Samasta Loka Sukhino Bhavantu

Duty, Dharma

by Jayaram V

Samasta loka sukhino bhavantu means may the whole world by happy. It is one of the most popular blessings in Hinduism, which is chanted at the end of many prayers and chants. Its alterative expressions are, sarve jana sukhino bhavantu and sarva lokah sukhino bhavantu. They mean the same.

Why happiness of the world?

Hindus wish for the welfare of the whole world in ritual prayers and chants for a few important reasons. They do form the core beliefs of Hindu Dharma. Hinduism is perhaps the only religion which accepts diversity as a fact of life and an expression of God and Nature, and the happiness of everyone an important consideration, if not the goal of everyone. Here are a few important reasons why the happiness of the world matters to a devout Hindu.

1. One family: Hindus believe that all the living beings on planet earth constitute one large God family (vasudaika kutumbam). If the family is happy, you are happy. Therefore, it is our duty to wish the welfare of everyone in this large family of God

2. We are not alone. Most problems arise because we see ourselves as distinct individuals, disconnected from the world. The truth is we are not alone. We are part of the web of relationships God weaves upon earth with his Maya. What effects one affects all. What you do, knowingly or knowingly, leaves its ripple effects in the world and touches many lives. You cannot be happy in a sea of unhappiness. Therefore, if you want to be happy and peaceful, you must wish for the welfare of others and contribute to their happiness.

3. Service to God. All this here is inhabited by God. All this is for God’s enjoyment only. He is in all and all are in him. Serving others is the same as serving God (manava seva Madhava seva). Therefore, when you meet others, remember that God is in them, and they deserve your love, respect and consideration. By wishing them well and treating them well, you express your love and devotion for God and do yourself a lot of good by participating in the sacrifice of life.

4. Selfishness is evil. The blessing serves as a reminder that we should not live for our happiness and welfare only, but engage in our duties for the welfare and happiness of all. As householders, it is our duty to serve others and thereby God. The Vedas affirm that selfishness is evil (adharma). Anything that you do for yourself leads to sin, suffering and rebirth. Therefore, live your life as a sacrifice for God, serving others and wishing them well.

5. Be a source of happiness rather than suffering. The world is impermanent. Everyone who lives here is subject to death, disease and aging. Mortal life is a life of suffering. No one can escape from it. Everyone is suffering. Therefore  why should we increase their suffering through our selfishness and evil actions? As long as we live, we must practice the highest virtue of nonviolence, avoiding causing suffering to others, living with self-restraint, practicing virtues, shunning the chief evils such as anger, lust, pride, envy, etc., putting others before us, serving them and wishing their welfare and happiness.

The world means

In the context of this sacred blessing, the world means the world with which you interact every day. It mostly consists of the people and objects with which you interact. They can be your parents, grandparents, siblings, children, guests, people who seek your help, company or friendship and so on. Just as they are a part of your world, you are a part of their world too. If you can be a source of happiness to them rather than pain and suffering, you are indeed doing your part in making the world a better place to live.

Share This

Suggestions for Further Reading

Translate the Page