Patanjali mantra lyrics in Sanskrit:
”Yogena Chitasya Padena Vacam
Malam Sharirasya Cha Vaidya Kena
Yo Pakarotam Pravaram Muninam
Patanjalim Pranjalir Anatosmi.”
Mantra translation in English:
”Let us bow before the noblest of sages Patanjali,
Who gave yoga for serenity and sanctity of mind,
Grammar for clarity and purity of speech
And medicine for perfection of health.”
This Sanskrit mantra is used to invoke and thank Patanjali, who is acknowledged by many to be the founder of Classical Yoga, also known as the 8-limbed Yoga System or Ashtanga yoga.
Who was Patanjali?
The life history of Patanjali is full of contradictions and ancient legends.
Some yoga practitioners believe he lived around the 2nd century BCE and also wrote the Sanskrit grammar (the primary sacred language of Mahayana Buddhism and Hinduism) and Ayurveda (one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems).
In the Yoga tradition, he is a revered and venerated name and has been deified by many groups, particularly in the Shaivite bhakti tradition, the 2nd largest religious community in modern India.
Moreover, it is claimed by some scholars that he is an incarnation of the mythical serpent Ananta, the celestial snake, on which Vishnu reclines.
He is also the compiler of the Yoga Sutras (which contain about 1200 words in 195 sutras), an important collection of aphorisms on Yoga practice. These Yoga Sutras codifies the best (raja) or royal yoga methods, presenting these as an eight-limbed system (ashtanga). The exact date of the compilation of the yoga texts is not known exactly. Nevertheless, it is believed by many that they were written somewhere around 200 BC.
A short explanation of the Yoga Sutras
These Yoga Sutras are a system of practice by which one can attain a pure state of consciousness, free of illusion. The yoga practice begins with the adoption of the five yamas – truthfulness (satya), nonviolence (ahimsa, similar with veganism), sexual restraint (brahmacharya), non-stealing (asteya), and non-attachment (aparigraha).
The Yoga Sutras is divided into four principal chapters:
- The first chapter – samadhi pada – defines Yoga as the total cessation of all active states of mind, and outlines different stages of insight that stem from this. It also describes witnessing five kinds of thoughts, yoga, uncoloring thoughts, the twin principles of practice and non-attachment.
- The second chapter – sadhana pada – outlines the many yoga practices (this includes the first five of the eight rungs of yoga), and ethical and moral observances that are preliminary requirements to advanced meditative practice.
- The third chapter – vibhuti pada – mainly deals with super-normal powers (siddhis) that can accrue to the yoga practitioner when the mind is in higher states of consciousness. This chapter also presents the last three of the eight rungs of yoga and has a warning against being side-tracked by the siddhis.
- The fourth chapter – kaivalya pada – explains the concept of moksha (liberation) and describes how the practitioner deals with the natural breaches in enlightenment.
“Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating compassion for the unhappy, friendliness toward the happy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” – quote from The Yoga Sutras.
Invocation to Patanjali benefits:
Reciting this mantra improves the mental capacities of the practitioner.