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A Prayer by Tagore
Aum and Chakras
Gayatri Mantra
Shri Hanuman Chalisa
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On Wavering Minds
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Teaching / Learning
The Lord's Prayer
The Palm Mantra
Two Shabads
Vasudeva Kutumbakam



Gayatri Mantra

(Questions from following readers on the Gayatri Mantra and my replies can be read by clicking on the following links)

Kavitha Rao

The Gayatri Mantra

Just like the Sun annihilates darkness, so does the Gayatri Mantra destroy ignorance. The Gayatri Mantra invokes the power and radiance of the Sun to energize all earthly life, to destroy our sins and to reveal the Supreme Self to us. Krishna in the Bhagvad Geeta says: " Amongst  the Mantras,  I am the Gayatri"

In a loose translation that cannot possibly do justice to the original it implores: OM, O Lord! You are the all pervading Source of Light, Sustainer, Protector and Bestower of Happiness, Kindle, Enlighten and inspire our Intelligence to possess Eternal Qualities.

Follows the verse in Sanskrit:

Om Bhur bhuvah svahah
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo Devasya dheemahi
Dheeyo yonah prachodayaat

The Gayatri Mantra is the essence of the three Vedas. It is the Vedas simplified. The more one contemplates and meditates upon the Gayatri, the more complexities are revealed to one.

AUM     Supreme Lord
BHUR  Protector of the earth, the material sheath, The Life breath of the Universe. From the feet to the navel center.
BHUVAH  One of the meanings is the sky. The Lord who pervades and eliminates all miseries. From the navel to the throat center.
SVAHAH One of the meanings is the heavens. He is all Bliss and blesses His devotees with happiness. From above the throat center to the thousand petaled lotus.
TAT  That   (That Thou Art)
SAVITUR    The SUN, Creator, Preserver and Self Luminous, the central mantra of the Solar Science.
VARENYAM   Most fit to be worshipped. Most choice worthy.
BHARGO The burning splendor of the Sun that dispels ignorance, and therefore sorrows and miseries.
DEVASYA  The 'Deva', The God,  He who is All Bliss, The Joyful One, The Shining One, The Revealer of All Glory
DHEEMAHI  We meditate upon Him
DHEEYO YO NA Who our intelligence and Wisdom

The story goes that once the Devas, the Shining Ones wanted to learn the secrets of the Universe.  Since learning about the Scientific aspect 'atoms' etc. did not quite work out, they went to the Lord. The Lord gave them the Rig Veda, The Yajur Veda and the Sama Veda to study. After a couple of eons of study, the Devas lost their patience and wanted to quit. The Lord urged them not to give up and decided to teach the essence of the 3 Vedas in 3 fragments:

Essence of Rig Veda         Tat Savitur Varenyam
Essence of Yajur Veda       Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Essence of Sama Veda     Dheeyo Yonah Prachodayaat

The more the Devas practiced and contemplated upon the Gayatri, the more complexities were revealed to them. So they lost patience again and  went to the Lord to make it simpler still. So the Lord  gave them the essence of the 3 segments, in the 3 words: 

Bhur, Bhuvaha, Svaha 

The Devas spent a a few cycles of Creation, probably a quadrillion human years pondering upon the 'maha vyahritis' ie 'Utterances of the Lord' but became impatient again and urged the Lord to make it simpler yet. So He Said "All right I'll make it simpler"

And He taught them AUM

The great western thinker, Arthur Koestler, had once said that the Gayatri Mantra has the power of a thousand atomic bombs! and the famous scientists

J.B.S. Haldana wrote: "The Gayatri Mantra should be carved on the doors of every laboratory of the world".

Feedback from Readers on the topic of Gayatri Mantra :

From Kavitha

You wrote:

Can you please tell me if girls are allowed to chant the Gayatri Mantra and if not, why?

Dear Kavitha,

The Gayatri Mantra is considered a Mantra which gives tremendous 'Shakti' (Energy).

I suppose the men of yore did not want women to chant the above Mantra because women were an epitome of Shakti anyway. More likely, they did not want women to have more Shakti.

I believe that if you are an aggressive sort, you should chant Mantras to cool you.

In Kaliyuga (present times) all restrictions have been removed. Maybe because we are neither male nor female.   Soul has no gender.

From Rao

You wrote:


I came across your site through Rediff while searching for the meaning of the Gayatri mantra.

I have a question, I hope you can give me a correct answer and also enlighten me more about this mantra.

I have heard a lot of people tell many different stories regarding this mantra. I used to say this mantra every day three times in the morning and evening. Later I used to say it 108 times in the morning. But some people told me not to say this mantra, if I utter a word wrongly or without the correct tune this will have adverse effects on me. Hence I stopped saying it as I am also going through a very bad period time of life. But I remember my mother telling me that if even we try to utter GODS name HE forgives any wrong pronunciation as at least we made an attempt.

Please write to me about all my my doubts and also tell me the correct time and number of times to me utter it. I really will appreciate your help in enlightening and clearing my doubts.

Thank you in advance Rao

Dear Rao,

It is always right to utter the Lord's name. So is my belief.

However the Gayatri mantra is considered a very powerful Mantra, so I would feel 3 times in the morning,3 times in the afternoon and 3 times at night is a good idea.

I don't believe that it can have an adverse effect, if chanted with faith. However learn to chant it correctly.

How does its chanting make you feel?

Does it make you feel more energised?

Pray, and follow your intuition, your inner guide.

No, I don't think you are going through a bad phase because of any 'mistakes' that you have committed.


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