19. Why do we say shaanti thrice?

Shaanti, meaning "peace", is a natural state of being. Disturbances are created
either by others or us. For example, peace already exists in a place until someone makes
noise.

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Therefore, peace underlies all our agitations. When agitations end, peace is
naturally experienced since it was already there. Where there is peace, there is happiness.
Therefore, every one without exception desires peace in his/her life.
However, peace within or without seems very hard to attain because it is covered
by our own agitations. A rare few manage to remain peaceful within even in the midst of
external agitation and troubles. To invoke peace, we chant prayers. By chanting prayers,
troubles end and peace is experienced internally, irrespective of the external disturbances.
All such prayers end by chanting shaanti thrice.

It is believed that trivaram satyam - that which is said thrice comes true. For
emphasizing a point we repeat a thing thrice. In the court of law also, one who takes the
witness stands says, "I shall speak the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth".
We chant shaanti thrice to emphasise our intense desire for peace. All obstacles,
problems and sorrows originate from three sources.

Aadhidaivika : The unseen divine forces over which we have little or no control
like earthquakes, floods, volcanic eruptions etc.

Aadhibhautika: The known factors around us like accidents, human contacts,
pollution, crime etc.

Aadhyaatmika : We sincerely pray to the Lord that at least while we undertake
special tasks or even in our daily lives, there are no problems or that, problems are
minimised from the three sources written about above.
May peace alone prevail. Hence shaanti is chanted thrice.

It is chanted aloud the first time, addressing the unseen forces. It is chanted softer
the second time, directed to our r immediate surroundings and those around, and softest the
last time as it is addressed to oneself.

contd..12