Ashtanga Opening Chant: Vande Gurunam


Vande Gurunam or Ashtanga Opening chant is often chanted at the beginning of a yoga practice. I learned this chant when I was in Rishikesh, India 6 months ago. Every day, 7 am before breakfast was Ashtanga Class for my group and for 4 weeks we were singing this beautiful chant. Until now I am listening to my teacher’s voice to remember this meaningful Mantra.

वन्दे गुरूणां चरणारविन्दे सन्दर्शित स्वात्म सुखाव बोधे ।

निःश्रेयसे जङ्गलिकायमाने संसार हालाहल मोहशांत्यै ॥

आबाहु पुरुषाकारं शंखचक्रासि धारिणम् ।

सहस्र शिरसं श्वेतं प्रणमामि पतञ्जलिम् ॥



vande gurūṇāṁ caraṇāravinde sandarśita svātma sukhāva bodhe |

niḥ-śreyase jaṅgali-kāyamāne saṁsāra hālāhala mohaśāṁtyai ||

ābāhu puruṣākāraṁ śaṁkhacakrāsi dhāriṇam |

sahasra śirasaṁ śvetaṁ praṇamāmi patañjalim ||




I bow to the lotus feet of our great teachers, who uncovers our true self and awakens happiness

Like a Shaman in the Jungle he brings total complete well-beeing. He can even heal the most awful poision of conditioning and illusion.

The upper body of human shape, carrying a mussel horn (original tone), a discus (infinity) and a sword (power of differentiation)

having 1000 bright heads, I bow to Patanjali.


I want to share with you my own recording of Vande Gurunam which I learned (melody) from my Ashtanga Teacher, Sidhart Sankar Arukah.

Pictures 6 months ago! These were taken before, during and after Hatha and Ashtanga class.

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P.S. I super miss Rishikesh! Namaste.

Mark Louie Maycong