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Ode to the Yogi

Conference held by Jaya Yogācārya on March 22nd, 2019 during meditation class

Guru stotram गुरु स्तोत्रम्

Tonight, we are going to analyze together the famous Guru Stotram, ode to the master, which any spiritual aspirant in yoga should know and assimilate in its most bhakti and metaphysical meaning.
In India, the word "guru" means master, teacher. Thus, one can find gurus for dance, music, yoga, art... Sacred teaching is rare and a privilege, and it is very far from today’s vulgarized yoga practice.

Tonight’s analysis is addressed to serious practitioners who won’t be able to grow in the understanding of sacred knowledge without an attitude of generosity, humility, gratitude and loyalty toward those who spent or still spend their whole life transmitting this knowledge.
Salutation to the lineage of yogis who have initiated us.
Salutation to my master Śrī Śrī Śrī Satcitānanda श्री सच्चिदानन्द yogi, called the Silent Yogi.

Analysis 1st stanza: verses 1 & 2


Oṃ Guru Brahmā Guru Viṣṇu Guru devo Maheśvara
Guru Sākṣāt Para Brahmā tasmai Śrī gurave Namaḥ

ओं गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णु र्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः
साक्षात परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः

Oṃ ओं Guru गुरु Brahmā ब्रह्मा Guru गुरु Viṣṇu विष्णु Guru गुरु devo देवो Maheśvara महेश्वरः
Guru गुरु Sākṣāt साक्षात् Para पर Brahmā ब्रह्मा tasmai तस्मै Śrī श्री gurave गुरवे Namaḥ नमः

Guru गुरु ; teacher, master.
Brahmā ब्रह्मा ; the creator. Viṣṇu विष्णु ; the preserver. Devo देवो ; divine. Maheśvara महेश्वरः ; (another name for Śiva शिव the destroyer).
Sākṣāt साक्षात् ; manifest, obvious, apparent, revealed, visible.
para पर ; means "first", so "first manifestation" here.
Brahman ब्रह्मन् ; absolute principle in the Vedānta वेदान्त philosophy ; unchanging, attribute-less, formless, nameless principle.
Tasmai तस्मै ; means "for him".
Gurave गुरवे ; the one who teaches, to bow to him.
Namaḥ नमः ; salutation.
Śrī श्री ; honorific title suggesting mastery.


Oṃ the master is Brahmā, the creator. The master is Viṣṇu, the preserver.
The Master is the supreme lord Maheśvara.
The Master is the supreme Brahman, the omnipresent absolute.
Salutation to this noble master.

Analysis 2nd stanza: verses 3 & 4

Ajñāna timirāndhasya jñānāñjana śalākayā
cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai Śrī guraveNamaḥ

ओम् अज्ञान तिमिरान्धस्य ज्ञानाञ्जनशालाकया
चक्षुरुन्मीलितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः

Oṃ ओं ajñānaअज्ञान timirāndhasya तिमिरान्धस्य jñānāñjana ज्ञानांजन -śalākayā शलाकया
cakṣur चक्षु unmīlitaṁ उन्मीलिततं yena येन tasmai तस्मै Śrī श्री gurave गुरवे Namaḥ नमः

Ajñāna अज्ञान ; ignorant attitude.
randha रन्ध; destruction.
ajñāna -timirāndhasya अज्ञान तिमिरान्धस्य ; I was born in the darkest ignorance and my spiritual master opened my eyes with the torch of knowledge.
jñānāñjana ज्ञानांजन ; collyrium.
Śalākā शलाका ; śalākāyantra शलाकायन्त्र ; pointed instrument, surgery instrument.
Cakṣu(r) चक्षुर्विज्ञान ; eye, (cataract).
Unmīlita उन्मीलित ; opened, to open.
Yena येन ; whereby, by which way.
Tasmai ; for him.
Gurave ; the one who teaches, to whom one bows.
Namaḥ ; salutation.

Salutation to this noble master who has removed the blindness of ignorance by applying the collyrium of knowledge.
Salutation to this noble master.

Analysis 3rd stanza: verses 5 & 6

Akāṇḍa Maṇḍala kāram vyaptham Yena carācaram
Tatpadam Tharsitham Yena tasmai Śrī gurave Namaḥ

अखण्डमण्डलाकारं व्याप्तं येन चराचरम्
तत्पदं दर्शितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः

Akāṇḍa अकाण्ड Maṇḍala kāram मण्डल कारम् vyaptham व्याप्त Yena येन carācaram चराचरम्
Tatpadam तत्पदंम् Tharsitham दर्शितं Yena येन tasmai तस्मै Śrī श्री gurave गुरवे Namaḥ नमः

Akāṇḍa अकाण्ड ; suddenly, accidentally.
Maṇḍala kāram मण्डल कारम् ; an infinite world.
Maṇḍala ; circle, world. kāram ; in the manner of, in the way of.
vyaptham व्याप्त ; obtained, celebrated, to invade, to spread.
Yena येन ; whereby, by which way.
carācara चराचर ; movable and immovable.
Tat तत् ; that.
padam पदम् ; place, state, what is there.
Tharsitham दर्शितं ; has shown, has revealed.
Tasmai ; for him.
Gurave ; the one who teaches, to whom one bows.
Namaḥ ; salutation.

Salutation to this noble master who reveals the reality of "That"
which pervades the animate and inanimate in this universe.

Analysis 4th stanza: verses 7 & 8

Śrī mān nātham Jagannātha mad-guru Śrī Jagadguru
mad Ātma sarva bhūtātmā tasmai Śrī gurave Namaḥ

श्री मान्नाम् जगन्नाथ मद्द्गुरु श्री जगद्गुरु
मद्आत्म सर्वभूतात्मा तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः

Śrī श्री mān मान् nāthah नाथ Jagannātha जगन्नाथ mad-guru मद् द्गुरु Śrī श्री Jagadguru जगद्गुरु
mad-Ātma मद् आत्म sarva सर्व bhūtātmā भूतात्मा tasmai तस्मै Śrī श्री gurave गुरवे Namaḥ नमः
(Śrī mannatham Jagannadho madguru Śrī Jagadguru) Satchidananda yogi’s version)

Śrī श्री ; sage.
mān मान् ; possession, my.
nātha नाथ ; Vedic man, Ṛṣi ऋषि, sage, lord, master, spiritual guide.
Jagannātha जगन्नाथ ; the lord of the universe, sometimes refers to Krṣṇa कृष्ण , to Viṣṇu विष्णु.
jagad जगदा ; supreme spirit principle.
Jagadguru जगदगुरु ; major deity, another world.
Śrī Jagadguru ; the guide of the entire universe.
Jagat जगत् ; moving, the world.
mad guru मद् द्गुरु ; my master, my guide, my teacher.
mad मद् ; personal pronoun, my.
Ātma आत्म ; my soul, myself.
sarva सर्व ; every, both, complete.
bhūtātmā भूतात्मा ; the whole body, the vital principle, that that is at the service of everyone, the individual soul, one whose soul is purified.


My master is the master of the Universe.
My teacher is the universal teacher.
My Self is the Self of all beings.
Salutation to this venerable master.

Analysis 5th stanza: verses 9, 10, 11, 12

Brahmānanda parama sukhāḍaṃ kevalaṃ jñānamūrtim
Dvandvātitaṃ gagana sadrusaṃ tattva masyadi lakṣyam
Ekaṃ nityaṃ vimala mācalaṃ sarva dhī sākṣī Bhūtam
Bhāva tithaṃ Triguṇa Rahitaṃ sadguru taṃ namāmi

ब्रह्मानन्दं परमसुखदं केवलं ज्ञानमूर्तिम्
द्वन्द्वातीतं गगनसदृशं तत्त्वमस्यादिलक्ष्यम्
एकं नित्यं विमलमचलं सर्व धीसाक्षी भूतम्
भावातीतं त्रिगुणरहितं सद्गुरुं तंनमामि

Brahmānanda ब्रह्मानन्दं parama परम sukhāḍaṃ परमसुखदं kevalaṃ केवलं jñānamūrtim ज्ञानमूर्तिम्
dvandvātitaṃ द्वन्द्वातीतं gagana गगन sadrusaṃ tattva तत्त्व masyadi मस्यादि lakṣyam लक्ष्यम्
Ekaṃएक nityaṃ नित्यं vimala विमल mācalaṃ मचलं sarva सर्व dhī धी sākṣī साक्षी Bhūtam भूतम्
Bhāva भाव tithaṃ तीतं Triguṇa त्रिगुण Rahitaṃ रहितं sadguru सद्गुरु taṃ namāmi तंनमामि

Brahmānanda ब्रह्मानन्दं ; bliss of Brahman.
Parama परम ; distant, superior, excellence.
sukhāḍa सुखाड ; pleasant, agreeable, gratifying.
Kevala केवल ; omniscience. kevalaṃ ; One.
jñānamūrtim ज्ञानमूर्तिम् ; knowledge personified.
dvandvātita द्वन्द्वातित ; freed from duality.
gagana गगन ; the sky.
sadṛśa सदृश ; similar, identical, like.
tattva तत्त्व ; principle.
masyadi मस्यादि ; ( mas मस् ; he. yadi यदि ; however, nevertheless, if, possible) ; lakṣya लक्ष्य ; objective, recognized as, to be defined, to aim at.
Ekaṃ एक ; One.
nityaṃ नित्यं ; eternal.
vimala विमल ; pure.
mācalaṃ मचलं ; thief. vimala mācalaṃ ; honest, sincere. sarva सर्व ; every, both, complete.
dhī धी ; understanding, intellect, spirit.
sākṣī साक्षी ; eyewitness, witness, proof, testimony.
dhī sākṣī धीसाक्षी ; the witness
or
another interpretation with a devanagari different from the original Tat-Tvam-Asi तत्त्वमसि "You are That" and ādi आदि ; origin, beginning.
so
"tat-tvam-asi-ādi" for "tattva masyadi".
Bhūta भूत ; element, sensitive, non-sensitive or divine being, creatures in general, spirits. The most common meaning of bhūta is the entire mobile or immobile, animate or inanimate creation.
Bhāva भाव ; beyond.
tithaṃ तीतं ; becoming, evolution. Bhāva tithaṃ भाव तीतं ; beyond future.
Triguṇa त्रिगुण ; the 3 guṇa.
Rahita रहित ; left, destitute of, deserted, free from, separated.
sadguru सद्गुरु ; good teacher, the true teacher.
taṃ namāmi तंनमामि ;
taṃ तं ; That, that is. namāmi नमामि ; I salute.
sadguru taṃ namāmi ; I salute (namāmi) that (taṁ) true or good teacher (sad-guru).


I prostrate myself before my good master, the bliss of Brahman.
The giver of supreme happiness, he is one and he is the form of knowledge.
He is beyond duality, infinite like the sky. He is the One Eternal, unchanging and pure.
He is the immobile witness, beyond becoming and the three qualities.

Analysis 6th stanza: verses 13, 14


Janma mṛtyu Jara vyādhi nāśanam mṛtyu tārakam
nānā mārgais tu duṣprāpaṃ Kaivalyam paramam padam


जन्ममृत्यु जरव्याधिनाशनम् मृत्युतारकम्
नानामार्गैषितु दुष्प्रापां कैवल्यम् परमम् पदम्

Janma जन्म mṛtyu मृत्यु Jara जर vyādhi व्याधि nāśanam नाशनम् mṛtyu मृत्यु tārakam तारकम्
nānāनाना mārgais मार्गैषि tu तु duṣprāpaṃ दुष्प्रापां Kaivalyam कैवल्यम् paramam परमम् padam पदम्

Janma जन्म ; birth.
mṛtyu मृत्यु ; death.
Jara जर ; old, aged.
vyādhi व्याधि ; disease.
nāśana नाशन ; destruction, abolition.
tāraka तारक ; to save, to free (tārakam, saving).
nānā नाना ; many, different.
mārgaiṣin मार्गैषिन् ; searching for a road or path.
tu तु ; to go or to move, to progress, to injure.
Duṣprāpa दुष्प्राप ; inaccessible, difficult to obtain.
Kaivalya कैवल्य ; isolation, loneliness, recollection of self, interiority, detachment of the soul, identification with the supreme spirit, dissolution.
Parama परम ; distant, superior, excellence.
Pada पद ; step, foot, measure, part, word, chapter.


Liberation is the supreme purpose and it is difficult to reach by the various paths.
It destroys birth, old age and disease. It leads beyond death.

Analysis 7th stanza: verse 15

Oṃ tat sat Oṃ tat sat Oṃ tat sat

ओं तट् सत् ओं तट् सत् ओं तट् सत्

Oṃ ओं tat तट् sat सत्

Oṃ ओं ; AUM mantra. Sat सत् ; existence. Taṭ तट् ; That.

Oṃ! That is Reality

— -

Condensed version

Guru stotram
Oṃ Guru Brahmā Guru Viṣṇu Guru devo Maheśvara
Guru Sākṣāt Para Brahmā tasmai Śrī gurave Namaḥ

ओं गुरुर्ब्रह्मा गुरुर्विष्णु र्गुरुर्देवो महेश्वरः
साक्षात परं ब्रह्म तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः
Ode to the master
Oṃ, the master is Brahmā, the creator. The master is Viṣṇu, the preserver.
The Master is the supreme lord Maheśvara.
The Master is the supreme Brahman, the omnipresent absolute.
Salutation to this noble master.

Ajñāna timirāndhasya jñānāñjana śalākayā
Cakṣur unmīlitaṁ yena tasmai Śrī guraveNamaḥ

अज्ञान तिमिरान्धस्य ज्ञानाञ्जनशालाकया
चक्षुरुन्मीलितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः
Salutation to this noble master who has removed the blindness of ignorance
by applying the collyrium of knowledge.
Salutation to this noble master.

Akāṇḍa maṇḍala kāram vyaptham Yena carācaram
Tatpadam Tharsitham Yena tasmai Śrī gurave Namaḥ

अखण्डमण्डलाकारं व्याप्तं येन चराचरम्
तत्पदं दर्शितं येन तस्मै श्रीगुरवे नमः
Salutation to this noble master who reveals the reality of "That"
which pervades the animate and inanimate in this universe.

Śrī mān nātham Jagannātha mad guru Śrī Jagadguru
Mad Ātma sarva bhūtātmā tasmai Śrī gurave Namaḥ

श्री मान्नाथम् जगन्नाथ मद्द्गुरु श्री जगद्गुरु
मद्आत्म सर्वभूतात्मा तस्मै श्री गुरवे नमः
My master is the master of the Universe.
My teacher is the universal teacher.
My Self is the Self of all beings.
Salutation to this venerable master.

Brahmānanda parama sukhāḍaṃ kevalaṃ jñānamūrtim
Dvandvātitaṃ gagana sadrusaṃ tattva masyadi lakṣyam
Ekaṃ nityaṃ vimala mācalaṃ sarva dhī sākṣī Bhūtam
Bhāva tithaṃ Triguṇa Rahitaṃ sadguru taṃ namāmi.

ब्रह्मानन्दं परमसुखदं केवलं ज्ञानमूर्तिम्
द्वन्द्वातीतं गगनसदृशं तत्त्वमस्यादिलक्ष्यम्
एकं नित्यं विमलमचलं सर्व धीसाक्षी भूतम्
भावातीतं त्रिगुणरहितं सद्गुरुं तंनमामि
I prostrate myself before my good master, the bliss of Brahman.
The giver of supreme happiness, he is one and he is the form of knowledge.
He is beyond duality, infinite like the sky. He is the One Eternal, unchanging and pure.
He is the immobile witness, beyond becoming and the three qualities.

Janma mṛtyu Jara vyādhi nāśanam mṛtyu tārakam
Nānā mārgais tu duṣprāpaṃ Kaivalyam paramam padam

जन्ममृत्यु जरव्याधिनाशनम् मृत्युतारकम्
नानामार्गैषितु दुष्प्रापां कैवल्यम् परमम् पदम्
Liberation is the supreme purpose and it is difficult to reach by the various paths.
It destroys birth, old age and disease. It leads beyond death.

Oṃ tat sat Oṃ tat sat Oṃ tat sat
ओं तट् सत्
Oṃ! That is Reality

Jaya Yogācārya

Analysis and translation of the sankrit in French by Jaya Yogācārya

French translation in English by Stéphanie BOSCO

©Centre Jaya de Yoga Vedanta, Réunion Island

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