The Gayatri Mantra is a universal prayer enriched in the Vedas. It is also known as Savitri Mantra, which addressed to the Immanent and Transcendent Divine which has been given the name “Savita,” meaning that from which all this is born. The Gayatri Mantra was discovered by Sage Viswamitra. It was the same Sage – Viswamitra who commenced Sri Rama into the mysteries of Sun worship, through the Mantra “Aaditiya Hrdayam.”
The mantra is a significant part of the Upanayana Ceremony for young males in Hindu religion 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.
The Gayatri Mantra
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि।
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥
Bhur Bhuvah Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat
Meaning of Gayatri Mantra
The Gayatri Mantra first appeared in the Rig Veda, 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.
In simpler terms:
O Divine mother, our hearts are filled with darkness. Please make this darkness distant from us and promote illumination within us.
The First Word OM
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 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”
The last five words constitute the prayer for final liberation through the awakening of our true intelligence.
Significance and benefits of Chanting Gayatri Mantra
There are numerous reasons why we should chant the Gayatri Mantra. Thus, here are some of the positive effects of Gayatri Mantra.
- It increases learning power.
- It increases concentration.
- It brings prosperity.
- It gives people eternal power.
- It is very useful for peace.
- It is the first step to go to the way of the spiritual road.
- It is correlated with God.
- It strengthens the mind and improves the health condition.
- It improves the rhythmic pattern of breathing.
- It keeps our hearts healthy.
- It protects the devotee from all the dangers and guides towards the Divine by intuition.
- It improves our family life.
The Discipline, Methods and Ways Chanting Gayatri Mantra
Chanting Gayatri Mantra has many benefits. However, there is 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 the chanter 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.