One example of this depth is Krishnamacharya’s lesser known work in the teaching of Mantra……

Even these days, the influence of Krishnamacharya’s teachings around Yoga are primarily known through his exacting teaching of Āsana. This has also been mainly experienced in the West with the developmental work of his early students, such as through the choreographical artistry in the work of Pattabhi Jois or through the geometrical precision in the work of BKS Iyengar.

However this area of Āsana teaching, though itself multifaceted and hugely influential, if disproportionately predominant within Yoga today, only reveals one aspect of the many dimensions of practice expressed within his teaching. This teaching evolved and refined over 70 years, from his return from his long stay around the borders of Nepal and Tibet in 1919, to his death in 1989.

A more all-inclusive insight into the many aspects of these other facets can be ascertained through exploring the multifarious approaches and priorities emphasised within the teaching work of other of Krishnamacharya’s students, such as TKV Desikachar, or S Ramaswami, or AG Mohan.

From exploring the teaching priorities of all these first generation students of Krishnamacharya, a more all-embracing perspective can arise encompassing both the breadth and depth of his mastery of both the teachings of Yoga and their context, place and application within the Indian perspectives on such as soteriology, philosophy and theology.

One example of this depth is Krishnamacharya’s lesser known work in the teaching of Mantra

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Learning Support for Chanting the Nārāyaṇa Sūktam

Śrī TKV Desikachar 1938-2016

In Memorium August 8th 2020

Learning Support for Chanting the Nārāyaṇa Sūktam

– From the Taittirīya Upaniṣad Chapter 4 verses 25-27 in the Mahānārāyaṇaya Upaniṣad
An offering for this day from my personal library of recordings from my studies with TKV Desikachar.
To Listen or Download the Nārāyaṇa Sūktam as an MP3 Sound File
To Download the Chant Sheet with Romanised Saṃskṛta and Chant Notations

This particular full moon day is known as Guru Pūrṇimā……

Guru Pūrṇimā

This particular full moon day is known as Guru Pūrṇimā. On this day the ongoing transmission from teacher to student is especially honoured. In previous years I have offered posts with chants honouring the lineage of teachers.

This year I would like to focus on the significance of the full moon within this day by offering a chant known as the Candra Namaskṛtya Mantra.

oṣadhayaḥ saṃvadante somena saha rājñā ‖
– Taittirīya Saṃhitā 4.2.6

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New Resources Page for Veda Mantra Chanting Practice PDF’s & Sound Files

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The role of this page is to offer a centralised resource where you can access and download all the PDF’s and MP3’s that are currently offered as references and supports for the continuing development of our Personal Veda Mantra Chanting Practice.

These will also offer a further point of reference as the resources are grouped under the categories shown below. The date at the bottom of each topic group will indicate the last update.

Quick Links:
1. Veda Chant – Beginners Exercises
2. Veda Chant – Opening Chants
3. Taittirīya Saṃhitā Chants
4. Taittirīya Brāhmaṇa Chants
5. Taittirīya Āraṇyaka Chants
6. Taittirīyra Upaniṣat Chants
7. Other Upaniṣat Chants
8. Other Chants – Ancient
9. Other Chants – Modern
10. Veda Chant – Closing Chants
11. Veda Chant – Resources as Sound Files

Following the Quick Links above will take you to the downloads within that group.

New Resources Page for Yoga Sūtra Chanting Practice PDF’s & Sound Files

yoga_sutra_cover

The role of this page is to offer a centralised resource where you can access and download all the PDF’s and MP3’s that are currently offered as references and supports for the continuing development of our Personal Yoga Sūtra Chanting Practice.

These will also offer a further point of reference as the resources are grouped under the categories shown below. The date at the bottom of each topic group will indicate the last update.

Quick Links:
1. Opening Yoga Chants
2. Opening Yoga Sūtra Chants
3. Beginners Yoga Sūtra Chants
4. Yoga Sūtra Chant in Chapters
5. Closing Yoga Chants
6. Closing Yoga Sūtra Chants
7. Yoga Sūtra Chanting Resources as Sound Files

Following the Quick Links above will take you to the downloads within that group.

Navaratri or the Nine Nights of Durgā as a time for Mantra Sādhana……

tri_devi_470

The nine-night long Navaratri, an important occasion in India, is celebrated as a time to honour the Divine Feminine, especially the Goddess Durgā within the Indian tradition. It will commence today Sunday 29th September 2019, the first day of the month of Aśvin, according to the Hindu calendar. During this time the primary focus is Durgā manifesting through three primary aspects of the Divine Feminine.

Thus for the first three nights the focus is around the Divine Feminine in her power-bestowing aspect known as Durgā. For the second three nights the focus is around the Divine Feminine in her prosperity-bestowing aspect known as Lakṣmī. For the third three nights the focus is around the Divine Feminine in her wisdom-bestowing aspect known as Sarasvatī.

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Paul’s Short & Longer Yoga Practice Theory Articles – Collected & Collated

There are currently some 100 short and longer articles I have written around Yoga Practice and Yoga Practice Theory. So I felt it could be worthwhile to set up a webpage where they are all collected together onto a single page, as well as being collated into topics according to content.

So, below you can find an outline of the primary Yoga practice topics and where relevant, practice sub-topics. Live links are shown to take you to the page itself and directly to the topic in question.

As well as aiming to help the reader by offering resources from my studies with Desikachar around Āsana, Mudrā, Prāṇāyāma, Dhāraṇā and Chant Practice, it also highlights that there are some topics that I could offer more articles around. So over the next months I will post around themes such as the application of Dynamic and Static Form or understanding the differences in the Variation or Modification of Āsana.

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Learning Support for Chanting the Long Version of Mā Aham

This day, for so long TKV Desikachar‘s birthday, is the third since his passing in August 2016.
In memoriam, as an offering of respect and fond remembrance, is a chant he composed for Western students as a condensed highlighting of the key concepts within the inquiry into the Pañca Maya, contained within Chapter Three of Taittirīya Upaniṣad known as the Bhṛguvallī.

Listed below are the links to both a text file and a sound file from my personal library of recordings with TKV Desikachar. This particular one is recorded with one of his senior chant students, Sujaya Sridhar.

View or Download the Long Version of Mā Aham as a PDF with notations
Listen or Download the Long Version of Mā Aham as an MP3 Sound File

Making a start in learning to Chant the Yoga Sūtra……

yoga_sutra_cover

Mostly we are introduced to 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 we need to engage a Sādhana that can facilitate its wisdom teachings radiating from the inside out rather than just permeating from the outside in.

A good starting point for initiating this psychic process is to learn how to chant as a practice in itself and then how to chant the Yoga Sūtra specifically. As well as offering a deepening of contact with those special Bhāvana that arise from chanting, this can also be extremely helpful for the memory processes involved.

These two steps in the embracing chant as a Sādhana ideally require a personal teacher, especially one who can listen and identify our individual nuances in how we repeat what we think we hear. From there they can offer a Vinyāsa Krama for cultivating our vocal potential and refining our skills in terms of self-listening and thus facilitating our abilities in terms of self-correction.

However accepting that for some this may not be a possibility at this point in time, three suggestions are offered below as progressive options for starting a self-learning process

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Learning to Chant the Four Chapters of the Yoga Sūtra……

yoga_sutra_cover

Unlike other aspects of our personal Sādhana, when it comes to the practice of Jñāna Adhyayanam, or the chanting of the Yoga Sūtra, there is an unusual developmental process in that as we refine this aspect of practice it take less and less time.

Obviously the first step is to commit to learning to be able to chant the four chapters of the Yoga Sūtra, along with the relevant opening invocations and closing invocations. Once we have this basic accomplishment in place then taking our seat and chanting the whole text, within a Vinyāsa Krama by including the accompanying invocatory chants, will take around 35-40 minutes.

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Learning Support for Chanting the Pavamāna Mantra – Asato Mā Sadgamaya

असतो मा सद्गमय |
तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय |
मृत्योर्मा अमृतं गमय ‖

asato mā sad gamaya |
tamaso mā jyotir gamaya |
mṛtyor mā amṛtaṃ gamaya ‖

Learning Support for Chanting the Pavamāna Mantra – Asato Mā Sadgamaya
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with TKV Desikachar
To Download or Listen to an MP3
To Download a PDF Chant Sheet with Romanised Saṃskṛta, Chant Notations and Translation

The convention of Paramparā or ongoing transmission from teacher to student…

Guru Pūrṇimā

The convention of Paramparā 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.

Learning Support for Chanting the Durgā Gāyatrī

durga

Learning Support for Chanting the Durgā Gāyatrī
– From the Taittirīya Upaniṣad Chapter 4 verse 1 Sakha Gāyatrī
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 Notations

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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Learning Support for Chanting Śrī Viṣṇu Sahasranāma Stotram v108 Vanamālī Gadī

vishnu
Learning Support for Chanting Vanamālī Gadī
– From the Śrī Viṣṇu Sahasranāma Stotram verse 108
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar recorded by one of his senior chant students Sujaya Sridhar.
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet with Romanised Saṃskṛta and Chant Notations

Learning Support for Chanting the Nirvāṇaṣaṭkam

Raja_Ravi_Varma_-_Sankaracharya

Six Verses on Nirvāṇa by Ādi Śaṅkara

They are said to have arisen as a spontaneous response to the question “Who Am I”

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

Translation below from Wikipedia:

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Learning Support for Chanting Mantra Puṣpam – Yopāṃ Puṣpaṃ Veda

Learning Support for Chanting the Mantra Puṣpam – Yopāṃ Puṣpaṃ Veda
– From the Taittirīya Āraṇyaka 1.22
From my personal library of recordings from my studies with my teacher TKV Desikachar recorded by one of his senior chant students Sujaya Sridhar.
To Download or Listen
To Download the Chant Sheet with Romanised Saṃskṛta and Chant Notations