THE POWER AND THE POTENCY OF
THE GAYATRI MANTRA
AS TAUGHT AND EXPOUNDED BY
BHAGAVAN SRI SATHYA SAI BABA
In humble adoration at the Lotus Feet of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba
There appear to be reservations in the minds of some learned people as to who are and who are not entitled to chant or to repeat the Pranava and the Gayatri Mantra as part of their spiritual Sadhana.
Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, the Avatar of our Age, has declared to us as follows:
"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' (Gita VIII - 12,13) without any qualifying words limiting it to one class or sex." (GEETHA VAHINI-143)
Bhagavan has also declared:
"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." (SADHANA - The Inward Path - 90, Prasanthi Nilayam. Also: SATHYA SAI SPEAKS - III - 242)
The Gayatri Mantra is the Universal Prayer enshrined in the Vedas, the most ancient Scriptures of Man. (SATHYA SAI SPEAKS - X - 109)
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. (SATHYA SAI SPEAKS - V - 58)
2. Recite the Gayatri Mantra.
The Gayatri Mantra is as follows:
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3. How may the Gayatri Mantra be translated?
The Gayatri Mantra may be translated in many ways. One such translation is as follows:
(OM) OM (Dheemahi) We meditate (Bhargo) upon the Spiritual Effulgence (Varenyam Devasya) of THAT Adorable Supreme Divine Reality (Savitur) the Source (Bhur, Bhuva, Svaha) of the Physical, the Astral and the Heavenly Spheres of Existence. (TAT) May THAT Supreme Divine Being (Prachodayat) enlighten (Yo) which (Nah) our (Dhi Yo) intellect (so that we may realise the Supreme Truth).
Also: Dhi Yo YoNah Prachodayat = Awaken my Discrimination, O Lord and guide me. (GEETHA VAHINI - 3)
4. Who discovered the Gayatri Mantra?
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. (Sathya Sai Vahini - 183)
(Bhagavan is Surya Narayana)
7. What is the potency of the Gayatri Mantra?
It has immense powers, powers that are truly amazing, for the Sun is its presiding Deity. (Sathya Sai Vahini - 184)
8. Where is the Gayatri Mantra enshrined?
The Gayatri Mantra is enshrined in the Vedas, the most ancient Scriptures of Man. (Rg Veda III 62. 10)
9. Who is Gayatri?
10. Whom does Gayatri redeem?
11. Where is Gayatri present?
Gayatri is present wherever the Mantra is chanted. (SS 9/95-235)
12. What are the three Names of Gayatri?
Gayatri has 3 names - Gayatri, Saavitri and Saraswathi. These three are present in each one of us. Gayatri is the master of the senses. Saavitri is the master of Prana (Life Force). Saavitri signifies Truth. Saraswathi is the presiding Deity of Speech (Vaak). These three represent purity in Thought, Word and Deed (Trikarana Suddhi). (SS 9/95-235) See also Q 30
(One who practises purity and harmony of Thought, Word and Deed will have Gayatri, Saavitri 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
17. What may these 3 parts also be described as?
The three parts may also be described as:
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 -
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. (SS 9/95-236)
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. (SS 9/95-236) See also Q 30
23. What is Truth?
24. What does the Gayatri Mantra imply?
The Gayatri Mantra implies the 4 Maha Vakyas or the 4 core declarations enshrined in the 4 Vedas.
25. What are the four Maha Vakyas?
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 then 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.
31. What is Bhagavan's advice to young people?
Bhagavan's advice to young people is that they should chant the Gayatri Mantra when taking their bath.
32. Why does Bhagavan recommend this?
Bhagavan 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 Bhagavan recommend that we chant the Gayatri Mantra?
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. Bhagavan taught the Gayatri Mantra and its importance to Sri E.B.Fanibunda. What are the main points in Bhagavan's Teaching?
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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 focussed towards the objective world and its transient attractions. They cannot therefore reveal the magnificience 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. (Q46)
41. Why should we guard the Gayatri Mantra throughout our lives?
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.
Bhagavan tells us: "The Sound of a Mantra is as valuable as its Meaning". SADHANA - The Inward Path - 90, Prasanthi Nilayam. Also: SATHYA SAI SPEAKS - III - 242
(We should therefore learn to chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly as taught by Bhagavan.)
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 Bhagavan.
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?
Bhagavan has said that we should chant the Gayatri Mantra as often as possible. (SS 9/95-238)
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?
51. Why should we take up the Gayatri Mantra and chant it unceasingly?
52. How does the Gayatri Mantra protect us?
53. Do we need any protection other than what we can get by chanting the Gayatri Mantra?
No. Bhagavan 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, (Bhajanavali Tape No 14) Bhagavan told the students:
"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, Bhagavan said:
"It (the Gayatri Mantra) is an essential requisite for the young, because it ensures a bright and auspicious future for them." (SS 9/95-237)
WHAT INDIA'S SAGES HAVE DECLARED ABOUT THE GAYATRI MANTRA
Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887 - 1963)
Of all the Mantras, the Supreme and the most potent power of powers is the great, glorious Gayatri Mantra. It is the life and support of every true Hindu. It is the support of every seeker after Truth who believes in its efficacy, power and glory, be he of any caste, creed, clime or sect. It is only one's faith and purity of heart that really count.
Indeed, Gayatri is an impregnable spiritual armour, a veritable fortress that guards and protects its votary, that transforms him into the Divine and blesses him with the brilliant light of the highest spiritual illumination.
The regular repetition of a few Malas (one Mala consists of repeating the Gayatri Mantra 108 times) of Gayatri every day will bestow upon you all that is auspicious and benevolent to you, herein and hereafter.
It is wrong to conceive of the notion that the Gayatri Mantra is solely meant for the orthodox Brahmin class. It is universally applicable, for it is nothing but an earnest prayer for Light addressed to the Almighty Supreme Spirit. It is verily the sole transcendental Guide-Light to humanity.
The Sun that the Gayatri Mantra speaks of is 'TAT SAVITUR', the Great Sun which this sun or moon does not illumine, and that is the Impersonal Absolute Brahman.
Therefore it is the greatest of all Mantras, and its presiding Deity is Para-Brahman Itself. Yet it is acceptable to all types of aspirants. The tejas of the Brahmachari, the prosperity of the Grihastha and the strength and solace of the Vaanaprastha lies in his Gayatri Japa.
Even if you are of a different religion or caste, you can also take to the Gayatri Sadhana, if you are really sincere, earnest and faithful. Your life will indeed be blessed.
Dear aspirants! Realise the wondrous potency of the glorious Gayatri. Realise clearly what a precious heritage you have in this Mantra. Neglect not this Divine Shakthi that the Rishis of yore have bequeathed to us.
Start regular, daily Gayatri Japa and feel for yourself the wondrous power that you derive therefrom. Fix a particular time for the Japa and stick to it permanently.
At least one Mala of Japa you must do daily without a break. It will guard you from all dangers, give you infinite strength to overcome all obstacles, and take you to the very pinnacle of splendour, power, peace and bliss.
The Lord says in the Vedas "Samano Mantraha". Let one Mantra be common to all, and that Mantra is the Gayatri. The secret lore of the Upanishads is the essence of the Four Vedas, while the Gayatri Mantra with the three Vyahritis (Bhur, Bhuva, Svaha) is the essence of the Upanishads.
Gayatri is the Mother of the Vedas and the destroyer of all sins. There is nothing more purifying on earth than the Gayatri Mantra. The Japa of Gayatri brings the same fruit as the recitation of all the Vedas with the Angas. This single Mantra repeated sincerely and with a clear conscience brings the Supreme Good, which is liberation or emancipation from the wheel of birth and death.
(Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba spent one full week in the Ashram of Swami Sivananda in Rishikesh from 22-7-1957 to 28-7-1957. There is no record of Bhagavan having visited any other Ashram.)
See Satyam, Sivam, Sundaram - Part I pages 107 to 115.
(The Shankaracharya of Kaanchiipuram)
Gayatri is the mother of all the Vedic Mantras. People who chant the Gayatri Mantra with affection and devotion are protected. Gaayantam traayate yasmaat Gayatri tyabhidhiyate.
If the Brahmin keeps the fire of Mantras always burning in him, there will be universal welfare.
He must be able to help people in trouble with his Mantric power. He lives in vain indeed if he turns away a man who seeks his help, excusing himself thus: "I do the same things that you do. I possess only such power as you have."
Today, the fire of Mantric power has been put out, or perhaps it is like dying embers. But may be, a spark of the old fire still gives off a dim light. It must be made to burn brighter, so that one day, it may become a blaze.
This spark is the Gayatri Mantra which has been handed down to us through the ages.
At least on Sundays, all those who wear the sacred thread must do Gayatri Japa a thousand times. They must take every care to see that their body is kept pure and fit to absorb the Mantric power.
The Gayatri Mantra contains in itself the spirit and energy of all the Vedic Mantras. Indeed it imparts power to the other Mantras. Without Gayatri Japa, the chanting of all other Mantras would be futile.
Only by the intense repetition of the Gayatri Mantra shall we be able to master the Vedic Mantras.
Gayatri is essential to the Self and its Japa must not be given up at any time.
Gayatri must be worshipped as a Mother.
The Vedas proclaim Gayatri to be such a Mother.
The benefit we derive from the Gayatri Mantra is the cleansing of the mind - Chitta suddhi. Even other Mantras have this ultimate purpose.
However, Chitta suddhi is the direct result of Gayatri Japa.
Let us all pray to the Lord that the fire of the Mantras is never extinguished in us, and that it will keep burning brighter and brighter.
Sadguru Sant Keshavadas
Gayatri meditation is the highest form of meditation known in the Vedas. Gayatri is chanted for the attainment of universal consciousness and for the awakening of intuitive powers.
Gayatri meditation destroys all delusions, energises prana, bestows longevity, health, brilliance and illumination.
The Gayatri Mantra is the key to opening the door of Cosmic Consciousness.
The best times for meditation are in the morning, just before sunrise and in the evening, just before sunset.
Sit facing East or North in Padmasana or Siddhasana (or Vajrasana), or in any other easy, comfortable posture. Sit on a mat covered with a woollen blanket and cotton cloth (to insulate your body from the ground). Once you sit in a posture, avoid unnecessary movement of the body.
Keep the trunk, head and neck erect.
Sit with a firm determination to realise the Truth.
The Gayatri Mantra is a cosmic rhythm consisting of 24 syllables, arranged as a triplet of 8 syllables each.
When you repeat the Mantra, meditate on the meaning of the Mantra and pray for the vision of Mother Gayatri Devi. This Mantra is dedicated to God as Light and the Sun is the symbol of that light.
This Mantra has universality, because it is meditation on Light through the Sun, which is the same to the whole of humanity. This Mantra confers wisdom, prosperity, purity and liberation.
One who repeats the Mantra 108 times in each sitting will attain radiance soon.
One who repeats the Mantra 1008 times with sincerity and devotion in each sitting will attain illumination in 40 days.
Gayatri Mantra removes all fears.
Gayatri Mantra is the best cure for all ills.
Gayatri Mantra destroys karma and blesses us with liberation.
This entire universe has emerged by the power of the Gayatri Mantra. Indeed all this is nothing but the manifestation of the power of God.
There is no Japa higher than the Gayatri Japa.
There is no greater wealth than the Gayatri Mantra.
Whoever meditates on the Gayatri Mantra every morning and evening will certainly be blessed with long life, good health and peace. His word becomes a blessing. He will attain enlightenment and will become a great blessing to the society and the entire world.
Even though the holy Gayatri Mantra is chanted for the highest Light of God, still anything a man wishes in the name of Mother Gayatri is instantaneously fulfilled.
Gayatri brings healing to any sickness, be they physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.
The Gayatri Mantra is the Body of the Deity.
Therefore by constant repetition of this holy Mantra, one will have the darshan or perception of that Deity.
The scripture says a purascharana (repetition of the holy word of God) should be at least 24,000 times.
Gayatri Mantra has 24 syllables.
To repeat the Gavatri Mantra 24,000 times is therefore very auspicious.
The Vedas constantly emphasise the performance of Gayatri purascharana and Gayatri yajna for peace - individual, national and international.
May the Universal Mother Gayatri bless the entire world with transcendental peace!
In the Sukla Yajur Veda (XXVI - 2) it is urged to spread the beneficient words (Vaacham Kalyaaniim) of the Vedas to all people without distinction of caste, creed or sex, even to people of other religions.
Now the time has come, as declared by Swami Vivekananda in 1901 (Complete Works III - pages 454-461 The Religion we are Born in) that the Vedas and the Gayatri Mantra must be propagated among all, as before, irrespective of caste, creed, sex or religion. Women should also perform Sandhya as in olden times.
"This Veda is our only authority, and everyone has the right to it."
Sarvadevi Swarupini Vedamata Gayatri