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.”

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Mahāmṛtyañjaya Mantra – Saṃhitā Pāṭhaḥ – with Translation

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.

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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.

It is also called a Sāttvika Tyāga. This relates to the concept of not giving up the action, just changing your relationship with your expectations around the fruits of the action. This Bhāvana is inherent in the meaning of the chant and is linked to the teachings around the surrender of the self.

Further reflections on Krishnamacharya’s teachings on the concept of Sāttvika Tyāga within the Bhagavad Gītā will be offered within a future post.

kāyena vācā manasendriyairvā
budhyātmanā vā prakṛteḥ svabhāvāt |

karomi yadyatsakalaṃ parasmai
nārāyaṇāyeti samarpayāmi ||

sarvaṃ śrī kṛṣṇārpaṇamastu ||

” My body, speech, mind, senses,
intellect, essence, or outer and inner tendencies,

All that I will do over and over,
to the supreme Nārāyaṇa I offer.”

“All to the esteemed Kṛṣṇa I consign,
let it be so.”

View or download this Chant and Translation as a PDF.
View or download this post Chant and Translation with chanting notations as a PDF.

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.

saha nāvavatu |
Together may we be protected

saha nau bhunaktu |
Together may we enjoy our studies

saha vīryaṃ karavāvahai |
Together may we work vigorously

tejasvi nāvadhītamastu mā vidviṣāvahai ||
Let our study together be fiery (to illuminate) and
(because of this) may we not hate (each other).

om śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ ||

View or download this post with a translation plus Chant Notations in Devanāgarī and Romanised Saṃskṛta.

To Download or Listen to a recording
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar recorded by one of his senior chant students Sujaya Sridhar.

Learning Support for Chanting the Gaṇapati Prārthanā Saṃhitā Pāṭhaḥ


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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

read more

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.

Making a start in learning to Chant the Yoga Sūtra

yoga_sutra_cover

Mostly we come across the teachings of the Yoga Sūtra through a group class situation or by coming across a book.

This is fine as a starting point, however longer term the Yoga Sūtra needs to permeate from the inside rather than just be read and thought about from the outside.

A good starting point for initiating this psychic process is to learn how to chant as a process in itself and then how to chant the Yoga Sūtra specifically.

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Learning Support for Chanting the Mṛtyuñjaya Mantra – Om Tryambakam

Mantra_logo

Learning Support for Chanting the Taittirīya Saṃhitā 5.4.12 – Mṛtyuñjaya Mantra – Om Tryambakam Saṃhitā Pāṭhaḥ
From my personal library of recordings of my teacher.
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet in Romanised Saṃskṛta with Notations
View or Download a Translation of this Mantra as a PDF

Prārthanā Ślokam – Patañjali Opening Dhyānaṃ Ślokam with Translation

This is a translation of part of the Opening Prayers as taught to TKV Desikachar by T Krishnamacharya and taught by TKV Desikachar to his personal students.
It was learnt by heart as a Bhāvanam for Dhyānaṃ, to create a meditational mood linked to Patañjali prior to commencing either chanting practice or textual study of the Yoga Sūtra.

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Gāyatrī Mantra as taught by T Krishnamacharya – with translation

gayatri4

tat savitur vareṇiyaṃ
That sun most excellent

bhargo devasya dhīmahi |
on the radiance of the Divine I meditate |

dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt ||
wisdom may (that radiance) our impel |

“I meditate on the divine radiance

of the most excellent sun.

May it impel my wisdom.”

Note:
Gāyatrī is a particular ancient metre or rhythmic pattern of twenty-four syllables generally composed as a triplet of three lines with eight syllables in each line.
Hence T Krishnamacharya’s view that Om is not a component part of this Mantra, though it may be added as an accompaniment if appropriate, according to the students background, interest and understanding.

View or Download this post in Romanised Saṃskṛta with a translation and traditional chanting notations.

Laghu Nyāsa – Agnir Me Prayer for Health with Translation

mantra

This mantra is asking for health and long life to link body, senses, energy, mind and awareness.

Learning Support for Chanting the Laghu Nyāsa – Agnir Me
– From the Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa 3.10.8
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar.
View or download this post as a PDF with chanting notations without translation.
To Download or Listen to a recording by TKV Desikachar
To Download the Chant Sheet as a PDF with Romanised Saṃskṛta, Chant Notations and English Translation

Yogena Yogo – Opening Yoga Prayer for Yoga Practice with Translation

CHANT IN PRAISE OF YOGA

Chant from Vyāsa’s commentary to Yoga Sūtra Chapter Three verse 6.

yogena yogo jñātavyo

yogo yogāt pravartate  |

yo’prama tastu yogena

sa yoge ramate ciram  | |

“Only through Yoga Yoga is known,

Only through Yoga Yoga arises.

One who is diligent with Yoga,

Enjoys Yoga for a long time.”

 View or download this post as a PDF with chant notations.

View or Download the Prārthanā Ślokam (Request Prayer) – Dhyānaṃ Ślokam relative to Patañjali.

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Mahānārāyaṇa Upaniṣad – Ṛtaṃ Tapas as Mantra Practice with translation

Mantra on tapāṣtāṅga or the eight limbs of tapas.

– Tapas is an activity of mind, body or speech which demands a keen concentration of thought or requiring unusual and continuous physical effort.
View or download this Mantra complete with Chant notations as a PDF
View or download other Mantra from this Upaniṣad complete with Chant notations as PDF files

Online Monier Williams Saṃskṛta-English Dictionary

Prepared and Published by Cologne Digital Saṃskṛta Dictionaries. Choose the SLP1 Input option and use the downloadable PDF Saṃskṛta alphabet guide to help with choosing the appropriate Romanised Saṃskṛta letters.

Prārthanā Ślokam – Śuklām Opening Verse with Translation

Vināyaka

This prayer is used most often as an opening verse or Prārthanā Ślokam – Request Verse.

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