Brief Philosophy of Gayatri Mantra
The origin of the Gayatri mantra is pranav – the very first sound ever heard; and in its transcendental form, this sound is known as Gayatri. It is the source of the power behind every deity. That is why Gayatri mantra forms a part of every tradition’s practices – whether it be Shaiva, Vaishnava, Deva etc. It benefits all individuals because it is simply an earnest prayer for Light, addressed to the Almighty God. Regularly repeating a few malas (prayer beads) of Gayatri daily brings you the most positive benefits, both now and in the future.
Within every mantra, there is a storehouse of infinite power, but of all the mantras, the Gayatri mantra is considered the most glorious because everyone – regardless of their religion or caste – benefits from chanting it. But as with everything else on your spiritual journey, its power will be determined by the strength of your faith and the purity of your heart.
Gayatri mantra is a prayer to the Vedic Sun God which manifests as the goddess Gayatri Devi, who is the power behind the sun – and everything else that is a part of creation. She is shakti itself – energy. Goddess Gayatri is portrayed with ten arms and embodies the combined strength of Lakshmi (prosperity), Saraswati (spiritual knowledge) and Durga (the remover of evil). She is represented as radiance, or divine light.
Although there is no specific reference in the mantra to the mother aspect of God, Gayatri Is the mother because she represents the shakti – the energy – which creates, sustains and transcends the entire existence both within and beyond matter – the infinite. In addition, the sun referred to in the mantra is the Great Sun – the Absolute Brahman, divine radiance, which is the Presiding deity Itself.
The Gayatri mantra is considered so powerful that chanting it is compulsory for all aspirants wishing to become sannyasi (renunciates). Chanting at least one mala of this mantra each day – without a break – will guard you against dangers, give you infinite strength to overcome all obstacles and lead you to your higher consciousness. It is the secret of each individual’s personal power.
Words of the mantra:
Aum Bhuur-Bhuvah Suvah, Tat-Savitur-Varennyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhiimahi, Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayaat
Literal English translation:
Aum, we meditate on the divine radiance, which deserves the greatest worship, and pervades the physical, astral and celestial planes.
May it enlighten our intellect and awaken our spiritual wisdom.
Gayatri mantra benefits
- Through meditating on the spiritual light of Goddess Gayatri, the heart chakra opens to receive the higher frequency vibrations of peace, love and prosperity – it raises your vibrational frequencies to that of the divine light.
- It also protects against negative emotions such as fear, anger, jealousy, hatred, greed, and envy.
- Gayatri is the mother of all Knowledge, which is why she is said to be the mother of the Vedas. The mantra itself is said to contain all the knowledge of the universe, so it connects you to this universal wisdom, which is already within you.
- Goddess Gayatri is also the destroyer of all darkness and sin.
- Practising the Gayatri mantra reminds us that humans are divinely connected to the Source of life itself and have been given everything needed to attain their highest potential. Gayatri mantra also strengthens concentration and can heal the body.
When should you chant the Gayatri mantra?
The best time to chant the Gayatri mantra is in the early morning, but you can chant it at night before sleep or at any time during the day. In the morning, try to visualise Gayatri as a baby goddess; during the daytime, as the adult form of Devi; and at night time, the older and wiser form of Gayatri Devi. These visualisations will help you see the goddess as being alive, which will give you a living connection to the mantra.
Once you can constantly connect your mind (mana) to the Gayatri mantra, and it starts to experience joy from this (rasa), then the mana naturally reaches a state where the Gayatri becomes your living experience. That experience is called darshan (it is no longer just an understanding, but becomes your living reality). In this state, you no longer feel separate from others – you experience that the One Reality existing within you is also present in every other being. That is why the ancient traditions say, “I am the Light of all Lights that give the Light to the buddhi” (the intellect).
How to chant Gayatri mantra
The Gayatri mantra can be chanted like all other mantras: you can chant loudly, whispering it, or you can chant mentally, as described in our previous article. If you are finding difficulty focusing on the mantra, start by chanting aloud, then gradually whisper it, and finally, just chant mentally.