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Sanskrit Chants from Devki’s Classes

Many of you may recall that IYAC/ACYI made a gift of yoga to its members in the form of five online classes with Devki Desai from RIMYI in Pune. Many of you, in fact, may be participating in these sessions and will have noted that Devki includes several prayers – chants and invocations – that extend beyond the familiar Invocation to Patanjali.

In response to a member’s request, Linda Shevloff, IYAC/ACYI President, offers us some insights on several of these prayers.

The Invocation to Patanjali

  The Sanskrit [in transliteration]…

Yogena cittasya padena vacam
Malam sarirasya ca vaidyakena
Yopakarottam pravaram muninam
Patanjalim pranjaniranato’smi
Abahu purusakaram
Sanka cakrasi dharinam
Sahasra sirasam svetam
Pranamami patanjalim

  The English…

Let us bow before the noblest of sages, Patanjali, who gave yoga for serenity and sanctity of mind, grammar for clarity and purity of speech, and medicine for perfection of health.

Let us prostrate before Patanjali, an incarnation of Adisesa, whose upper body has a human form, whose arms hold a conch and a disc, and who is crowned by a thousand-headed cobra.

The Guru Mantra

  The Sanskrit [in transliteration]…

Guru Brahma, Guru Vishnu, Guru Devo Maheshwara
Guru Sakshat, Param Brahma, tasmai shri guravay namaha

  The English…

Here the yogi appeals to the force of creation, the force of preservation and the force of transformation. It acknowledges the lessons learned through life experiences and honours both the human and spiritual guru, including the guru within.

During the class on Mother’s Day, each round of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation) began with a recognition:

  The Sanskrit [in transliteration] and the English…

1. Om Shri matrubhumi namaha* (Salutations to the homeland)
2. Om Shri matrudevo bhavaha (Salutations to the Mother)
Om Shri gurave namaha  (Salutations to the Guru)
Om suryay namaha (Salutations to the sun, the one who induces activity)
Om mitraya namaha (Salutations to the friend of all)
Om Adityaya namaha (Salutations to the cosmic mother)

*‘Namaha’ means ‘to bow down’

Tvameva (Everything)

  The Sanskrit…

त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव

त्वमेव बंधुश्च सखा त्वमेव ।

त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणम् त्वमेव

त्वमेव सर्वं मम देव देव ।

  The Sanskrit [in transliteration]…

tvameva mātā ca pitā tvameva
tvameva bandhuśca sakhā tvameva
tvameva vidyā draviṇaṃ tvameva
tvameva sarvaṃ mama devadeva

  The English…

You are the mother, you are the father, you are the relative, you are the friend, you are education, you are wealth, you are everything for me, O Lord, O Lord.

Mantra to Lord Ganesha, Remover of Obstacles

  The Sanskrit [in transliteration]…

Vakratunda Mahakaya Surya Koti Samaprabha |

Nirvighnam* Kuru Me Dev Sarv-Kaaryeshu Sarvadaa ||

  The English…

O Lord Ganesha, one with a huge body, a curved elephant trunk and whose brilliance is equal to billions of Suns, May you always remove all obstacles from my endeavours.

*This mantra uses the word Nirvighnamwhich refers to Lord Ganesha and it is one of the 108 names of Lord Ganesha. It also means Remover of Obstacleswhich is the central theme of the mantra in which the devotees pray to Lord Ganesha for removal of all obstacles from their life.

Shanti Mantra (Peace Mantra)

  The Sanskrit [in transliteration]…

asato mā sadgamaya
tamasomā jyotir gamaya
mrityormāamritam gamaya
Oṁ śhānti śhānti śhāntiḥ

  The English…

Lead me from the unreal to the real.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead me from death to immortality.
Om peace, peace, peace.

The Mantra between Guru and Shishya (Teacher and Student )

  The Sanskrit…

ॐ सह नाववतु |
सह नौ भुनक्तु |
सह वीर्यं करवावहै |
तेजस्विनावधीतमस्तु मा विद्विषावहै॥
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः॥

  The Sanskrit [in transliteration]…

Oṃ saha nāv avatu
saha nau bhunaktu
saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai
tejasvi nāv adhītam astu
mā vidviṣāvahai
Om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ

  The English…

May we be protected together.
May we be nourished together.
May we create strength among one another.
May our study be filled with brilliance and light.
May there be no hostility between us.
Om peace, peace, peace.

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