane hātha uṭhāo
Apane śaraṇa lagāo
Dwāra paṛā tere
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare
Viṣaya vikāra miṭāo
Pāpa haro Devā
Swāmī pāpa haro Devā
Śraddhā bhakti baṛhāo
Śraddhā bhakti baṛhāo
Saṅtana kī sevā
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare
Om jaya Jagdīśa hare
Swāmī jaya Jagadīśa hare
Bhakta janoṅ ke saṅkaṭa
Dāsa janoṅ ke saṅkaṭa
Kṣaṇa meṅ dūra kare
Om jaya Jagadīśa hare
Oh Lord of the whole Universe
Mighty Lord of the whole Universe
The agonies of devotees
The sorrows of devotees
In an instant, thou removest
Oh Lord of the whole Universe
He who's immersed in devotion
His mind's sadness ceases
Lord, his mind's sadness ceases
Joy, prosperity enter the home
Joy, prosperity enter the home
A body free of problems
Oh Lord of the whole Universe
Thou art my Mother and Father
Whom should I take refuge with
Lord, whom should I take refuge with
Without thee, there is no other
Without thee, there is no other
For whom I would wish
Oh Lord of the whole Universe
Thou art the ancient great soul,
Thou art the omnipotent master
Lord, thou art the omnipotent master
Perfect, Absolute, Supreme God
Perfect, Absolute, Supreme God
Thou art the Lord of everything and everyone,
Oh Lord of the whole Universe
Thou art an ocean of mercy
Thou art the protector
Lord, thou art the protector
I am a simpleton with vain desires,
I am a servant and thou art the Lord
Oh Lord, Grant me thy divine grace
Oh Lord of the Universe
You are the one unseen
Of all living beings
The Lord of all living beings
Grant me a glimpse
Grant me a glimpse
Guide me along the path to thee,
Oh Lord of the Universe
Friend of the helpless and feeble
Benevolent savior of all
Lord, benevolent savior of all
Lift up your hand
Offer me thy refuge
At thy feet
Oh Lord of the Universe
Removing faults of the mind (like ego, greed, selfishness etc.)
Defeating evil, Supreme Soul,
Lord, defeating evil
With all my Faith and devotion
Oh Lord, With all my faith and devotion
In Eternal Service Unto Thee,
Oh Mighty Lord of the whole Universe
Oh Lord of the whole Universe
Mighty Lord of the whole Universe
The agonies of devotees
The sorrows of devotees
Thou instantly removest
Oh Lord of the whole Universe

Sources: Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev; P.R. Ramachandra Rao, Wikipedia Internet sources and Ganesha Temple, Nashville, TN,   Bhajan Book


(By Karthikeyan Sridharan in his The Science of the Upanishads)

Transformation of prayers into wills is exemplified by the Peace Invocations (Śānti Mantras) of Upaniṣhads; no Deva or Lord is addressed therein for securing anything. The only exception is the Upaniṣads under Atharva Veda, namely Praśna, Muṇḍaka and Māṇḍūkya; note that Atharva is a later compilation. Śānti Mantras appear in the beginning and end of the Upaniṣads. The same Śānti Mantra appears in all the Upaniṣads under a particular Veda. Since Yajerveda has two branches, namely the Kṛṣṇa and Śukla Yajurvedas, separate Śānti Mantras are used in each of them. Thus there are five important Śānti Mantras; we shall have a look at them all.

Let us first see the Śānti Mantra of Aitareya Upaniṣad, the only Principal Upaniṣad under Ṛgveda.

वाङ्मे मनसि प्रतिष्ठिता | मनो मे वाचि प्रतिष्ठितम् | आविराविर्म एधि | वेदस्य आणीस्थः| श्रुतं मे मा प्रहासीरनेनाधीतेनाहोरात्रान् संदधामि | ऋतं वदिष्यामि सत्यं वदिष्यामि | तन्मामवतु तद्वक्तारमवतु | अवतु मां अवतु वक्तारं अवतु वक्तारम् ||
शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः
vāṅme manasi pratiṣṭhitā; mano me vāci pratiṣṭhitaṃ; āvirāvirma edhi; vedasya ma
āṇīsthaḥ; śrutaṃ me mā prahāsīranenādhītenāhorātrān saṃdadhāmi; ṛtaṃ vadiṣyāmi satyaṃ vadiṣyāmi; tanmāmavatu tadvaktāramavatu; avatu māṃ avatu vaktāraṃ avatu vaktāram.
om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

Word Meaning: vāk- speech (utterance); me- my; manasi- in mind; pratiṣṭhitā- established; manaḥ- mind; vāci- in speech; pratiṣṭhitaṃ- established; āvis- evident, manifest; āvirāvis- more and more evident; ma- to me; edhi- enlarged, more clarified or apparent; vedasya- of Veda, of learning; ma- to me, my; āṇī- instruments, means, agents; sthaḥ- (you two) are; śrutaṃ- whatever learned; me- to me; mā- not; prahāsīḥ- be lost; anenādhītena- by that learning; ahorātrān- day and night; saṃdadhāmi- I shall unite; ṛtaṃ- SAT, the ruling principle of the world; vadiṣyāmi – I shall speak of; satyaṃ Satyam; tat- that; mām- me; avatu- may protect; vaktāram- the expounder, teacher; avatu māṃ – may I be protected; avatu vaktāraṃ – may the teacher be protected.
śāntiḥ- peace, calmness.

Mantra Meaning: My speech (utterance) is established in my mind; my mind is established in my speech. (May everything) be more and more evident and clarified to me. (O, speech and mind), you two are my instruments for learning. May what I have learnt be never lost. I shall unite day and night by that learning. I shall speak of SAT and Satyam; May that protect me and the teacher. May I be protected; may the teacher be protected.

The Mantra states that the mind and the speech are established in each other. What one speaks is what there is in his mind; what there is in one’s mind is what he learned by repeated recitation (by speech). This is the implication of the statement. It is obvious here that mind and speech are the instruments of learning. It is through them that one acquires correct and clarified knowledge. The prayer seeks that the acquired knowledge is never lost. The phrase ‘uniting day and night by the learning’ implies perseverance and constant effort throughout day and night. Ṛtaṃ is SAT which indicates Ātmā, the ruling principle of the universe; Satyam indicates, as we know, Brahma. ‘I shall speak of Ṛtaṃ and Satyam’ means ‘I shall study about Ātmā and Brahma’. ‘May that protect’ implies ‘may such study’ protect. Upaniṣads repeatedly declare that knowing Ātmā and Brahma makes one immortal. This declaration is relied in this Mantra.

Śānti is peace or calmness of mind obtained by alleviation of miseries; the word is repeated three times aiming to alleviate all the three kinds of miseries affecting humans.

The next Mantra is seen in Upaniṣads belonging to Śukla Yajurveda; Īśa and Bṛhadāraṇyaka are the two Principal Upaniṣads which use this Mantra.

पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पूर्णमुदच्यते | पूर्णस्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते||
शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः
om pūrṇamadaḥ pūrṇamidaṃ pūrṇātpūrṇamudacyate; pūrṇasya pūrṇamādāya pūrṇamevāvaśiṣyate.
om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

Word Meaning: pūrṇam- Pūrṇam, that which is full, complete, absolute, saturated, whole, ultimate; adaḥ- that; idaṃ- this; pūrṇāt- from Pūrṇam; udacyate- emitted out; pūrṇasya- to the Pūrṇam; ādāya- having taken, having merged; pūrṇameva- Pūrṇam alone; avaśiṣyate- be left out, remains.

Mantra Meaning: That is Pūrṇam, this is Pūrṇam. Pūrṇam emerges from Pūrṇam. Pūrṇam on having merged to Pūrṇam, remains as Pūrṇam alone.

This Mantra, though short in size, actually presents one of the important basic tenets of Upaniṣhadic philosophy. Upaniṣhads say that this universe emerged from the ultimate principle, Ātmā and that it will finally merge into Ātmā. In other words, the universe is only an expression of Ātmā. It is well settled that Ātmā is absolute, ultimate and the whole; that means it is Pūrṇam. The words ‘that’ and ‘this’ in the Mantra indicate worldly objects there and here or far and near. All worldly objects are said to be body parts of Ātmā; they are manifestations of Ātmā. They are pervaded by Ātmā; they are actually Ātmā itself appearing in those forms. So, both are Pūrṇam; ‘that’ and ‘this’ are Pūrṇam. They emerged from Ātmā, the Pūrṇam; from Pūrṇam, only Pūrṇam can come out. So, it is said: ‘pūrṇāt pūrṇam udacyate’. What happens if all these merge into Ātmā? It will remain as such, as Pūrṇam only. Hence the Mantra declaration, “pūrṇasya pūrṇamādāya pūrṇamevāvaśiṣyate” (Pūrṇam on having merged to Pūrṇam, remains as Pūrṇam alone).
Now we go to the next Mantra which is seen in Upaniṣads belonging to Samaveda (Kena and Chāndogya). This Mantra is an expression of an earnest wish to become one with Brahma.

आप्यायन्तु ममाङ्गानि वाक्प्राणश्चक्षुःश्रोत्रमथो बलमिन्द्रियाणि सर्वाणि।
सर्वं ब्रह्मोपनिषदं माऽहं ब्रह्म निराकुर्यां मा मा ब्रह्म निराकरोद् अनिराकरणमस्तु अनिराकरणं मेऽस्तु। तदात्मनि निरते उपनिषत्सु धर्मास्ते मयि सन्तु ते मयि सन्तु।
शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥
Oṃ āpyāyantu mamāṅgāni vākprāṇaścakṣuḥ śrotramatho balamindriyāṇi ca sarvāṇi;
sarvam brahmaupaniṣadam mā’haṃ brahma nirākuryāṃ mā mā brahma nirākarodanirākaraṇamastvanirākaraṇam me’stu. tadātmani nirate ya upaniṣatsu dharmāste mayi santu te mayi santu.
oṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ.

Word Meaning: āpyāyantu- may be(come) strong, powerful; mama- my; aṅgāni- body parts; vāk- speech; prāṇa- breath; cakṣuḥ- eyes; śrotram- ears; athaḥ- and, further; balam-stamina; indriyāṇi- senses; ca- and; sarvāṇi- all; sarvam- all this; brahma- Brahma; upaniṣadam- declared in the Upaniṣads; ma- not; aham- I; nirākaroti- negate, separate off; mā’haṃ brahma nirākuryāṃ – may I not negate Brahma; mā mā brahma nirākarot – may Brahma not separate me off; anirākaraṇam- non-negation; astu- may there be; me- to me; tat- that; ātmani- within; nirate- attached, linger; ya- ye- which; upaniṣatsu- in Upaniṣads; dharmaḥ- ordinances, principles; te- they; mayi- in me; santu- may there be.

Mantra Meaning: May my body parts be strong; may my speech, breath, eyes, ears, stamina and all senses be powerful. All this (present here) is Brahma declared in the Upaniṣads. May I not negate (defy) Brahma; may Brahma not negate me. May there be non-negation; may there be non-negation to me; may that (non-negation) linger within (me). May the ordinances of Upaniṣads be always present in me.

The first yearning in this Mantra is for a strong body; this is because, without a strong and healthy body, sustained pursuit of the ultimate knowledge is not feasible. The second yearning is that there may not be any mutual negation of Brahma and the current seeker. This implies his earnest desire to be one with Brahma; he wants that this desire must constantly reverberate within him. Finally, he wants to bear in mind all the ordinances of the Upaniṣads; for, these ordinances are leading lights in the pursuit of spiritual realization.

We shall now see the Mantra that is found in Upaniṣads of Kṛṣṇa Yajurveda. It expresses a wish jointly made by the disciple and the master. They want the process of learning and teaching to be a smooth one without room for any prejudices. See the Mantra below:
सह नाववतु | सह नौ भुनक्तु | सह वीर्यं करवावहै | तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै॥
शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥
Oṃ saha nāvavatu; saha nau bhunaktu; saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai; tejasvi nāvadhītamastu mā vidviṣāvahai.
Om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ.

Word Meaning: saha- together; nāvavatu – nau + avatu; nau- both of us; avatu- may be impelled, promoted, protected; bhunaktu- may be hungry; vīryaṃ- energy; karavāvahai- may we utilise; tejasvi- brilliant; adhītam- learning; astu- may it be; mā- not; vidviṣāvahai- may we cause to dislike each other.
Mantra Meaning: May both of us be impelled together; may we be hungry together. May we utilise our energy together. May our learning be brilliant; may we both not cause any dislike to each other.

The teacher and the student pray for being motivated together and for being hungry together. Motivation is for study; hunger is for imparting/receiving knowledge. To achieve this goal, they have to utilize their energy together. Such united effort is essential to ensure a brilliant output. Finally, the process of learning should not result in mutual dislike. There is a possibility of dislike in the absence of simultaneous inspiration and joint effort; that justifies the beginning part of the Mantra.

The last of the popular Śānti Mantras in the Upaniṣads is given below; it is found in Upaniṣads belonging to Atharva Veda. This Mantra is different from those given above, in that the prayers here are directed to various Devas.

भद्रं कर्णेभिः श्रुणुयाम देवाः भद्रं पश्येमाक्षभिर्यजत्राः|
स्थिरैरङ्गैस्तुष्टुवांसस्तनूभिः व्यशेम देवहितं यदायुः।
स्वस्ति इन्द्रो वृद्धश्रवाः स्वस्ति नः पूषा विश्ववेदाः।
स्वस्ति नस्तार्क्ष्यो अरिष्टनेमिः स्वस्ति नो बृहस्पतिर्दधातु |
शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥
auṃ bhadraṃ karṇebhiḥ śruṇuyāma devāḥ bhadraṃ paśyemākṣabhiryajatrāḥ;
sthirairaṅgaistuṣṭuvāṃsastanūbhiḥ vyaśema devahitam yadāyuḥ;
svasti na indro vṛddhaśravāḥ svasti naḥ pūṣā viśvavedāḥ;
svasti nastārkṣyo ariṣṭanemiḥ svasti no bṛhaspatirdadhātu.
auṃ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ.

Word Meaning: bhadraṃ- auspicious, excellent; karṇebhiḥ- by ears; śruṇuyāma- may we hear; devāḥ- Devas; paśyema- may we see; akṣabhiḥ- by the eyes; yajatrāḥ- worshipful ones; sthirairaṅgaiḥ- (sthiraiḥ + aṅgaiḥ) with determined mind; tuṣṭuvāṃsastanūbhiḥ- with a satisfied or healthy body; vyaśema- spend, consume; devahitam- allotted or assigned by Devas; yadāyuḥ- life as (alloted); svasti- blessing, prosperity; naḥ- to us; indraḥ- Indra; vṛddhaśravāḥ- ancient glory; pūṣā- Pūṣa (the great nourisher); viśvavedāḥ- all-knowing; tārkṣyaḥ- Garuda; ariṣṭanemiḥ- one who wards off evils; bṛhaspatiḥ- Bṛhaspati (Lord of prayer); dadhātu- bestow.

Mantra Meaning: O Devas, may we hear the auspicious with our ears. O worshipful ones, may we see the auspicious with our eyes. May we spend our life time allotted by Devas, with determined mind and healthy body. May Indra, the ancient glory and Pūṣa the all-knowing, Garuda, the one who wards of evils, and Bṛhaspati bestow blessings on us.