Om dyauh shantir antarikshagum shantih / prithvi shantir apah shantir oshadhayah shantih
vanaspatayah shantir vishve devah shantir brahma shantih
sarvagum shantih shantir eva shanthi sa ma shantir edhi
Om shantih shantih shantih
May the heavens—the sun, moon, stars, galaxies, and all zodiac signs—be in peace and harmony. May the space between the earth and the sun, moon, and stars be peaceful and without pollution. May our mother earth be happy and peaceful and free from all pollution. May all the waters be peaceful and free from pollution—the oceans, rivers, drinking water, and rain, with no acid rain. May all the medicinal herbs and plants be in their natural state and be free from pollution. May the whole vegetable kingdom, especially all the trees and forests, be in a natural state, healthy and free from disease due to pollution. May all the elements—earth, water, fire, air, and ether—and all the cosmic forces be in peace and harmony, without pollution. May our body, mind, and soul and all of existence be in peace and harmony, free from pollution. May everything, in and out, be peaceful and in natural harmony, without pollution. May peace itself be real peace, not artificially maintained by military and police forces or balance of nuclear power. And last but not least, may that natural peace, harmony, and unity blossom and flourish through us. Om shanti shanti shanti: peace—physically, mentally, and spiritually.—From the Yajur Veda, interpretative translation by Shri Brahmananda Sarasvati
Yoga provides the means to reintegrate all aspects of one’s being. If your heart is filled with sincere, pure, and selfless intention, then you will experience a deep internal healing and a deep inner peace in your own body, mind, and soul. But more than that, yoga will provide the means to reintegrate the individual with life itself, so that you may experience the unchanging eternal cosmic reality, the blissful source of all beings and things.
The practices of yoga can transform us into spiritually activated beings, free from fear, fueled by the power of peace, compassion, and love. The practices will help us heal the dis-ease of disconnection in ourselves. A state of disconnection leads us to pollute our inner and outer environment. That pollution comes in the form of our thoughts, words, and actions.
You will be able to tell if you are making progress in your yoga practice and causing less pollution to the environment by the words you choose, and by the sound of your own voice. When you can say what you mean and mean what you say—with your whole being—then you know you are moving closer to your highest potential, which includes the ability to truly serve others. You enlarge your circle of compassion to include all others—not just those few human beings you know and like, but even those you find difficult to relate to, perhaps even those who speak a different language or belong to another species. You begin to understand who you are and who “they” are. You begin to see through the differences and into the sacred truth of Oneness.
This practice of living and expressing yourself peacefully will naturally evolve into mindfulness regarding your actions, including your diet. A plant-based vegan diet will contribute more to reducing the pollution of fear and violence in your own body, in the bodies of others, and in the world around you than any other action you could take.
The practices of yoga create peace in ourselves, and that peace will be reflected in the world around us. If we truly want world peace, we must begin by embodying that peace ourselves. The practice of yoga will end war, even wars of which we often are not aware. Unfortunately, there are many human wars being fought on this planet at this time, but the ongoing war is the war against Mother Nature, human beings versus all other animals as well as the planet.
Traditionally, the yogi has been that member of society who strives to live harmoniously with Mother Nature. The true test of moral fiber during these violent times is not to stand against war but to stand for peace. Speak out for peace, live peacefully, think well of others, do what you can to uplift the lives of others. Find a way to live so that your own life enhances the lives of others. Give up the love of power for the power of love. Peace will come when we have given up hateful thoughts, cruel words, and violent actions in our own daily lives. Cultivate hopeful thoughts, sweet speech, and kind actions. Don’t wait for a better world. Start now to create a universe of harmony and peace. It is up to you. It always has been!
From Sharon Gannon’s book Eternity is Happening Now Vol I