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ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Meaning of Gayatri Mantra
Aum = Brahma ; bhoor = embodiment of vital spiritual energy(pran) ; bhuwah = destroyer of sufferings ; swaha = embodiment of happiness ; tat = that ; savitur = bright like sun ; varenyam = best choicest ; bhargo = destroyer of sins ; devasya = divine ; dheemahi = may imbibe, pertains to meditation ; dhiyo = intellect ; yo = who ; naha = our ; prachodayat = may inspire!
Gayatri is not the name of the mantra as such. It is the measurement. Any mantra set in the CHANDAS of Gayatri is called Gayatri mantra and chandas is a measure, and the one that is popularly known today As Gayatri mantra, is actually Savitri Mantra set in Gayatri chandas. The “Gayatri” chandas itself got its form from the Gayatri mantra. It is said that when the Gayatri mantra was revealed it was a chandas which was not known before, and that new Vedic meter was named with the name of the name of the mantra itself. In Vedas there are many other mantras which are in the Gayatri chandas (Vedic meter).
This is one of the first mantras we are introduced to as children. This is also one of the most powerful and significant mantra in Hinduism. It roughly translates to “May the divine light of the Supreme Being illuminate our intellect, to lead us along a path of righteousness”. The effects of chanting the Gayatri mantra are immense. It purifies the spirit of the chanter and also those who are in the vicinity; they are also benefited by the positive vibrations of the gayatri mantra. In certain translations, Gaya is referred to as the vital source of energy and tray ate which is the protective energy of the earth to liberate people from ignorance.
Gayatri Devi is the incarnation of shakti who embodies virtue, peace, purity and wisdom. In this form she receives the blessing of Lord Brahma and she is believed to have given the four Vedas to mankind.
This is considered to be false by many Hindus as the Gayatri mantra has nothing to do with a singular goddess or god. It is a prayer to the formless, omnipresent ishwara (the supreme power).The Gayatri mantra present in the rig Veda was not written very lightly. It has a Vedic metre of 24 syllables.
The Gayatri mantra was present in the rig Veda which originated in the Vedic age almost 3000 years ago. It is speculated that the Gayatri mantra could have been existent several centuries ahead of that time. The sages of ancient times selected the words of the Gayatri carefully and arranged them so that they not only convey meaning but also create very specific vibrations and powers of righteous wisdom through their utterance.
Often in search of religious and spiritual meaning we tend to ignore the scientific basis for it; the gayatri mantra has a perfect scientific explanation too. The earth(bhur), the planets(bhuva) ,and the galaxies(swah) , are moving at a great velocity, the sound produced is Om ,(the name of formless God.) That God (tat), who manifests Himself in the form of light of suns (savitur) is worthy of bowing/respect( varenyam) . We all, therefore, should meditate (dheemahi) upon the the light(bhargo) of that deity(devasya) and also do chanting of Om. May He (yo) guide in right direction(prachoday at) our (nah) intellect(dhiyo).
Chanting the Gayatri Mantra
There are three specific times in a day when the Gayatri Mantra should be chanted. The three times of a day is also known as Sandhyakal. The first time is before sunrise. The mantra should then be chanted till the sun rises. The second time to chant this mantra in the day is afternoon time. And the third time to chant Gayatri Mantra is before sun set till the sun sets. Apart from these timings, if someone wishes to chant this mantra, he/she should do it silently and at calm from mind. This mantra should not be chanted with loud voice.
There is a huge misconception that women shouldn’t be allowed to recite the Gayatri mantra as it affects their biological cycle. There is no truth in that statement. No Vedic knowledge is barred to any human on the basis of caste, creed or gender. Women have been given an equal spiritual status since times early and anything that puts them down today is all man-made. Before the eyes of god , we are all one.
There is another speculation about the Gayatri mantra. It has to be learnt via a proper guru. The Vedas are not for the lay man. Obviously the Vedas demand a certain respect and disciplinary code, it is always good to understand Vedas from knowledgeable persons. But in absence of them, Ishwar is the ultimate guru and presence of any agent between soul and Ishwar is completely unnecessary.
“Even fools, criminals and men with unstable minds are able to attain enlightenment by the power of Gayatri. When that is so, then the worship of Gayatri by the firm and pure minded persons will surely lead them to self knowledge and self-realization.”
— Sage Vashishtha
There is a theory in thermodynamics which explains why perpetual machines do not work – The process of energy conversion is not enough to give any significant output. This can be overcome by focusing the energy in eliminating these inefficiencies. Similarly if human beings put their effort towards god, we might receive his blessings more. After a point the person attains salvation. The more we direct our attention to the study of source of our knowledge – the Vedas – more the bliss we shall obtain for humanity.
Benefits of Chanting the Gayatri Mantra
These are some of the outcomes of the Gayatri mantra
- Eradication of fear and ignorance in the minds of the people
- Renewed sense of happiness and fervor
- Prioritizing your work and tasks
- Thinking and planning out of the box. Increased creative capacity.
And above all
5. The ability to appreciate the peacefulness of the immediate surroundings and the world.
Another interesting fact about the Vedas is that they are not prayers for personal wellbeing but for the well being of the society. So the Gayatri mantra also prays for divine blessings for all. This feature of “idanna mama “ which meaning it’s nothing personal is echoed throughout all Vedic mantras.
“Japa of Gayatri brings the same fruit as the recitation of all the four Vedas together with the Angas. It is the Mantra of the Vedas. It destroys sins. It bestows splendid health, beauty, strength, vigor, vitality and magnetic aura in the face (Brahmic effulgence).”
— Swami Sivananda
The Gayatri mantra should not be ignored as religious mantras. The pretext of this mantra is completely scientific and is required for all human beings to connect with the divine and rejuvenate themselves.
Divine Gayatri Mantra