lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu
लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु
Meaning of each word of this mantra:
lokah: location, realm, all universes existing now
samastah: all beings sharing that same location
sukhino: centered in happiness and joy, free from suffering
bhav: the divine mood or state of unified existence
antu: may it be so, it must be so (antu used as an ending here transforms this mantra into a powerful pledge)
This is a powerfull mantra that each one of us can practice every day. Those words are a reminder of our relationships with all beings on the Earth. The beings that are mentioned in the mantra can include human beings, animal beings, tree beings, mountain beings, all alive beings that we share this planet with. If we are seeking true happiness, freedom and liberation from suffering than our relationship with all beings must be mutually beneficial. W can not attract happiness by causing unhappiness to others. No one can become free, if he/she is depriving others of their freedom.
Jivamukti yoga is a path to enlightenment through compassion to all beings. If we want to step on this path, we will have to question our actions, all that we do and how we do it. That includes the way we eat, what we buy, what we use, what we think, how we communicate and what we do for leaving.
Yogis work on their karma through lifetimes. Karma means “action” and it include thoughts, word and deeds. The law of karma is quite simple: For every action there is a reaction. All in this world operates by a single simple principle. And Albert Einstein was reminding us about law of karma, by his finding that the world is curved. Whatever is thrown out there will eventually, but inevitably, find its way back to its origin. We can relate this to thought, words and actions.
It is easy to understand when we plant the seed it starts growing, if we take good care of plant it grows stronger, and if we do not take care of the plant it has higher chance to die. However in this common example we loose the wider picture very often. We don’t see how we take care of the plant, what soil we use, how we water the plant, do we kill other beings with pesticides while taking care of the plant and so on. But true yogi/yogini does care for all truths that will surround the actions that he takes.
Often we are conditioned by our society to think that what we do as single being does not matter or that our small actions do not have big impact. Many times we have been told to follow our desires and do not think about what this desires are made of or what chain of action they consist of.
Living in society that has disconnected us from our true nature and involved us in violence and wars, makes it really hard work to live up to this beautiful mantra lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu. Our society often defends violent actions behind the words “Freedom”, “free choice”, “I do what I want, because I am free”. We are legally free to do what we want, but we have to understand that our actions, choices and words are defining our future. And that freedom can be harmful to ourselves and others if misused. True freedom is know that your actions are causing happiness, no harm and freedom.
When we chose to eat meat, eggs or dairy, we are stilling lives, freedom and happiness from other beings. How can we be happy and free if we cause unhappiness and slavery to others. When chanting lokāḥ samastāḥ sukhino bhavantu we should include all other animals that are here to share this planet with us. If we can live up to the meaning of this chant : May all beings everywhere be happy and free and may the thoughts, words and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and to that freedom for all. We undoubtedly will become happy and free.
Yoga practice will guide us to deeper understanding of compassionate and mindful lifestyle. Yoga will reveal to us how to reach freedom. But we have to be willing to live up to what we want to achieve – happiness and freedom.
Written by Varvara Tsepkova Dame