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Welcome to the Yoga of Mantra.
Mantra yoga is the cornerstone of traditional yoga practice. It has been said that mantra is supreme among all disciplines, and by reciting mantras we achieve and accelerate the awakening of the divine spiritual forces within.
Together, in call and response fashion, teacher and student engage in one of the oldest and most sacred traditions on the planet. The word mantra in Sanskrit means “mind protection”. We chant sacred sound vibrations to protect ourselves from the disturbances that arise from our own minds. Hence we open the heart and focus the mind as a way to tap into our innate state of peace.
I bow with reverence to Bhagavan Patanjali for lighting the path to freedom, to Sri T. Krishnamacharya for his contribution to yoga, to my teachers, the Mohan family of Svastha Yoga & Ayurveda for their generous support, and to my students, the Bhagavan Patanjali Goddess Choir: Debby Halpern, Raquela Moncada, Martha Flanders, Whitney Lake, Elisabeth Martin, Julie Cortopassi, and Tessa Cone for their commitment to the path.
Namaskaram, Monique Parker, Director, Svastha Yoga Institute
May these chants fill you with peace.
(Left to right) Top row: Debby Halpern, Raquela Moncada, Middle row: Martha Flanders, Monique Parker, & Whitney Lake, Bottom row: Elisabeth Martin & Julie Cortopassi
saha nau bhunaktu
saha vīryam karavāvahai
tejasvināvadhī tamastu mā vidvisāvahai
May the Lord protect us. May he nourish us. May we work together uniting our strength for the good of humanity. May our learning be luminous and purposeful. May we always be civil with each other. May there be peace, peace, and perfect peace.
Sahanavavatu is one of the most popular mantras for peace. It is chanted at the commencement and end of teaching. Also known as the student-teacher chant, this invocation highlights the nature of the student-teacher relationship. It requires a commitment by both student and teacher; the teacher to impart knowledge, the student to be steadfast and earnest in his/her effort to undertake the lesson. The chant is an act of surrender: to teach and to receive these teachings.
From the Brhadaranyaka Upanishad
asato mā sadgamaya
satoma amrtam gamaya
tamaso mā jyotirgamaya
mrtyormā amrtam gamaya
O Lord, please lead me from the unreal to the real. Lead me from darkness (ignorance) to light (knowledge). Lead me from death to immortality (liberation).
*The CD contains the 3-line version.
om bhūr bhuvas suvah
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhīmahi
dhiyo yo nah pracodayat
Bhūr, bhuvas, suvaha are invocations to honor the planes of our existence and to call to our aid the presiding deities of the three planes in which we live: the physical, astral and mental. Bhūr, bhuvas, and suvaha are bija (seed) mantrams of the devatas (demi-gods) who are being invoked to help with our transformation.
I surrender. Not mine. Let go.
gurur bramhā gurur visnur
gurur devo mahesvarah
guruh sāksāt param brahma
tasmai sri gurave namah
The Guru is Brahma (The God of Creation). The Guru is Visnu (The God of Sustenance). The Guru is Lord Shiva (The God of Annihilation). The Guru is the guiding light, the supreme witness. Salutations to that Guru.
Let my life force be linked to my heart.
Let my heart be linked to the truth within me.
Let this truth be linked to the eternal.
om tryambakam yajāmahe
urvārukam iva bandhanām
mrtyor muksiya māmrtāt
I meditate on Shiva, the three-eyed one (third eye)
Of sweetest fragrance, helping me flower spiritually.
Like the full-ripened fruit easily snapped.
May I be free from the bondage of death.
May I not be without the nectar of immortality.
yastyaktvā rūpamādyam prabhavati jagatah anekadhā
anugrahāya praksīnakleśarāśihi visamavisadharaha
sarvajnānaprasūtih bhujagaparikaraha prītaye yasya nityam
devo’ hīśaha sa vo’ vyāt sitavimalatanuhu yogado yogayuktaha
yogena cittasya padena vācām malam śarīrasya ca vaidyakena
yo’ pākarottam pravaram munīnām patanjalim
sahasraśirasam śvetam pranamāmi patanjalim
śrimate anantāya nāgarājāya namo namaha
The one who gave up his original form, and came forth for the good of the world, who is fully capable to bless and grace in many ways, the one whose kleshas have receded, the one who bears poison, who has many faces and a pleasant form. He is the source of all knowledge, all the family of snakes pray to him eternally for his grace. He is the lord of the snakes, let him protect us, the one who has a white and pure body, the one who gave yoga and the one who is in yoga.
The one who removed impurities in the mind by giving yoga, the one who removed impurities in speech through Sanskrit grammar, the one who removed impurities in the body through the science of medicine, the greatest of the sages, I bow down to Patanjali with my hands in anjali mudra.
The one who has the human form from the waist to the arms, the one who bears the conch, discus and the sword, the one who has a thousand heads, the one who is white and pure, I bow down to that Patanjali.
I bow to Bhagavan Patanjali.
om pūrnamadah purnamidam
That is perfect. This is perfect. What comes from such perfection truly is perfect. What remains after perfection is yet perfect.
om bhūhu om bhuvaha
ogm suvaha om mahaha
om janaha om tapaha ogm satyam
om tat savitur varenīyam
bhargo devasya dhīmahi
dhiyo yo nah pracodayat
omapo jyoti raso ‘mrtam bramha
May there be peace on mortal, immortal and divine planes. I meditate on the most brilliant splendor of the sun god. May he stimulate our intellect so that we are inspired to take the right action at the right time.