Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri mantra is the most sacred manta from the Rig Veda (Rig Veda III.62.10). In the Bhagavadgita, Krishna says, "Among the mantras I am Gayatri." (1)

Om Bhûr Bhuvah Suvaha, Tat Savitur VareNyaM
Bhargo Devasya Dhîmahi, Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayât
.

It is considered a sacred duty to recite this mantra during daily prayers offered at Dawn, Mid-day and at Dusk. (1)

The significance of this mantra transcends all pagan religions and creeds, which, during their evolution have considered Sun as the life-sustaining god and offered prayers. The god of the Gayatri mantra is ‘Savitr’ a solar deity,’ with Golden hands, Golden Tongue and Golden eyes’. The Gayatri mantra is addressed to Sun in the form of ‘Savitur’. Gayatri is also the goddess of this mantra manifesting in three forms. In the mornings she is called Gayatri, at noon she is Savitri, and in the evenings she is called Saraswathi. There are numerous interpretations of what is meant by this mantra, ranging from simple to the elaborate. (1) The latter is Upanishadic.

The prefix Om bhūr bhuvah suvaha”:

Great Spirit of the Physical, Astral, and Thinking World

The 24 syllable mantra:

Almighty Supreme Sun

impel us with your divine brilliance

so we may attain a noble understanding of reality.

Or when the prefix and mantra are combined:

Almighty Supreme Sun

of the Physical, Astral, and Thinking World,

impel us with your divine brilliance

so we may attain a noble understanding of reality.

The Gayatri mantra is a part of the Pranayama mantra which is recited before meditating on the Gayatri. The full verse follows.

Om Bhûhû, Om Bhuvaha, Om Suvaha, Om Mahaha, Om Janaha, Om Tapaha,
Om SatyaM II Om tat Savitar varenyam, Bhargo devasya dheemahi, dhio yonah
Prachodayat II Om Apo Jyothiraso Amritam Brahma Bhur Buvah Suvar Om

These seven initial phrases of the long invocation are the seven lokas, or planes, of existence, and are used not only to recognize and honor the planes of existence, but also to call the presiding deities of those planes to aid in ones transformation and realization. (2)

bhûhû - earth, the physical world
bhuvaha - astral/desire/breath, the world of becoming
suvaha - mental, the world of thinking
mahaha - causal, silent mind, the world of emotion
janaha - world of creative generation
tapaha - world of intuition
satyaM - world of Absolute Truth

Gayatri: (gāyatrī) is the feminine form of gāyatra, a sanskrit word for a song or a hymn. Gayatri is the name of a vedic poetic meter of 24 syllables (three couplets of eight syllables each), or any hymn composed in this meter. In Hinduisim, it is one mantra in particular, and a goddess as its personification. (3)

Goddess: Originally the personification of the mantra, the goddess Gayatri is considered the veda mata, the mother of all Vedas and the consort of the God Brahama and also the personification of the all-pervading Parabrahman, the ultimate, unchanging reality that lies behind all phenomena. (3)

Mantra: an instrument of thought, a sacred text, or a prayer of praise.

Sanskrit

Meaning

Om (aum)

The One, The Godhead, the Supreme Deity.

The three sounds in Sanskrit of “a,” “u,” and “m” are said to represent the waking state, the dream state and the deepest sleep state.

bhûr

Earth, the physical world, embodiment of vital spiritual energy

bhuvah

Astral/Desire/Breath, the world of becoming

suvaha

Mental, the world of thinking. (happiness)

tat

That (referring to Savitri, Paramatma, God)

savitur

Savitri, the Sun (that from which all is born), the One Light, the all-pervading Consciousness

vareNyaM

most excellent, adorable, fit to be worshiped. Most choice worthy. The Best.

bhargo

Radiance, the burning splendor of the Sun that dispels ignorance.

devasya

of the deity, 'Divine One', Goddess

dhîmahi

may we attain

dhiyo

prayer, noble thoughts, intuition, understanding of reality.

yo

the one who

nah

our, of us

prachodayât

to set in motion, drive on, urge, impel



Ashtadhyayi is a wellknown treatise on Sanskrit grammar written by the great sage, Panini, who lived as early as 5th century BC. The original work comprises about 4,000 Sutras (each Sutra not exceeding the length of a normal sentence and many Sutras are even shorter than a phrase or a word) and is known for its brevity and for its scientific exposition of the science of language. It explains the entire Sanskrit grammar in a very scientific manner and is unparalleled in the history of books on grammar available in any language.


Sanskrit References
http://evans-experientialism.freewebspace.com/panininix.htm
http://www.taralabalu.org/panini/

Sanskrit Critique:

Dead Sanscrit was Always Dead, by Shyam Rao

Footnote References:

(1) http://www.brahminworld.com/bw8.htm
(2) http://wahiduddin.net/mantra/gayatri.htm
(3) http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Gayatri

09/17/2004; Compiled and edited from Internet sources.