It is usual to start a lesson be it, Chanting, Sūtra, Āsana with a prayer……

tkv_tk_3_1980

“It is usual to start a lesson be it, ChantingSūtra, Āsana, with a prayer.
A prayer is recited and repeated according to the study or purpose of the lesson,
to show respect for the subject.
When the student is familiar with the prayer they repeat it along with the teacher.
Focusing the study with a prayer helps to recall earlier study, lineage of repetition.
The student is given the meaning later.
After the lesson another prayer is said to offer thanks for the learning and for everybody.”
From study notes with TKV Desikachar England 1992

Yoga regards the mind principally, this is absolutely universal…….

“I unintentionally mixed the Vedic tradition,
teaching about God’s pre-eminence,
with Yoga, whose goal and intention are different.
Yoga regards the mind principally, this is absolutely universal.

In the Yoga system, Īśvara, the principle of perfection,
is nothing but a means to attain mental clarity,
and still, it is a means among others!

read more

The convention of Paraṃparā or ongoing transmission from teacher to student…

Guru Pūrṇimā

The convention of Paraṃparā or ongoing transmission from teacher to student
is especially honoured annually on this particular full moon day called Guru Pūrṇimā.

The chant below is from traditional prayers chanted at the beginning of any textual studies.
It honours ones teacher and their teacher and their teacher and so on in time memorial.

The recording below by TKV Desikachar I made within lessons over 30 years ago
and is offered as a downloadable MP3 along with a notated chant sheet.

gurubhyastad gurubhyaśca
To my teacher and all their teachers

namo vākamadhīmahe |
I salute through my words

vṛṇīmahe ca tad rādyau
Lauding and that first

dampatī jagatāṃ pati ‖
couple world Lord of

To my teacher and all their teachers
I salute through my words.
Lauding not only them, but the first
couple, Lord of the world.

– Śrī Gurubhyo Namaḥ –

View or Download Gurubhyastad Gurubhyaśca Opening Prayer PDF with notations

Listen or Download Gurubhyastad Gurubhyaśca Opening Prayer MP3 Sound File

One must be clear when one speaks about Yoga…..

Patanjali Yoga Sutra

“Therefore one must be clear when one speaks about Yoga:
as far as we are concerned, we refer mainly to Patañjali’s Yoga.
Otherwise, quoting various texts,
one can justify almost anything in the name of Yoga.
Patañjali’s Yoga is obviously the most open, universal
and the most clearly distinct from Vedānta, which is a school in itself.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting

This is why we recite Mantra to these two stars…..

mantra

“The moon,
whose rays are auspicious for the gathering of medicinal herbs,
is the god of herbs,
whilst the light of the sun gets to the bottom of all impurities.
This is why we recite Mantra to these two stars,
during the preparation of Āyurveda remedies.”
– T Krishnamacharya

It is not the number of hours in Meditation…..

dhyanam

“It is not the number of hours in Meditation,
the type of Ratio in Prāṇāyāma,
the number of times you turn the Mālā,
it is the intensity of the attempt.”
– TKV Desikachar on Yoga Sūtra Chapter One verse 22

The Guru must judge how serious is the desire……

mantra

“The Guru must judge how serious is the desire and the faith
and then teach the Mantra that he considers most appropriate.
In any event,
he needs to know that it may be that there will be no positive result,
because a lot depends on the attitude of the student.”
T Krishnamacharya

Disciples often show themselves as changeable……

mantra

“Disciples often show themselves as changeable.
One day they are passionately interested in studying this or that Mantra
and the next day they have lost interest.”
– T Krishnamacharya

Tapas is Proper Diet, Mantra Chanting and Self-Inquiry.

srimad_bhagavad_gita

Tapas is Proper Diet, Mantra Chanting and Self-Inquiry.”
– T Krishnamacharya commentary on Bhagavad Gītā Chapter Six verse 46

(Refer also to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Two verse 1 with its Kriyā Yoga and additional commentaries from Krishnamacharya and Desikachar)

Nowadays, a large number of Yoga teachers offer Vedic chanting classes.

tkv_tk_1980

“Nowadays, a large number of Yoga teachers offer Vedic chanting classes.
Some have been studying and practising seriously and others have simply listened to a cassette.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting

There is something mysterious about Vedic chanting……

Desikachar and Paul Chanting in 1999
“There is something mysterious about Vedic chanting.
It is so simple that even people who don’t know music at all can practice it.
Many people who have never sung in their life are interested in it.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting

I think, that all those who want to practise Vedic chanting……

tryambakam_mantra

“I think, that all those who want to practise Vedic chanting must be able to do so,
provided there is no confusion with Patañjali’s Yoga.”
– Extract from an interview with TKV Desikachar on Vedic Chanting

Even Mantra are classified into Guṇa…..

mantra

“Even Mantra are classified into Guṇa.
This needs to be considered when using Mantra for the individual.”
– TKV Desikachar Madras November 24th 1979 on Sāṃkhya and Yoga

So many Upaniṣad mention OM because most Upaniṣad are……

om“There are many texts on Yoga and Yoga is found in one form or another in the Upaniṣat. Yoga for them is the means to realise God and OM is the key to that process. So many Upaniṣad mention OM because most Upaniṣat are involved with Vedānta or the movement towards God.”
– TKV Desikachar “The use and abuse of OM”, Lecture on September 5th 1983 in Zinal, Switzerland

All the Mantra that are utilised must have the OM to give it life.

om“All the Mantra that are utilised must have the OM to give it life.”
TKV Desikachar – Lecture on September 5th 1983 in Zinal, Switzerland
(Fuller notes on this lecture yet to be posted)

read more

Stay lean and keep the fire going in your belly……

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

“With discipline and modest fare.
Stay lean and keep the fire going in your belly.
Think of God and repeat his words – silently and out loud.”
– T Krishnamacharya’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra C1 v5

Sound is something that takes you in the direction of its origin……

mantra

“Sound is something that takes you in the direction of its origin.”
TKV Desikachar speaking with his senior Western students London 1998

If you respect India and Indians don’t make a joke of OM.

om

“If you respect India and Indians don’t make a joke of OM.”
TKV Desikachar – Lecture on September 5th 1983 in Zinal, Switzerland (Fuller notes on this lecture yet to be posted)

In Mīmāṃsā there is a word called Prayoga (connection)……

mantra

“In Mīmāṃsā (a philosophical system to interpret the Veda, especially the Brāhmaṇa and Mantra, with the object of correctly performing the Veda rituals) there is a word called Prayoga (connection).
The same Mantra has to be recited differently for different rituals.
Or different Mantra in the same ritual.
So even here different applications are needed, the ancients recognised this.
There is a verse which says that if the Mantra is not used correctly it has the opposite effect and destroys or boomerangs.
Instead of doing good it will harm.
This is Mithyā Prayoga (wrong connection) with an opposite effect.
Having spoken of viniyoga (appropriate application), now looking at important points the old teachers used to convey these ideas.”
– TKV Desikachar France 1983

So if certain Yoga Sādhana have a place in another culture……

om

So if certain Yoga Sādhana have a place in another culture we must consider whether this symbol (Om) has a place with people who don’t understand it.”

TKV Desikachar – Lecture on September 5th 1983 in Zinal, Switzerland (Fuller notes on this lecture yet to be posted)

Yoga, Knowing the Unknown – Extract from S Ramaswami January 2012 Newsletter

om

“The mantras especially pranava were chanted, meditated upon and referred to with considerable devotion and respect in the olden days.
Contemporary use of ‘OM’ on tea shirts, vests and other casual wares is sometimes difficult to put up with.”
Extract from S Ramaswami’s January 2012 Newsletter

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