Mantra of the Month: May All Beings Be Happy

लोकाः समस्ताः सुखिनो भवन्तु

This mantra has been passed down through generations by way of oral tradition and does not appear in any of the known written Vedas. It has been adopted by several yoga schools in recent years which has brought the mantra back into popularity.

Most simply translated: “May all beings be happy and free.”
More elaborately translated: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free, and may my thoughts, words, and actions contribute in some way to happiness and freedom for all.”

Teacher Sharon Gannon breaks down the Sanskrit in the following way:
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)

Adding the Lokah mantra to your personal practice is a meaningful and beautiful way to remind yourself of your own capacity to create freedom and happiness in the lives of others. The words of the mantra offer us three ways to do so: through our thoughts, our words, and our deeds. It does not ask us to work in enormous ways, but instead asks that our intention be to make freedom and happiness available to every creature everywhere in whatever small way we can. In some ways, one might interpret the Lokah mantra as a commentary on the yogic ideal of Ahimsa (Non Harming). If our actions, words, and thoughts are to bring comfort and joy then they are unlikely to cause pain and suffering.

Listen to Deva Primal teach the pronunciation and sing her version of the mantra here: