Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, revisited

I’ve posted on this topic before, how my dog Rocco has helped teach me the meaning of this Sanskrit blessing. The translation is: May all beings everywhere be happy and free. You know how some things really stick when you are learning something new, and other things slide off and you can’t seem to remember them at all? I believe there’s a reason for that, and many times we hold onto the things that are most relevant to our own lives. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, I am always feeling it. Who can argue with putting it out there for all beings everywhere to be happy and free?

Grooviness aside, let’s take a peek at the philosophy that underlies LSSB. A longer translation (courtesy of Jivamukti Yoga): May all beings everywhere be happy and free. And may the thoughts and actions of my own life contribute, in some way, to that happiness and freedom for all. Most of our actions affect someone else; this can be both good and bad. But it’s not that difficult every day to intentionally do one thing that has a positive effect on another being. LSSB is a blessing for peace, to extend beyond ourselves into the world around us.

Living in Montana has cultivated a feeling of being more connected to the natural world. I am more aware of the impact of my actions on these surroundings. I worry about the environment, because I have been lucky enough to feel connected to nature here in deeper ways than I’ve ever experienced before, and have an understanding of how much is at stake. It doesn’t take an advanced degree to awaken that part of us that is ancient and innate, but it’s not something our modern culture typically fosters. LSSB resonates most for me with animals: the joy and wonder I feel when I see a herd of elk, the way my heart pounds when I am eye to eye with an eagle, the simultaneous calm/euphoria I feel around horses. It plays over and over in my head: may all beings everywhere be happy and free, so that myself and others can continue to experience these feelings of interconnectedness, now and far into the future.

I taught my daughter LSSB, and we often sing it before bed. She remembered it right away too. Namaste.