By: Devakinanda Pasupuleti
Sarvasukhadaṫru' (all be happy) is the Veda nāḋam. In all our Veda mantras, at the end of each section, there are śānṫi mantras like- 'sarvejanā sukhinobhavanṫu', 'OM śhānṫi', 'OM śhānṫi', 'OM śhānṫih' and we finish our worship or ritual with these.
In the USA, people, politicians and even the President end speeches with 'God bless America'. What does this mean? Why only them? What about the rest of the world? There is a big difference between having patriotism and asking God to bless only them. Not only does it not look nice, it is also inhumane. On the other hand, if we look at our Sanātana dharma and our way of life; and if we look at any corner of our nation, in any temple, at the finish of any speech, what do we hear? Statements like- 'sarvejanā sukhinobhavanṫu', 'samasṫa sanmangaḷāṇi sanṫu', 'lokā samastā sukhino bhavanṫu', 'asmān bhavaṫi'; we always wish for the safety and auspiciousness of every being in our prayers.
If we analyze the logic behind this, we realize the wisdom of our ancient seers, ṛishis, and sages. They realized that if one person or community is happy while the other communities are struggling to make ends meet, it is not good for the country. This would have a domino effect on everyone and eventually there would be instability in the society. The same thing is true among countries as well. Today, the world is in turmoil and nobody can travel freely without worrying about one's safety and security. We should think of others' happiness also; then everybody can have a peaceful and content life. It does not mean that we have to give away all our earnings to charity. It's a matter of common courtesy to wish for others happiness along with ours.
That's why, with their selflessness and kindheartedness, our sages, ṛishis, and seers incorporated the śhānṫi mantras along with the Veda mantras at the end of our daily prayers. It became automatic nature for us to recite these peace mantras and we teach our children to continue this tradition, which has been passed on to us from generation to generation. At home, at school, in temples and in public we utter these prayers.
Our nation not only wishes for the happiness of our people, but also of the entire humanity and living beings; thus it is 'Sarvasukhaḋāṫru Bhūmi'.
IṪI VAIḊYASRĪ PASUPULETI DEVAKINANDA VITHAL RĀJA VIRACHIṪAM -
- ŚRI BHĀRAṪA MĀṪĀ AṢHTOṪṪARAṀ!
Oṁ Śhānṫi, Śhānṫi, Śhānṫihi! (Peace, Peace, Peace)