Thursday, January 31, 2008

Opening Invocation

I have been remiss! In my enthusiasm to start the standing sequence of the primary series, I neglected a rather important detail: the opening Invocation. And once again we come back to that slight division between the "Traditional" practice and the "Contemporary" practice.

In the Traditional practice you come to the front of your mat, hands in namaste, and the class would either chant this all as one or as a call and response as led by the instructor. In a Contemporary practice, in deference and respect to the students personal beliefs, this might be omitted. If you are well acquainted with the chant and the moment allows, you may find yourself quietly chanting the invocation as the instructor grounds the class.

The Invocation itself is simply a prayer of thanks to all the instructors that have come before us. The Oms are chanted together, then the instructor may begin the call and response. Below is the chant in Sanscrit as it would be done before the session. The second is the literal translation. The third is a translation as done by the yoga studio in Burlington, VT.

OM
VANDE GURUNAM CARANARAVINDE
SANDARSITA SVATMASUKHAVA BODHE
NISREYASE JANGALIKAYAMANE
SAMSARA HALAHALA MOHASANTYAI
ABAHU PURUSAKARAM
SANKHACAKRASI DHARINAM
SAHRSA SIRASAM SVETAM
PRANAMAMI PATANJALIM
OM

I bow to the lotus feet of the
Supreme Guru who teaches the good
knowledge, that awakens us to great happiness;
who is the doctor of the jungle,
able to remove the poison
of conditioned existence.
To Pantanjali, an incarnation of Adisesa, white
in color with one thousand radiant heads,
holding a sword, a wheel of fire and a
conch, I prostrate,
om


thank you, thank you, thank you
Thank you to all of those who made this up,
practiced, passed it down, practiced, changed it,
passed it down, over and over
until today when it is my turn to
practice now. And thank you
to everyone who will practice in the future.
thank you, thank you, thank you
love.
(From Yoga Vermont)


I know there is a version avaliable to listen to on the web, but I can't seem to find where it. I shall keep looking and link to it at a later date.

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