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Chants

During the Sivananda certification, we are taught that Sanskrit is a language made of sounds. Each sound has a specific vibration. These vibrations, or sounds, are then put together creating a unique string of vibrations. These strings of vibrations are the Sanskrit words. When chanting in Sanskrit, vibrations are created within and resonate outward into the Universe connecting you with the ethereal plane.

The Sivananda yoga class opens and closes with a Sanskrit chant. Below are those chants and their loose translations. The addition to the opening chant is a chant that I find soothing and blissful which I add in the classes I teach. I hope you find these interesting and helpful.

OPENING CHANT

DHYANA SLOKAS or GAJANANAM
Gajananam Bhutaganadi Sevitam Kappitha Jambu Phala Sara Bhakshitam Uma Sutam Shokavinasha Karanam Namami Vighneshvara Pada Pamkajam I prostrate myself before the lotus feet of Vigneshwara(Ganesha), the son of Uma, the cause of destruction of sorrow, who is served by the host of bhuta-ganas(angels), who has the face of an elephant, who partakes of the essence of kapittha and jambu fruits.

Shadananam Kumkuma Raktavarnam Mahamatim Divya Mayura Vahanam Rudrasya Sunum Surasainya Natham Guham Sadaham Sharanam Prapadye

I always take refuge in Guha of six faces (Subramanya), who is of deep red color like kumkuma, who possesses great knowledge, who has the divine peacock to ride on, who is the son of Rudra(Siva), and who is the leader of the army of the devas(gods, angels).

Ya Kundendu Tushara Hara Dhavala Ya Shubra Vastravrita Ya Vina Varadanda Mandita Kara Ya Sveta Padmasana Ya Brahmaachyuta Sankara Prabhritibhir Devai Sada Pujita Sa Mam Patu Saraswati Bhagavati Nissesha Jadyapaha

May the goddess Saraswati, who wears a garland white like the kunda-flower, the moon and the snow, who is adorned with pure white clothes, whose hands are ornamented with the vina and the gesture of blessings, who is seated on a white lotus, who is always worshiped by Brahma, Vishnu, Siva and other gods, who is the remover of all inertness and laziness, protect me.

Om Namah Sivaya Gurave Sat-Chid-Ananda Murtaye Nishprapanchaya Shantaya Sri Sivanandaya Te Namaha Sri Vishnu Devanandaya Te Namaha

Salutations to Guru Siva who is the embodiment of Existence-Knowledge-Bliss Absolute, in whom worldliness does not exist, who is ever peaceful. Salutations to Sivananda, Salutations to Vishnu-devananda.

Om Sarva Mangala Mangalye Shive Sarvartha Sadhike Sharanye Trayambake Gauri Narayani Namostute Narayani Namostute I salute the three eyed Divine Mother Narayani, who brings auspiciousness and who fulfills all the desires of the devotee (both spiritual and material).

ADDITION TO OPENING CHANT

Om Saha Naavavatu, Saha Nau Bhunaktu Saha Viryam Karavaavahai Tejasvinaavadhitamastu Maa Vidvishaavahai Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti. Om. May That protect us both, teacher and pupil. May That cause both to enjoy the bliss of liberation. May we both exert to find out the true meaning of the scriptures. May our learning be brilliant. May we never quarrel with each other. Om, peace, peace, peace.

CLOSING CHANT

MAHA MRITYUNJAYA MANTRA or OM TRAYAMBAKAM

Om Trayambakam Yajamahe Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam Urvarukamiva Bandhanan Mrityor Mukshiya Mamritat Om. We worship the three-eyed One(Lord Siva) who is fragrant and who nourishes well all beings. May He liberate us from death for the sake of immortality even as a cucumber is severed from its bondage(to the vine).

Om Sarvesham Svasti Bhavatu Sarvesham Shantir Bhavatu Sarvesham Purnam Bhavatu Sarvesham Mangalam Bhavatu

Om. May auspiciousness be unto all. May peace be unto all. May fullness be unto all. May prosperity be unto all.

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah Sarve Santu Niramayaah Sarve Bhadrani Pasyantu Ma Kaschid-Dukha-Bhag-Bhavet

Om. May all be happy. May all be free from disabilities. May all look to the good of others. May none suffer from sorrow.

Asato Ma Sat Gamaya Tamaso Ma Jyotir Gamaya Mrityor-Ma Amritam Gamaya

Om. Lead me from the unreal to the Real; from darkness to Light; from mortality to Immortality.

Om Purnamadah Purnamidam Purnat Purnamudachyate Purnasya Purnamadaya Purnamevavashishyate Om Shanti Shanti Shanti Om. That is whole. This is Whole. From the whole, the whole becomes manifest. From the whole, when the whole if negated, what remains is again the whole. Om. Peace, peace, peace.
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