This is one of the most popular invocatory verses deriving its roots from the Isha Vasya Upanishad, which is a part of the Shukla Yajur Veda. It calls attention to the completeness of the Supreme Parabrahman and the Oneness which exists despite His Creation and individual manifestation of beings.
OM Poornam-adah Poornam-idam Poornaat Poornam-Udachyate
OM Shanti Shanti Shanti Hi
Literal Translation of the Words
OM : The Supreme Parabrahman
Poornam : Complete, self-sufficient, all inclusive
Poornam : Complete, whole, full in itself
Idam : This
Poornaat : From that completeness (Macro I AM)
Poornam : Complete or whole (this or Micro I AM)
Udachyate : Comes or becomes manifest
Poornasya : From complete or whole (that or Virat)
Poornam : Complete or whole (this or Vaishwaanara)
Aadaaya : Removed, taken away
Poornam : Complete or absolute
Eva : Only
Avashishyate : Remains
Shanti : Peace
Hi : May there be or be established
Meaning of the Shanti Mantra
1. “OM Poornam-adah Poornam-idam Poornaat Poornam-Udachyate”:
That is Complete. This is complete. It implies that God or “Macro I am” is complete, and so is the ‘Micro I am” or the individual Soul manifesting in every human being.
From that Poornam, or God, this Poornam, or you, become manifested. This is true for everyone. You must deal with everyone keeping this in mind.
2. “Poornasya Poornam-Aadaaya”:
From that whole, self-sufficient God, you the Soul, who is also whole, are separated.
After being separated, only completeness remains. That is, you and He are still One! This “Micro I am”, also known as Vaishwaanara, comes from (and always part of) the “Macro I am”, the Virat. Virat still feels complete after the separation. The completeness thus stays on! We, (the Micro I Ams), feel separate due to our ignorance and lower attachment.
In the usual mathematical sense, when you take away a part from the whole, the size of the whole diminishes. However, the Soul is not a substance that is finite. Hence, nothing can be removed or separated from it. God is accordingly an infinite being, the Soul of the Universes, who is unlimited and always complete in spite of the Creation emanating from Him. He and His Creation are One. Hence, unlike us, He is the causeless cause of His Creation.
4. “OM Shanti Shanti Shanti hi!”
We beseech Supreme God for peace. Peace is besought three times with a specific intent.
One of the objectives is striving for peace at the lower three quarters of OM, i.e., for harmony at Physical and Energy bodies, stillness and calmness at the Emotional level and finally Mental poise and composure.
Another purpose of uttering Shanti three times is to sought for peace in known situations of perturbation, also from the confusion in conditions not known and furthermore from the chaos within. Practice of forgiveness can help overcome such turmoil and experience peace.
You are not separate from Brahman! You are part of Him always. He never feels you are separated. For God, you are part of him, because everything is within him. You feel separated because of rejection, denial, hatred towards others and not being able to open the Heart chakram. You are not able to recognize that you and others are all inseparable part of only One Brahman. That is ignorance!
A drop has all the properties of the ocean. Likewise, He is in you and enveloping you. In various ways He is protecting you, via air, earth, water, etc. Such is the fantastic love of God! Mother Earth is carrying you, providing you nutrients and resources. Sun is giving you energy. Fruits or plants and water have Sun prana, Air prana and Earth prana. They provide you nourishment. Look up Hatha Yoga by Yogi Ramacharaka. He stresses on the significance of exercises, breathing exercises and diet!
Physically, you may be nothing, but spiritually there is only Oneness! You, the Micro, are part of the Universe, the Macro. Poornamadah Poornamidam! As just mentioned, you have come from Him; yet you are not separate. He doesn't ever feel the separation. It is you who feel the separation and hence, the misery. Come out of this sense of separateness, the misery will be gone. Advaitam or Oneness is Bliss! The moment, the sense of separation is gone, you are in the Intuitional plane experiencing Bliss.
There are tools to heal, forgive, empathize, recognize and respect the Divinity in all, become a channel to extend Blessings to others, and so enhance the consciousness to realize that there is actually no separation.
With regular, daily practice, you progress in this direction. Your chakrams and energy body will develop, your capabilities will increase, you will mitigate karma by contributing to others, uplifting people around, nurturing the souls of other people and in the process, you will get nourished. Utilize your time well to work adequately and abundantly with joyful interest and enthusiasm for this purpose of the Divine!
You may join our daily online sessions for practicing breathing exercises to calm yourselves emotionally and strengthen your body, Forgiveness Sadhana to acquire peace and let go of the past disappointments and hurt, inner reflection and firm resolutions to reprogram your predisposed behaviour, and loving kindness meditations, namely, Planetary Peace Meditation, Metta Meditation or prayer on Great Invocation to channel the Divine blessings to your immediate environment and people around to transform the environment and to help your near and dear with right guidance. Additionally, to be an instrument to Bless the entire Mother Earth. This is a great service and an opportunity for your own Spiritual growth. You can also experience a powerful guided Divine Healing during these sessions. These sessions are being conducted regularly @ www.facebook.com/ShriNJReddy. Timings: Morning 7.15 AM, Afternoon 1.00 PM, Evening 6.30 PM.
Furthermore, you may participate in the special guided Divine Group Healing daily, for fifteen minutes, at 10 am IST, by registering here for free. You can receive healing by being receptive during this time or contribute to others by being a channel to perform Group Healing for them or both.
You may also try our YPV Sadhana app which is available in various languages for free. It has guided audios for the breathing exercises, Forgiveness Sadhana and Planetary Peace Meditation. These techniques also boost and sustain your immune system.