First time I read this prayer, I cried & laughed all at once. I wasn't in a yoga class, but simply sitting by the altar at home and reading both the Sanskrit and english transliteration aloud made for a energetically moving experience… Namaste!
Vande Gurunam Caranaravinde
Sandarsita Svatma Sukhava Bodhe
Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
Samsara Halahala Mohasantyai
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam
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.
Taking the form of a man to the shoulders,
Holding a conch, a discus, and a sword,
One thousand heads, white,
To Patanjali, I salute.
Sanskrit will always have multiple translations in English. Above is one of the most common translations as seen around yoga studios and the Ashtanga Yoga School Institute.
Vande I worship
Gurunam the supreme Guru
Charanaravinde I bow to the lotus feet
Sandarshita at vision revealing
Svatma true Self
Nih Sreyase beyond better (without comparison)
Jangalikayamane jungle doctor
Samsara conditioned existence
Mohashantyai peaceful resolution
Abahu all bodily limbs
Purushakaram having the form of a man
Shankhacakrsi conch shell, wheel of light
Dharinam sword of discrimination
Svetam brilliantly white
Pranamami I bow down
Patanjalim to Patanjali