“There are many who argue that the Pranava can be repeated only by a few, and that others are not entitled to it. This is wrong. This false conclusion has been arrived at since they do not know the Truth. It springs from a mistaken belief. The Gita does not mention this group or that group. Krishna declares ‘whoever’ without any qualifying words limiting it to one class or sex.”
“The Gayatri Mantra is the elaboration of the Pranava Sabda or Om. It (the Gayatri Mantra) is now held so venerable and valuable that initiation into the Adhyatmic life is achieved by its contemplation.”
1. What is the Gayatri Mantra?
The Gayatri Mantra is the Universal Prayer enshrined in the Vedas, the most ancient Scriptures of Man.
The Gayatri Mantra is a Prayer that can well be spoken with yearning by men and women of all creeds and climes in all centuries. Repetition of this Mantra will develop the Intelligence.
2. Recite the Gayatri Mantra.
The Gayatri Mantra is as follows:
OM BHUR BHUVA SUVAH
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YONAH PRACHODAYAT
Bhagavan chanting Gayatri Mantra:
3. How may the Gayatri Mantra be translated?
OM – Para Brahman
BHUR – Bhu loka (Physical plane). It also refers to the body made up of the 5 Pancha Bhutas (5 elements). These 5 elements constitute Prakriti (Nature).
BHUVA – Bhuva loka – The middle world. Bhuva is also Prana Sakthi.
SVAHA – Swarga loka (Heaven – the land of the Gods)
TAT – Paramatma, God or Brahman
SAVITUR – That from which all this is born
VARENYAM – Fit to be worshipped
BHARGO – The Radiance, the Spiritual Effulgence, the Light that bestows Wisdom
DEVASYA – Divine Reality
DHEEMAHI – We meditate
DHIYO – Buddhi, Intellect
YO – Which
NAH – Our
PRACHODAYAT – Enlighten.
The Gayatri Mantra may be translated in many ways. One such translation is as follows:
We meditate upon the Spiritual Effulgence of that Adorable Supreme Divine Reality the Source of the Physical, the Astral and the Heavenly Spheres of Existence. May that Supreme Divine Being enlighten our intellect (so that we may realise the Supreme Truth).
4. Who discovered the Gayatri Mantra?
The Gayatri Mantra was discovered by Sage Viswamitra. It was the same Sage Viswamitra who initiated Sri Rama into the mysteries of Sun worship, through the Mantra Aaditiya Hrdayam.
5. What did the Gayatri Mantra enable Sage Viswamitra to do?
The Gayatri Mantra enabled Sage Viswamitra to use rare weapons, which bowed to his will when the Mantra was repeated with faith. Through the powers he attained in this way, Viswamitra was able to create a counterpart of this Cosmos. (Sathya Sai Vahini – 184)
6. To whom is the Gayatri Mantra addressed?
The Gavatri Mantra is addressed to the energy of the Sun, Surya.
7. What is the potency of the Gayatri Mantra?
This Mantra has infinite potentiality. It is a vibrant formula. It has immense powers, powers that are truly amazing, for the Sun is its presiding Deity.
8. Where is the Gayatri Mantra enshrined?
The Gayatri Mantra is enshrined in the Vedas, the most ancient Scriptures of Man.
9. Who is Gayatri?
Gayatri is the Mother of the Vedas –
Gayatri Chandasaam Maatha.
10. Whom does Gayatri redeem?
Gayatri redeems the chanter of the Mantra –
Gaayantham thraayathe ithi Gayatri.
11. Where is Gayatri present?
Gayatri is present wherever the Mantra is chanted.
12. What are the three Names of Gayatri?
Gayatri has 3 names – Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi. These three are present in each one of us. Gayatri is the master of the senses. Savitri is the master of Prana (Life Force). Savitri signifies Truth. Saraswathi is the presiding Deity of Speech (Vaak). These three represent purity in Thought, Word and Deed (Trikarana Suddhi)
(One who practises purity and harmony of Thought, Word and Deed will have Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi residing in him.)
13. To whom is the Gayatri Mantra addressed?
The Gayatri Mantra is addressed to the Immanent and Transcendent Divinity.
14. What name has the Immanent and Transcendent Divinity been given?
The Immanent and Transcendent Divinity has been given the name ‘SAVITHA’.
15. What does ‘SAVITHA’ mean?
‘SAVITHA’ means “that from which all this is born”.
16. How many parts may the Gayatri Mantra be considered to have?
The Gayatri Mantra may be considered to have 3 parts. The Mantra has all the three elements that figure in the adoration of God – Praise, Meditation and Prayer. The first nine words represent the attributes of the Divine:
” OM BHUR BHUVA SVAHA
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASYA “
” DHEEMAHI “ pertains to Meditation.
” DHI YO YONAH PRACHODAYAT “ is the Prayer to God to confer on us all powers and talents.
17. What may these 3 parts also be described as?
The three parts may also be described as:
(1) Praise to Savitha. The Divine is first praised.
(2) Meditation on Savitha. The Divine is then meditated upon in reverence.
(3) Prayer to Savitha.
An appeal is made to the Divine to awaken and strengthen our Intellect, the discriminating faculty (Buddhi) in us.
18. What is the Gayatri Mantra considered to be?
The Gayatri Mantra is considered to be the Essence of the Teaching of the Vedas – the Veda Sara.
19. What does the Gayatri Mantra foster?
Chanting the Gayatri Mantra fosters and sharpens the knowledge-yielding faculty in man.
20. What are the other benefits to one who chants the Gayatri Mantra?
To one who chants the Gayatri Mantra regularly and with faith –
the Gayatri Mantra is the reliever of diseases –
Sarva roga nivaarini Gayatri,
the Gayatri Mantra wards off all misery –
Sarva duhkha parivaarini Gayatri,
the Gayatri Mantra is the fulfiller of all desires –
Sarva vaancha phalasri Gayatri.
21. What does the Gayatri Mantra bestow on the person who chants it with faith?
The Gayatri Mantra is the bestower of all that is beneficial to the person who chants it with faith.
22. What are the other results of chanting the Gayatri Mantra?
If the Gayatri Mantra is chanted various kinds of powers will emerge in one. Hence the Gayatri Mantra should not be treated casually.
23. What is Truth?
Truth is that which is valid at all times past, present and future. That Truth is the Gayatri Mantra.
24. What does the Gayatri Mantra imply?
The Gayatri Mantra implies the 4 Maha Vakyas or the Four core declarations enshrined in the Four Vedas.
25. What are the four Maha Vakyas?
The four Maha Vakyas are:
1. PRAJNANAM BRAHMA
Consciousness is Brahman (Aitareya Upanishad of the Rg Veda)
2. AHAM BRAHMA ASMI
I Am Brahman (Brihadaranyaka Upanishad of the Yajur Veda)
3. TAT TVAM ASI
That Thou Art (Chandogya Upanishad of the Sama Veda)
4. AYAM ATMA BRAHMA
This Self is Brahman (Mandukya Upanishad of the Atharva Veda)
26. When should the Gayatri Mantra be chanted?
The Gayatri Mantra should be chanted at dawn, noon and dusk.
27. What are these times also known as?
These times are also known as Sandhya Kaalam, that is to say, the meeting point between night and day, morning and evening, day and night. These times are beneficial for spiritual practices.
28. Do we have to be bound by these periods of time to chant the Gayatri Mantra?
No, we do not have to be bound by these three periods of time to chant the Gayatri Mantra.
29. When can the Gayatri Mantra be chanted?
The Gayatri Mantra can be chanted at any time and everywhere.
30. What should the person chanting the Gayatri Mantra ensure at all times?
The person chanting the Gayatri Mantra should ensure that his heart is pure at all times.
Bhagawan’s injunctions are that we should –
(1) not treat the Gayatri Mantra casually (Q 22) and
(2) that our heart should be pure at all times. We should therefore obey and practice implicitly Bhagawan’s Teachings. (These are to be found in Summer Showers 1990. Briefly, they are as follows:)
1. Speak Truth. Attach value to your words. Truth is the life of a word.
2. Practise Righteousness. How ? By developing Trikarana Suddhi (Q12).
3. Purity and Harmony of Thought, Word and Deed.
Think no evil – Think what is good
See no evil – See what is good
Hear no evil – Hear what is good
Talk no evil – Talk what is good
Do no evil – Do what is good
4. At all times follow Bhagawan’s maxim –
Help ever – Hurt never.
5. Dedicate all your actions to the Lord – without undue concern for the results, and without the false sense of doership (“I am the doer”).
31. What is Bhagawan’s advice to young people?
Bhagawan’s advice to young people is that they should chant the Gayatri Mantra when taking their bath.
32. Why does Bhagawan recommend this?
Bhagawan says that when we take our bath, we are cleansing our bodies. Therefore, we should take this opportunity to cleanse our minds and intellects also at the same time.
33. At what other times does Bhagawan recommend that we chant the Gayatri Mantra?
Bhagawan recommends that we chant the Gayatri Mantra
(1) before every meal
(2) when we wake up from bed
(3) when we go to bed.
34. What should we repeat after chanting the Gayatri Mantra?
We should repeat ‘Santhi’ three times after we finish chanting the Gayatri Mantra.
35. Why should we repeat ‘Santhi’ after completing our recitation of the Gayatri Mantra?
We should repeat ‘Santhi’ because it will give ‘Santhi’, or peace of mind, to the three entities in us – body, mind and soul.
36. Bhagawan taught the Gayatri Mantra and its importance to Sri Fanibunda. What are the main points in Bhagawan’s Teaching?
Bhagawan’s Teachings to Sri Fanibunda are given in his book “Vision of the Divine”. The main points are –
1. If the Gayatri Mantra is not recited correctly, it has the adverse effect of enveloping the person in darkness. But, if we recite it with Love, God will accept it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba chanting Gayatri Mantra:
1.Without chorus: gayatri.wav (18 seconds, 191 KB, WinPCM)
2. With chorus: gayatri.mp3, (32 seconds, 125 KB, MPEG 1.0 layer 3)
2. Baba advises that each word should be pronounced clearly and distinctly, without undue haste or hurry.
3. Gayatri is at the very basis of the Vedas, and merits the name Veda Mata or The Mother of the Vedas. The Gayatri Mantra is all-pervasive throughout the manifest Cosmos.
4. Gayatri is “That which preserves, protects and rescues the chanter from mortality”.
5. The Gayatri Mantra is a Universal Prayer, which asks for a clear Intellect so that the Truth may be reflected therein without distortion.
6. Bhagawan has said that the Gayatri Mantra can be chanted by men and women of all climes and creeds. It calls upon the Glorious Power that pervades the Sun and the Three Worlds to arouse, awaken and strengthen the Intelligence, so that it may lead us through intense Sadhana to success.
7. The heart needs to be cleansed thrice a day – dawn, noon and dusk. Besides these times, Bhagawan has said that the Gayatri Mantra can be repeated anywhere at any time, including night time.
8. The Gayatri Mantra is synonymous with Divinity and has therefore to be approached with humility, reverence, faith and love towards the Mantra.
9. The Vedas are the very breath of God and the Gayatri Mantra is at the very basis of the Vedas.
10. Bhagawan is the Vedapurusha and is therefore the Supreme Authority on the Vedas.
11. Love and reverence for the Mantra and faith in its promised results are far more important than mere mechanical repetition while the mind wanders.
12. This prayer is directed to the Divine Mother –
“O Divine Mother, our hearts are filled with darkness. Please make this darkness distant from us and promote Illumination within us”.
13. Full faith in the power and potency of the Gayatri Mantra will be generated only when the seeker has developed the requisite degree of enthusiasm, reverence and love towards this Mantra.
14. The more one chants the Gayatri Mantra, the greater the benefit to the one who chants it.
37. How does man misuse his life?
Man forgets his true nature owing to his attachment to his body. He makes bodily comforts the goal of his life and involves himself in misery. The body is a car and the Atma is the driver. Forgetting one’s true role as a driver, one identifies one’s Self with the body, which is only a vehicle. (SS 9/95-233,234)
38. What should man’s life be?
Man’s life should be a continuous series of sacrifices of the lower for the sake of the higher, or of the tiny in favour of the vast.
39. What cannot our two eyes reveal to us?
Our two eyes are focused towards the objective world and its transient attractions. They cannot therefore reveal the magnificence and the majesty of the realm of the Spirit.
40. For what purpose has the Gayatri Mantra been given to us?
The Gayatri Mantra has been given to us as the Third Eye (the Ajna Chakra) – to reveal the inner vision to us. By developing this inner vision, we may realise Brahman.
41. Why should we guard the Gayatri Mantra throughout our lives?
The Gayatri Mantra is a treasure and we must therefore guard it throughout our lives. We must learn to pronounce and chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly and exactly as taught by Bhagawan.
42. What should we never give up?
We should never give up the Gayatri Mantra. That is to say, we must chant the Gayatri Mantra at least a few times every day with a pure heart.
43. What may we give up?
We may give up or ignore any other Mantra, but we should never give up the Gayatri Mantra throughout our lives.
44. What benefits can we derive by chanting the Gayatri Mantra several times a day with a pure heart?
The Gayatri Mantra will protect us from harm wherever we are, whether – in a bus or car, in a railway train or a plane, in a bazaar or on the road.
45. What have the Westerners discovered about the Gayatri Mantra?
The Westerners have discovered that when the Gayatri Mantra is chanted with the correct accent as laid down in the Vedas; the atmosphere around is visibly illumined by the vibrations produced by the Gayatri Mantra.
Bhagawan tells us: “The Sound of a Mantra is as valuable as its Meaning”. (We should therefore learn to chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly as taught by Bhagawan.)
46. What spiritual benefits will we derive by chanting the Gayatri Mantra?
The effulgence of Brahma – Brahmaprakasa, will descend on us, illumine our intellect and light our spiritual path when we chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly as taught by Bhagawan.
While chanting the Gayatri Mantra, we may be well advised to follow the Instruction that Lord Krishna gave to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita V – 27 “Shutting out all sense perceptions, and fixing the gaze between the eye-brows…”
47. How often should we chant the Gayatri Mantra?
Bhagawan has said that we should chant the Gayatri Mantra as often as possible.
See also Q 36 Item 14 – “The more one chants the Gayatri Mantra, the greater the benefit to the one who chants it.”
We should chant the Gayatri Mantra at least 108 times (One Mala) every morning. This will take only 15 minutes.
Those who take up to the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra as a Sadhana by itself may chant 3 or, preferably, 5 Malas every morning and an equal or lesser number of Malas in the evening. Chanting 10 Malas (2 1/2 hours) every Sunday morning and on holidays is not beyond the capacity of the earnest Sadhaka. Gayatri purascharana consists in chanting 10 Malas each morning for 24 or 40 days without a break.
To absorb the Mantric power, purity of life and an abstemious diet are essential.
48. What is the result if we chant the Gayatri Mantra while taking a bath or before taking our food?
If we chant the Gayatri Mantra while taking a bath, our bath gets sanctified. If we chant it before taking our food, our food becomes an offering to the Divine. We should develop heartfelt devotion to God. (SS 9/95-238)
49. Who is Gayatri?
Gayatri is Annapurna, the Divine Mother, the Divine Force that animates all Life.
50. Gayatri is described as five-faced. What are they?
The five Faces of Gayatri are:
1. “Om”, the Pranava is the 1st Face. The Pranava Principle represents the eight different forms of wealth (Ashta Aiswarya).
2. “Bhur Bhuva Svaha” is the 2nd Face.
3. “Tat Savitur Varenyam” is the 3rd Face.
4. “Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi” is the 4th Face.
5. “Dhi Yo YoNah Prachodayat” is the 5th Face.
All these five aspects of the Gayatri Mantra are within each one of us. (SS 9/95-235) See also Q 12
51. Why should we take up the Gayatri Mantra and chant it unceasingly?
We should take up the Gayatri Mantra and chant it unceasingly, because –
(1) The Gayatri Mantra will protect us from harm wherever we are, whether – in a bus or car, in a railway train or in a plane, in a bazaar or on the road.
(2) Brahmaprakasa (the effulgence of Brahman) will descend on us and illumine our spiritual path when we chant the Gayatri Mantra.
52. How does the Gayatri Mantra protect us?
The Gayatri Mantra protects us because Gayatri is Annapurna, the Mother, the Force that animates all Life. We do not therefore have to wail for food or for shelter when we are under the protection of Annapurna, the Divine Mother.
(We should therefore chant the Gayatri Mantra as often as possible. The more we chant the Gayatri Mantra, the greater the benefit to us.)
53. Do we need any protection other than what we can get by chanting the Gayatri Mantra?
No. Bhagawan tells us that the Gayatri Mantra is enough to protect the person who chants it. (SS 9/95-237)
54. Why is the Gayatri Mantra enough to protect the person who chants it?
The Gayatri Mantra is enough to protect the person who chants it because, as Bhagavan tells us, the Gayatri Mantra embodies all the Divine Potencies.
55. What are the benefits that students will derive by chanting the Gayatri Mantra?
At the Upanayanam ceremony held at Prasanthi Nilayam on 17-3-1983,
“You may or you may not chant any other Mantra, but do remember that by chanting the Gayatri Mantra, the benefits are there for you to see. By continuously chanting the Gayatri Mantra you yourself will reach the state of fulfilment, a sense of feeling that you have achieved something. But there is an inner meaning in this Gayatri Mantra being given to young children. We have in this Mantra the concluding words – ‘Dhi Yo YoNah Prachodayat’. The meaning is this: Before you have been given this Mantra, you have been backward intellectually, mentally a bit lazy and with a few negative points to your credit. But after you have been given this Mantra, you have become sharper in Intellect, you have become more zealous, more enthusiastic, and certainly qualified to get better marks, better rank and first classes. From tomorrow, the children by virtue of chanting this Mantra in the morning and in the evening, may they be endowed with a rare Intelligence, which will take care of their fortunes that will be presiding over their destiny. They will become highly qualified. They will become model citizens so that the future of the country will be safe in their hands.”
In His Discourse in the Prasanthi Mandir on 23-8-1995, Bhagawan said:
“It (the Gayatri Mantra) is an essential requisite for the young, because it ensures a bright and auspicious future for them.”
Excerpts from Bhagawan’s Upanayanam Upadesh in Sai Kulwant Hall, Prasanthi Nilayam on 10th February 2000
SANCTIFY YOUR LIFE BY CHANTING GAYATRI MANTRA
This is the most auspicious moment of your life. Human life can be compared to a four-storeyed mansion. The four storeys correspond to four stages of man’s life, namely, Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyasa (celibate, householder, recluse and renunciant). Today you are laying the foundation of the mansion of your life. The safety and security of the mansion is assured once you make the foundation strong and sturdy.
Gayatri – The Mother of the Vedas
Man has four births. His first birth takes place from his mother’s womb. He gets a second life when he is initiated into the Gayatri Mantra. His third birth occurs when he studies the Vedas. He becomes a Brahmin when he recognises the principle of Brahman. This is his fourth birth. One becomes a Brahmin not merely by birth, but by knowing the nature of Brahman. For this, chanting of Gayatri Mantra is very essential.
Gayatri is Sarvadevata Swarupini and Sarva-mantra Swarupini (embodiment of all gods and all Mantras). It is said, Gayatri Chhandasam Matha (Gayatri is the mother of the Vedas). There is no need to chant any other Mantra if you chant the Gayatri Mantra. Gayatri has three names: Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati. Gayantham Trayate ithi Gayatri (Gayatri protects the one who recites it). Gayatri is the master of the senses. Savitri is the presiding deity of the life principle. When Gayatri acts as the protector of life-force, she is known as Savitri. You might have heard the story of Savitri, a woman of chastity, who brought her dead husband, Sathyavan, back to life with the power of her prayer. Savitri protects those who lead a life of Sathya (truth). This is the inner meaning. Saraswati is the presiding deity of speech. Man has to earn the grace of Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati to sanctify his life.
Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati are latent in every-body. Bhur, Bhuvah and Suvah in the Gayatri Mantra refer to body (materialisation), life-force (vibration) and soul (radiation). Bhur means Bhuloka (the earth), which is nothing but the combination of materials. This denotes the human body which is also a combination of materials. Bhuvah refers to the life-force, which makes the body vibrate. Suvah refer to Prajnana Shakti, which sustains the life-force. This Prajnana Shakti is known as Constant Integrated Awareness. This is also termed as radiation. All the three, namely, materialisation, vibration and radiation are present in man. I tell you often, you are not one, but three – the one you think you are (physical body), the one others think you are (mental body) and the one you really are (Atma).Gayatri is the embodiment of the mother-principle. You should chant the Gayatri Mantra everyday, in the morning, noon and evening. These are referred to as Prata Sandhya, Madhyahna Sandhya and Sayam Sandhya.
Gayatri is known as Panchamukhi, meaning she has five faces. What are they? Om is the first face; Bhur Bhuvah Suvah, the second; Tat Savitur Varenyam, the third; Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, the fourth; Dhi Yo Yo Nah Prachodayat is the fifth. Gayatri has three parts: praise, meditation and prayer. First, the Divine is praised, then it is meditated upon in reverence and lastly, prayer is offered to the Divine to dispel the darkness of ignorance and to awaken and strengthen the intellect. Dheemahi relates to the meditative aspect. Dhi Yo Yo Nah Prachodayat relates to the prayer. Chanting of the Gayatri Mantra purifies the mind and confers devotion, detachment and wisdom. Young men must necessarily chant the Gayatri Mantra. Today we find that they get initiated into the Gayatri Mantra at an advanced stage of their youth. Intellect will blossom and shine in all its splendour after initiation into the Gayatri Mantra. That is why it is essential that Upanayanam be done at the age of eight. One who is initiated into the Gayatri Mantra at an early age will become highly intelligent. Man’s life will be sanctified by chanting this Mantra. If one chants the Gayatri Mantra wholeheartedly, one will never face difficulties or hardships in life.
Gayatri Mantra is highly sacred. Gayatri Mantra contains the essence of all the Mantras. Gayatri is the embodiment of all gods and goddesses. Chanting the Gayatri Mantra three times a day, i.e., morning, noon and evening, is not enough. You should chant this Mantra perpetually. Why should you stipulate a particular time or period for chanting His name who is beyond time? Sarvada Sarvakaleshu Sarvatra Harichintanam (contemplate on the name of God at all places, at all times and under all circumstances).