Invocation to Sage Patanjali
Why remember a sage?
They say that one can pour water only into an empty pot and never into a pot that is full. Similarly, learning is best when the thoughts are free of all ego. This process is usually set by invoking the author of the work being studied.
Chanting started an internal purification. Chanting the name of the author of a work, gives respect to the effort that has been put in during the creation of the work. Invoking the blessings of great masters sets an energy that is positive and best suited for learning.
Surrendering is another mental act that needs practice. The ego has to give way in order to surrender. By invoking the masters, we surrender to the great master’s work.
- Maharshi Patanjali is credited with writing a commentary on Sanskrit grammar by Panini. This work is so much revered in the hindu philosophy that it has been called the maha-bhasya or the great commentary. The text is so comprehensive on grammar that Patanjali is called the last grammarian of Sanskrit language.
- Patanjali is the compiler of YOGA SUTRAS a text on the theory and practice of yoga. The text is a classical foundation of modern day Ashtanga Yoga.
- Patanjali is also the author of a medical text by the name of The text includes various medical health related theories.
Some modern day researchers are of the opinion that there could be more than one person named Patanjali as each text could be dated back to different centuries. This is however, a debatable hypothesis.
The invocation to sage Patanjali
The invocation is usually done before an important yoga class. The Patanjali smaran takes into account all the three works of Patanjali and the benefit it has brought about to the life of Yogis.
योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचां ।
मलं शरीरस्य च वैद्यकेन ॥
योऽपाकरोत्तमं प्रवरं मुनीनां ।
पतञ्जलिं प्राञ्जलिरानतोऽस्मि ॥
Yogena cittasya padena vaachaam.
Malam Shareerasya cha vaidyakenam.
Yopakarothum pravaram muninaam.
Patanjalim praanjalir aanatosmi.
Yogena – By Yoga; Cittasya – Of the citta. Padena – By grammar. Vachaam – of speech.
Malam – Bodily impurities/toxins; Sharirasya – Of the body; Cha – and; Vaidyakenam – through medical science.
Yopakarottum (yo-apaaka-uttamam) – He who is an expert in removal of impurities; Pravaram – Excellent; Muninaam – of all the munis.
Patanjalim – Sage Patanjali; praanjalir aanatosmi (Praanjali – Ananata – asmi) – I Join my hands and bow.
Translation of the whole sloka
I bow with folded hands, to sage patanjali. Who is the best among all the munis and an expert in removing impurities of the mind, body and soul. You help remove impurities from the yogis mind (through yoga sutras) and you help improve speech by use of grammar (through your work on Sanskrit grammar) and you help improve all toxins from the body (through your revered work on medicine.)
Download the sloka and its translation here –