Yoga Diaries: Back to the Basics

by mandy lipka

Now that the dust is beginning to settle in the Anusara world, rather than worry about where the movement is going, I think it behooves us to revisit the beginning. Whenever I start to lose faith in something that matters to me, I tend to go back to the start to remind myself of those sparks that once ignited something special.

Anusara takes its name from a verse in the great text, the Kularnava Tantra. It reads in Sanskrit:

Shakti-nipata-anusarena sishyo’anugraham-arhati


By stepping into the current of Divine Grace’s descent into the heart, the true seeker becomes worthy, enveloped in the Grace that sustains and nurtures his or her every action.

So, let’s do it. Let’s bring meaning back to descending into our hearts to find the TRUTH. The truth in ourselves, the truth in grace– that which sustains us and nurtures our soul.

Taking it a step further, the chant we regularly recite is as follows:

Om nama shivaya gurave

Saccidananda murtaye

Nisprapancaya shantaya

Niralambaya tejase

My oh, so very favorite means:

I offer myself to the Light, the auspicious one

Who is the true teacher within and without

Who assumes the forms of Reality, Consciousness and Bliss

Who is never absent and full of peace

Independent in existence, the vital essence of illumination

I’ve only been more intensively practicing Anusara for a bit more than a year now. Regardless, these chants immediately transport me to my beginnings by channeling the power and unity of its form. These words help push away the distractions in our environment and remind us of what matters, why we do what we do. So let’s do it. Let’s recite these before our practices and reconnect ourselves again with the very reason we practice– to ignite the light within us to inspire and illuminate a world of peace. Maybe that way, we can re-right this ship.


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