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

Prārthanā Mantraḥ – Gaṇapati Saṃhitā Pāṭhaḥ with Translation and Recording

ganesa

Gaṇapati or Gaṇeśa is traditionally seen throughout India as
the ‘Remover of Obstacles’ and ‘Lord of Beginnings’.

He is honoured at the beginning of rituals and invoked as the patron of letters
(legend describes Gaṇeśa as the scribe who wrote the Mahābharata from the dictation of Vyāsa).

As such he can be viewed as the writer of ones destiny.

Taittirīya Saṃhitā 2. 3. 14
– Saṃhitā Pāṭhaḥ or Mūla Mantraḥ

oṃ gaṇānāṃ tvā gaṇapatigṃ havāmahe
kaviṃ kavīnāmupamaśravastamam |
jyeṣṭharājaṃ brahmaṇāṃ brahmaṇaspata
ānaśśvannūtibhissīda sādanam ||
śrī mahāgaṇapataye namaḥ ||

“We invoke thee, O leader of all the hosts.
The wisest of the wise.
The Sage of Sages with treasures beyond measure.
The King of Brilliance. The lead chanter of prayers.
Come with your blessings, listen to our prayers.
Have a seat in our sacred space.”

read more

Mahāmṛtyañjaya Mantra – Saṃhitā Pāṭhaḥ – with Translation

Śiva_and_Pārvatī_seated_on_a_terrace._1800_(circa)_BM

taittirīya saṃhitā V. 4. 12.
mahāmṛtyañjaya mantra – saṃhitā pāṭhaḥ

tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam |
urvārukamiva bandhanānmṛtyormukṣīya mā‘mṛtāt ||

“We worship the three-eyed Lord who is fragrant
and who nourishes and nurtures all beings.
Like the pumpkin I am bound.
Liberate me from death for immortality.”

Put simply:

“Śiva sever my pumpkin so I can be free after death.”

View or Download this post as a PDF
View or Download the Mṛtyañjaya Mantra in Romanised Saṃskṛta with notations and chant extensions
Listen or Download the Mṛtyañjaya Mantra as a sound file from my personal collection of recordings

Chanting Offering for Mahā Śiva Ratri

maha_siva_ratri

Six Verses on Nirvāṇa

They are said to have arisen as a spontaneous response to the question “Who Am I”
With the climax of each of the six verses:
Cit Ānanda Rūpaḥ Śiva Ahaṃ Śiva Ahaṃ
That Form of Pure Awareness and Bliss, I am Śiva, I am Śiva

From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar.
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet with Romanised Saṃskṛta and Translation

Learning Support for Chanting Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaḥ

TKV_1999

सर्वे भवन्तु सुखिनः ।
सर्वे सन्तु निरामयाः ।
सर्वे भद्राणि पश्यन्तु ।
मा कश्चित् दुःख भाग्भवेत् ॥

sarve bhavantu sukhinaḥ |
sarve santu nirāmayāḥ |
sarve bhadrāṇi paśyantu |
mā kashchit duḥkha bhāgbhavet ‖

May all be happy
May all be free from illness
May all see what is auspicious
May no one suffer

Learning Support for Chanting Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaḥ
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet with Devanāgari, Romanised Saṃskṛta and Translation

Kayena Vāca – Yoga Sūtra Chanting Closing Prayer with Translation

Yoga Sūtra Chanting Closing Prayer

This post follows on from yesterday’s post introducing the use of and intention within the practice of closing chants that follow the study of chanting, or the study of associated Yoga texts. Traditionally chant practice or textual study was also preceded with an invocatory passage to help forge a link between the chanters, what is about to be chanted and its purport, as well as setting a context for study.

Thus each area of study that the teacher and student were about to venture into was preceded by an appropriate Dhyānam Ślokam, or set of verses that specifically linked the chanters with that particular area of study or practice. Therefore the opening verses would differ according to whether the focus was Veda Chanting, the Upaniṣat, the Bhagavad Gītā, the Yoga Sūtra, etc.

Equally the same notion applies with regard to the point of focus in the dedication within the chants that accompanied the closing of a chanting or textual study session. This learning by the student and appropriate use of both opening invocation and closing ceremony formed an important part of my own training under Desikachar in the teachings of Krishnamacharya.

read more

Kayena Vāca – Veda Chanting Short Closing Prayer with Translation

Veda Chanting Short Closing Prayer

In this lineage this particular dedication is a vital part of the closing process within a chant practice or textual study context and was important to and constantly used by Krishnamacharya throughout his life.

He also taught it to those of his direct students who studied chanting or the chant practices inherent in the study of associated Yoga texts with him within a traditional learning setting.

read more

Śānti Pataḥ – Saha Nāvavatu with Translation

Desikachar and Paul Chanting in 1999

 

Śānti Pataḥ – Saha Nāvavatu with Translation

I have been teaching a Practitioner Training Group this weekend with a textual focus around the teachings of the Upaniṣat, especially the Taittirīya Upaniṣat Chapters 2 and 3.

Traditionally textual study or chanting practice was preceded and ended with a Śānti Pataḥ or invocatory passage to help forge a link between the chanters, what is chanted and its purport, as well as setting a context for textual study.

So it felt appropriate to include Saha Nāvavatu for our study together, as it is the opening invocation for the Taittirīya Upaniṣat Chapters 2 and 3, as well as for other Upaniṣat such as the Kaṭha and the Nārāyaṇa Upaniṣat.

This chant is where the teacher and the pupil chant together asking for harmonious co-operation within a context of keen and vigorous exploration of what is and especially what isn’t the self and the non-self. A topic fraught with potential resistances and self-illusion.

read more

Learning Support for Chanting the Gaṇapati Prārthanā Saṃhitā Pāṭhaḥ

ganesa
Learning Support for Chanting the Taittirīya Saṃhitā 2.3.14
– Gaṇapati Prārthanā Saṃhitā Pāṭhaḥ.
From my personal library of recordings from my studies
with my teacher TKV Desikachar.
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet in Romanised Saṃskṛta with Notations

Prārthanā Ślokam – Gurubhyastad Verse for all Teachers with Translation

Śrī Nāthamuni

The notion of Paraṃparā or ongoing transmission from teachers to students is typified by Śrī Nāthamuni, Yogi par excellence from the 9th Century. He was a forebear of Śrī Kṛṣṇamācarya and grandfather of Śrī Yāmunācārya, himself the author of the Stotra Ratnam and the Gītārtha Saṃgraha

read more

Śrī Kṛṣṇavāgīśa – A Prayer to Śrī Krishnamacharya with Translation

Picture courtesy of KYM Archives

śrī kṛṣṇavāgīśa yatīśvarābhyām saṃprāpta cakrāṅkaṇa bhyāṣyasāram |

śrī nūtnaraṅgendra yatau samarpitsvam śrī kṛṣṇamāryaṃ guruvaryamīḍe |

virodhe kārtike māse śatatārā kṛtodayam yogācāryaṃ kṛṣṇamāryaṃ guruvaryamahaṃ bhaje ||

“I offer praise to one who is disciplined, Guru Śrī Krishnamacharya, whose great teachers were
Śrī Kṛṣṇa who taught him mantra and initiated him into Cakrāṅkaṇam
(the ritual of prostrating and receiving Śaṅkha, right side and Cakra left side, on the shoulders).
Śrī Vāgīśa who taught him the essence of Śrī Bhyāṣyam (Vedānta) and
Śrī Raṅganātha (Raṅgendra) who initiated him into Bharaṇyāsam
(to place at the Lord’s feet or how to surrender to God).
Born in the year Virodha, during the month of Kṛtika, under the star Śatatāra,
this teacher of Yoga, Guru Krishnamacharya I salute.”

The convention is to speak about the guruparamparā and not describe or or speak about the teacher’s contributions.

read more

A Sūtra Class began with a dedication, it had the effect of orienting……

The original essence of the Yoga Sūtra was passed on by oral tradition. First you learn the rhythm of the  Sūtra. This was in Saṃskṛta, first learning the words or Sūtra, then the meanings. By learning to recite the Sūtra perfectly it was clear that you were earnest in wanting to learn their meanings.

The scheme would be to repeat it twice, in exactly the same tone used by the teacher. This would take many years. Thus these days its difficult to expect to understand the Sūtra from a book or a course.

read more

Yoga Tārāvalī

The Yoga Tārāvalī is a source often quoted within Aṣṭāṅga Yoga Communities because of the adoption of its opening verse (along with one of the traditional opening prayers to Patañjali) as their opening prayer dedications.

However it is a full text in itself, has 29 verses in total and is primarily a teaching on Haṭha Yoga. It was one of the Haṭha texts taught by T Krishnamacharya to TKV Desikachar, along with the more popular medieval Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā and other lesser known Haṭha texts such as the Yoga Yājñavalkhya.

read more

Prārthanā Ślokam – Vedic Chanting Opening Prayers full version

svadhyaya_2

Traditionally chanting practice or textual study was preceded with an invocatory passage to help forge a link between the chanters, what is about to be chanted and its purport, as well as setting a context for textual study.

Thus each area of Study that the teacher and student were about to venture into were preceded by an appropriate Dhyānam Ślokam, or set of verses that specifically linked the chanters with the study.

Therefore if the opening verses would differ according to whether the focus was Veda Chanting or Study, the Upaniṣat, the Bhagavad Gītā, the Yoga Sūtra, etc.

The Dhyānam Ślokam here were taught by T Krishnamacharya and is the long form transmitted to me by TKV Desikachar which includes two prayers relating to the Krishnamacharya family lineage and spiritual tradition.

View or Download Vedic Chant Opening Prayers Full version with Chant notations as a PDF (version 6.1 December 2013)

Prārthanā Ślokam – Vedic Chanting Opening Prayers short version

yoga_sutra_cover

Traditionally chanting practice or textual study was preceded with an invocatory passage to help forge a link between the chanters, what is about to be chanted and its purport, as well as setting a context for textual study.

Thus each area of Study that the teacher and student were about to venture into were preceded by an appropriate Dhyānam Ślokam, or set of verses that specifically linked the chanters with the study.

Therefore the opening verses would differ according to whether the focus was Veda Chanting or Study, the Upaniṣat, the Bhagavad Gītā, the Yoga Sūtra, etc.

The Dhyānam Ślokam here were taught by T Krishnamacharya and is the short form transmitted to me by TKV Desikachar with the addition of a prayer that is a homage to Krishnamachrya.

View or Download Vedic Chant Opening Prayers with Chant notations as a PDF (version 6.1 December 2013)

I feel the importance of taking personal responsibility for correct pronunciation of Saṃskṛta…..

आसन

I feel the importance of taking personal responsibility for correct pronunciation of Saṃskṛta should not be compromised by learning laziness and with it the sloppy pronunciation so apparent today, even amongst Yoga teachers of many years.

There is a vibrational power inherent in these powerful Yoga concepts in Saṃskṛta that can only be realised through correct pronunciation. Or at least learn how to pronounce the word Āsana as it is meant to be heard.

Pages: 12