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Gayatri Mantra

The Gayatri Mantra is a universal prayer enriched in the Vedas. Gayatri Mantra is also known as Savitri Mantra, which addressed the Immanent and Transcendent Divine which has been given the name “Savita,” meaning that from which all this is born. It was Brahmarshi Vishvamitra, who spread the Gayatri Mantra. He also revealed the benefits of chanting the Gayatri mantra.

The mantra is a significant part of the Upanayana Ceremony for young males in the Hindu dharma and has long been chanted by Dvija men as part of their daily rituals. Modern Hindu refine the movements and spread the practice of the mantra to include women and all castes too, and its use is now prevalent. It is especially regarded for Adoration, Meditation, and Prayer.

This is the mantra:

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

The Gayatri Mantra first appeared in the Rig Veda (Mandala 3.62.10), an early Vedic text written between 1100 to 1700 BCE. It is stated in the Upanishads as a significant ritual and in the Bhagavad Gita as, the poem of the Divine. It is a belief that chanting Gayatri Mantra firmly establishes the mind and if people carry on his-her life and do the work that is destined, our life will be full of joy and happiness. In brief, the mantra means:

“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”.

The First Word “OM” – ॐ

It is also called Pranav because the sound of ‘Om’ or ‘AUM’ comes from the Prana (Vital Vibration), which feels the Universe. The scripture says “Aum Iti Ek Akshara Brahman” (Aum that one syllable is Brahman). 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.

The Vyahrities – Bhur, Bhuvah, 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 the entire cosmos or “ahriti”. The scripture says: “Visheshenh Aahritih sarva viraat, praahlaanam prakashokaranh vyahritih”. Thus, by uttering these three words, the person who chants it contemplates the Glory of God that illumines the three worlds or the regions of experience.

The Remaining Words

Here is the individual meanings of the rest of the words from the mantra:

  • Tat – In simpler term, it means “that”, because it stated description through speech or language, the “Ultimate Reality.”
  • Savitur – “Divine Sun” (The ultimate light of wisdom)
  • Varenium – “Adore”
  • Bhargo – “Illumination”
  • Devasya – “Divine Grace”
  • Dheemahi – “We Contemplate”
  • Dhi – “Intellect”
  • Yo  – “Who”
  • Nah – “Ours”
  • Prachodayat – “Requesting/Urging/Praying”

 

How to chant

Chanting Gayatri Mantra has many benefits. However, there is a certain process of chanting them. Thus, it is highly advisable that people should follow certain rules while chanting the Gayatri Mantra. While chanting the Gayatri Mantra, you should always close the eyes and should try to concentrate on every word and understand their meaning. Each word or even the sound should be uttered correctly, as it should be. Although it can be chanted at any time of the day, it is suggested that it is better to chant the mantra, early in the morning as well as at the night before sleeping.

Eventually, the mantra is an expression of gratitude, to both the life-giving Sun and the Divine. It boosted devotee taking a heart-centered approach to the mantra. The sensibility it awakes is more significant than the literal meaning. It’s an offering, a way to open to grace, to inspire oneself.

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