No copy rights are claimed in respect of this Book.
Compiled, edited and Presented by J.V.Krishnamurthy (JVK).
Published by Sri Sai Padhuga Trust, Madurai (India).
In Humble reverence at the Lotus Feet of
BHAGAWAN SRI SRI SRI SATHYA SAI BABAVARU
Om Sri Sai Ram
On one fine morning in the year 1994, Bhagawan Baba jokingly asked me: "How are you Chettiar?". I immediately replied most humbly: "I am fine Swami". Bhagawan immediately said: "You must be nice because you have already caught hold of my NAME and FEET".
The above words of Swami should be regarded as the Source of Inspiration, not only to me, but also to all the devotees around the world. It is a CHARTER inscribed on golden sheet. It proclaims that when a devotee surrenders himself to Bhagawan, catch hold of HIS Lotus Feet and pronounce the divine name of Bhagawan, then his welfare is taken care of by the Lord Himself.
Hence Sri Sai Padhuga Trust was formed in the year 1995. The Trust had offered 108 crores of Sai Rama Likhitha Japa (i.e. SAI NAAMA) at the Divine Lotus Feet, which, Bhagawan has graciously permitted to be housed in the underground vault in front of Sai Kulwant Hall, with the marble statue of Anjaneya on top, as though guarding the sacred treasure.
In 1996, by the Loving Grace of Baba, the Trust celebrated Sri Sai Padhuga Prathista Function with 1008 Padhugas, when Swami most graciously was pleased to install Lord Dhanwantari Idol in the premises of Super Speciality Hospital. In the following year i.e.in 1997, the Padhuga Mahotsav was performed with 2016 Divine Padhugas at Prasanthi Nilayam, when Bhagawan, with His Own Profusing Love, was pleased to install Lord Subramanya Idol in the Prasanthi Nilayam premises.
This year, we earnestly prayed to Bhagawan to graciously permit our Trust to offer either DATTATHREYA or ARDANAREESHWARA (i.e.SHIVASHAKTHI IN ONE FORM) idol for being installed by His Divine Hands. However we could not get Swami's divine approval for this.
At night on the same day, I had a dream in which GAYATRI MAATA gave Her Divine Appearance with all Her Glory and Majesty. This dream occurred twice on the same night. The next day, when we expressed our prayer to Bhagawan that a Gayatri marble idol may be installed by His Divine Hands at Prasanthi Nilayam premises, so that the total vicinity is still more sanctified and divinized, Swami most graciously accorded His permission to do so.
Just a week back, I had a pleasant surprise to hear from my beloved son Sri P.S.A.S.Srinivasan that he had collected Suga Brahma Rishi Naadi leaf pertaining to my life. (These Naadis are old palm leaves containing the predictions of one's life as prophesied by our learned Sages of India more than 5000 years ago). In the Suga Naadi pertaining to my life, there is a note about the Samarpanam (humble offering) of Gayatri idol, of cow and calf idols along with Lord Gopalakrishna idol (with flute) - all made of metal and also nine sets of live cow and calf to Bhagavan.
Thus the sacred incidence of divine installation of Gayatri Idol and also Samarpanam (humble offering) of Cow and Calf etc. this year at Prasanthi Nilayam has been pre-conceived and scheduled by the ETERNAL LORD SUPREME and foretold by our Sages more than 5000 years ago!
Swami has given so much of importance to Gayatri as to have Her idol duly installed in His Own Sacred Abode Prasanthi Nilayam. He Himself gives divine initiation into Gayatri Mantra during mass upanayanam to hundreds of young children and impresses upon them the importance and significance of Gayatri Mantra.While a section only of the whole population knows Gayatri, there are still many who do not know Gayatri Mantra. In the circumstances, our Trust felt that all the Members of our Sai Padhuga families and also others should know the significance and importance of this Queen of all Mantras, recite the same at all times and thereby derive spiritual and material benefits in their life. Having this point of view in mind, I asked Sri J.V.K. (J.V.Krishnamurthy) to bring out a small hand book on Gayatri. He has compiled, edited and brought out this book ( in Question and Answer form) detailing therein the meaning, significance and importance of Gayatri Japa practice. Even though this book can not be called a Text Book or an authority on Gayatri, our Trust believes that to any beginner, this book will throw some light and also show the path for his further progress in his Quest. Srividya Upasakar, Viyakarana Siromani Sri P.S.Jayarama Sastrigal has also associated with JVK and has given very valuable information and guidance in the matter. My beloved son Sri P.S.A.S.Srinivasan was pleased to organise the entire project, ensuring effective co-ordination of men and matter. Messrs Kala Printers, Madurai have prepared and printed the Wrapper pages exquisitely, while Messrs Vasan Offset Printers, Paramakudi have printed this book with a fine get up in an attractive manner. I take this opportunity to thank all those who are responsible in bringing out this book.
May the Universal Mother Gayatri bless the entire world with transcendental peace!
Jai Sai Ram
Let us imagine, we are in VAIKUNTA (the abode of Sree Mahavishnu - the Lord Supreme). Narada, the learned sage having free access to move in and around all the Trilokas - Earth, Astral and Heaven - Tri Loka Chanchari) is standing with utmost humility nearby Sree Mahavishnu in the collective presence of Mahalakshmi (the divine consort of Mahavishnu), Brahma and others. Now sage Narada asks Sree Mahavishnu: "Swami, you have very clearly explained to me the significance of austerities practices, religious fastings and penance. Thank you, you now tell me the way of attaining the Divine Grace of all the Deities one and the same time, easily, without much efforts, transforming the aspirant into a person of great religious merits". Lord Narayana replies: "Human birth is highly virtuous. The benefits of worshiping all the Deities could easily be attained by the worship of GAYATRI DEVI. "NA GAYATRIYAH PAROMANTARAHA". There cannot be any other mantra more effective than Gayatri. This mantra is to be recited in the three junctures of the day-just before sun rise, exact noon and just before sun set, when ANUGRAHA (blessings) of SUN GOD is assured and thereby Divine Grace from all the thirty three crores of Devatas all over the Universe.
Srimad Devi Bhagavatham signifies Gayatri mantra as above. Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita: "I am Gayatri among all mantras".
As we go back in search of the origin of Gayatri mantra, we find a reference in Veda proclaiming that this glorious mantra sprang out from the Divine Face of Mahavishnu at the time the Lord profoundly decided to create this Universe. Thus the great Gayatri mantra is ETERNAL, everlasting and endless.
As RECITING this mantra constantly gives the effect of worshiping all Deities one and the same time and also invokes SUN, which Sun God is common to all religions in the world, this mantra is recognised as Universal, irrespective of Religion, Nation, Caste, Creed, Colour and so on. In India, GAYATRI is the NATIONAL MANTRA and also NATIONAL PRAYER.
Now let us look into the people around the world. How are they? They are restless. They are carried away by external illusory things of life, there is a blind and feverish pursuit of pleasure and power, they very easily yield to evils of all kinds. They have totally forgotten rather - they are not aware of the inner richness of spirit which enables a man to live a full and integrated life at peace, with himself and in harmony with others. Scientists daily scan the skies and look into the farthest depths of this vast Universe but they fail to see the inner significance of SOUL of human beings. Human beings are gifted with Reasoning Faculty or BUDDHI which has got to be illuminated and kept alert and keep on guarding us constantly from going astray in life or falling into evil ways. If we become prey to this state, our entire human life is a waste. This Bhuddic illumination has also become necessary, to human beings for the upliftment in the field of SAADHANA or spiritual practice when we embark in right earnest upon the divine adventure of self realisation. Well, the purpose of Gayatri Mantra is just to illumine one's intellect taking the same from one stage to the next as follows:
|OUR INNATE INTELLECT|
From half baked fire
|to||fully baked fire with ashes overleaf.|
|From fire + ash||to||burning fire without ash.|
|From burning fire without ash||to||
Roaring burning flame|
Here the elements of coal &
ash are made absent.
This reminds us of the function of bellows in a blacksmith's factory.
This "burning flame" sharpens our Intellect, keeps us alert at all times, drives away lethargy and dullness from us, gives new strength and confidence to face any situation and solve any problem arising therefrom. While there is light, darkness is automatically driven away. Thus SAVITA who is the Deity of Gayatri mantra awakes, arouses and strengthens our Intelligence and turns it into "burning flame" and at this stage, the aspirant is able to unfold his BUDDHI sufficiently to find within himself all the guidance he needs for his spiritual-advancement.
It has to be mentioned here that the contents of this small book are not complete in all respects and it is not possible to catch all the Lights coming out of the SUN in sky in a small vessel. The Grandeur and Majesty of GAYATRI is like a OCEAN. We have just tried to give a picture of Veda Maata GAYATRI to the Reader. We have not gone deep into the subject in a searching manner. If the reader finds any misrepresentation of any message in this book, he is requested to ignore the error and take into account the merits only, if any, that may appeal to him. Though our little adventure cannot take you to the abode of MOKSHA (the total liberation), Sri Sai Padhuga Trust believes that IT WILL TURN THE MIND OF ANY READER TOWARDS GOD.
Now let us open our heart and prepare it to Receive GAYATRI. Let our heart be Her Permanent Mandir.
Jai Sai Ram
Om Sri Sai Ram
1. Gayatri Mantra (Qn. 1 to 34)
2. Upanayanam (Qn.35 to 44)
3. Gayatri Japa Sadhana (Qn.45 to 55)
4. Gayatri in Silaaroopam (Qn.56 to 64)
5. Significance of Gayatri Mantra (Qn.65 to 66)
6. Benefits derived from Gayatri Japa (Qn.67)
I. Gayatri Ashtothra Sada Naamavali
II. Discourse from Bhagawan Baba on Gayatri (delivered on 17.3.1983 at Poornachandra Auditorium)
Sai Gayathri Mantra
1. What is meant by 'Mantra'?
'Ma' means MANANA (i.e. Meditation) and 'thra' means saving; so 'Mantra' means that which can save you, if you meditate on it. Mantra will save you from being caught up in the coils of this worldly life which is infested with death, grief and pain" - Baba.
A 'mantra' may also be a combination of letters which has a mysterious power hidden within it, of bringing about certain results when used in a particular manner.
It has been said: "BRAHMANAM BRAHMANA VAHANAM" and it means, Brahma is the carrier of Brahman. Baba has said: "The word Brahma here is understood to connote Mantra". The inner meaning is that THE PURUSHA WHO IS THE EMBODIMENT OF THE VEDAS, has the mantra as His carrier.
A mantra has two aspects; The first is MANANA which means whatever you have learnt has to be taken into the mind and the second aspect is TRAANA, which means, whatever has been taken into the mind, has to be firmly established and preserved in the mind.
"The Vedas have been obtained by listening to 'sound' (ghosha), they have been referred to as SRUTI. This is directly connected with the Lord, taking in and giving out His breath. Brahman rides over these mantras and therefore He has been called BRAHMANASPATI. (PATI means KARTA or the head of a situation). If we want to get control over Brahman or obtain His Grace, then His carriers namely the mantras over which He rides must be first brought under control". Baba has said: "I am ghosha" i.e. Baba is Brahman and rides over the mantras.
2. How Gayatri came into existence?
Vedas proclaim that at the instance Sree Mahavishnu, the Lord Supreme, decided to create the universe, Gayatri Mantra, interalia, came out from His Divine Face.
Gayatri Mantra appears in Rig Veda, as the tenth mantra in the sixtieth sutra of the third Mandala. As Vedas are eternal, Gayatri Mantra also is eternal having no birth and death.
3. How do you arrive at the word 'GAYATRI'?
The word 'GAYATRI' is derived from "GAYAntam TRIyate Iti". It means THAT which protects the chanter is THIS. Here THIS is GAYATRI MANTRA (Sabta Brahman). That is the reason for the total absence of the word "Gayatri" in the mantra itself.
4. What is the Gayatri mantra?
The Gayatri Mantra is the Universal Prayer enshrined in the Vedas, the most ancient scriptures of Man.
Universal Prayer means Prayer that can be recited with devotion for one's spiritual or material benefit in all Ages by all men, women and children in any part of the world.
5. Recite Gayatri Mantra.
1. Without chorus: gayatri.wav ( 18 seconds, 191 KB, WinPCM )
2. With chorus: gayatri.mp3,а( 32 seconds, 125 KB, MPEG 1.0 layer 3 )
6. Give meaning of Gayatri Mantra word by word.
Om : Para Brahman
Bhur : Bhu Loka (Physical Plane). It also refers to the body made up of the five Panch Bhoothas. These five elements constitute Prakriti (Nature).
Bhuva : Bhuva Loka - the middle world. Bhuva is also Prana Sakthi. However it is the Presence of PRAGNANA that enables the Prana Sakthi to animate the body. It is on this account that the Vedas have declared "Prajnanam Brahma" (constant Integrated Awareness is Brahman).
Svaha : Swarga Loka(Heaven, the land of Gods).
Tat : Paramatma, God or Brahman.
Savitur : That from which all this is born.
Varenyam : Fit to be worshiped.
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:
(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 (Dhiyo) Intellect (so that we may realise the Supreme Truth).
7. What do you understand by "Sampoorna Gayatri"?
Om : This is Pranava
Bhur, Bhuva, Svaha : The Mahavyahritis relating to Gayatri Mantra.
The conventional Mahavyahritis pronounced before commencing any spiritual ceremony are as follows:
These are the Seven spheres of existence beginning with the physical (BHUH).
Actual Gayatri Mantra:
These three aspects taken together form 'Sampoorna Gayatri'.
8. How many syllables are contained in the Gayatri Mantra? What is the significance of this number?
The actual Gayatri consists of 24 Syllables as follows:
|1st Line: Ta, sa, vi, tu, va, re, ny, ya||- 8|
|2nd Line: Bha, go, De, va, ya, dhee, ma, hi||- 8|
|3rd Line: Dhi, yo, yo, nah, ra, cho, da, ya||- 8|
Sreemad Devi Bhagavatham gives a reference to 24 Rishis who are associated with each syllable in the Gayatri Mantra. Similarly each syllable is also associated with each of 24 Sakthis and 24 Flowers.
Vedas suggest that Goddess Gayatri can be worshiped as Gayatri Vicharam, Gayatri Kavacham, Gayatri Hrudayam, Gayatri Sthothram or Gayatri Sahasranaama. (Here 'Hrudayam' means the whole body.)
9. What is the significance of OM in the Gayatri Mantra?
Om is the Naada Brahmam emanated from Supreme God as early as the time of Creation, (Om Iti ekakshcharam Brahman) (Om that syllable is Brahman). It is composed of three syllables 'A', 'U', 'M'.
All these leading to 4th state viz TURYA which is beyond these three states and represented by Silence. When one dives deep into the depths of this silence, he hears the cosmic AUM or the Pranava, which emanates from the Prana (vital vibration) which fills the Universe.
Gayatri Mantra is the expanded form of OM and Om is included in the Gayatri mantra to give 'reinforcement' effect to the Mantra.
"Om is the Waters, Light, Essence (Saaram and Saaramsam), the Immortal, Reality, the physical (BHUR), the intermediate (Bhuvah) and heaven worlds (Svah) is OM.
10. Who discovered the Gayatri Mantra?
The Gayatri Mantra was discovered by Sage Viswamitra. It was the same sage Viswamitra who initiated Sri Rama into mysteries of Sun worship, through the mantra Aaditya Hrudayam.
The RISHI (Sage) for Gayatri Mantra is Viswamitra himself.
11. How did Sage Viswamitra become the RISHI for Gayatri Mantra?
Being the Kshakthriya King, Viswamitra demanded the Divine Cow NANDINI which was in the possession of sage Vasista, who refused to part with NANDINI. All efforts to get the Divine Cow having failed, Viswamitra gave up his bad quality of pride and arrogance, went to the forest for deep penance and then after the penance was over he came back and surrendered himself with utmost humility to sage Vasista. He made upasana of Gayatri as Veda Maata and was subsequentely recognised by Sage Vasista as Brahma Rishi. Only after this incidence, Viswamitra became the Rishi for Gayatri Mantra. We learn from this incidence that only when our mind is pure, free from pride and arrogance, Goddess Gayatri comes to our rescue and uplifts us to higher status in spirituality.
12. What do you understand by 'Mantra Sakthi'?
It is some thing which cannot be seen. It can only be inferred. For instance, when mantras are uttered and oblations are offered in the Fire, we can see the offered materials being reduced to ashes and this is called PRATYAKSHA or perception through direct observation. However, the material which is reduced to ashes gets conveyed by MANTRA SAKTHI to the person for whom it was intended.
Baba has said that even if one does not know the place where the offering has to reach, or if one is not acquainted with the person carrying the offering, it is of no consequence.
13. How does 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.
14. How to pronounce AUM?
It must be pronounced as slowly as possible rising in a crescendo (musical Arohanam) until it reaches its peak at 'M'. Then it must take a curve at 'M' and descend as slowly as it rose, taking as much time as it took to ascend, it must gradually disappear into the Silence reverberating in the cavity of the heart. Let the Silence coincide with the pause between two breathing cycles and prolong it as long as possible without discomfort. Enjoy it, Relish it. This is the threshold of the residence of the Inner Self, the Real Prasanthi Mandir. This Inner Self is all pervasive and identical with Brahman. This is the Real Nature of Man. "Be still and know that YOU ARE GOD".
15. Mental Repetition of Mantra is more powerful than words. How?
While the mantra is repeated mentally, the words are in the background of the mind and serve the same purpose which the notes sounded on a TANPUR serve in Indian vocal music.
It has been inferred that if you utter the mantra by mouth producing sound, you will get one unit of benefit. If it is done in the fashion of JAPA, you will get 10 units of benefits. If it is done just by movement of lips without producing physical sound, you will get 100 units of benefits. If the same is done mentally without lip movement or sound, then the benefit you will be deriving is 1000 units!
16. Where we can sit and utter Gayatri Mantra to get best results?
|At home||-||1 unit of benefit|
|Near a river||-||2 units of benefit|
|In places where cows are fostered||-||10 units of benefit|
|In places where Agnihotram is performed||-||100 units of benefit|
|Places where great Sages attained gnana/sidhi||-||One lakh or one crore units|
|Places whose sthala-puranas find place in
Hindu scriptures, Temples, etc.
|-||according to the merit of the place.|
|Infront of "Perumal Sannathi"
(the Abode of Mahavishnu)
|If done by Japamaala made up of Rudraksha Nuts||-||no limit-infinite|
The japamala teaches you the Unity, though it has 108 beads! If it is a sphatika mala (crystal beads) you can see the string running in and through each bead, the inner reality on which all this is strung! If the beads are not transpa- rent, you still know that the string passes through, holds together, and is the basis for the mala to exist! Why 108 beads? 108 is the product when 12 is multiplied 9 times. 12 is the number of Adityas, Luminaries that reveal the objective world, and so, symbols of the Sakaara aspect (the world of name and form, of manifoldness, the seeming variety, the fleeting pictures); 9 is the screen on which the pictures appear, the basis, the rope which deludes you as the snake in the dusk, Brahmam, the Nameless, Formless, Eternal Absolute. 9 is the Brahmam Number, for it is always 9, how- ever many times you multiply it! It is immutable, for 9 into any number adds up to 9 only. So, when you turn the beads, impress upon your self the fact that there is both truth and travesty in the world, the travesty attracts, distracts and delights is deceiving you, diverts you into devious paths; the truth makes you free!
Quotations from the divine discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba, pp.43-45.)
17. What are the materials which can be spread over for sitting thereon for chanting Mantra?
1) Darbasanam (Kosa grass): Our 'Papas' (sins) are removed, Body and Mind are cleansed immediately.
2) Woollen materials: Our miseries are removed.
3) Deer Leather: Develops our 'gnana', peace of mind
4) Silk material: good fortunes
5) Bark of tree used as clothing: gives strength (it was used by Sri Rama - These materials are still available in the State of Kerala, South India)
6) Leather of female elephant: Removes diseases. Lord Shiva sometimes wears this material and perform "Ananda Thandavam" (dance)
7) Leather of Tiger: gives Liberation (Moksha); increases the power of renunciation.
18. List out a few sayings from Scriptures about Gayatri.
1) "Gayantam Trayate Iti Gayatri": Gayatri saves him who chants/meditates on Gayatri.
2) "Gayatreem Chandasaam maata": Gayatri is the mother of all mantras.
3) "Gayatri Chandasaam aham": In Bhagawad Gita, Lord Krishna proclaims that He is Gayatri in Veda mantras.
19. The Gayatri mantra is divided into three distinct Parts: What are they?
First Part: Pranava and Mahavyahritis Viz
Here the chanter contemplates on the Glory of Light that illumines the three worlds.
This part is to arouse in the vehicles of the aspirant certain powers which prepare the ground for the effective functioning of the second and third parts. These powers are aroused through the agency of sound (Vaak) which harmonises the vehicles and attunes them to the forces from the higher states of consciousness to manifest through them.
Since the repetitive meditation of Pranava is an independent and powerful means of spiritual unfoldment, it is obvious that its inclusion in the Gayatri Mantra increases enormously the effectiveness of the latter. It helps not only in a positive manner by unfolding the spiritual consciousness, but also negatively by removing different kinds of obstacles in the path of the aspirant.
Though the powers aroused by the maha vyahritis are also powers which are indirectly derived from the Lord of the Solar System, they are specialised powers, administered and directed by the divinities of the three planes.
It picturises the Glory, the Splendour and the Grace which flows from the Light.
This part is meant to stimulate in the mind of the aspirant an intense aspiration or determination to come into contact with consciousness of Savita, the presiding Deity of our Solar System. It is only as this aspiration is intensified that the fusion of the individual monad ('jivaatma') and the supreme spirit ('Paramaatma') can be progressively brought about.
This part is really an invocation to SAVITA for more light and is meant to fan the spark of spiritual aspiration in the aspirant into a roaring flame. It is a call of the individual soul to the Universal Being. It is a call for enlightenment of the highest kind, for that knowledge which will make him realise his oneness with Him who is the source of all knowledge, power and bliss.
Generally, by the word 'SAVITA', we mean the sun which is the centre of the solar system and round which, all the planets are revolving. BUT, the physical sun, which we see and which alone science has studied is merely an outer cover of a glorious Reality which pervades and energises the whole solar system. In the second place, they indicate that this Reality is in essence and fundamentally the same as the Reality which is hidden in the heart of every human being. In finding this Reality within himself, the aspirant can invoke the Reality hidden behind the sun and through the help which he gets from this supreme source of spiritual illumination make his task of self-discovery easier.
When as a result of self training the inner eyes of a man are opened, a tremendous breath-taking mystery reveals itself within his consciousness. This spiritual sun of consciousness is SAVITA, He whom Gayatri meant to reveal by stages. During this process, we seem to be expanding into that all embracing Reality and that Reality seems to be descending into us. This dual process the descent of the Whole into the part and the expansion of the part into the whole is simultaneous.
It is a prayer for final liberation, through the awakening of the innate intelligence that pervades the Universe as Light.
In this last part, the aspirant surrenders himself completely to the Divine and thus makes it possible for the divine forces to flow into his vehicles so as to purify those vehicles and to raise them to a higher degree of sensitivity and capacity for enlightenment. After putting in the utmost effort, the aspirant lets himself go and opens himself up to the utmost extent to divine Light and life.
Thus in prayer we build up or arouse spiritual forces within the deeper layers of our being in the process, we have to pierce through the image of the sun and our ideas of Savita into the Reality, which is hidden behind these ideas.
20. Why Gayatri is called Pancha Mukhi?
Gayatri is referred to as 'Pancha Mukhi' or the Goddess with five faces. These five faces or aspects reveal and reflect the Brahman.
Five faces of Gayatri Mantra are
These five aspects signify all that is contained within and made up of the 1) Panch Bhutas (Akasa, Vayu, Agni, Water and Prithvi) and the 2) Panch Kosas or the five sheaths of the human body (Annamaya Kosa, Pranamaya Kosa, Manomaya Kosa, Vignanamaya Kosa and Anandamaya Kosa), 3) Panch Pranas (Praanaya, Apaanaaya, Vyaanaya, Udaanaaya, Samaanaya), 4) Panch Tanmatras (Sound, Touch, Roopam, Taste, Gandham (smell)) and 5) Panch Indiriyas (Gnana and Karma) (Eyes, Ear, Nose, Mouth and Body). A knowledge of the inter-connections of the Panchabhoothas within one's body will enable the Sadhaka to appreciate the inner significance of the five faces of Gayatri. Thus while the manthra is capable of purifying the totality of one's being (inner equipment), it also purifies the external organs of the work viz. Karma Indriyas. Here Panch Bhootas as related to human body, Panch Kosas, Panch Pranas, Panch Tanmatras, Panch Gnana Indiriyas are 'internal' organs of human body while Panch Karma Indirias are 'external'. Thus both 'internal' and 'external' organs are purified.
Another point of view regarding the above five 'faces' is this: After chanting one 'face' we should exhale and stop breath for a few seconds and then proceed to the next 'face'. This gap of time should be equal and should be enjoyed. In this process the chanter should be slow and steady and should not hurry up.
Exhaling breath after chanting each face and continuing this process during the whole of the Sadhana itself constitutes a very good praanayaama system. This result is attained only because the mantra is technically divided into five segments (called 'faces') as above.
21. How Vedas and three Lokas are related to each other?
Once PRAJAPATI performed SAMYAMA (three phased yogic meditation) on the nature of the Universe and found that
i) the essence of the physical world BHUR was AGNI and the essence of AGNI was RIG VEDA,
ii) the essence of astral world BHUVAH was VAYU and the essence of vayu was YAJUR VEDA,
iii) the essence of the lower heaven of the mental world was ADITYA and the essence of ADITYA was SAMA VEDA,
iv) the essence of Rig Veda was BHUR, that of YAJUR VEDA was BHUVAH and that of SAMA VEDA was SVAH.
22. Who are the deities of three Lokas referred to in the Gayatri Mantra? How they are related to Panch Kosas?
The deity of Bhuh is AGNI which relates to Annamaya Kosa
The deity of Bhuvah is VAAYU which relates to Praanamaya Kosa
The deity of Svah is INDIRA as related to Manomaya Kosa
The Prathyatcha Devatha SUN GOD who is related to the fifth Kosa viz Anundamaya kosa awakens and strengthens our intellect, (the discriminating faculty) or Buddhi which is related to the fourth Kosa viz Vignanamaya Kosa.
23. What do you understand by 'Immortality'?
One must not construe the meaning of the word 'immortality' to mean a state where life is permanently retained in the body. As Baba has said "There is birth and death for the body, but there is no birth or death for the Atma". To be able to understand this permanency of the Atma, is the real meaning of obtaining immortality.
24. Why the effect of Gayatri Mantra differs during Tri-Kaala?
Traditionally the aspirant is advised to repeat Gayatri Mantra during dawn, noon and dusk.
Japa during dawn: At the dawn Gayatri appears as BRAHMASWAROOPINI on Her SWAN Vaahana (on which to ride). So during this time, the attributes of SARASWATI predominate and influence the effect. SARASWATI grants wisdom to the aspirant.
Japa during Noon: At noon, Gayatri appears as RUDRASWAROOPINI on Her BULL Vaahana. So during this time the attributes of DURGA predominate and influence the effect. DURGA removes distress of the aspirant.
Japa during Dusk: At dusk, Gayatri appears as VISHNUSWAROOPINI on Her GARUDA Vaahana. So during this time the attributes of LAKSHMI predominate and influence the effect. LAKSHMI grants wealth and prosperity to the aspirant.The above is the traditional analysis of Tri-Kaala with respect to Gayatri.
25. There is another school of Thought: What is that theory?
I.K.Taimni in his "Gayatri" observes the significance of 'Tri-Kaala' in a somewhat different way. His philosophy, briefly is as follows:
Gayatri is Brahmani in the morning, Vaishnavi at noon and Rudrani in the evening. Morning is the time when creative forces are predominant in nature, and as Brahma represents the creative principle, it is His influence which can most profitably be sought by the aspirant at that time.
At noon, the forces of preservation are predominant and therefore Vishnu is the Presiding Deity of this part of the day. He is the Preserver who keeps in balance the forces of creation and destruction and it is therefore His influence which is invoked at this time of the day.
In the evening the forces of destruction become strong and since destruction is the function of Rudra, naturally it is His influence which pervades nature and can most profitably be utilised at this time of the day.
(Instead of 'Destruction', 'Regeneration' is a much better word because it carries the idea of creation and preservation also, with that of destruction).
Destruction by Rudra is not for its own sake, but takes place because the form which He destroys has ceased to serve its purpose efficiently and has become a hindrance in the evolution of the life embodied in that form. So He takes it away and gives, in its place, a new, more elastic and useful form. This conception of the function of Rudra gives quite a different complexion to the outer destruction.
26. Can we chant Gayatri Mantra during the 'Pollution days' arising from death, child birth, etc?
Our sages have prescribed that Gayatri mantra should be recited every day - without a gap of even a single day. During the above pollution days one should not touch the Divine asthras (weapons) to fight the enemies. However reciting Gayatri Mantra is given special exemption.
First ten days from the date of death occurring in a family are treated as 'pollution days'. During these days, the Sadhakas can wear VIBHUTI (sacred ash) (without mixing the same with water drops) slightly on his forehead and recite Gayatri Mantra. On the eleventh day, the above 'pollution' time is a few minutes only. The Sadhaka can avoid this short pollution time and thereafter he may recite Gayatri Mantra. Our elders have made this ceremonial arrangement with the point of view in mind that the Sadhaka should not miss even a single day; he should not be deprived of the benefit even for a single day.
27. If the Mantra is not chanted correctly, whether it harms the individual?
"Yes - it has the opposite effect of enveloping the person in darkness, but if we recite with Love, God will accept it". - Baba.
1. Without chorus: gayatri.wav ( 18 seconds, 191 KB, WinPCM )
2. With chorus: gayatri.mp3,а( 32 seconds, 125 KB, MPEG 1.0 layer 3 )
28. Who is Prajapati?
The words BHUH, BHUVAH, SVAH are said in context of Prajapati (that is one who presides over or is at the head of a situation). Individually they are represented by INDRA (Bhuh or Earth), Vayu (Bhuva or Atmosphere) and Aditya (Svah or Heaven) but the word Prajapati connotes the totality of all these three.
29. How Bhoomi (earth) was created?
When God wanted to create (in His aspect as Parambrahman), He first created the basis and that basis was sound. This premordial sound was the first picture. The bhoomi or our earth is born in the form of mantras and Brahmanas.
30. Relationship between breath and mantra:
One's breath becomes a mantra. This is so because the word SOHAM is contained in the breath itself and when we inhale and exhale breath, we are continuously uttering the word SOHAM. It means I AM GOD. Therefore this mantra is SWA-SWARUP. It means the Form of our own self.
31. Traditionally a second OM is interposed before TAT (in the 3rd line) of Mantra. Is it necessary?
Baba says it is unnecessary. It has therefore been deleted.
Each word should be pronounced clearly and distinctly without undue haste or hurry. It should be noted that recitation should not be allowed to deteriorate into a routine chore.
32. Why Gayatri Mantra is called Trikala Sandhiya?
Like the utensils need to be cleansed every day - thrice a day - so our heart too needs to be cleansed thrice a day. This injunction has been given by Baba. The fixed occasions are Dawn, Noon and Dusk and besides these times, it can be repeated anywhere at anytime, including night time. It should also be recited before taking food and while pouring water over one's head during a bath. The Mantra purifies the food and removes all the ill effects of the subtle vibrations such as bad thoughts, which may have been generated by the person responsible for the preparation of food. Further it also protects one from the harmful effects of germs which may have got mixed up in the food. Thus the mantra takes care of the inner equipment of the individual.
33. Significance of the number of times of uttering the mantra:
Baba advises us to recite it three, nine or eleven times before meals. Traditionally one is required to repeat it 108 times. But there is really no limit. When a target is fixed as to the number of times, the pleasure of contemplating the Might and Majesty of the Mantra is overshadowed by the effort required to keep track of the count. Love and reverence for the mantra and faith in its promised results are far more important than mere mechanical repetition while the mind wanders in other pasteurs.
34. Why Solar energy is invoked in Gayatri Mantra?
"Solar energy has to be drawn down to re-enforce the inner vision of Man. That is the Soul Force latent in Man. When this Soul force is strengthened, the intellect, the senses and the moral emotions are activated and guided along fruitful lines. Can darkness confuse the brain or hide the Truth, when the sun shines? Can sorrow prevail, can ignorance confuse, can egoism blind, when the Divinity that shines as the sun blesses you with Illumination? Therefore rely on the Gayatri to draw down the Effulgence of the Sun so that it may impart Illumination to your Intellect." - Baba.
35. What is meant by Upanayanam?
Upa + Nayanam = taking nearer.
A child of seven years (Garbaashtama) is made to wear Yagnopaveetam (sacred thread) and given initiation into Gayatri Mantra and by means of this ceremony, the boy is 'taken nearer' to veda which is Brahman. In otherwords, from the date of Upanayanam, the child is entitled to recite Gayatri and perform all Karmas relating to veda.
36. What is the purpose of the sacred thread?
The thread reminds the boy that he should recite Gayatri, the thread awakens his conscience when the boy intends to go in wrong path contrary to the Dharma Path. It cautions the boy then and there and takes him to the right path. The sacred thread enables the boy to respect his parents as God.
37. How Sacred thread is made of?
First a thread is made of nine fine (thin) threads, then three such threads are connected by a knot. These three threads represent Satva, Raajas and Taamasa gunas, Rig, Yajur, Saama Vedas, Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati concepts.
38. What do you understand by DWIJA?
A bird is born as egg. At that time, the bird thinks that the world is of the size of the egg. When the young bird grows and breaks through the walls of the egg, it emerges from the egg and begins to see the world. Similarly a man is born as a child. Until the day of his upanayanam, he is innocent of the world acitivities. When he is given initiation into Gayatri Mantra, he begins to know about his dharmic duties in the society, begins to recite Gayatri and treads on vedic path. Thus from the date of his Upanayanam, he takes second birth and becomes DWIJAN. Now the boy's mind gets purged of all the impurities - internal and external. Please also refer to Swami's Divine Discourse on 'Gayatri' included in this Book as Annexur II.
39. How Gayatri is related to Upanayanam?
The word 'Brahmacharyam' itself means reciting Gayatri. "Brahman" means Gayatri! ("Brahme charati iti Brahmachari").
40. Why Brahmachari (the boy who is going to be given into Gayatri initiation) holds small branch of PIPAL tree on his shoulders?
Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra - all three Devatas reside in the PIPAL tree, which is called Vrutcha Rajaa (king of all trees). Lord Krishna in His Bhagawad Gita proclaims:
Thus the brahmachari by holding a small branch of this divine tree PIPAL receives divine grace from Brahma, Vishnu and Rudra and hence from Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga, their respective consorts.
41. Why at the time of Brahmopadesam, we plait the ends of cloth? Is it so secret?
Not like that. Gayatri is a unique mantra and that should be received by the Brahmachari with due respect and reverence, devotion and Shraddha. Again the child should pay utmost concentration while receiving the mantra, and when we plait the end of a cloth, then the boy becomes free from external sound and other disturbances.
42. What is the necessity of a Prohit while the father gives initiation into Gayatri to his son?
Bruhaspati is the Guru of all Devatas and all vedic activities are carried on by Devatas in the presence of their Guru only. Similarly this vedic activity of giving Gayatri initiation by the father is done in the immediate presence of his Guru viz the family prohit.
43. What is the advice given by Baba to these Brahmacharis, young children and students on Gayatri?
"Chant the Gayatri daily and It will lead you to the realisation of the splendour of Brahman by setting you free from the limitations which surround the three worlds, the three gunas, and the triple aspects of time. The Gayatri should be chanted in order to purify the mind and like the Sun's rays. It will dispel the darkness from within you. Children, right now is the Golden time for you. Open your hearts and recite the mantra and you will be sucessful in life. Just as the trunk supports a tree, the Gayatri supports the human system and without it, the Tree of Life would be sapless. If you chant the Gayatri and also respect your parents as God, then the effects of both these will work together, fuse into one and produce a great effect on your splendour and brilliance", says Baba.
44. What are the benefits that students will derive by chanting the Gayatri Mantra?
"You may or may not chant any 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 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. They will become highly qualified. They will become model citizens, so that the future of the country will be safe in their hands", - Baba.
GAYATRI JAPA SADHANA
How to get BEST Results
45. Why we have to prepare ourselves before the Sadhana?
If the undertaking of a limited timebound science research project requires at least two to three decades of training and preparation on the part of an individual, how much greater effort and study would be required for undertaking the project of knowing that (THAT) which is infinite and timeless?
In the Japa and meditation of Gayatri, the aspirant invokes Gayatri for the Divine Light, which is derived from SAVITA, the Solar Logos and THIS light has to be received in the mind of the aspirant. The mind should therefore be in a fit condition to receive the Light.
46. What is Upasana?
The word 'Upasana' means 'sitting near'. The aspirant who has decided to establish direct contact with his chosen deity (Ishta Devata) gradually develops the habit of sitting near HIM.
47. What takes place during Upasana?
The aspirant should understand thoroughly whatever he is doing and he should carry out the various operations involved in worship intelligently instead of in a mechanical manner. It is extraordinary how the illumination of the mind by the inner significance underlying a technique imparts a new zest to the work and transforms a dull routine exercise or ritual into a sublime and divine mystery.
48. What preparation do we require before Sadhana?
1) Sattvic materials: The greater the predominance of the sattvic materials, the more effectively can the vehicles serve as an instrument of the higher consciousness.
2) Attunement of mind: The mind is to be full of right emotions and aspirations.
3) High degree of self surrender.
4) Soul to yearn: for union with divinity.
Thus (1) the development of aspirant's character along right lines and (2) preparatory and purificatory practices FORM an integral Part of upasana or worship.
49. What happens immediately after the preliminary preparations?
At this time, the forces which temporarily flow through his vehicles from the higher planes flush out the vehicles, as it were, attune and harmonise them to some extent and leave some lasting effect which cumulatively raises the general tone of his life. The higher level thus gained enables the aspirant to rise to a still higher level of aspiration and later exaltation and illumination at the time of the daily worship.
50. Why the art of symbolism is used in spirituality?
It is true that the forces and realities with which the aspirant on this path has to deal are intangible and beyond the realm of the mind, but the mind cannot work in a VOID and when dealing with these things on the plane of the mind one can use his imagination (and hence the importance of imagination). This accounts for the fact that the sages adopted and elaborated the art of symbolism.
51. Why Preliminary mantras?
In the realm of occultism, we always recall the sage who constructed the mantra or obtained it from still higher source. But in reciting the preliminary mantra (viniyoga mantra), we remember the sage not merely as a token of our gratitude to him, but chiefly to put ourself in touch with him and draw from him inspiration and force. All these sages are great adepts who are still living either on the physical plane in inaccessible places or on the super physical planes. Liberation does not mean the liquidation of the individual soul (Jivatma) as many people imagine, but a tremendous expansion of consciousness which enables the adept to keep in constant touch with all that is happening in the solar system. A thought or aspiration directed to him can get a response from him in proportion to our earnestness and spirit of reverence.
52. How sound vibration reaches the sage of the Mantra?
A mere mechanical repetition of the preliminary mantra (which is the usual practice) does nothing but produce a sound vibration. It may be asked how the thought of the aspirant reaches the sage, because he does not know the sage or where he lives. On the subtler planes of thought, there is a mysterious relation between things - and the mantra and its sage are in a peculiar relationship. One result of this relationship is that any one who uses the mantra can come into rapport with the sage of the mantra. When a disciple directs his thought to a real teacher or guru, his thought instantaneously reaches the guru even though the disciple does not know where his guru is or what he is doing. It is therefore easier for the aspirant to reach the sage for the DEITY to send his inspiration and blessings in return.
53. What is the importance of sound and number in a mantra?
The metre of a mantra defines its peculiar structure. Number plays the most important part in the science of metres, because it underlies form and determines the nature of sound. The whole manifested universe is considered to be based on vibration and that is why it is possible to bring about all kinds of changes in matter and consciousness through the agency of sound. As sound is essentially vibration, it is easy to see how number and intonation play such an important part in the construction and use of mantras.
54. List out sages (Rishis) and Deities of Gayatri.
|Maha Vyahritis||Prajapati||Agni, Vayu & Aditya (Tejas)|
55. Step by step order of Gayatri worship.
A typical process of Gayatri Worship:
I. Purification preparation: 4 aspects - see elsewhere (Question No.48).
II. Invocation of and Meditation on the SPIRITUAL SUN, of which the physical sun is the outermost expression.
III. Invocation of the goddess Gayatri in the solar orbit and Meditation upon Her.
IV. Forming the mental Image. Train the mind to keep it in the focus of consciousness without allowing it to slip away, as it is prone to do time and again. The symbology of the deity will help you to go behind the purely physical form and understand the nature of deity as far as the mind will allow you to do so.
V. Meditation as to how that mental image is to be utilised for communion with the Reality hidden behind it. Meditate on that Deity for sometime using the image merely as a focus of one's attention. The mind serves as a veil to hide the Reality. He must strive to the utmost and reach almost the breaking point of the soul, before the veil will lift and afford him a glimpse of the Beloved.
How is the seeker to find his Inner most self?
By separating from himself all that is not Himself. Layer after layer of the mind which envelopes his real Self must be separated off from Himself and transcended, step by step, until He stands alone, isolated and free from everything. This in a nutshell is the real technique of meditation, which goes under the familiar name of YOGA.
VI. Japa: of Gayatri Mantra: First Chant OM thrice. Then commence GAYATRI mantra. Repeat the same.
VII. Self Surrender: Real self surrender is not a collection of ideas, but a state of consciousness, an attitude, simple, pure, limpid, and dynamic, which defies description and is as different from the corresponding thought forms as the soul is different from the body. This state of mind lifts our worship from the level of a dull routine to an exciting and divine adventure.
Thus meditation has to deal with two things: First with the outer form which represents an inner reality and second, the inner reality itself, which though indicated by the outer form, is hidden and can be known only by transcending it.
IX. Visarjana: or farewell to Gayatri Devi and Surya Devata.
After the Meditation and Japa, the whole environment and the mental set up which the aspirant has built up has to be broken up or dissolved by a deliberate act of the will. The Hindu believes in cremation in order to destroy a form completely, after it has served its purpose. To let a sacred form remain in tact when it cannot be attended to with the proper spirit of reverence is considered sacrilegious. Therefore, after any kind of worship, based on the building up of a temporary form, there is the ceremony of VISARJANA (letting go) or farewell. It merely symbolises the turning away of the mind from the sacred and serious task that had been undertaken. This does not mean, of course, that the aspirant has to dismiss the deity from his mind until he sits down again for his daily worship.
GAYATRI - IN SILAA ROOPAM
56. What are the functions of different attributes of Gayatri Vigraha (Idol)?
Our Hindu philosophy allows a Sadhaka (aspirant) to make worship of deity of his choice by uttering its NAME and also seeing its FORM (Vigraha) (that is SAGUNA BRAHMAN). Why the theory of such DEVIS and DEVATAS was conceived by our great sages?
When manifestation takes place, the primary differentiation is into Consciousness and Power or Shiva and Shakthi. This shakthi differentiates further into innumerable powers corresponding to the multifarious functions which have to be performed in the manifested Universe, each power of shakthi being matched by a corresponding function of Consciousness. These are the deities (DEVIS and DEVATAS) of Hinduism. Each function and power is given a particular NAME and FORM, the Form having a deep symbolic significance and being meant to give to the aspirant in a concrete image an integrated concept of the particular divine function or power.
Now, what is the particular function which the deity Gayatri performs? The liberating function of Eashwara which frees souls from the bondage in which the power of MAYA involves them. Here we invoke the power of Gayatri which gradually disperses the clouds of ignorance and lets the aspirant see the spiritual sun, which shines eternally behind those clouds and his oneness with that sun. Now how this goal is achieved from the worship of Gayatri FORM?
Let us see the Gayatri Idol now. She is having FIVE faces of different colours, ten hands carrying different things, and ten graceful eyes, She is sitting on a red Lotus.
FIVE FACES OF GAYATRI:
57. What is the significance behind these five faces?
Please refer to answer to Qn. No.20.
A darshan (mere seeing) of these five faces of Gayatri idol is capable of removing FIVE GREAT SINS, we have committed if any, viz
(i) Brahmahatti (ii) Suraabaanam (iii) Stealing public properties/funds (iv) Misbehaviour with wives of gurus (spiritual teachers) and (v) friendship with bad people (bad company).
While this 'darshan' removes great sins committed by the aspirant, it grants at the same time, FIVE types of DIVINE GRACE from Lord SHIVA (Shiva tattwam) viz:
58. What is the significance of TEN eyes?
The eyes of Gayatri are watching at the ten directions (8 directions + sky and earth) for performing DUSHTANIGRAHA (killing bad people) and Sishtaparipaalana (protecting the good).
This means that Gayatri is also watching at the FOUR directions viz North, East, West and South. For each direction of the sight of Gayatri, we have separate prayer mantra:
59. What is the significance of TEN hands?
Broadly speaking, the first five hands signify five types of SUKHAS (comforts) obtainable from this earth and the other five hands signify five types of divine BLISS obtainable from the Divine and spiritual lokas.
60. What is the significance of the weapons carried by ten hands?
Hand 1: Vara hastam (to grant boons to aspirants).
Hand 2: Abhaya hastam (to remove fear - "why fear when I am here/near").
Hand 3: Angusam (a hard weapon to bring the elephant under control) (Principle: to bring under control bad elements in an aspirant).
Hand 4: Chattai (Whip) (to whip the bad elements internal and external).
Hand 5: White skull (signifies Shivatattva).
Hand 6: Gadai (a steel stick with a hard global head) (to treat the bad elements with club) (This siginifies Vishnu Tattva). Bhima and Anjaneya were carrying Gadai with them.
Hand 7: Shank (Conch Shell) The roaring sound from this shank will drive away ASURAS (ie. to drive away bad elements). It is identical with the Panchajhanya Shank in the hand of Lord Narayana.
"TVAM VAISHNAVI SHAKTI ANANTAVEERYAA" - grace emanates from Mahavishnu.
Hand 8: Chakra (Wheel-like Sudarshana Wheel). It rotates and the same is driven to frighten or kill the bad elements (enemies) (This equally signifies vishnu tattva, since this wheel is in one of the divine hands of Mahavishnu).
Hand 9 and Hand 10: Lotus. All the divine grace from Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati flows from these divine hands to reach the aspirant.
There is yet another school of thought in the matter of weapons in ten hands: Instead of two lotus in two hands, she is having one lotus in one hand. In another hand she is having a small vessel containing Annam (food) (i.e. Annapoorani) signifying that the worshipper is assured of food throughout his life time. In one hand she is having, instead of white skull, what may be called a bracelet signifying protection (RAKSHA) to the worshipper. There is no change in other weapons.
Thus by the weapons held by the ten hands of Gayatri, the aspirant is given a divine protection, desired boons etc. at the same time, the enemies and other bad elements working unfavourably against the aspirant are killed. Thus the double purpose is served simultaneously.
Gayatri is sitting on a red Lotus which signifies wealth. She is wearing crowns on all her five heads. The crowns bear nine types of gems, which signify lustre of Divine Light flowing into the heart of the aspirant. His life will be peaceful, at the same time as bright as the "Ratnakaantha Stones" fixed on the crowns of Gayatri Maata.
It is to be noted that Gayatri was not born as a child to any parents. As wished by Her, She emerged from a red Lotus to give divine protection to those who meditate upon her.
It is also to be noted that though the vigraha of Gayatri is confined to five heads, ten eyes, ten hands etc., Her Majesty and Grandeur are beyond limits and they are beyond expression too ("Vachanaateetam"). She is a OCEAN without boundaries - OCEAN of GNANA, KARUNA and ANANDA.
61. Not all the pictures/vigrahas of Gayatri are similar or identical. There are differences in some aspects. Why?
These pictures/vigrahas have been conceived, designed and made by different artists/sthapathis of different places, different times, who had different tastes and imagination of their own. Hence there is no standard pattern about these pictures and vigrahas and hence the differences. The aspirant may accept any picture/vigraha which actually inspires him as his Form of Meditation and may be assured of best results from his Sadhana.
However there is no change in the "Dhyana Sloka" prescribed for Gayatri.
While the features and attributes of Gayatri have been described in Devi Bhagawatham, the actual Form of the picture/vigraha was conceived first by sage Viswamitra in his heart of heart.
62. How is it that the Divine Cow Nandhini which was in possession of Sage Vasishta was able to produce and distribute anything prayed for?
Please have a glance in the Nandhini picture. We find that the very Mahavishnu is residing in the womb. All Maha-Vyahritis are found resident in different parts of the body of Nandhini. We also find that even GAYATRI (with all Her Majesty and Glory) is residing inside body of Nandhini. That is why Nandhini has been referred to as "Veda Maata".
To put it in a nutshell, we may say that all the 33 crores Devathas in the whole of the Universe are residents in Nandhini. For this reason, Hindu families perform special Nandhini Pooja periodically.
For the foregoing reasons, Nandhini is able to produce and distribute anything prayed for.
63. What is Nandini?
Kamathenu is the Mother cow while Nandhini is her calf - a loving calf in the Ashram of Sage Vasista.
64. It is said that all Devathas (33 crores in number) are residing in different places in the body of GAYATRI. Justify:
It is true. A table is given below showing the places where different Devatas reside.
|In the body of Gayatri||Name of the residing Devata|
|Lips||-||Two Sandhis, i.e. Dawn & Dusk|
|Breasts||-||Ashta Vashu (8 Cows)|
|Hip||-||Indra and Agni|
|One thigh||-||The bottom of kailash, the abode of Lord Shiva|
|Another thigh||-||Pithru (forefathers)|
|Knee||-||All Devatas (viswa Devatas)|
|Fingers||-||Vanaspati (all vegetations in all forests)|
Just like Kamathenu and Nandhini, all Devatas in the Universe reside in GAYATRI also and when one aspirant prays for some boon, the appropriate Devata is activated and pleased to grant the particular boon to the aspirant.
GAYATRI is the expansion of PRANAVA while all the 33 crores Devatas are expansion of the Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara / Saraswati, Lakshmi and Durga (or Kaali).
It is of interest to note that at Dawn, Gayatri appears as a Baala (like a child), at Noon, as a youth (yowvanam), and at dusk, She appears as VRUDDHA (old lady).
SIGNIFICANCE OF GAYATRI MANTRA
65. How Gayatri Mantra differs from other Mantras?
1) Gayatri Mantra is not a pure mantra - It is a mantra and a prayer (and also Pranava) combined. A pure mantra depends for its effectiveness upon the power inherent in sound (ie. mantra shakti). It may or may not even have a meaning. But Gayatri Mantra has also in it the tremendous power of prayer as indicated by the definition "Gayantam Trayate iti Gayatri". Thus we get a far more effective instrument for the unfoldment of our spiritual potentialities.
2) All the fourteen lokas are in the bosom of Gayatri. Hence the name "LAMBODARI" to Gayatri.
3) Gayatri was worshiped by great sages of India some of whom are
Gayatri was worshiped by vinayaka also.
4) Gayatri is Vana Devata (Devata of Forests). She is residing in fruits, vegetables etc. Hence she is called "SAKAMBARI DEVI".
5) There are more than 165 Gayatri mantras on different devatas! It will be seen that the general structure of all these Gayatris of different divinities is the same, diffenent names being substituted at the same places in the mantra. The word DHIMAHI, VIDMAHE and PRACHODAYAAT are common to all these Gayatris and it is therefore natural to infer that these are the words in which the essential significance of Gayatri Mantra is contained.
6) The 24 syllables in the Gayatri mantra represents 24 Rishis, 24 Chandas, 24 Devatas, 24 Sakthis, 24 colours, 24 components of human body, & 24 Kshetras.
7) Only after chanting Gayatri, other mantras should be chanted.
8) In Valmiki Ramayana, there are 24000 slokas. The first syllable in each of 1000 slokas is drawn from each of 24 syllables of Gayatri Mantra!
9) In the Ramayana: Ravana was a great scholar in veda. He was a staunch devotee of Lord Shiva. Sri Rama, An Avtar of Lord Mahavishnu was not able to kill him in the battle. Sage Agastia comes to Sri Rama and gives him initiation into a Mahamantra called 'Aaditya Hrudayam'. Thereafter SRI RAMA recites Gayatri Mantra, the divine Abode of 24 syllables. Then only Sri Rama was able to kill Ravana.
The foregoing examples are in no way complete in all respects. The Glory and Majesty of Gayatri Mantra is a OCEAN and really beyond expression.
66. List out some more points to signify Gayatri Mantra:
1) Gayatri resides in the heart of Mahavishnu.
2) Gayatri has got control over even king Cobras.
3) One special YANTRA has been designed exclusively for GAYATRI.
4) Gayatri mantra is capable of arousing kundalini sakti.
5) There is no better Japa or dhyana than reciting Gayatri Mantra.
6) The famous Scientist J.B.S.Haldane writes: "The Gayatri mantra should be carved on the doors of every laboratory in the world" to enable the scientists to peep into the world of spirituality.
7) The very first Gayatri is only SURYA GAYATRI ('Gayatri' means Surya Gayatri only unless otherwise specifically mentioned) and all other Gayatris came into existence only after Surya Gayatri was brought out.
8) We have got Ashtothra Sadanaamaavali (included in this book as Annexure I) and also Sahasranaamaavali for Gayatri.
BENEFITS DERIVED FROM GAYATRI JAPA
In Olden days, our sages resorted to forests and caves to perform penance to attain Brahmagnana and ultimate liberation. This process involved long time (decades together), extraordinary difficulties and pains. But the same goal, it is true, can be achieved by reciting Gayatri mantra regularly in the prescribed manner, in an easier way without extra ordinary pains - that too in a short time.
The Lord Supreme, Mahavishnu declares to the sage Narada that if one recites Gayatri Mantra, it will give the chanter the effect of worshiping all the Devatas in the Universe. The best times for worship are just before sun rise - you are not seeing the sun, exactly at noon - the sun is exactly at the central point neither at the left nor right side,and just before sun set - you are seeing the sun. The entire Grace from Sun God is in store for you.
67. List out the benefits one aspirant derives by reciting Gayatri Mantra:
Please refer to Bhagawan's Divine Discourse included in this Book as Annexure II.
1. "The Gayatri Mantra has been given to us as the 'Third Eye' (the Agna Chakra) to reveal the inner vision to us. By developing this inner vision we may realise Brahman."
2. "When the Gayatri Mantra is chanted with correct accent as laid down in the Vedas, the atmosphere around is visibly illumined by the vibration produced by the Gayatri Mantra. The sound of a mantra is valuable as its meaning."
3. "The effulgence of Brahman - Brahmaprakaasa - will descend on us, illumine our intellect and light our spiritual path when we chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly as taught by Veda."
4. "The Gayatri Mantra is enough to protect the person who chants it because, the Gayatri Mantra embodies all the Divine Potencies."
1. Parents in many families (especially in India) are very much worried that the marriage of their children (especially girls) is postponed for some reason or other (e.g. 'DOSHAM' - information of stars as seen from the horoscope). Regular chanting of the Gayatri Mantra dilutes the gloom in the family and throws light and new hopes and destroys all delusions and thus belated marriages are settled.
2. Gayatri is 'Annapoorani'. In the home where She is worshiped, the family does not require to wail for food or shelter.
3. Gayatri grants 'Santana Bhagyam' - the fortune of children in the family.
4. Peace and prosperity, Health and Wealth obtained in our home.
5. When we are in dire needs, Gayatri grants necessary boons.
6. When mass Gayatri Homam (Yagna) is performed, the mantra Shakthi creates heavy and dense clouds in the Akaash causing good rain and prosperity thereby.
7. Gayatri is embodiment of tri-Devata viz, Saraswati, Mahalakshmi and Durga, and hence the blessings from them for deeper Intellect, better prosperity and easier automatic relief of family, social and other problems respectively.
8. The exercise of repetition of Gayatri mantra is essentially one particular type of Pranaayaama and hence our entire breathing system is regulated, channelised and perfected. This will improve one's ability to render good music and ensures better performance.
9. (a) If we recite Gayatri mantra while offering 'Aahoodi' at homakunda (Fire) during Gayatri Japa Yajnam, (b) If we chant this mantra just before taking food, all diseases relating to stomach are removed.
10. 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.
11. If we chant 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.
12. Gayatri mantra assures you a long life.
13. It gives immediate relief from bites of poisonous insects and creatures (scorpion, snakes etc.).
14. It gives us power to face our enemies.
15. The mantra gives immediate relief from sins we commit by
16. Gayatri mantra gives protection to those who have become prey of black magic, and antieffects of demons instigated by black magic.
SATGURU SANT KESHAVADAS says
"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 mediation destroys all delusions, energises prana, bestows longevity, health, brilliance and illumination."
"The Gayatri Mantra is the key to opening the door of Cosmic Consciousness."
"Sit facing East or North in Padmasana or Siddhasana (or Vajrasana), or in any other easy, comfortable posture. Sit on mat covered with a woollen blanket or thick 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. Be fearless. Sit with a firm determination to realise the Truth."
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. Vedas constantly emphasise the performance of Gayatri Yajna for peace - individual, national and international."
N.B. It should be noted that the benefits detailed in this chapter are not complete in all respects. The benefits are in fact too many to find proper expression. The aspirant will definitely experience something more during the process of his continuous Sadhana.
Om Sri Sai Ram
GAYATRI ASHTOTHRA SADA NAAMAAVALI
"GAYATRI KADAKSHAM PARIPOORNAM SIDDHIR BHAVATU"
(May the Divine Grace of Gayatri Mantra be showered on you)
Jai Sai Ram
THE GAYATRI PATH TO GOD
Young embodiments of the Divine!
The grand mansion of Hindu thought has been raised on the four walls of Karma, Janma, Dharma and Brahman. These four are interdependent. No one can escape the consequences of one's action, whether good or bad. No action goes in vain. Karma is the primary cause of one's birth.
It has been well said that "The body indeed, is the basis for the pursuit of Dharma" (Sareeramaadyam Khalu Dharma Saadhanam). It is by the pursuit of Dharma that Brahmam is realised. The Gita has declared that whenever Dharma declines the advent of the Avathar occurs. This implies that the object of human existence is to uphold Dharma. As creation is a projection of the Divine will, the aim of every human being should be to live in harmony with that will. One's life should be dedicated not for promoting one's selfish interests or to serve the interests of other fellow-beings but in the service of the Divine. Whatever is done to anyone, if it is done as an offering to the Divine, it will reach the Divine. Man should consecrate every action by regarding it as an offering to the Divine.
THE SECOND BIRTH
From the moment of issuing from the mother's womb, one is involved in action. This natural state is common to all and may be described as Sudratwam (the state of the Sudra, that is, one who is not subject to any regimen). After one receives the Gayatri initiation, he is born again (he becomes a Dwija, the twice-born). The Gayatri is described as "Chhandasaam maathah" - the mother of all the Vedas. One meaning of Gayatri is that it is a mantra which protects or fosters the "Gayas" or jivis.
You must note that today you have all got a second birth by receiving the Gayatri mantra. By observing the disciplines of the Brahmachari stage, you will qualify yourselves for the study of the Vedas. When one begins to study the Vedas he is known as "Vipra". This is a third birth, as it were. At this stage, by the study and understanding of the Vedas and living up to their precepts, one gets the opportunity to understand Brahmam. Once the Brahmam principle is understood, one merges in Brahmam can one claim to be a real Brahmin. It is not birth alone, but the realisation of Brahmam which confers real Brahminhood (Brahmanathva) on a person.
The Gayatri mantra has to be recited three times a day in the morning at sunrise, at noon and at sunset. These are called "Sandhyaa Kaalam" the time of coming together of night and day of morning and evening, and of day and night. Time like man, has three qualities Satva, Rajas and Tamas. The day is divided into three parts. The four hours between 4 a.m. and 8 a.m. in the morning and between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the evening have the Satva quality. The eight hours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. are Rajasic. The eight hours between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. which are mainly used for sleep, are Tamasic. The eight hours of the day (from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are employed by all beings including animals and birds, in the discharge of their day to day duties and are regarded as Rajasic. When the four Satvic hours of the morning (4 am to 8 am) are used for engaging oneself in good actions like worship, virtuous deeds, keeping good company, one ensure to raise himself from the human to the divine level. It is during the Satvic period (from 4 am to 8 am and from 4 pm to 8 pm) the Gayatri mantra should be recited. This mantra is the embodiment of all deities. It is not related to any particular sect, caste or idol or institution. It is said to embody nine colours (1) Om; (2) Bhur; (3) Bhuvah; (4) Suvah; (5) Thath; (6) Savithur; (7) Varenyam; (8) Bhargo; (9) Devasya. "Dheemahi" is related to the meditative aspect. "Dheeyoyo nah prachodayaath" relates to the aspect of prayer. The mantra as a whole thus contains three aspects - descriptive, meditational and prayer.
UNITY AND DIVERSITY
On the basis of difference in behaviour the Antahkarana (conscience) has been accorded four names. When it is concerned with thoughts, it is called Manas (Mind). When it is concerned with enquiry and understanding, it is called "Buddhi". When it is associated with the sense of "mine" (possessiveness) it is called "Ahamkaara" (egoism). Why are four different names and attributes given to one and the same agency (the Antakarana). The mind is preoccupied with distinctions and differences. The Buddhi is concerned with oneness. The Buddhi reveals the Unity that underlies the diversity. All our efforts must be directed towards discovering the Unity that underlies the diversity rather than seeking to divide the One into the Many.
The Gayatri mantra is a sacred mantra which demonstrates the unity that underlies manifoldness in creation. It is through the recognition of this unity that we can understand the multiplicity. (1) Clay is one and the same thing, though pots of different shapes and sizes can be made from it. (2) Gold is one though gold ornaments can be multifarious. (3) The Atma is one, though the embodied forms in which it resides may be many. Whatever the colour of the cow, the milk is white always.
There is no object in the world which does not have a form and a name. The cosmic is made up of things with forms and names, while the forms are subject to constant change, the names remain unchanged. The form may change and even completely disappear, but the name remains. Once we know the name, we can recognise what or whom it represents. In a large gathering, it will not be easy to trace a person merely from the description of his features. But when his name is called, he immediately responds and can be identified. Likewise, through the name of the Lord, the form of the Lord can be visualised.
FIVE FACES - THREE DEITIES
Gayatri is described as having five faces. The first is "Om". The second is "Bhurbhuvassuvah". The Third is "Thathsavithur Varenyam". The fourth is "Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi". The fifth is "Dheeyo yo nah prachodayaath". Gayatri represents in these five faces the five Pranas (life forces). Gayatri is the protector of the five Pranas in man. "Gayantham thraayathe iti Gayatri". Because it protects the one who recites it, it is called Gayatri. When Gayatri acts as protector of the life-forces, she is known as Savithri. Savithri is known in puranic story as the devoted wife who brought back to life her husband, Sathyavan. Savithri is the presiding deity of the five pranas. She protects those who lead a life of Truth. This is the inner meaning. When one's intelligence and intuition are developed by the recitation of the mantra, the activating deity is Gayatri. When the life-forces are protected, the guarding deity is called Savithri. When one's speech is protected, the deity is called Saraswathi. Because of the protective roles of Savithri, Saraswathi and Gayatri, in relation to life, speech and the intellect, Gayatri is described as "Sarvadevathaa-swarupini" - the embodiment of all goddesses.
It is essential to recite the Gayatri Mantra at least three times during morning, noon and evening. This will serve to reduce the effect of the wrong acts one does every day. It is like buying goods for cash, instead of getting them on credit. There is no accumulation of Karmic debt, as each day's Karma is atoned for that day itself by reciting the Gayatri.
The plea that one cannot find time for reciting the Gayatri thrice a day is specious and untenable. People waste so much of their time in worthless activities that they can easily find a few moments for reciting the Gayatri when they wake up from bed and before they go to sleep, if only they have the will. The Gayatri can be recited even when one is taking his bath. It will mean also offering ablutions to the goddess. At noon, if the Gayatri is recited before taking one's meal, the food will get sanctified and become an offering to the deity.
The Brahmacharis should realise the redemptive power of the Gayatri mantra. Through the Brahmopadesam, the young boys have had a second birth, it is only when they have achieved the purposes of this second birth will they be qualified to enter on the sacred third stage of 'Viprathvam', which leads to the realisation of Brahmam.
'One who is aware of Brahmam, becomes one with Brahmam' is the Vedic saying. To recognise the Brahmam principle, one has to understand one's own true nature. There is a story to illustrate how one can see whether he is qualified to realise Brahmam. An unmarried girl acquires the right to a half-share in a man's property after she is married to him and he ties the mangala-sutra (the marriage thread) round her neck. It is this sacred thread that confers the right on her. Likewise, one remains remote from God as long as one has not acquired the thread of "Surrender to the Divine" (Saranaagathi thathva). The moment one wears the Sutra of Saranaagathi, one acquires the right to a half share in the energy and authority of the Divine. We must strive earnestly to pursue the path of submission to the Divine will and offering everything to the Divine. The attitude of surrender will grow in us as we recite regularly the Gayatri Mantra. This is the reason why boys are initiated into the mantra at an early age. There is also another reason for this early initiation. Boys, who have been indolent or dull before getting the Brahmopadesam have been able to develop their intelligence and be more diligent in their studies after they have received the Gayatri Mantra. This is a matter of proven experience. Like sunrise after the night, the Gayatri Mantra dispels the darkness of ignorance "Dheeyo yo nah prachodayaath". The rays of the Gayatri Mantra illumine the mind and intelligent and promote knowledge, wisdom and discrimination.
I bless the young vatus so that from today they may recite the Gayatri regularly, lead exemplary lives and grow into good, god-fearing, educated and enlightened citizens of Bharat.
Poornachandra Auditorium, 17.03.83
Source of Inspiration
1. Divine Discourses of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on Gayatri.
2. Sri Vidya Upasagar, Vyakarana Siromani, P.S.JAYARAMA SASTRIGAL, Madurai.
3. Sri Mad Devi Bhagavatham.
4. "VISION OF THE DIVINE" (Chapter: 'Gayatri') by ERUCH B. FANIBUNDA. We cannot miss him.
5. "Gayatri" by I.K.Taimni.
6. "Veda Maata Gayatri" by Paramahamsa Sreemad Bhuvaneswari Swamigal, Madras.
7. "The Power and the Potency of the Gayatri Mantra" published by Sri Sathya Sai organisation, Sri Lanka (Region XV).
8. "Surya Narayanan" Sri Ramakrishna Tapovan, Tiruparaithurai (India).
9. "Trivedi Smaartha Sandhya Vandanam" by Little Flower Co., Trichy.
10. "Gayatri" a booklet published by Siddhashramam, Madurai.
SRI SAI PADHUGA TRUST expresses their heartfelt THANKS to the publishers of the above pieces of spiritual Art.
First Edition: 6000 copies September, 1998.
Printed at Vasan Offset Printers, Paramakudi - 623 707
The SAI GAYATHRI
"Om Sayeeswaraya Vidmahe
Sathya Devaya Dheemahe
Thanna Sarvah Prachodayath"
saigayat.mp3, MPEG 1.0 layer 3, 98 KB, 25 seconds
The power and the potency of the Gayatri mantra (by Shri Sathya Sai Baba)