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OM POORNAM-ADAH, POORNAM-IDAM
OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTIHI
The Shanti Mantras or "Peace Mantras" are prayers for Peace (Shanti) from the Vedas. Generally they are recited at the beginning and end of religious rituals and discourses.
POORNAM in Sanskrit refers to Fullness, Completeness or Infinity. The verse talks about Brahman, a Hindu conception of the Absolute, the highest state of conciousness and reality. It says the Brahman will always remain unchanged.
Om! That is infinite (Brahman), and this (universe) is infinite.
The infinite proceeds from the infinite.
(Then) taking the infinitude of the infinite (universe),
It remains as the infinite (Brahman) alone.
Om! Peace! Peace! Peace!
This mantra is supposed to calm the mind of the reciter or the listener and the environment around him/her. Listening/Reciting them is also believed to removing any obstacles for the task being started.
According to the scriptures of Hinduism, sources of obstacles and troubles are in these three realms:
Physical or Adhi-Bhautika realm can be source of troubles/obstacles coming from external world, such as from wild animals, people, natural calamities etc.
Divine or Adhi-Daivika realm can be source of troubles/obstacles coming from extra-sensory world of spirits, ghosts, deities, demigods/angels etc.
Internal or Adhyaatmika realm is source of troubles/obstacles arising out of one's own body and mind, such as pain, diseases, laziness, absent-mindedness etc.
These are called "Tapa-Traya" or three classes of troubles. When Shanti mantras are recited, obstacles from these realms are believed to be pacified.