Sunday, December 21, 2008


This - the shortest day of the year - is a good time in which to remember this mantra from the Upanishads:

Om Asato ma sat gamaya
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya
Mrityor ma amritam gamaya
Om Shanti Shanti Shantihi

Lead us from the unreal to the real
Lead us from darkness to light
Lead us from death to immortality
May there be Peace Peace Peace

(Brhadaranyaka Upanishad — I.iii.28)

This is the mantra that Mysore teacher Sheshadri (and his guru, BNS Iyengar) chants so beautifully with students before the asana practice. It's easy to learn, and may make you feel better than chanting, say, AC/DC's "Let There Be Rock." Not that there's anything wrong with that.