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Resources for Your Yoga Journey

Blessed Be Your Path. Explore my favorite chants, books, props and more.

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CHANTS

These are a few of my favorite chants with translations and personal reflections.

Om / Aum

 

There is so much to say about om, and yet nothing at all. Om is said to be the original source mantra, the sound from which all other mantras come from. The Upanishads use om as a representation of the Divine, God, spirit, essence or however you make sense of ‘all that is.’ Om is sometimes referred to as pranava or the cosmic roar. Think of a sound that could hold the totality of creation and audibly represent all that is manifest, you’d get this sound! Om, or aum, can be heard as three sounds coming together to encapsulate the three-pronged cycle of birth, life and death (which all matter is beholden to). Ahh, which represents the beginning and creation of life is the first sound, ohhh is the sustenance, the now-ness and the present moment, mmm is the final audible sound and is the return back to the formless, the dissolution and dissolve back to nothingness. These three qualities are also seen in the guru mantra: guru brahma, guru vishnu, guru devo maheshwara. *See below.

 

After chanting the three sounds of om, let there be a pause to simply listen to the stillness that follows. When I chant om I am connecting myself to all that is, all that has been and all that will come. I am connecting myself to the Divine through sound, so it makes sense to pause and then just listen after chanting. Something insightful in the stillness may be revealed after we call out. Learning to listen is perhaps the most important part of chanting.

 

~~~

Guru Chant

 

This is one of my most cherished mantras, a reminder to always see the teacher, or ‘guru’ in all things. Guru actually means the remover of darkness so it can be any force, moment, teacher or essence that brings us closer to the ultimate truth and reality of who we are. It is important to frequently acknowledge all the guiding forces, mentors and teachers in our lives. They have brought us to the present moment, no matter where we’re at, or think we should be. Even challenge and loss can be potent teachers, so we bow into it all and let the deeper truths be revealed through the process.

 

om guru brahma

guru vishnu

guru devo maheshwara

guru sakshat

param brahma

tasmai shri guruvay namaha

 

Translation:

 

I bow in to that which created all of this and brought this moment into existence.

I bow in to that which sustains this moment, giving life and fullness to this breath.

I bow in to that which reminds me to make peace with change and transformation.

I acknowledge that the teacher is always near when I am ready to see them.

I bow in to the one who animates this all, the indescribable force beyond what I can even see.

I offer myself and bow in to that which removes all darkness.

~~~

 

Shanti Mantra / Teacher - Student Prayer

 

This mantra, sometimes called the shanti (peace) mantra, has a special place in my heart since it truly calls upon each of us to show up as our best self for whatever project, endeavor or task may be in front of us. It is frequently invoked at the beginning of any study, especially the teachings of yoga, since it creates a wonderful container for the relationship between teacher and student, and student to student. It reminds us all of how intentional we must be when exploring the profound nature of wisdom teachings together in community. Approaching the moment in a healthy, harmonious way so that we can really get the most from the teachings; leading towards peace for you, peace for me and peace for all.

 

om saha navavatu
saha nau bhunaktu
saha viryam karvavahai
tejasvina vadhitamastu
ma vid-visavahai

om shanti shanti shanti

 

Translation:

 

May we be protected both together.

May we be nourished both together.

May we grow in spiritual knowledge and energy together.

May our study together be illuminating.

May there be no animosity between us.

May there be peace, peace, peace

~~~

 

Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu

 

This mantra is infused with pure service and devotion, a loving wish sent out to all beings. The beauty in chanting something that doesn’t exclude a single soul is profound to think about – radical inclusion at the highest level. This mantra is frequently translated as “may all beings be happy and free and may my life contribute to that.” That’s a bit of an interpolation but the essence is still there. When I chant this mantra, I like to think of even myself included in the ‘all’ beings. Sometimes we tend to either be selfish about our prayers or leave ourselves out entirely. This one is a reminder that we are all entitled to the same peace and joy. And that your peace is inextricably woven into mine.

 

lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu

om shanti shanti shanti

 

Translation:

 

May all beings, in all realms have the feeling of equanimity and ease.

Peace, peace, peace.

~~~

Purnamadah Mantra / Isha Upanishad Invocation

 

The purnamadah mantra comes from the Isha Upanishad. The Upanishads are philosophical texts from Hinduism that expound the fundamental concepts of the teachings. This mantra is somewhat of a koan, but once you can truly get a feel for this mantra it will bring you closer to true freedom and real understanding. To me, it’s a sacred reminder that there is nothing outside of myself that would complete me, that I am divinely perfect just as I am and that there is no need to strive or acquire anything else to feel supreme joy. We have all been sold the ridiculous notion that by working harder, climbing the ladder, competing with our neighbors and dominating everything, we can find happiness and that we just need ‘something’ out there (externally) to make us finally feel complete. This couldn’t be further from the truth. The present moment holds all that we’ve ever needed and we are whole, just as we are.

 

om purnamadah purnamidam

purnat purnamudachyate

purnasya purnamadaya

purnamevavashisyate
om shanti shanti shanti

 

Translation:

 

All of that (external world) is whole and all of this (our internal world) is whole.

From this wholeness, comes wholeness.

If you were to try and take anything from this wholeness, still all would be whole.

Peace, peace, peace.

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BOOKS

Explore my collection on bookshop.org for some of the most pivotal reads from my journey. Bhakti, philosophy, meditation and more. You'll find plenty of good recommendations here.

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