Om Asatoma Sadgamaya – Pavamana mantra is a Hindu mantra introduced in the Brhadaranyaka Upanisad. It is an invocation of peace and is used as a prayer in Indian schools, during spiritual gatherings, social events and other times.
Om Asatoma Sadgamaya mantra complete lyrics:
„Om Asatoma Sadgamaya,
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shantihi.”
Pavamana mantra translation:
„Lead me from the unreal to the real,
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality,
Let there be peace, peace, and peacefulness.”
Mantra meaning on syllables:
- Om, also written as Aum, is a mystical and sacred syllable, the sound from which all other sounds are formed. This syllable symbolizes the most profound concepts of universal creation including the 3 stages of existence (birth, life, and death).
- Asato is as a matter of fact “Asatah” because of the ”M” that follows, is transformed into Asato (due to Sandhi, a grammar rule in Sanskrit, used to simplify the pronunciation). The grammatical case is ablative. The ablative can be an ablativus instrumentalis, which would be translated as ”a tool.” Thus, ”asato” translates as ”our tool.”
- Ma represents the personal pronoun of the first person, in the case accusative, and translates as “me.”
- Sat translates as “Truth.”
- Gamaya comes from the Sanskrit word “gam”, which translates as “come, lead or send to.”
- Tamaso translates as “Darkness.”
- Jyotis translates as “Light” and transformed into ”jyotir” because of the Sandhi.
- Mrityor translates as “through Death”
- Amritam translates as ”immortality.”
- Shanti translates as ”peace.” Simply knowing that the word “shanti” means “peace” doesn’t get us very far. We need to learn how to cultivate peace in our lives. Shanti, or ”inner peace,” arises when the mind has let go of both aversion and grasping. Living ethically is also both an expression of a peaceful state of being and a path to peace. This means abstaining from actions (also words and thoughts) that cause harm to oneself or others.
What this Sanskrit mantra really means is: “God, please lead me to the understanding that I am not the limited mind, body, and intellect, but I am, was and always will be that absolute, eternal, blissful consciousness that serves as their substratum.”