Ashtanga Invocation

The Ashtanga Invocation

vande gurunam charanaravinde
sandarsita svatmasukhava bodhe
nihsreyase jangalikayamane
samsara halahala mohasantyai

abahu purusakaram
sankhacakrasi dharinam
sahasra sirasam svetam
pranamami patanjalim

I bow to the lotus feet of the guru
who awakens insight into the happiness of pure Being,
who is the final refuge, the jungle physician,
who eliminates the delusion caused by the poisonous
herb of samsara [conditioned existence].

I prostrate before the sage Patanjali
who has thousands of radiant, white heads
[in his form as the divine serpent, Ananta] and who has, as far as his arms,
assumed the form of a man holding a conch shell [divine sound],
a wheel [discus of light, representing infinite time] and a sword [discrimination]. om