>Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu


Thank you to Nicky Poole at www.889yonge.com/blog for sharing this post with us.

As my regular students know, this year I am introducing us to different sacred chants at the conclusion of our asana class.  Last month in January we learned a very simple chant, and I thought today I would follow up with some more details for you who want to keep chanting this as part of your practice.  Chanting, (as I have learned from my teachers), is not really something that you learn from a book or the internet, but a sacred vibration that is passed on from teacher to student orally.  Because we spent a month together chanting this in class, I feel it holds integrity for me to follow up this experience with some more resources and information for you to continue your home practice. All of the mantras I will be teaching in class are part of my practice of yoga, and this one I have been chanting for over 10 years!

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
I translated it in class, simply, as this:
 May all beings be free and happy.
In slightly more depth, Sharron Gannon defines it as:
 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.
Word for word, a loose interpretation of the sanskrit is as follows (Please note: I am not a sanskrit scholar!  This conveys the basic meaning, and is not from in depth academic study!)
Lokah:  The location of all universes existing at this moment
Samastah: All beings living in this location
Sukhino: In happiness, joy and free from all suffering
Bhav: The divine mood or state of union
Antu: May it be so
This mantra does not appear in any of the existent written Vedas, but has passed down through generation by way of oral tradition.   It has been popularised this century byAmma, the hugging saint of Kerala, India, and also forms the last part of the Ashtanga Yoga closing mantra as taught traditionally by the late Sri K Pattabhi Jois of Mysore.  TheJivamukti school of yoga also uses this mantra extensively in their sadhana.
For some beautiful online recordingsof this chant I highly recommend listening on you tube/ and downloading on Itunes:
Deva Premal and Miten : I adore Deva Premal – this is a beautiful recording
Jane Withner : This recording is exquisite.  Perfect for savasana.  Vocal purity.
Donna De Lory : Donna De Lory is amazing.  I have had the great fortune to attend Kirtan with her a few times.  She adds her own interpretation to this chant – the one linked here is live, but I suggest finding it on Itunes if you are looking for a more groovy mantra!
There are literally hundreds of recordings out there.  If you love another one, please share in the comments below!