Interview with Jordi Morel: "those engaged in yoga must know a minimum of Sanskrit"

Many practitioners and yoga teachers wrote the names of the positions and pronounced mantras as God gives us to understand (and in the West, gives it us to understand badly). Jordi Morel gives us some very interesting use of the Sanskrit rules.

Jordi Morel

It is philologist, teacher of yoga, and advanced student of Sanskrit. He believes that those who dedicate themselves to teach or those who publish texts on yoga have a responsibility to ourselves, with the students and readers, but also with material that we work. "We work with a material topped by a very ancient language, which is the Sanskrit yoga. Many teachers and practitioners pronounced as they can, without too much discretion. But there is a standard transliteration of Sanskrit to the Roman alphabet."

Do Sa? sk? ta-bha? to (Sanskrit language) - Jordi explains - it means "perfect language". It is a language very well designed, very well Advocacia, with very standardized rules, which has remained very stable throughout the centuries. "We can have a good knowledge of English to be able to speak, but if we read a text in English of the 12th or 13th century, the" Canterbury Tales for example, many could not understand it. However, can be understood exactly equal a Sanskrit text of the 1st century or 12th century.

Which notions of Sanskrit should be a yoga teacher?
I think that those who are dedicated to yoga should know a minimum of Sanskrit, not necessarily of grammar. It is not necessary to know how to speak it, but yes to fewer know how to pronounce the name of certain positions, certain techniques or movements. And this is quite simple if one gets to it.

I'd like to emphasize the mantras. Many teachers tend to propose Singing mantras at the beginning or at the end of their classes. According to the Sanskrit tradition, not a mantra has the same effect if it is not pronounced correctly.

What rests that belief?
In that language, in the beginning of time, had a divine origin. Without going any further, according to the Do yoga-s? tra and their commentators, with Vyasa at the front, the Om sound comes directly from God; means God, isvara, the Lord... It may be the word you want, but with a transcendent sense. To the extent that the Sanskrit hermeneutics and the Indian tradition believed blindly that the grammar was a way of salvation.

Who studied languages sometimes we ask ourselves what serves the grammar, but it is a way of salvation is a very interesting belief. So that divine source gives the meaning to the words; Hence the importance of knowing them to pronounce. In fact the Sanskrit as a language, few knew her to pronounce. It was and is a language of use restricted to certain circles of pandits, in wise, philosophical discussions. They knew the meaning of the words and how they were pronounced, and only a certain caste of people were appropriate to speak them. And with mantras is exactly the same. Reciting the body transforms, is a preparation for meditation.

We suggest, therefore, know how to pronounce names common in yoga and mantra...
Yes, Sanskrit words that we teachers are not many, and they might as well make a little effort to find out how they are pronounced exactly. An obvious example are the positions we do in class. Asana is a name which in Sanskrit is neutral, and Spanish there is no neuter gender. Then, by default, the Sanskrit words that are neutral in Spanish we consider male. Therefore are the Asanas, not the Asanas. And is an esdrujula word that we should say as such, as marks it a signal long (a: savasana , not savasanaas commonly stated).

This is something very obvious, but there are pronunciation of certain sounds, such as the retroflejos (taking the tip of the tongue very back of the palate: for example) has in have? been-yoga, under the t indicates retroflexion), that we are difficult because we don't have them in Spanish. Or aspirations, that is very important to them when we recite mantras. It is not the same to pronounce SAMADI What Samad-hi (second to long, h sucked). At the time of reciting, there are very strict rules. For example, you may have seen many vowels with a circumflex accent, or as ideally it should transliterate, a script above: Samadhi; This means that you have to lengthen these vowels. Others do not have. For example: and and or are always long; and a vowel which in principle is short but that is followed by two consonants, also have to extend it.

When we recite texts, whether is it Bhagavad gita or the Yoga-sutraYou must adhere to these rules. If you hear someone who recites these texts well, you are going to notice where lengthens and shortens where perfectly.

And ShantiHow to write it properly in Spanish?
In Spanish are a little slaves of the system transliteration to English. Shanti, in its first phoneme is palatal, deaf. We write it to the English: sh. But it is not entirely correct to transliterate it as well. In the proposal that we do (and which appears in the journal of the AEPY (Spanish Association of Yoga practitioners), sound transcribed it as well:) Santi.

The big problem of the Sanskrit, for me, is the vocabulary. It is a language that is characterized by polysemy and synonymy, i.e. a same Word can mean many things, and same thing can denote many words. Despite this complexity, it is a language that, in the context, it disambiguates very well. But I think that this for practitioners of yoga is not important.

More advise teachers and practitioners in Sanskrit?
Since they are having many types of postures, which pronounced respect the esdrújulas and the elongated (a). In the recitation of mantras, know how they are pronounced when you need them to read. This would be the main thing. It is not necessary to go much further, because Sanskrit grammar is not finished you might be life studying and it is a language that would end up always giving you slaps, at the top and at the bottom, because always something you can escape you.

But that is not important, I insist, but to pronounce and transcribed as best as possible, and that you can get. To transcribe, is spend a while to adapt the keyboard to tell with these signs that you've indicated, and that is easy to solve.

There are courses or workshops in which you can start and train?
I I trained at a center called Devava? i (which means "language of the gods"), in Barcelona, who today teaches Sanskrit distance, taking alumonos of all Spain. Right now I am working with them in various activities. Do Devava? i is directed by Miquel Peralta, my teacher, and has a method of teaching that is very well, because the classical teaching of Sanskrit is very chaotic as in the India they tend to learn by repetition. The Indian will not be questions; the teacher should repeat what say you until you between. This can lead to a Westerner to burn and leave the Studio. I am very grateful to Miquel Peralta and Laia Villegas, people who knew how to inoculate me the "virus" of Sanskrit.

If it goes well with Sanskrit, and I was lucky to get well, you're making your way until there comes a time where you feel already comfortable, to the level that you want. I'm still not to make speeches, but to drive me in certain texts, then Yes.

How you did in you the desire to study Sanskrit?
I am a philologist, but arriving at yoga I realized that there was a language which was to many positions, many techniques and many mantras. I came into contact with the Sanskrit through Laia Villegas, and was lucky to end up in the Center Devava? i, which I found immediately at ease. And I started to study already more serious grammar. I was thus entering the language, until it reaches a point where you're inside your level for your needs.

Sanskrit is very interesting, and not just for yoga. Is the great aunt of Spanish; There are many words that have the same trunk. It developed in the India more than 3000 years ago basically by caste, to level needs more religious and philosophical. There is a Preclassic Sanskrit which is the of the Vedas, whose rules were not very fixed. If you try to enter in Sanskrit with the VedasYou can't, it is nothing. It is preferable to study Sanskrit classic that already reflects the grammatical revolution introduced by Pa? ini.

Those interested in studying Sanskrit, I recommend you write to www.devavani.orgwhere you will find all the information about the distance learning courses.

And what can you tell us of the? Yoga-sutra?
This year I'm giving a course on the Samadhi Pada of the Yoga-sutra in the Center Ashtanga Yoga Shala from Barcelona, addressed to students of Devava? i and to those interested in this text but do not have notions of Sanskrit. Splits directly from Sanskrit (not from a translation of English or Spanish, that no quality time). I give the students the translation, all the keys and something very important for me: an audio of a professor from India, Dr. Jayashree, specialist in Sanskrit, and with this we continue the sutras. One thing I recommend to those who want to study the Yoga-sutra: that begin with recitation, knowing how are recited and what they mean, and then make a small meditation of 15 or 20 minutes, and see what experience. Later we will go more in-depth in its philosophical aspects, but I think the most important thing is starting from practice, as it was my case.

Finally, how to write more correctly Patanjali?
The correct transliteration would be Patanjali. It is the words that tend to write better.

Jordi Morel is due to publish on the website of the AEPY (Spanish Association of practitioners of Yoga) a small guide of Sanskrit for practitioners and yoga teachers. It is collaborating with Miquel Peralta in a new edition of the Bhagavad gitaIt will be very soon in the light. Another project, more long term, is to offer a Spanish version of the Yoga-sutra well transliterated and translated, because at the moment there.

Do the grammar of Pa? ini

Towards the year 500 BC, Pa? ini developed a very complex grammar. He wrote 4,000 rules, and therefore is called Sanskrit language, perfect language)sa sk ta comes from Sam, which means "all", "full"; and k? ta(, "' finished ',"perfected"). These rules which made Pa? ini, collected in his work TO? adhyayithey are very difficult to understand, and he has been achieved thanks to the commentators, a very Indian phenomenon. Is there a grammatical tradition of Pa commentators? ini, and from there we started to understand how the rules work.

Today the Sanskrit is not a language of widespread use or much less, although there are communities who speak only in Sanskrit. But precisely for this reason it has remained very stable throughout the centuries, as there are no changes, influences, evolution. But it is Indo-European stem base, and all our European languages, except for the Basque, Hungarian and Finnish, are descended from him.

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By • 18 sea, 2013 • section: Interview, Mantras