Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Celebrating Summer Solstice with the Gayatri Mantra

Hello Dear Yogis,

Happy Summer Solstice! This is pinnacle of the year, a time to celebrate the fullness of life. Enjoy this longest day of the year, and partake of the sweetness of strawberries and flowers and the verdant earth. In this week's classes, we will be practicing embodying that radiance and abundant prana through our posture flow and chanting.

Summer Solstice is a perfect time to chant the Gayatri Mantra, one of the oldest and most sacred mantras from the Vedas.It's a prayer to the Sun, asking that the radiance of the sun illuminate our minds and guide us on the path toward awakening. Below is the Sanskrit transliteration, followed by a few possible interpretations of the mantra. Interestingly, the translations I've found vary vastly. That's because Sanskrit is a language with many layers of meaning, more poetic than linear, and touches us on a vibrational level. If you google around on the web, I'm sure you'll find many more versions. But more important, I invite you to try chanting it and see what happens energetically in yourself.

Gayatri Mantra

Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dheemahi
Dhiyo yo na prachodayat

Oh Divine Presence, Creator of the Universe,
May your supreme light
illuminate our intellect and guide us on the path toward enlightenment.


We meditate on that wondrous spirit of the Divine Solar Light, which shines in every dimension of life. May that Light inspire and guide our inner vision.            
Let us honor the unity of Divine Spirit
that pervades all realms of existance:
the earth, the atmosphere and the heavens.

May That most brilliant Divine Light
protect us, sustain us
and illuminate our consciousness

that we might realize
our inherent goodness,
our inborn divinity
and our unity with All That Is.

By this knowledge may our actions be inspired.
If you want to hear some beautiful versions the Gayatri Mantra sung, I recommend renditions by Tina Malia and Shimshai, Deva Premal, and HARC. These are all available on iTunes.

Our asana practice is also an opportunity to discover our own radiance, as breath and movement allow the chattering mind to drop into stillness. We begin to touch into That which is moving us, breathing us, illuminating us, and shimmering in each particle of our being.  May you enjoy that exploration and feel the glow!

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