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Om Sahana Vavatu – Prayer Meaning

The Shanti Mantra “Om Sahana Vavatu” is quite familiar to many people and is chanted at the beginning of study classes or any venture undertaken for learning.

The mantra
Om Sahana Vavatu. Sahanau bhunaktu.
Saha veeryam karavaavahai
Tejasvinaa vadhee tamastu maa vidvishavahai
Om Shaanti Shaanti Shaantih

Om, may He protect us both (teacher and the taught).
May He look after us both to enjoy (the fruits of
scriptural study). May we both exert together (to find the
true meaning of the sacred text). May our studies be
fruitful so that we acquire lustre. May we never quarrel
with each other. Om Peace! Peace!! Peace!!!

Word Meaning
Om – Symbol of the Pure Brahman,
Saha – together,
Nau – us both,
Avatu – may he protect,
Bhunaktu – may He look after (the fruits of spiritual study),
Viryam – put in effort with enthusiasm,
Karvavahai – exert together (to find the true meaning of sacred texts),
Tejasvi – Lustrous,
Adhiram – study,
Astu – may be,
Ma – never,
Vidvishavahai – (may we two) quarrel.
Shantih – Peace

Explanatory Notes
The fact that the Rishi says that we both should not quarrel has a deeper meaning. When someone acquires a little knowledge that knowledge inflates his ego and leads to discussion. These discussions should not lead to quarrel; they should reveal further facets of Truth thus creating light instead of heat.

SourceChinmayam Magazine April 2000 Issue.