The nine Dhyāna Ślokās are chanted (meditated upon) as a prayer and invocation to the highest to prepare our mind and intellect to be ready for study. The purpose of prayer or invocation is to attune both head and heart to the higher with respect (mat-paraḥ) and love (mat-cittaḥ). When both love and respect come together (devotion), we can focus and receive profound wisdom from the sacred study.
ॐ पार्थाय प्रतिबोधितां भगवता नारायणेन स्वयम्
व्यासेन ग्रथितां पुराणमुनिना मध्ये महाभारतम्
अम्ब त्वामनुसन्दधामि भगवद्गीते भवद्वेषिणीम् ॥ १ ॥
Om pārthāya pratibodhitāṃ bhagavatā nārāyaṇena svayaṃ
vyāsena grathitāṃ purāṇa-muninā madhye mahābhāratam
amba tvām-anusandadhāmi bhagavad-gīte bhava-dveṣiṇīm ॥ 1 ॥
Salutations to Bhagavad Geeta which was taught to Pārtha (Arjuna, the Pandava prince who was the son of Prutha/Kunti) when asked, by Lord Nārāyana himself; which was composed by the ancient sage Vyasa in the middle of the Mahabharata; which showers the nectar of Advaita Vedānta and consists of eighteen chapters; the mother who is the destroyer of samsāra (the realm of change).
नमोऽस्तु ते व्यास विशालबुद्धे फुल्लारविन्दायतपत्रनेत्र
येन त्वया भारततैलपूर्णः प्रज्वालितो ज्ञानमयः प्रदीपः ॥ २ ॥
Salutations to Vyasa, the one with vast intelligence/wisdom and eyes like petals of full-blown lotus; who lit the light of Knowledge filled with the oil of Mahabharata.
ज्ञानमुद्राय कृष्णाय गीतामृतदुहे नमः ॥ ३ ॥
Salutations to Krishna, the pārijāta tree who fulfills all desires; the holder of the whip in one hand and the wielder of the symbol of Knowledge; the milker of the nectar of the Bhagavad Geeta.
सर्वोपनिषदो गावो दोग्धा गोपालनन्दनः
पार्थो वत्सः सुधीर्भोक्ता दुग्धं गीतामृतं महत् ॥ ४ ॥
All the Upanishads are the cows, Krishna is the milker and the cowherd. Pārtha is the calf and seekers who have purified minds are the enjoyers of the milk (nectar) of the Bhagavad Geeta.
वसुदेवसुतं देवं कंसचाणूरमर्दनम्
देवकीपरमानन्दं कृष्णं वन्दे जगद्गुरुम् ॥ ५ ॥
Salutations to Krishna, the son of Vasudeva; who is the destroyer of Kamsa, and Chanūra; who is the supreme bliss of Devaki.
भीष्मद्रोणतटा जयद्रथजला गान्धारनीलोत्पला
शल्यग्राहवती कृपेण वहनी कर्णेन वेलाकुल
सोत्तीर्णा खलु पाण्डवै रणनदी कैवर्तकः केशवः ॥ ६ ॥
sottīrṇā khalu pāṇḍavai raṇanadī kaivartakaḥ keśavaḥ ॥ 6 ॥
With Krishna as the helmsman, the pāndavās crossed the river of war for which Bheeshma and Drona were the two banks; Jayadratha was the water; the king of Gāndhāra (Shakuni) was the blue lotus; Shalya was the shark; Kripa was the tide; Karna was the mighty wave; Ashwathāma and Vikarna were the deadly alligators; Duryodhana was the whirlpool.
पाराशर्यवचः सरोजममलं गीतार्थगन्धोत्कटं
नानाख्यानककेशरं हरिकथा सम्बोधनाबोधितम्
लोके सज्जनषट्पदैरहरहः पेपीयमानं मुदा
भूयाद्भारतपङ्कजं कलिमलप्रध्वंसिनः श्रेयसे ॥ ७ ॥
loke sajjana-ṣaṭpadairaharahaḥ pepīyamānaṃ mudā
bhūyād bhārata-paṅkajaṃ kalimalapradhvaṃsinaḥ śreyase ॥ 7 ॥
May the lotus flower of Mahabharatha, which is born in the lake of the words of the son of parāśa (Vyasa); which is sweet with the fragrance of the meaning and teachings of the Geeta; with a variety of stories as its stamens; which fully blossoms into the stories of Hari; which is drunk joyously by the bees of noble people; which is the destroyer of all the impurities of the Kali age, bestow good upon all of us.
मूकं करोति वाचालं पङ्गुं लङ्घयते गिरिम्
यत्कृपा तमहं वन्दे परमानन्दमाधवम् ॥ ८ ॥
mūkaṃ karoti vācālaṃ paṅguṃ laṅghāyate girim
yatkṛpā tam-ahaṃ vande param-ānanda-mādhavam ॥ 8 ॥
Salutations to Mādhava, whose grace can make a dumb man be an eloquent orator; can make a lame man climb mountains; who is the embodiment of grace and source of supreme bliss.
यं ब्रह्मा वरुणेन्द्ररुद्रमरुतः स्तुन्वन्ति दिव्यैः स्तवै:
वेदैः साङ्गपदक्रमोपनिषदै: गायन्ति यं सामगाः
ध्यानावस्थित तद्गतेन मनसा पश्यन्ति यं योगिनो
यस्यान्तं न विदुः सुरासुरगणा देवाय तस्मै नमः ॥ ९ ॥
yaṃ brahmā varuṇendra-rudra-marutaḥ stunvanti divyaiḥ stavaiḥ
vedaiḥ sāṅgapada-kramopaniṣadair-gāyanti yaṃ sāmagāḥ
dhyānāvasthita tad-gatena manasā paśyanti yaṃ yogino
yasyāntaṃ na viduḥ surāsuragaṇā devāya tasmai namaḥ ॥ 9 ॥
Salutations to Mādhava, who is praised by Brahma, Varuna, Indra, Rudra, and the Maruts with divine hymns; who is pleased by singing Vedas and Upanishads, by following the krama methods; who is seen by yogis absorbed in deep meditation with their minds merged in him; whose end is not known by the Devas and Asuras.