Gayatri Mantra – The Mother of All Vedas
Gayatri Mantra also called Maha Mantra, which is Great Mantra. The significance of the Gayatri Mantra is that – the 24 letters in the Gayatri Mantra corresponds to the 24 vertebrae of the spine. The backbone is what provides support and stability to our body. Similarly, the Gayatri Mantra brings stability to our intellect.
Also, these 24 letters are often believed to be a sign of twenty-four powers and abilities. This is why the sages have claimed the Gayatri Mantra to satisfy all kinds of desires.
Gayatri Mantra roots back to Yajur Veda – Chapter 36, Mantra (Verse) 3.
The Vedas are widely recognized as the origin of all great knowledge, with the term “Veda” meaning “wisdom” itself. The Gayatri Mantra, also known as the Guru Mantra or the Savitri Mantra, was also offered to mankind by Gayatri Devi. It is one of the oldest mantras, and it is commonly thought of as one of the highest and most powerful of all mantras. Therefore, this mantra is often referred to as the ‘Mother of the Vedas.’
It is believed that one achieve success and happiness in life by chanting the Gayatri Mantra. One can firmly establish and relax the mind with daily chanting of the Gayatri Mantra. To both the sun and the divine, the mantra is a gesture to show gratitude.
Table of Contents
- 1 - Detailed Meaning of Gayatri Mantra
- 1.1 - Gayatri Mantra in Sanskrit
- 1.2 - Gayatri Mantra in English
- 1.3 - Oṃ (ॐ)
- 1.4 - Bhūr (भूर्)
- 1.5 - Bhuvaḥ (भुवः)
- 1.6 - Svaḥ (स्वः )
- 1.7 - Tát (तत्)
- 1.8 - Savitúr (सत्वितुर्)
- 1.9 - Váreṇiyaṃ (र्वरेण्यं)
- 1.10 - Bhárgo (भर्गो)
- 1.11 - Devásya (देवस्य)
- 1.12 - Dhīmahi (धीमहि)
- 1.13 - Dhíyo (धियो )
- 1.14 - Yó (यो)
- 1.15 - Naḥ (नः)
- 1.16 - Pracodáyāt (प्रचोदयात्)
- 2 - Perfect Time to Chant Gayatri Mantra
- 3 - The Better Choice: Praying or Chanting?
- 4 - Benefits of Chanting Gayatri Mantra
- 5 - Gayatri Mantra for Students
Detailed Meaning of Gayatri Mantra
The most popular and powerful Sanskrit hymn, Gayatri Mantra is uttered as:
Gayatri Mantra in Sanskrit
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः ।
भर्गो देवस्यः धीमहि ।
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ।।
Gayatri Mantra in English
Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
Tát savitúr váreṇiyaṃ
Bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
Dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt
Let’s dive in into each divine word:
OM often considered as the Pranava mantra is the seed of all other mantras. Some texts also refer to OM as the primordial sound.
The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word Bhūr is existence. The self-existent God is eternal and unchanging as a continuous and constant entity. The other interpretation of Bhūr is also the Earth on which we are born and sustained. Thus Bhūr is what makes us exist and bless us with Divine will. Finally, Bhūr implies Prana(life) that is breath.
Svaḥ (स्वः )
Svaḥ indicates the all-pervading nature of God. Present in each and every physical entity, God is able to interact with the Universe created by Divine himself and thus sustain and control it. God is the one who ensures a smooth and proper existence.
The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word Tát is “that” used to denote the third person. Even Bhagwat Gita has the mention of Tát as the selfless nature of the world. Similarly, Tát is used in Gayatri Mantra to indicate that the worshipper is referring to [that] God.
Savitúr is derived from the root word Savita, is another name of Goddess Gayatri. Gayatri Mantra is also referred to as Savitri Mantra. The word also implies the divine Sun or the ultimate light of wisdom.
The literal meaning of Váreṇiyaṃ is “Who is Worthy.” It signifies the acceptance of God, the highest reality to whom we dedicate our efforts.
Bhárgo signifies the glorious light that is God’s love and power. Thus, Bhárgo is an illumination that purifies and destroys all sins and afflictions.
The word Devásya is derived from the root word Devá. It is generally thought of simply God or Divine Grace. It is more complex than God. It is the qualities or attributes of the Devi and Devata.
The literal meaning of Dhīmahi is to meditate or focus on God. The whole purpose is to remove all other thoughts from the mind and establish a strong communion with God.
Dhíyo (धियो )
Dhíyo is the Sanskrit word for intellect. After firmly establishing the communion with God, the next step is to emphasize God’s presence and influence on our mind and intellect.
The literal meaning of Yó is “Who.” It signifies that who is that whom we make our prayers to; it is God himself.
Naḥ means “Ours.” All of us offer this prayer of the Gayatri mantra and ask for God’s blessing not only for ourselves but for humanity. We seek to uplift everyone since god loves the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam; One World Family.
The final word Pracodáyāt completes the whole mantra. It requests and urges God for his guidance throughout life. We ask him to direct our life energy in the right way.
Perfect Time to Chant Gayatri Mantra
The first and foremost thing is that whether be it the Gayatri mantra or any other mantra, it should be chanted with utmost devotion and belief. The most ideal time for chanting the Gayatri Mantra is three times a day; before sunset (Brahma muhurta time), mid-day, and after sunset. These times are called Three Sandhyas – morning, mid-day, and evening.
For maximal benefit, the chanting of the mantra has to be 108 times. However, if you have a lesser time frame, it is recommended to chant in the count of 3, 9, or 18. The most important is that chanting should be done with proper pronunciation for better results.
The Better Choice: Praying or Chanting?
Chanting the Gayatri Mantra induces nada, a continuous vibration in the subtle body channels, opening up the body’s different spiritual centers. As a consequence, in the subtle body, strength is awoken. In the Gayatri Mantra, chanting the 24 seed syllables creates a beautiful jhankar, a pulsating ringing so that strong energy flows from the subtle- body chakras. Yoga Shakti, the energy of union with the divine, endows you with this.
Gayatri mantra is to be transmitted by the guru usually at upanayana. The one who has done upanayana can chant the Gayatri Mantra loudly, otherwise, it is recommended to chant silently, that is within the mind. It is best to concentrate in between your eyes, Ajna Chakra or Third Eye Chakra while chanting. Chanting mantra this way gives the twofold benefit of chanting as well as meditating.
All other mantras including Gayatri Mantra are recommended to be chanted 108 times. It is because: As the twelve constellations revolve around nine planets, 108 kinds of changes are brought on. If there is something wrong with these planetary changes, it can be shaped up with the positive energy from chanting the mantras.
Chanting is the repetitive utterance of a mantra, while praying is communicating with God. Praying the Gayatri mantra might involve something like thanking the Sun. “Sun gives but never receives.” Praying Gayatri Mantra means gift back to the light, a gratitude offering to the vital source of energy, Sun and the Divine.
Both Chanting and Praying are equally beneficial. The person who would like to seek meditative experience opts for chanting, while Praying is more linked to religious practice.
Benefits of Chanting Gayatri Mantra
Chanting Gayatri Mantra has unlimited benefits. Some of them are:
Calms the Mind
The mantra’s chant begins with Om. Through your lips, tongue, palate, back of your throat, and skull, the enunciation of this sound sends a pulse that is said to be highly soothing to the mind and assists in the release of stimulating hormones. What’s more, the Gayatri Mantra syllables are so devised that they assist a person to focus and thus calm the mind.
The deep breathing involved in between each utterance provides the blood vessels flowing across your skin with more oxygen. This flushes the toxins out and gives the skin a glow.
Regular and consistent practice of the Gayatri Mantra helps remove negative thoughts and impressions from your mind. Also helps in anger management, at least the anger recovery time will be faster; making one more mellow.
Chanting and meditating on Gayatri Mantra stimulates the pineal gland which gradually develops the intellect, wisdom, and intuition which is the highest form of knowledge. The Sun in astrology symbolizes the root of universal knowledge, our spirit. We bind with the inner wisdom of this mantra, aligning ourselves with the powers of the Universe.
Gifts Stronger Immune System
The hypothalamus, responsible for preserving immunity in the body, is triggered by Gayatri mantra chanting. The ailments are kept at bay and you feel fit and healthier.
Gayatri Mantra for Students
Intensive research was done by AIIMS’s doctor and IIT’s scientist on Gayatri Mantra since 1998 which revealed that chanting it every day for sometime boosts your memory capacity, increases the activity in Prefrontal Cortex, increase in Gaba neurotransmitter thus, releasing happy hormones.