Saturday, November 09, 2013

Ashtanga yoga - opening prayer and closing prayer

I know the opening prayer by heart. I admit I don't know the closing prayer by heart. I fear I'm not the only one as I hear not so many voices at the end of a led class, when we all chant together. I thought it's time to learn it by heart, to give the chorus a bit more power. It's an exercise for the mind.
Here are both prayers in Sanskrit and English.

Opening prayer:
Vande Gurunam Charanaravinde
Sandarshita Swatma Sukava Bodhe
Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
Samsara Halahala Mohashantyai

Abahu Purushakaram
Shankacakrsi Dharinam
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam
Pranamani Patanjalim 

I bow to the lotus feet of the Supreme Guru
which awaken insight into the happiness of pure Being,
which are the refuge, the jungle physician,
which eliminate the delusion caused by the poisonous herb of Samsara.

I prostrate before the sage Patanjali
who has thousands of radiant, white heads 
and who has, as far as his arms, assumed the form of a man
holding a counch shell, a wheel and a sword

Closing prayer:

Svasthi Praja Bhyaha Pari Pala Yantam
Nye Yena Margena Nahim Mahishaha
Go Brahmanebjyaha Shubamastu Nityam
Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi


May the rulers of the earth keep to the path of virtue
for protecting the welfare of all generations.
May the religious, and all peoples be forever blessed, 
May all beings everywhere be happy and free
Om peace, peace, perfect peace

This is my Saturday challenge to learn the closing sequence by heart. I love to chant, to use the voice is fun. I try to keep my voice in the same level. Chanting is between singing and speaking. To do this is also a concentration exercise. 

Once I attended a workshop by one of the teachers who practices 30 years+. We didn't chant. He said the practice is the prayer. I loved the idea. The text of the prayers seem a bit old fashioned, perhaps even religious. 

What I like when I chant is that I have a clear ritual for the beginning and the end of my practice. When chanting my practice is not blended with what is before and what is after. 


Globie said...

Hi Ursula,I just emailed you a really good version that I learned the closing chant from.

Ursula Preiss said...

I'm waiting. :) I'm looking forward to it. said...
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Ursula Preiss said...

Thank you.