The Gayatri Mantra is considered as one of the basic and most sacred mantra in Hindu tradition. We will have food for physical development and nourishment. And through bathing, we can clean our body. Similarly through Mantra, Yoga, Japa etc. we can clean our mind and soul. Gayatri mantra is useful for spiritual development and higher consciousness. Vedic sages have prescribed that through Gayatri worship and meditation, we can have higher concentration. Gayatri upasana is discussed in all the four Vedas. It belongs to Rig Veda. Gayatri is also called ‘Veda Mata’ or the mother of the Vedas.
In astrology, Sun is called as natural atmakaraka. He is the soul of this universe. Sun gives light to the universe. Through Sun, all other planets get light. In Gayatri Mantra, we worship the lord Sun, who is supremely luminous and the lord of our zodiac system. Through this mantra, we worship the Sun to guide our intellect. Worship of Sun is an act of thanks giving and the process of receiving his energy. This mantra is also called ‘Savitri’ in Rigveda. Savitri means the Sun. So this mantra is prayer to the Sun. The process consists of chanting this mantra and other rituals. Chanting of Gayatri mantra provides interlligence, knowledge and good discrimination to the devotee.
The great king Janaka was a scholar of Gayatri mantra. He says that all sins are scorched by Gayatri mantra and hence one becomes pure. As the fire burns everything and turns them into ash in the same way sins committed which are burnt to ash by the regular chanting of Gayatri mantra.
Meaning of Gayatri Mantra
Gayatri mantra begins with OM, which is life giver. This mantra consists of 24 syllables.
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇyaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ prachodáyāt
OM: The supreme name of the God.
Bhur Bhuvah Suah: These three words are called as Vyahritis, the three worlds of existence. Bhur means earth or physical plane. Here agni and prana energies are the source. Bhuvah means astral plane. It is also the absolute consciousness of God. Vayu is the source of this energy. Suah means Celestial plane or Swarga loka. It is also the supreme bliss.
‘Tat’ means THAT, which is Supreme Being.
‘Savitur’ means the source of light, the Sun. Savita means the creator.
‘Varenyam’ means one who enlightens, who is most adorable.
‘Bhargo’ means the Protector
‘Devasyah’ means divine and having great power
‘Dheemahi’ means let us meditate upon
‘Dhiyo’ means Intellect
‘Yo Nah’ means all of us
‘Prachodayat’ means to inspire the intellect
How to chant the Gayatri Mantra
It is prescribed that this mantra has to be chanted three times a day. Gayatri protect us in three types of energies. In the morning through the energy of Brahma, at noon, through the energy of Vishnu and at night through the energy of Shiva.
It is better if we chant the mantra 108 times as a Japa. Japa means, repetition of the mantra.
As per Manu Smriti, verbal chanting of japa is 10 times better than ritualistic sacrifice. Repetition of japa in whisper is 100 times better than the rituals. And mental Japa is 1000 times better.
This mantra has to be initiated by a competent Guru with meaning and clear pronunciation. We can use Malas or rosaries such as sandalwood, tulsi, crystal, rudraksha or any other malas. we should use mala between three fingers – thumb, middle and ring finger. One has to hold the mala near the heart. Japa sadhana may be performed in siddhasana, padmasana or sukhasana.