By Swami Harshananda
When some unnatural or supernatural phenomena takes place, foreboding some evil, remedial measures have to be undertaken. These are generally termed as śāntis. Even in some early Vedic mantras we find the idea of counteracting the evil effects of bad dreams. They are:
- The Sāñkhāyana-grhyasutras prescribes the Ṛgvedic sukta for curing a person suffering from any disease.
- In the Taittiriya Āranyaka there are 37 mantras of śānti, of which 7 are from the Rgveda.
- Several verses of the Atharvaveda are also prescribed for similar purposes.
- The entire chapter 36 of the Śukla-yajurveda Samhitā comprises of 24 mantras.
- It is used as śānti during the Pravargya rite.
Such Vedic mantras are called Sāntisuktas.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore