Aum Bhur Bhuva Svaha, Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi, Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat
My assistant, Ngurah was recovering from brain surgery when he started chanting the Gayatri mantra 108 times every night in our studio, Intuitive Flow. I would hear him at night from my house and so one night I decided to join him. A few days later, my other assistant joined in, and then a few days later, yet another one joined us. We’ve been chanting the Gayatri mantra almost every night ever since. This illustrates well the power of the Gayatri mantra.
The Gayatri mantra is the most chanted mantra around the world. The meaning of Gayatri is ‘That which protects.’ The Gayatri mantra is not only the most important chant in the Vedas, but is also the most studied mantra. Many scholars have written about this mantra.
Goddess Gayatri is also called “Veda-Mata” or the Mother of the Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Saam and Atharva. It is said that this mantra contains all the essences of all the Vedic mantras, which are a huge body of chants. When you chant this mantra it is as though you are chanting all of the Vedic mantras.
It is also extremely significant from a mythological perspective and denotes the battle between good and evil. Evil has the ability to surface within all of us at some stage. The negative side of us will always attempt to be dominant within us, although sometimes the positive side will win the battle, just as the moon waxes and wanes. We all need to try and increase the positive which is inside us.
In Vedic mythology we have the Devas and the Asuras. Devas: The Gods who possess more virtues; and the Asuras: Demons who possess less virtues. The story tells us that the Asuras used their power to obscure the sun, and as a result everything stopped, and all creation became to a standstill. There was no sustenance of light and everything was completely off-balance.The Gods were lost and didn’t know what to do. They appealed to the higher God, Brahma, and he awarded them the Gayatri mantra. While chanting the mantra they were holding a vessel of holy water in their hands and were throwing the water onto the Asuras who were hiding the sun. The sun came back.
The purpose of the mantra is to disperse darkness and allow the light to shine. We all hold knowledge within us, but the mind often obscures our consciousness. We tend to ignore the consciousness inside. Consciousness, (or the light within,) is always there; however the darkness of our mind is very powerful. When you chant this mantra it helps to bring the clarity to the surface.
The mantra also teaches that the light is inside each and every one of us. This mantra can be likened to putting money in the bank; the more you chant the Gayatri mantra, then the more you will be able to pull clarity into your mind when necessary.
Savitur: Sun (cosmic power of the sun, the being in the sun)
Bhargava: Affluence, worthy
Devasya: of Gods
Dimahi: We meditate
Nah: For us
Pracodayat: Kindle, stimulate
We meditate on the praiseworthy sun that is the light of God, and may that sun kindle the clarity within in us, (meaning to stimulate or to bring out this potential within.) Symbolically it is the Sun, which gives light to the Gods.
The first words we hear of the Gayatri mantra, ‘Om bhur bhuva svaha,’ are not actually part of it. These words in Sanskrit are called ‘Vyahriti,’ which mean ‘sound of creation.’ They are used as a means of invoking the Gayatri mantra in all creation and, by convention have become part of the mantra.
Bhuvaha: Space between earth and heaven
So it means that wherever you are, either on earth or the space between, the Gayatri mantra will bring you the clarity that you need, and is a way of invoking the power of the mantra into the 3 dimensions of the universe. When the Gayatri mantra is chanted, it brings a lot of balance and cleanses the mind. It gives us clarity in our relationships, in our work as well as in our mind. Not only clarity of thoughts, but also of speech. It brings a Satvic quality into your life, and this is why it is one of the most powerful mantras.
The nature of the words is that they cannot bring harm, and can be used by everyone. So yogis and yoginis do include chanting the gayatri mantra into your practice.
In peace and light,
Based on lecture given by Nithrya at KYM on the 5 March 2013