Where any of you fortunate enough to experience the “Madam Zingara” theatrical show?
The opening act started with the Gayatri mantra; it was Partner Yoga, slow, beautiful, perfect – yet it was a circus show. Initially I was horrified. Here we were in a big top circus tent. The huge audience eating (meat lathered in chocolate was signature dish) and drinking, and here they are playing the Gayatri mantra. Sacrilegious, or what? Yet, the noise ceased, we all paid attention; the tone was set – mystical and uplifting. As I calmed down, loved the chanting and the synchronised perfection of the yoga balance, I realised that the Pranavan Sabda touched even those who were not consciously in the know. The spiritual peace instilled in the random crowd should not be kept secret. Let us all chant the Gayatri Mantra and learn its provenance and significance.
“There are many who argue that the Pranava can be repeated only by a few, and that others are not entitled to it. This false conclusion has been arrived at since they do not know the Truth. The Gita does not mention this group or that group. Krishna declares ‘whoever’ without any qualifying words limiting it to one class or sex.”
OM BHUR BHUVA SVAHA
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YONAH PRACHODAYAT
“The Gayatri Mantra is the elaboration of the Pranava Sabda or Om. It (the Gayatri Mantra) is now held so venerable and valuable that initiation into the Adhyatmic life is achieved by its contemplation.” is the Universal Prayer enshrined in the Vedas, the most ancient Scriptures of Man.
The Gayatri Mantra is a Prayer that can well be spoken with yearning by men and women of all creeds and climes in all centuries.
The 5 faces of Gayatri
OM – Para Brahman
BHUR – Bhu loka (Physical plane). It also refers to the body made up of the 5 Pancha Bhutas (5 elements). These 5 elements constitute Prakriti (Nature).
BHUVA – Bhuva loka – The middle world. Bhuva is also Prana Sakthi.
SVAHA – Swarga loka (Heaven – the land of the Gods)
TAT – Paramatma, God or Brahman
SAVITUR – That from which all this is born
VARENYAM – Fit to be worshipped
BHARGO – The Radiance, the Spiritual Effulgence, the Light that bestows Wisdom
DEVASYA – Divine Reality
DHEEMAHI – We meditate
DHIYO – Buddhi, Intellect
YO – Which
NAH – Our
PRACHODAYAT – Enlighten.
The Gayatri Mantra may be translated in many ways. One such translation is as follows:
We meditate upon the Spiritual Effulgence of that Adorable Supreme Divine Reality the Source of the Physical, the Astral and the Heavenly Spheres of Existence. May that Supreme Divine Being enlighten our intellect (so that we may realise the Supreme Truth).
The Gayatri Mantra was discovered by Sage Viswamitra. It was the same Sage Viswamitra who initiated Sri Rama into the mysteries of Sun worship, through the Mantra Aaditiya Hrdayam. It enabled Sage Viswamitra to use rare weapons, which bowed to his will when the Mantra was repeated with faith. Through the powers he attained in this way, Viswamitra was able to create a counterpart of this Cosmos. (Sathya Sai Vahini – 184)
This Mantra has infinite potentiality. It is a vibrant formula. It has immense powers, as it is addressed to the energy of the Sun; Surya is its presiding Deity as enshrined in the Vedas, the most ancient Scriptures of Man.
Gayatri is the Mother of the Vedas – Gayatri Chandasaam Maatha. Gayatri is Annapurna, the Divine Mother, the Divine Force that animates all Life.
The five Faces of Gayatri are:
1. “Om”, the Pranava is the 1st Face. The Pranava Principle represents the eight different forms of wealth (Ashta Aiswarya).
2. “Bhur Bhuva Svaha” is the 2nd Face.
3. “Tat Savitur Varenyam” is the 3rd Face.
4. “Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi” is the 4th Face.
5. “Dhi Yo YoNah Prachodayat” is the 5th Face.
Gayatri redeems and protects the chanter of the Mantra & is present wherever the Mantra is chanted.
Gayatri has 3 names – Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi. These three aspects are present in each one of us. Gayatri is the master of the senses. Savitri is the master of Prana (Life Force). Savitri signifies Truth. Saraswathi is the presiding Deity of Speech (Vaak). These three represent purity in Thought, Word and Deed (Trikarana Suddhi)
(One who practices purity and harmony of Thought, Word and Deed will have Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi residing within.)
The Gayatri Mantra is addressed to the Immanent and Transcendent Divinity, named ‘SAVITHA’ which means “that from which all this is born”.
The Gayatri Mantra may be considered to have 3 parts. The Mantra has all the three elements that figure in the adoration of God – Praise, Meditation and Prayer. The first nine words represent the attributes of the Divine:
“OM BHUR BHUVA SVAHA
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASYA ”
“DHEEMAHI ” pertains to Meditation.
“DHI YO YONAH PRACHODAYAT ” is the Prayer to God to confer on us all powers and talents.
The three parts may also be described as:
(1) Praise to Savitha. The Divine is first praised.
(2) Meditation on Savitha. The Divine is then meditated upon in reverence.
(3) Prayer to Savitha.
An appeal is made to the Divine to awaken and strengthen our Intellect, the discriminating faculty (Buddhi) in us.
As such, it is considered to be the Essence of the Teaching of the Vedas – the Veda Sara. One who chants the Gayatri Mantra regularly and with faith – will have various kinds of powers emerge, all that is beneficial, sharpened knowledge-yielding faculty. Hence the Gayatri Mantra should not be treated casually.
The Gayatri Mantra is the reliever of diseases – Sarva roga nivaarini Gayatri,
the Gayatri Mantra wards off all misery – Sarva duhkha parivaarini Gayatri,
the Gayatri Mantra is the fulfiller of all desires – Sarva vaancha phalasri Gayatri.
Truth is that which is valid at all times past, present and future. That Truth is the Gayatri Mantra.
The Gayatri Mantra implies the 4 Maha Vakyas or the Four core declarations enshrined in the Four Vedas.
1. PRAJNANAM BRAHMA
Consciousness is Brahman (Aitareya Upanishad of the Rg Veda)
2. AHAM BRAHMA ASMI
I Am Brahman (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad of the Yajur Veda)
3. TAT TVAM ASI
That Thou Art (Chandogya Upanishad of the Sama Veda)
4. AYAM ATMA BRAHMA
This Self is Brahman (Mandukya Upanishad of the Atharva Veda)
The Gayatri Mantra can be chanted at any time and everywhere. Any Mantra should be chanted at dawn, noon and dusk, we need not be limited only to these time. These times are known as Sandhya Kaalam, the meeting point between night and day, morning and evening, day and night; most beneficial time for spiritual practice.
While chanting the Gayatri Mantra, we may be well advised to follow the Instruction that Lord Krishna gave to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita V – 27 : “Shutting out all sense perceptions, and fixing the gaze between the eye-brows…” .The Gayatri Mantra has been given to us as the Third Eye (the Ajna Chakra) – to reveal the inner vision to us. By developing this inner vision, we may realise Brahman.
The Gayatri Mantra will protect us from harm wherever we are as Gayatri is the very Life Force provider.
Ensure that heart is pure at all times and do not treat the Gayatri Mantra casually.
1. Speak Truth. Attach value to your words. Truth is the life of a word.
2. Practise Righteousness by developing Trikarana Suddhi
3. Purity and Harmony of Thought, Word and Deed.
Think no evil – Think what is good
See no evil – See what is good
Hear no evil – Hear what is good
Talk no evil – Talk what is good
Do no evil – Do what is good
4. Dedicate all your actions to the Lord – without undue concern for the results, and without the false sense of doership (”I am the doer”).
Per Bhagawan’s Sai Baba: Celebrates his 84th Birthday, today 23 November 2009. Help ever – Hurt never.
Bhagawan’s advice to young people is that they should chant the Gayatri Mantra when taking their bath. When we take our bath, we are cleansing our bodies. Therefore, we should take this opportunity to cleanse our minds and intellects also at the same time. Also beneficial to chant Gayatri matra:-
(1) before every meal
(2) when we wake up from bed
(3) when we go to bed.
Repeat ‘Shanti’, or peace of mind, to the three entities in us – body, mind and soul.
3. Gayatri is at the very basis of the Vedas, and merits the name Veda Mata or The Mother of the Vedas. The Gayatri Mantra is all-pervasive throughout the manifest Cosmos.
4. Gayatri is “That which preserves, protects and rescues the chanter from mortality”.
5. The Gayatri Mantra is a Universal Prayer, which asks for a clear Intellect so that the Truth may be reflected therein without distortion.
6. Bhagawan has said that the Gayatri Mantra can be chanted by men and women of all climes and creeds. It calls upon the Glorious Power that pervades the Sun and the Three Worlds to arouse, awaken and strengthen the Intelligence, so that it may lead us through intense Sadhana to success.
7. The heart needs to be cleansed thrice a day – dawn, noon and dusk. Besides these times, Bhagawan has said that the Gayatri Mantra can be repeated anywhere at any time, including night time.
8. The Gayatri Mantra is synonymous with Divinity and has therefore to be approached with humility, reverence, faith and love towards the Mantra.
9. The Vedas are the very breath of God and the Gayatri Mantra is at the very basis of the Vedas.
10. Bhagawan is the Vedapurusha and is therefore the Supreme Authority on the Vedas.
11. Love and reverence for the Mantra and faith in its promised results are far more important than mere mechanical repetition while the mind wanders.
12. This prayer is directed to the Divine Mother –
“O Divine Mother, our hearts are filled with darkness. Please make this darkness distant from us and promote Illumination within us”.
13. Full faith in the power and potency of the Gayatri Mantra will be generated only when the seeker has developed the requisite degree of enthusiasm, reverence and love towards this Mantra.
14. The more one chants the Gayatri Mantra, the greater the benefit to the one who chants it.
If we chant the Gayatri Mantra while taking a bath, our bath gets sanctified. If we chant it before taking our food, our food becomes an offering to the Divine. We should develop heartfelt devotion to God. (SS 9/95-238)
We should chant the Gayatri Mantra at least 108 times (One Mala) every morning. This will take only 15 minutes.
Those who take up to the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra as a Sadhana by itself may chant 3 or, preferably, 5 Malas every morning and an equal or lesser number of Malas in the evening. Chanting 10 Malas (2 1/2 hours) every Sunday morning and on holidays is not beyond the capacity of the earnest Sadhaka. Gayatri purascharana consists in chanting 10 Malas each morning for 24 or 40 days without a break.
To absorb the Mantric power, purity of life and an abstemious diet are essential.
(1) The Gayatri Mantra will protect us from harm wherever we are, whether – in a bus or car, in a railway train or in a plane, in a bazaar or on the road.
(2) Brahmaprakasa (the effulgence of Brahman) will descend on us and illumine our spiritual path when we chant the Gayatri Mantra.
“You may or you may not chant any other Mantra, but do remember that by chanting the Gayatri Mantra, the benefits are there for you to see. By continuously chanting the Gayatri Mantra you yourself will reach the state of fulfilment, a sense of feeling that you have achieved something. But there is an inner meaning in this Gayatri Mantra being given to young children. We have in this Mantra the concluding words – ‘Dhi Yo YoNah Prachodayat’. The meaning is this: Before you have been given this Mantra, you have been backward intellectually, mentally a bit lazy and with a few negative points to your credit. But after you have been given this Mantra, you have become sharper in Intellect, you have become more zealous, more enthusiastic, and certainly qualified to get better marks, better rank and first classes. From tomorrow, the children by virtue of chanting this Mantra in the morning and in the evening, may they be endowed with a rare Intelligence, which will take care of their fortunes that will be presiding over their destiny. They will become highly qualified. They will become model citizens so that the future of the country will be safe in their hands.”
SANCTIFY YOUR LIFE BY CHANTING GAYATRI MANTRA
This is the most auspicious moment of your life. Human life can be compared to a four-storeyed mansion. The four storeys correspond to four stages of man’s life, namely, Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa (celibate, householder, recluse and renunciant). Today you are laying the foundation of the mansion of your life. The safety and security of the mansion is assured once you make the foundation strong and sturdy.
Gayatri – The Mother of the Vedas
Man has four births. His first birth takes place from his mother’s womb. He gets a second life when he is initiated into the Gayatri Mantra. His third birth occurs when he studies the Vedas. He becomes a Brahmin when he recognises the principle of Brahman. This is his fourth birth. One becomes a Brahmin not merely by birth, but by knowing the nature of Brahman. For this, chanting of Gayatri Mantra is very essential.
Gayatri is Sarvadevata Swarupini and Sarva-mantra Swarupini (embodiment of all gods and all Mantras). It is said, Gayatri Chhandasam Matha (Gayatri is the mother of the Vedas). There is no need to chant any other Mantra if you chant the Gayatri Mantra. Gayatri has three names: Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati. Gayantham Trayate ithi Gayatri (Gayatri protects the one who recites it). Gayatri is the master of the senses. Savitri is the presiding deity of the life principle. When Gayatri acts as the protector of life-force, she is known as Savitri. You might have heard the story of Savitri, a woman of chastity, who brought her dead husband, Sathyavan, back to life with the power of her prayer. Savitri protects those who lead a life of Sathya (truth). This is the inner meaning. Saraswati is the presiding deity of speech. Man has to earn the grace of Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati to sanctify his life.
Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati are latent in every-body. Bhur, Bhuvah and Suvah in the Gayatri Mantra refer to body (materialisation), life-force (vibration) and soul (radiation). Bhur means Bhuloka (the earth), which is nothing but the combination of materials. This denotes the human body which is also a combination of materials. Bhuvah refers to the life-force, which makes the body vibrate. Suvah refer to Prajnana Shakti, which sustains the life-force. This Prajnana Shakti is known as Constant Integrated Awareness. This is also termed as radiation. All the three, namely, materialisation, vibration and radiation are present in man. I tell you often, you are not one, but three – the one you think you are (physical body), the one others think you are (mental body) and the one you really are (Atma). Gayatri is the embodiment of the mother-principle. You should chant the Gayatri Mantra everyday, in the morning, noon and evening. These are referred to as Prata Sandhya, Madhyahna Sandhya and Sayam Sandhya.
Gayatri is known as Panchamukhi, meaning she has five faces. What are they? Om is the first face; Bhur Bhuvah Suvah, the second; Tat Savitur Varenyam, the third; Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, the fourth; Dhi Yo Yo Nah Prachodayat is the fifth. Gayatri has three parts: praise, meditation and prayer. First, the Divine is praised, then it is meditated upon in reverence and lastly, prayer is offered to the Divine to dispel the darkness of ignorance and to awaken and strengthen the intellect. Dheemahi relates to the meditative aspect. Dhi Yo Yo Nah Prachodayat relates to the prayer. Chanting of the Gayatri Mantra purifies the mind and confers devotion, detachment and wisdom. Young men must necessarily chant the Gayatri Mantra. Today we find that they get initiated into the Gayatri Mantra at an advanced stage of their youth. Intellect will blossom and shine in all its splendour after initiation into the Gayatri Mantra. That is why it is essential that Upanayanam be done at the age of eight. One who is initiated into the Gayatri Mantra at an early age will become highly intelligent. Man’s life will be sanctified by chanting this Mantra. If one chants the Gayatri Mantra wholeheartedly, one will never face difficulties or hardships in life.
Gayatri Mantra is highly sacred. Gayatri Mantra contains the essence of all the Mantras. Gayatri is the embodiment of all gods and goddesses. Chanting the Gayatri Mantra three times a day, i.e., morning, noon and evening, is not enough. You should chant this Mantra perpetually. Why should you stipulate a particular time or period for chanting His name who is beyond time? Sarvada Sarvakaleshu Sarvatra Harichintanam (contemplate on the name of God at all places, at all times and under all circumstances).