Years ago, I discovered this quote in yoga literature:
“One should regard everything as good and auspicious,
realizing that everything is the one Self.” Yoga Vasishtha VI:58
I often write favorite quotes on sticky notes. Then I place them conspicuously. I enjoy contemplating them. This quote has been especially helpful during challenging times. It’s not always easy to see the goodness—the auspiciousness—of every person and situation.
Before discovering yoga as my spiritual path, I believed in the religious training of my youth. I was taught “Everyone is born sinful and unclean.” As a good student, I tried to accept this teaching. However, I failed. I had no problem accepting yoga’s philosophy the moment I discovered it.
Yoga masters and scriptures agree: we are all pure, holy, beautiful beings. We are a part of the Divine consciousness that is ever present in our hearts. Our true nature is peace, joy, and love.
If you could hear this good news and believe it without any doubt, you would be instantly enlightened. If not, there’s some work to do. You might, like me, have to put in some effort to overcome beliefs that have become a part of your mental makeup. These beliefs might have been formed during your youth. Yogis adds that we are born with mental impressions from past lives; see An Introduction to Karma.
Yoga, like many other Eastern traditions, provides mantras to help us satisfy our desires. Mantras are Sanskrit words or phrases. They may be repeated aloud or silently. Like positive affirmations, mantras take root in our subconscious minds.
There are many yogic mantras. Some are recited to increase material wealth. Others are for improving your health. Devotional mantras satisfy our hunger for knowledge of the Divine.
A popular mantra, used to create inner peace and harmony, is found in one of the most ancient books of the Vedas: the Isha Upanishad (aff link).
Phonetically, this mantra reads:
OM poorna madah, poorna midam
Poornaat poornamu dach yatay
Poornasya poornamaa daaya
Poorna mayvaava shishyatay.
Om shaanti shaanti shaantihi
That is perfect. This is perfect.
From the perfect, springs the perfect.
If the perfect is taken from the perfect,
Only the perfect remains.
OM Peace. Peace. Peace
Exercise: How to Learn the Peace Mantra
Use this mantra whenever you feel the need for more peace of mind—in times of stress or mental restlessness. You might also enjoy a few minutes of chanting this mantra before or after your daily meditation. This is a powerful practice of mental housekeeping.
Refer to the phonetic verse above. Listen carefully to the Sanskrit pronunciation in this video. It’s not necessary to understand Sanskrit grammar. The benefits of chanting mantras come through the sincerity of your intentions. As you chant, affirm the truth of its meaning: Everything is perfect—be at peace.
You’ll soon notice that your mind is calmer in difficult situations. You’ll acquire the mental habit of looking for the perfection in yourself, others, and every situation. This mantra helps you recognize the perfect peace and joy already residing in your heart.
Chityānanda has been a disciple of Svāmī Gurupremānanda Sarasvatī since 1975. She teaches meditation and yoga as a spiritual path in Santa Cruz, California.