Vande Gurunam Caranaravinde
Sandarsita Svatma Sukhava Bodhe
Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
Samsara Halahala Mohasantyai
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam
Opening chant of Ashtanga yoga (left) is translated as:
I bow to the lotus feet of the Gurus, The awakening happiness of one’s own Self revealed, Beyond better, acting like the jungle physician, Pacifying delusion, the poison of Samsara (cycle of life). Taking the form of a man to the shoulders, Holding a conch shell (divine sound), a discus (infinite time), and a sword (discrimination), One thousand heads, white, To Patanjali, I salute.
Or simply put: The chant enables us to express gratitude to our teachers and the students who have continued to keep the practice alive through thousands of years. The recitation of this mantra helps to cleanse the energy of the space we have chosen and it helps to prepare the mind & body for the practice we are about to begin.
The closing chant (left) is translated as:
May all be well with mankind,
May all the leaders of the earth protect
In every way by keeping to the right path.
May there be goodness for those
who know the earth to be sacred
May all the worlds be happy.
Om peace, peace, perfect peace.
This closing invocation brings the practice to a humble ending. It seals in the work of our practice and offers those efforts to help improve the state of the world.
Svasthi Praja Bhyaha
Pari Pala Yantam
Nya Yena Margena
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi