Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

In English the word Shanti is usually translated as Peace. No matter how accurate that translation may be in usage it is not to my mind satisfactory. Peace does not convey anything of the same quality as Shanti. Shanti is a word that emanates. It spreads like the wind on the Ocean, stilling all it touches and reducing movement to a minimum. Peace does not do this. Peace drops. I cannot even say it settles because the downward movement of the sound is more powerful than that. It falls like a veil over things. As such it is an imposing settling, something that comes from and is demanded from outside.

Shanti does not do this. Like the hand raised in a gathering that gradually draws all to its signal, so Shanti draws upwards from within. Can you imagine that signal being used in the Houses of Parliament? People would ignore it and shout even louder over one another. The speaker shouting loudest of all. Order! Order! ORDER!

I cannot imagine the use of the word Shanti in these circumstances.

No Shanti is not well translated as Peace.

The better word in English to use is Tranquillity.

Like Shanti Tranquillity spreads outwards touching all it falls upon and drawing them into that state of rest which is best described as Shanti, it is so pleasing.

It is this failure of translators to value the resonance of a word as well as its general sense that I find so unhappy in many of the translations I come across, not of Shanti only but of many words and languages. Before a translator can properly translate a work they must first have the soul of a poet, for a poet hears words, and in hearing them knows their weight and value. Their echo in the depths of Space, and thus within the human body.

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