Thursday, 3 November 2011

The Teacher Student Chant

Sahanavavatu sahanau bhunaktu
Sahaviryam karavavahai
Ma vidvishavahayai
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

Let the Studies that we undertake be effulgent;
Let there be no Animosity amongst us;
OM. Peace, Peace, Peace.

(Recited before the commencement of education)  From the Yajurveda Taittiriya Upanishad 2.2.2

Many of you are familiar with this short chant from the Upanishads from the opening of the classes I teach. 

I learned it during my Sivananda Yoga Teacher Training in 1997 and loved it so much that I have chanted it out loud or in my heart before every Yoga class I've taken or taught since.

It reminds me that we are all, always, and in all ways both teacher and student in every situation. 

It reminds me to honor both roles and the divine Leela or play we partake in when we assume either role.

And it reminds me that on those rare and precious occasions when we have the karma to participate in formal sacred teachings, we must make a conscious decision to embody Namaste - to suspend criticism and judgement and choose to see the divinity in eachother rather than the differences.

Although the tune below is not the one I typically use, it is definitely one of my very favorites. 

It comes from the cd "Chants of India" on George Harrison's Angel Records Label and features the great Ravi Shankar on sitar. 

It is so beautiful I had to share it here. 

Thank you for chanting it with me.  May we enjoy learning Yoga together for as long as it takes...

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