INVOCATION TO PATANJALI: This invocation to Patañjali is the introduction to the Bhoja Vrtti, the commentary on the Yoga Sutras written by Raja Bhoj. It is frequently chanted at the beginning of a yoga class. The first part of the chant salutes Patañjali's achievements as a founding figure in yoga; in grammar; and in ayurvedic medicine. The second part salutes him for carrying: the conch, which sounds the vibrations of the Universe but also awakens us to the coming victory over the world of matter; the wheel, which symbolizes the dominion and universal power of wisdom; and the double-edged sword of discriminative understanding, which enables us to see duality and cut through it to reveal reality. The reference to ‘1,000 heads’ is to his form as Ananta or Adisesa, the divine serpent that, in biting its own tail, symbolizes endlessness or the circle of eternity from which all possibilities and universes can spring.
For further details on Patañjali, please refer to the Patañjali biography.