Sanskrit & Vedic Chanting: Vibratory Sounds of Cosmic Intelligence | Samadhi Collective #066

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Sanskrit संस्कृतम् is the sound nature makes when intending form, function or phenomena.
Sanskrit reflects the vibratory patterns that govern the universe.

It links the human brain and mind to the vibratory field of Cosmic Intelligence.

Two human brains and minds that Sanskrit and Vedic chanting have absorbed into are this episodes guests: Jahnavī and Kamalā, two sisters who were raised in the foot hills of the Himalayas, spending their childhood learning from vedic sages and scholars in India.

These young women are strongly influenced by vedic philosophy and culture, they are absolutely living the vedic life, and are sharing it with the world.

Even beginners in Sanskrit can learn various mantras and terminology that will greatly expand our understanding of ourselves, other creatures and the entire universe.

About Our Guests: Kamalā & Jahnavī (Samadhi Collective)

Kamala is an art history graduate from the Courtauld Institute of Art (University of London), and holds an MPhil in Sanskrit and Indian philosophy from Oxford University. She has also studied Sanskrit in Karnataka, India and holds a diploma in Hindustani Classical Music. She is fluent in both Hindi and French. 

In Samādhi Collective, Kamala teaches all the Sanskrit and Indian philosophy sessions, as well as developing and writing our informative posts on topics pertaining to philosophy, yoga and more.

Kamala and Jahnavi from Samadhi Collective sitting next to the Ganges river

Jahnavi is an artist, designer and portrait painter, who studied the tradition of Indian miniature painting in Rajasthan. She is also an experienced yoga instructor, trained in Karnataka, and has taught traditional Hatha yoga in both India and Europe, including at Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Rishikesh. Jahnavi also holds a diploma in Hindustani Classical music.


In this Episode we Discuss:

Growing Up All Around The World

Being born in England, then moving with their family to the United States, later to Holland & by the time they were 10 & 12 years old they ended up moving to India for 6 years.

Living in India as young kids and how both of them experienced it; & continue to experience it today. 

How Samadhi Collective Came To Be

The many shared experiences & the shared understanding of Vedic philosophy & culture allowed them to create this community together. 

The idea of creating a platform where Hindu philosophy & wisdom are shared: mantras, Sanskrit, yoga-related content, music, art, and spiritual practices.

Merging Western Education with Traditional Vedic Knowledge

Kamalā studied art history at the University of London where she partly focused on traditional Indian art, and also did her thesis on ragamala paintings - paintings that are based on classical Indian musical modes (a.k.a. ragas).  
  • These paintings have many Sanskrit Devanagari elements which she felt compelled to study in-depth.
She then did her MPhil at Oxford University, where she deepened her knowledge of Sanskrit & Indian Philosophy
  • All of this studying in England was from a strictly academic perspective, but given that she was also seeking a more traditional approach to these studies, she traveled during her vacations to Karnataka, south India, where she studied in a traditional school with a pundit

Learning Sanskrit

Kamalā advises those who seek to learn Sanskrit to “not try”, instead let go of that idea of “trying” and it’ll gently assimilate itself into your mind. 
A Ragamala Painting
  • The traditional way in which the grammatical paradigms are learned in Sanskrit is by chanting. When doing that, you don’t need to “try to learn” Sanskrit, it is simply assimilated. 
Pronunciation is key: Sanskrit is a spoken language that has a very strong oral tradition. 
  • It wasn’t written down until maybe thousands of years after the sounds were first cognized by the ancient seers (rishis). 
Kamala from Samadhi Collective, sitting in padmasana
Sanskrit is the sound, not the script. 
  • There are many different regional scripts (ways of writing Sanskrit). The different “Sanskrit scripts” (Devanagari being the most commonly used) are not really Sanskrit. 
    • They are vehicles that convey the sounds of Sanskrit but are not Sanskrit per se
The relationship between most bodies of knowledge that come from the Vedas (Yoga, Ayurveda, Jyotish, etc.) with Sanskrit. 
  • Learning Sanskrit allows one to establish a deeper and more profound understanding of these different fields. This is very important both for those who only practice and (especially) those who teach them. 
It is important to not only study Sanskrit in Devanagari but also to study IAST (International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration), which allows you to write Sanskrit words in roman script using diacritic.  

Vedic Chanting

Chanting mantras inwardly vs. out loud
  • There are certain lineages that instruct not to chant mantras out loud, but instead that mantras should be most often chanted inwardly. Kirtan and other group ceremonies being an exception to that rule. 
  • The Guru Diksha Mantra should not be chanted out loud, & the same goes for the Gayatri Mantra
There are certain other mantras that should only be recited by pundits, who have been properly trained from early childhood.
Many other mantras can be chanted by anyone, no matter their background. 
Ragas (arrangements of notes) & when to listen to or sing them. 
  • These ragas also serve for specific purposes; they can be used in Ayurveda as tools to enliven certain qualities and energies within our physiology. 

Favorite Places in India

Rishikesh
Karnataka in south India
Bhubaneswar, in Odisha, where you can find the Konark Sun Temple, one of the most prominent Surya temples in India. 
Kasar Devi, near Almora, Uttrakhand. 
  • This place is known for a temple dedicated to the goddess Kasar Devi. 
  • This Devi temple is of special importance because the region around it has an enormous geomagnetic field that even NASA has studied. There are only two other places in the world that have a similar magnetic field: Machu Picchu (Peru) & Stonehenge (United Kingdom). The three places are part of the Van Allen Belt. 
  • Swami Vivekananda wrote in his diary in 1890 about his powerful meditations in this place.
Jageshwar Dham Temple, also near Almora. 
Konark Sun Temple in Bhubaneswar India
Konark Sun Temple, Bhubaneswar, India
Kasar Devi Temple, Almora, India

Maharishi Patañjali & The Yoga Sutras

They both know the Yoga Sutras of Patañjali by heart & chant them every day. 
Sütra in Sanskrit means “to stitch together”, so when chanting the Yoga Sutras one is stitching his/her own individual self to the cosmic self - a way to connect and commune with a wider universal reality. 
The story of the birth of Maharishi Patañjali. 
  • & the meaning behind the name “Patañjali”. 
The Yogasana mantra or Patañjali invocation mantra: used at the beginning of certain types of Yoga asana classes. 

योगेन चित्तस्य पदेन वाचां मलं शरीरस्य च वैद्यकेन ।
योऽपाकरोत्तं प्रवरं मुनीनां पतञ्जलिं प्राञ्जलिरानतोऽस्मि ॥

yogena cittasya padena vācāṃ malaṃ śarīrasya ca vaidyakena |
yo 'pākarot taṃ pravaraṃ munīnāṃ patañjaliṃ prāñjalir ānato 'smi ||

With palms folded together,
I bow respectfully to Patañjali, the best of sages,
Who dispelled the impurities of the mind with Yoga,
Of speech through Grammar, and of the body by means of Medicine.

The state of Samadhi according to the Yoga Sutras.
  • A state of equilibrium or of pure consciousness, also known as the eighth limb of yoga. 
  • The culmination of all these yogic practices that lead to the enlightening of our true innate self. 

For a more extensive overview of the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali check out our Podcast episode with Eddie Stern HERE.


Resources

Samadhi Collective Instagram account (@samadhi.collective) HERE

Samadhi Collective Website HERE

  • They have several offerings that you can see through their website. To book: contact them at info@samadhicollective.com or direct message them on Instagram about whichever offering you are interested in.

Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single one).


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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.


Sanskrit – Polysemous Words (Enormous Range of Meanings)

Sanskrit Polysemous Words written on a wall
Sanskrit is one of the oldest languages (if not the oldest) on earth. It has a recorded history of approximately 3500 years (this is just what is written; oral Sanskrit goes way further back!), and it still manages to become very relevant to this date due to its incredible richness and immense capabilities.
Sanskrit words have an ENORMOUS range of meanings. These types of words are usually called polysemous words.
To give a random example, take the word kālakā कालका , which basically means ‘black or dark blue color’, or thus anything dark in general, but is at various times used to refer to the following:
  1. Ink or blacking;
  2. A dark spot;
  3. Rust;
  4. A fault or flaw in gold;
  5. Change of complexion;
  6. The liver;
  7. A particular blood-vessel in the ear;
  8. The line of hair extending from the pudenda to the navel;
  9. A multitude of cloud;
  10. Snow;
  11. Fog;
  12. The female of the bird Angārak;
  13. A female crow;
  14. The female of the bird Turdus macrourus;
  15. A scorpion;
  16. A small worm or animalcule formed by the fermentation of milk;
  17. Name of several plants;
  18. A kind of fragrant earth;
  19. A name or form of Durgā;
  20. A girl of four years old who personates the goddess Durgā at a festival held in honour of that deity;
  21. A kind of female genius;
  22. One of the mothers in Skanda's retinue, name of various other characters’
Not only are Sanskrit words so polysemous (they have so many meanings!), but we also get considerable numbers of words or expressions for one and the same thing.
Sanskrit is one of the richest and more intricate languages in the world, and one quality that makes it so is that very often there is a vast number of synonyms that allude to the same concept or idea. Here are some other examples: The word "elephant" has about a hundred synonyms in Sanskrit; and English has only one word for "love" while Sanskrit has 96!
Another fun fact about Sanskrit is that according to NASA it is "the only unambiguous language in the world", meaning that it is the only language that is not open to more than one interpretation of something. Due to the great intricacy of sentence-forming, when having to interpret a sentence these have only one possible meaning. On the contrary, with all other languages the context, the tone in which you pronounce a sentence, and your body language are key factors to decode the underlying message; it is not so with Sanskrit.
So complex and yet interesting at the same time, right?
Related Reading: 108 Names of Dhanvantri (Astotram)

Resources:

Dictionary source for कालका : Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary, 1899.
What is one of your favourite Sanskrit words? Comment 👇

Fluctuating Between a Celibate Monk and Successful Businessman While Exploring the World’s Saints, Healers and Mystics | Conan Mischer #005

What is the most evolutionary thing you can be doing right now?
The need of the time must be attended to in this world. Are you a worthy candidate that will respond to this call from the universe? How much of your energy and time can you give to servicing the community, economy and society at large?

Or is it best for you to recluse and live like a monk? Go live in a cave in the Himalayas or a Sanskrit only speaking village and meditate full time. Go seeking amongst holy places like India to visit sacred sites, meet holy saints and receive unique healings from extraordinarily gifted people.

Conan Mischer has been infatuated with such experiences throughout his journey of life.

I was so astounded and loved hearing his stories that I had to share them with you.


About Conan Mischer

Conan has been an advanced meditator for decades. He has met and mingled with astonishing people which provided profound life experiences. At the same time, he has been successful in university and business.


In this Episode we Discuss:

  • Book that changed Conans life - Andrew Weil - holistic health and meditation. (6:00)
  • Perfect Health by Deepak Chopra - a life-changing book that is a great introduction to Ayurveda. (06:20).
  • Indulging to much in the absolute state of Being can cause lack of integration in the always changing, relative world. (11:10)
  • Householder vs. the Recluse (Sanyasi) - How relevant is it in today's time for westerners to live a recluse lifestyle such as meditating full time in the mountains? (13:30)
  • The vedic saying that sums of the whole Veda quite well: “Established in Being, perform action.” (“Yogasta kuru karmani.”) ~ Bhagavad Gita, chapter 2, verse 48. What technique are you using to become established in Being? It will differ for each individual. Then how will you readjust to the relative, every changing world. (16:30)
  • New Mavericks - Vedic business consulting. (17:55)
  • Vedic Vibration Technology. Subtle therapy consisting of blowing primordial sounds into the body. (20:26)
  • Healing on the subtle level - Vedic Pulse Vibration, Raju family of Vaidyas, Banana Treatment for Women's Health. (21:28)
  • Working at the atomic level (subtle) is so much more powerful than working at the molecular level (gross). Atomic energy vs. chemical energy. (23:17)
  • Sanskrit - An onomatopoetic language, not a symbolic language. The first child of the language of nature. (23:48)
  • Nadi Palm Leaf Readers - Based on a thumbprint, they investigate your past and predict your future. (24:15).
  • Brahmasthan of India - A village in the geographical centre of India which encompasses a concentrate of full time vedic ceremonies and chantings. (27:00)
  • Yoga Asanas (posture) as a tool to integrate and bridge the gap between the transcendent and the relative. Especially for those who are “up in the clouds,” “airy fairy,” or ungrounded. (28:53)
  • The true meaning of Yoga and the difference between Yoga and exercise. An effortless, transcending yoga practice that provides the benefits of blood circulation, flexibility and strength. (29:47)
  • Himalayas - Jyotirmath - seat and home of the Shankarcharya King of the Yogis. Badrinath (Vishnu temple) in Uttrakandh. (31:35)
  • Tiruvanamalai - A mountain in south India that itself is a Shiva Lingam (form of Lord Shiva, the destruction operator in nature). (37:05)
  • Experiences with Amma Mata Amritanandamayi (The hugging the saint), an Avatar of the mother divine. Stepping into a spiritual jacuzzi whenever Conan got near her. (40:00)
  • The course of miracles - community. (43:00)
  • Jesus Christ was a Vedic master. Christ suffered is a faulty conclusion. It doesn’t tell you about his consciousness. A wincing body does not mean the consciousness is suffering. It is rather attributing the consciousness of the person making the claim. (48:55)
  • Mother Meera - A female saint who gives you “Darshan” - simply by looking at you, she lures you to her high state of consciousness, giving you a taste of the euphoria and blissful consciousness that you have potential to move into and Be in, all the time. (52:51)
  • Phillipino Psychic Surgeons - Opening up peoples bodies and removing foreign and detrimental objects and tissues. All with their bare hands. All with the patient feeling mostly nothing, anesthetic-free. And “patching” back up the patient straight away, as if nothing just happened. Read Conans full recount about his Psychic Surgery experience here. (56:09)
  • Panchakarma - Ayurvedic detox and rejuvenation program. (59:28)
  • Conan’s pearl of wisdom - What is the value of these experiences of visiting healers, saints, holy places, doing panchakarma etc.? The main value is to give us a glimpse of our true state of Being. A tangible reminder of our natural essence through experience. This inspires to strive for that state.
  • Ayurvedic Self Pulse Diagnosis - immediately connecting mind and physiology for healing and gaining greater awareness of the body. Learn self-pulse here. (1:06:50)

Support The Show

Please leave me a comment below (I love to read every single).

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Please seek advice from a qualified practitioner before starting any new health practice.

Astanga Hrdaya, Chapter 1 (Sanskrit/English Transcription)

Dylan Smith studying the Astanga Hrdayam of Vaghbata with his mentors

Astanga Hrdayam of Vaghbata is one of the main classical texts (shastras) in Ayurveda which makes it an authoritative authentic text that Vaidyas acknowledge, trust and refer to. 

Here the sanskrit of chapter one of Sutrastana is transcribed into english letters. Note that this text finishes before the end of the chapter before Vaghbata lists the chapters of the whole text to come.

There are two audio recordings of this:

  1. Chanted by Vaidya Krishna A.V. Raju.
  2. Chanted in a call and response manner for you to learn with Vaidya Krishna A.V. Raju.

Chanting along or even just listening to this will enliven holistic aspects of perfect health and Ayurveda in ones physiology on a subtle, yet powerful level.

This is a valuable tool for Ayurvedic practitioners and doctors to immerse more deeply in the primordial sounds of Ayurveda that undoubtedly will enhance their grasp of Ayurveda.

Astanga Hrdayam of Vaghbata, Sutrasthana, Chapter 1

Astanga Hrdayam of Vaghbata, Chapter 1:

rāgādirogān satatānusaktān aśesakāya prasrtanasesān (1)

autskymahoāratidāñ jagbāna yo ‘pūrvaidyāya namo ‘stu tasmai

athāta āyuskāmīyamadhyāyam vyākhyāsyamah

iti ha smāhu rātreyādayo maharsayah

āyuh kāmayamānena dharmārtha sukhasādhanam (2)

āyurvedopadeśesu vidheyah param ādarah

brahmā smrtvāyuso vedam prajāpatim ajigrahat (3)

so ‘ašrinau tau sahasrāksam so ‘atriputrādikān munīn

te ‘agniveśādikāms te tu prthak tantrāni tenire (4)

tebhyo ‘tiviprakīrnebhyah prāyah sārataroccayah

kriyate ‘stāngahrdayam nātisamksepavistaram (5)

kāyabāla grahordhvāviga śalyadamstrā jarāvrsān

astāvangāni tasyāhuś cikitsā yesu samśritā (6)

vāyauh pittam kaphaś ceti trayo dosāh samāsatah

vikrtā vikrtā deham ghnanti te vartayanti ca (7)

te vyāpino ‘pi hrnnābhyor adhomadhyordhvasamśrayāh

vayo’horātribhuktānām te ‘ntamadhyādigāh kramāt (8)

tair bhaved visamas tiksno mandaś cāgnih samaih samah

kosthah krūro mrdu(r) madhyo madhyah syāt taih samair api (9)

śukrārtavasthair janmādau viseneva visakrimeh

taiś ca tisrah prakrtayo hīnamadhyottamāh prthak (10)

samadhātuh samastāsu śrestha nindyā dvidosajāh

tatra rūkso laghuh śitah kharah sūksmaścalo ‘nilah(a) (11)

pittam sasneha tiksnosnam laghu visram saram dravam

snigdhah śito gurur mandah ślaksno mrtsnah sthirah kaphah(a) (12)

samsargah sannipātaś ca taddvitriksayakopatah

rasāsrn māmsa medo’sthi majja śukrāni dhatavah (13)

sapta dūsyāh malā mūtraśakrtsvedādayo ‘pi ca

vriddhih samānaih sarvesām viparitair viparyayah (14)

rasāh svāduamla lavana tikto sanakasāyakāh

sad dravyam āśritās te ca yathāpūrvam balāvahāh (15)

tatrādya mārutam ghnanti trayas tiktādayah kapham

kasāya tikta madhurāh pittam anye tu kurvate (16)

śamanam kopanam svasthahitam dravyam iti tridhā

usna śita gunotkarsāt tatra virya(m) dvidhā smrtam (17)

tridhā vipāko dravyasya svādvamla katu katmakah

guru manda hima snigdha ślaksna sāndra mrdu sthirāh (18)

gunāh sasūksma viśada vimśatih saviparyayāh

kālārthakarmanām yogo hinamithyāti mātrakah (19)

samyagyogaś ca vijneyo rogārogyaikakāranam

rogas tu dosavaisamyam dosasāmyama arogatā (20)

nijāgantu vibhāgena tatra rogā dvidha smrtāh

tesām kāyamanobhedād adhisthānam api dvidhā (21)

rajas tamaśca manaso dvau ca dosāv udāhrtau

darśana sparśana praśnaih parikseta caroginam (22)

rogam nidāna prāgrūpalaksano paśayāptibhih

bhūmi deha prabhedena deśam āhur iha dvidhā (23)

jāngalam vātabhūyistham ānupam tu kapholbanam

sādhārvam samamalam tridhā bhūdeśam ādiśet (24)

ksanādir vyādhyavasthā ca kālo bhesajayogakrt

śodhanam śamanam ceti samāsād ausadham dvidhā (25)

śarīrajānām dosānām kramena paramausadham

vastir vireko vamanam tathā tailam ghrtam madhu (26)

dhidhairya ātmādrijñānam manodosausadham param

bhisag dravyany upasthātā rogi pādacatustayam (27)

cikitsitasya nirdistam pratyekam tae caturgunam

daksas tīrthāttaśāstrārtho drstakarmā śucir bhisak (28)

bahukalpam bahuganam sampannam yogyam ausadham

anuraktah śucir dakso buddhimān paricārakah (29)

sādhyosādhya iti vyādhir dvhidhā tau tu punardvidha

susādhyah krcchra sādhyaś ca yāpyo yaś cānupakramah

(sometimes this verse is added in)

ādhyo rogī bhisagvaśyo jñāpakah sattvavān api

sarvausadhaksame dehe yūnah pumso jitāt manah (30)

amarmago ‘lpahetvagrarūparūpo ‘nupadravah

atulyadūsyadeśartu prakrtih pādasampadi (31)

grahesu anugonesu ekadosa mārgo navah(a) sukhah(a)

śastrādisādhanah(a) krcchrah sanikare ca tato gadah(a) (32)

śesatvād āyuso yāpyah(a) pathyābyāsād viparyaye

anupakrama eva syāt sthito ‘tyantaviparyaye (33)

autsukyamohāratikrd drstaristo ‘ksanāśanah(a)

tyajed ārtam bhisag bhūpair dvistam tesām dvisam dvisam (34)

hinopakaranam vyagram avidheyam gatāyusam

candam śokāturam bhīrum krtaghnam vaidyamāninam (35)

Credits:

Transcription from sanskrit to english letters by Paolo Scartezzini.

Translation coming soon...

Although there is benefit to not know the meaning of these slohkas as it will enliven these aspects of the science of life in a more holistic way. Translating sanskrit into english will not do justice to what nature is intending to express in order to trigger a memory in pure consciousness. 

Related Reading: Sanskrit – Polysemous Words (Enormous Range of Meanings)