For my students at University of Michigan, I dedicate this to the many teachers who have inspired me, and I think of you as I intone this beautiful chant. The opening invocation for Astanga Yoga is a wonderful way to honor all teachers, as it connects us with the spirit of Patanjali, the 2nd Century sage who took the Yoga Sutra from chant to print. Here is the chant with a poetic translation from the original in Sanskrit.
Vande Gurunam charanaravinde
I honor the many teachers
Sandarshita svatma sukavabodhe
who have awakened happiness and insight,
Nih shreyase jangalikayamane
who have been a refuge,
Samsara halahala mohashantyai
and have helped eliminate delusions in this life.
I honor that great sage,
a shining presence,
Sahasra sirasam svetam
forever radiating the wondrous sound of the universe,
and wise beyond measure: Patanjali.
Here also is the Sanktit text, followed by a more literal translation. As you can see, the poetic is a bit easier to get your mind around as you chant.
Vande Gurunam Charanaravinde
Sandarshita Svatma Sukava Bodhe
Nih Sreyase Jangalikayamane
Samsara Halahala Mohashantyai
Sahasra Sirasam Svetam
I bow to the lotus feet of the Supreme Guru
which awaken insight into the happiness of pure Being,
which are the refuge, the jungle physician,
which eliminate the delusion caused by the poisonous herb of Samsara (conditioned existence).
I prostrate before the sage Patanjali
who has thousands of radiant, white heads
and who has assumed the form of a man
holding a conch shell (divine sound), a wheel (discus of light or infinite time) and a sword (discrimination).