Gayatri mantra

The Mantra 

Aum
Bhuh Bhuvah Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat

~ The Rig Veda (10:16:3)

Listen to the Gayatri Mantra

https://www.learnreligions.com/the-gayatri-mantra-1770541

By Shri Gyan RajhansUpdated March 23, 2018

The Gayatri mantra is one of the oldest and most powerful of Sanskrit mantras. It is believed that by chanting the Gayatri mantra and firmly establishing it in the mind, if you carry on your life and do the work that is ordained for you, your life will be full of happiness.https://ba07b73be0ff1787b4a5ea310e764f14.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

The word “Gayatri” itself explains the reason for the existence of this mantra. It has its origin in the Sanskrit phrase Gayantam Triyate iti, and refers to that mantra which rescues the chanter from all adverse situations that may lead to mortality.

Goddess Gayatri is also called “Veda-Mata” or the Mother of the Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Saam and Atharva – because it is the very basis of the Vedas. It is the basis, the reality behind the experienced and the cognized universe.https://ba07b73be0ff1787b4a5ea310e764f14.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

The Gayatri mantra is composed of a metre consisting of 24 syllables – generally arranged in a triplet of eight syllables each. Therefore, this particular meter (tripadhi) is also known as the Gayatri Meter or “Gayatri Chhanda.”

The Mantra 

Aum
Bhuh Bhuvah Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat

~ The Rig Veda (10:16:3)

Listen to the Gayatri Mantra

The Meaning 

“O thou existence Absolute, Creator of the three dimensions, we contemplate upon thy divine light. May He stimulate our intellect and bestow upon us true knowledge.”https://ba07b73be0ff1787b4a5ea310e764f14.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

Or simply,

“O Divine mother, our hearts are filled with darkness. Please make this darkness distant from us and promote illumination within us.”

Let us take each word of the Gayatri Mantra and try to understand its inherent meaning.

The First Word Om (Aum) 

It is also called Pranav because its sound emanates from the Prana (vital vibration), which feels the Universe. The scripture says “Aum Iti Ek Akshara Brahman” (Aum that one syllable is Brahman).

When you pronounce AUM:
A – emerges from the throat, originating in the region of the navel
U – rolls over the tongue
M – ends on the lips
A – waking, U – dreaming, M – sleeping
It is the sum and substance of all the words that can emanate from the human throat. It is the primordial fundamental sound symbolic of the Universal Absolute.https://ba07b73be0ff1787b4a5ea310e764f14.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html

The “Vyahrities”: Bhuh, Bhuvah, and Svah 

The above three words of the Gayatri, which literally means “past,” “present,” and “future,” are called Vyahrities. Vyahriti is that which gives knowledge of entire cosmos or “ahriti”. The scripture says: “Visheshenh Aahritih sarva viraat, praahlaanam prakashokaranh vyahritih”. Thus, by uttering these three words, the chanter contemplates the Glory of God that illumines the three worlds or the regions of experience.

The Remaining Words 

  • Tat simply means “that” because it defies description through speech or language, the “Ultimate Reality.”
  • Savitur means “Divine Sun” (the ultimate light of wisdom) not to be confused with the ordinary sun.
  • Varenium means “adore”
  • Bhargo means “illumination”
  • Devasya means “Divine Grace”
  • Dheemahi means “we contemplate”
  • Dhi means intellect
  • Yo means “who”
  • Nah means “ours”
  • Prachodayat means “requesting / urging / praying”

The last five words constitute the prayer for final liberation through the awakening of our true intelligence.

Finally, it needs to be mentioned that there are a number of meanings of the three main words of this mantra given in the scriptures:

Various meanings of the words used in the Gayatri Mantra 

BhuhBhuvahSvah
EarthAtmosphereBeyond Atmosphere
PastPresentFuture
MorningNoonEvening
TamasRajasSattwa
GrossSubtleCausal

The eternal, earth, air, heaven
That glory, that resplendence of the sun
May we contemplate the brilliance of that light
May the sun inspire our minds.

*Translation by Douglas Brooks

Though it may take years to grasp the true essence of the mantra, in very basic language, it says, “May the divine light of the Supreme Being illuminate our intellect, to lead us along a path of righteousness”.

Om = Brahma; The primeval sound of the Universe
bhur = embodiment of vital spiritual energy (pran)
bhuwah = destroyer of sufferings
swaha = realization of happiness
tat = that
savitur = bright like the sun
varenyam = choicest
bhargo = destroyer of sins
devasya = divine
dheemahi = may imbibe
dhiyo = intellect
yo = who
naha = our
prachodayat = may inspire

Highlights of the Maha mantra

  • Greatness of Gayatri mantra is that it does not speak about self-gain or self-empowerment. It is a request to the Lord to enlighten every being of the universe, so that all of his creation feels empowered.
  • It conveys more than what is hidden, than what is communicated. Hence, each word by itself is a prayer.
  • It is beyond the boundaries of religion, caste and ethnicity. The cycle of life is the Lord’s will, and the entire universe needs to be in tandem to function. It thus a request appealing for peace and divine wisdom for all.
  • In the Vedas, it is said that the more you chant this mantra with intensity, it opens up the seven chakras of the body, awakening your inner senses.
the Indus parent.com

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