Vedic Prayer

I vaguely recalled the explanation of the prayer during the training. I have always wanted to understand and internalize the prayer that we have been chanting daily for that three weeks. As usual, if I don’t know it, it will never be a part of me. Here it is …

Asatoma Sat Gamaya
“Om .. Om… Om..”
Asatoma Sat Gamaya –> Lead us from the Unreal to Real
Tamasoma Jyotir Gamaya –> From Darkness to Light
Mrityorma Amritam Gamaya –> From Mortality to Eternity
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti –> Om Peace Peace Peace

Salutation to Ananta, King of Nagas
Jeevamani Prajatpana –> The Soul (Jiva) beams like a jewel on a snake head
Sahasra Vidruth Visvampara –> 1000 times different, carrying everything
Mandalaya Anandaya –>Respectful salutation in front of the Ananta who is carrying the Firmament,
Nagarajaye Namaha –>The King of the Nagas (Snake Gods).
Abahu Purusakaram –>His upper body (arms) of human form,
Sankha Chakrasi Dharinam –> Holding conch and disc,
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam –>Thousand headed cobra
Pranamami Patañjalim –>I pay my respects to Patañjali
Source : Ashtangayoga.info

Respect and Gratitude
GurubhyO Namaha –> Salutation to the many gurus
Devatabhyo Namaha –> I bow to the family deity

I finally realized that we have a mixture of prayer statements as I have to conduct quite an extensive search to find out the meaning while putting them together. My best guess is – these should be the main gist of all mantras. The simplicity of my own definitions of the prayers – Asatomo Sat Gamaya (Self actualization), The second part of the prayer – Salutation to Ananta. Ananta is a Sanskrit word meaning without end – which may refer to one of the names of Vishu or a serpent on which Vishnu lies. The the last part which shows gratitude and respect to our teachers and parents. I can totally appreciate the first and last part of the prayer. However, the Salutation to Ananta is still a big puzzle to me. Perhaps at the later part of my yoga journey with a more indepth understanding of the ancient vedic view of the world and what has been accomplished will help me to appreciate the second part of the prayer.