jtemplate.ru - free extensions for joomla

Shanti, Shanti, Shanti-hi – Exploring the vertical dimension


Some of the popular Hindu slokas and Buddhist chanting end with the phrase "Shanti, Shanti, Shanti-hi". The word "Shanti" means "peace". But, just like several Eastern concepts, there is a great breadth to this word. Shanti also means "peace of mind", "inner peace", "peace with oneself", "calmness", "being unperturbed", etc. Interestingly, no matter how wide the meaning gets, the word is seldom used in context with God (as an external entity). I am calling the Shanti derived from relationship with God as the "Vertical Dimension" of Shanti to make the distinction. For us commoners, the only references that come close to peace with God is when there is a prayaschit (appeasement) done to free oneself from negative influence of a deity or navagraha (Nine planets or Nine realms). In many cases, this appeasement has to be done on a recurring basis, more out of fear than anything else. 

Interestingly, when Yeshu came into this world to become our prayaschit, he talks about this peace with God and is ready to bring it to all of us. He said in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." Please note, Yeshu is emphasizing that this peace is nothing like what the world has to offer or something we can manufacture ourselves. This peace of Yeshu is something different. How can we experience this vertical dimension of Shanti, unless we rightly relate with God? How can one relate rightly with God before all the karmic debts are paid? No wonder our traditions talk about reincarnating several lifetimes to pay this insurmountable karmic debt. How many of us can say that this life is our last Jenma (birth) because we have paid off all our karmic debt? 

Fortunately, God, in His rich mercy for us and in His unwavering desire to keep the law of Dharma (Righteousness from God’s viewpoint), took this punishment upon Himself through Yeshu's sacrificial death. The ultimate prayschit (appeasement) for all the Adharma (Our Unrighteousness) we committed was fully paid for during Yeshu's crushing death. Because of Yeshu's spirit of holiness (perfection) and complete quenching of our Adharma, Yeshu came back to life after three days and is able to impart this Shanti with God to anyone who chooses to believe in Him. We are able to be reconciled with God through Yeshu. 

So the real question for my spiritually sensitive brother and sister is: do we really have to reincarnate if Yeshu became the perfect prayaschit for us? Is there really no escape from the cycle of samsara? Thank God we can be rescued from samsara. As a person hailing from the Brahmin culture, this is my religious duty - to proclaim to you this Yeshu Marga (The way shown by Yeshu). 

While we are just rejoicing about this awesome freedom, God ups the ante with another new concept - God's Shanti (Peace of God). When a person chooses to take the step of faith to acknowledge that Yeshu is their prayaschit (compensation for their Karma), God gives Himself as a gift to us and comes and lives in us. In fact, we need God as an internal Guru to receive the Peace of God. This peace is not like the peace of mind. We all have experienced peace of mind when things go our way. But the peace of God is the internal assurance that God gives us, even when things go contrary to our wishes and even when we suffer. 

No wonder one of the radical persecutors of Yeshu's sishyas (followers), who later became his follower (Paul), says, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? … No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us …" 

God has transcended (came down) to our level, breaking all barriers, to give us a peace that transcends understanding. In fact, there is nothing in all creation that can stand between God's love and us. This is the True Veda (Knowledge). Just like the concept of Vedanta (Veda – Knowledge, Anta – End), at the end of this true knowledge, the hearer has an option to take a step of faith. If you are that hearer today who is eager to dive into the vertical dimension of Shanti, stretch out your hand and receive it from God. You will receive peace with God when you acknowledge Yeshu's death as your prayaschit. Then you can receive the Pavitra Atma (God’s Spirit) to enjoy the unhindered Peace of God. 

The next time you say the word Shanti, it will mean a lot more than just the breadth of terms we are used to. My friend, explore the vertical dimension of Shanti; it is freely offered to us, because of God's unending prem (love) for us. 

May the peace of Yeshu guard your heart from now until eternity.