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INVOCATION TO PATANJALI: This invocation to Patañjali is the introduction to the Bhoja Vrtti, the commentary on the Yoga Sutras written by Raja Bhoj. It is frequently chanted at the beginning of a yoga class. The first part of the chant salutes Patañjali's achievements as a founding figure in yoga; in grammar; and in ayurvedic medicine. The second part salutes him for carrying: the conch, which sounds the vibrations of the Universe but also awakens us to the coming victory over the world of matter; the wheel, which symbolizes the dominion and universal power of wisdom; and the double-edged sword of discriminative understanding, which enables us to see duality and cut through it to reveal reality. The reference to ‘1,000 heads’ is to his form as Ananta or Adisesa, the divine serpent that, in biting its own tail, symbolizes endlessness or the circle of eternity from which all possibilities and universes can spring.
For further details on Patañjali, please refer to the Patañjali biography.
yogena cittasya padena vācāṁ
malaṁ śarīrasya ca vaidyakena
yo'pākarottaṁ pravaraṁ munīnāṁ
योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचां।
मलं शरीरस्य च वैद्यकेन॥
योऽपाकरोत्तं प्रवरं मुनीनां।
śaṅkha cakrāsi dhāriṇaṁ
sahasra śīrasaṁ śvetaṁ
सहस्र शीरसं श्वेतं।
aum śāntiḥ śāntiḥ śāntiḥ aum
ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॐ॥
Yoga for bringing quietness of mind; grammar for eliciting effectiveness of speech
And the healing arts for removing the ailments of the body
He bestowed these things that most illustrious of sages
Patañjali to whom I make reverential obeisance.
Spirit rendered into human form
Bearing the conch, the discus and the sword
Adorned with the cobra of one thousand heads
I bow down before Patañjali.
Aum shanti shanti shanti Aum.