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Our Closing Mantra

Jai Shambo, OM Shanti, Namaste


At the end of each class, I close our time together with three simple Sanskrit mantras merged into a longer format.  The mantra goes: Jai Shambo, OM Shanti, Namaste.  
This translates as, “May you be victorious on your journey to dwelling in the abode of joy.  May you and your path be blessed with peace.  The Divine in me, bows to the Divine in you.”  
Let’s look at the Jai Shambo portion.  Jai means ‘Victory’, but a more important factor in the first part of the mantra is Shambo.  Shambo, means ‘the auspicious one’ and is one of the 108 names of Shiva.  However, a more expanded translation, ‘the One who dwells in the Abode of Joy’, is used here.  I like to think of Shambo though as simply, Dwelling in Joy.  Now, the Abode of Joy is the seat of the Divine or the place where God, the Auspicious One, dwells.   As an example, from a Christian standpoint, we would refer to that as Heaven.  
There are deeper and more expansive meanings which can be associated with this mantra than I offer in this video.  However, I feel by simply understanding at a physical level, and in our day to day activities, the breath is the path for this journey.  In the practices of pranayama, which is the enhancement and containment of life force in our body, we recognize the breath as having the sounds of So and Hum.  So represents the inhale, Hum represents the exhale.  Spelled Soham, it translates as I am That, That I am.  
Since we can not live without breathing, the breath is then recognized as a continual and physical manifestation of the Divine, i.e. God, the Auspicious One, or simply The One.  In relation then to the mantra, when we recognize the abode of joy as the dwelling place of the Divine, we come to this understanding, with each breath we oscillate in and out of this abode.  By then seeking to have better overall  breathing habits, we can increase our wellbeing and find more joy in our body, mind and spirit.
As for OM Shanti, sometimes also said OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti, we are discussing the elements of Peace and the energetic, vibrational nature of the universe.  We are told everything is sound.  In the beginning was the word and the word was with God.  All things we see, touch, taste and hear are composed of vibrational sound waves.  From the yoga view, this original Vibrational Manifesting Sound of the Universe is known as OM, technically spelled AUM.   
Shanti means ‘Peace’.  Traditionally you would say Shanti three times, which is to bring peace to all beings across the three planes of existence, Svarga (Heaven), Bhuloka (Earth), and Patala (Netherworld), as well as to your own three planes, the mind, body, and spirit.
Namaste stems from Namah, Nama, and Namati. Namah means ‘hail’.  Nama means ‘salutation’.  Namati means ‘bend’ or ‘to bow’.  It is then conjugated with the adjective ‘Te’, which means, ‘your’, ‘they’, ‘you’, ‘to you’, plus more variations.  As a result, Namaste literally means, ‘I bow to you’.  This is not a word of subservience, it is one of recognition.  In India it is used both as a greeting of Hello and a salutation when leaving, much like Aloha in Hawaiian.  In the yoga community, we expand the definition to its more full concept.  This so people better understand the inherent meaning one does not gain from growing up outside a Hindu upbringing.  This definition is, ‘The divine light in me, bows in deep reverence to the divine light in you.’  
If you have ever been around people from India, you will see them do prayer hands towards each other.  This is Namaste in its simplest form.  When greeting or leaving someone, by placing the hands together in prayer fashion, known as Anjali mudra, you are communicating the essence of Namaste.  From a western perspective, anjali mudra focuses our mind towards communion with God.  By combining these two concepts together, when we perform anjali mudra we are both recognizing the Divine within another as we are also bowing to the Divine within ourselves.

Jai Shambo, OM Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,  Namaste

Posted/Last Updated: 

Dec 6, 2023

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