Meaning of Gayatri Mantra
Before knowing the meaning of the Gayatri Mantra, let's look at the lyrics of it in: Sanskrit and English
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
Om Bhur-Bhuvah Svah Tat-Savitur-Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat ||
Gayatri Mantra Word by Word Meaning:
ॐ - OM - The Primitive Sound
भू - BHU - the physical world or earth
भुवः - BHUVA - the mental world or sky
स्वः - SVAHA - the celestial, the spiritual world or heaven
तत् - TAT - In simpler terms, it means “that”, because it stated description through speech or language, the “Ultimate Reality.” That, God; Transcendental Paramatma
सवितु - SAVITUR - the Sun (The ultimate light of wisdom), the Creator, Preserver
वरेण्यं - VARENYAM - more adorable, lovely
भर्गो - BHARGO - shine, effulgence, Illumination
देवस्य - DEVASYA - resplendent, supreme Lord, divine grace
धीमहि - DEEMAHI - we meditate on or we contemplate
धियोयो - DHI YO - intelligence, understanding, Intellect
नः - NAH - Nah: our
प्रचोदयात् - PRACHODAYAT - enlighten, guide, inspire
O thou existence Absolute, Creator of the three dimensions, we contemplate upon thy divine light. May He stimulate our intellect so that we can realize the supreme Truth.
Meaning of Gayatri Mantra In simpler terms:
O Divine mother, our hearts are filled with darkness. Please make this darkness distant from us and promote illumination within us.
This miraculous Vedic Mantra consists of twenty-four syllables - three lines of eight syllables each.
The First Word “OM” – ॐ
It is known as Pranav sound because the sound of ‘Om’ or ‘AUM’ comes from the Prana (Vital Vibration), which feels the Universe. Om signifies the essence of the ultimate reality, and unifies everything in the universe. It is the primordial fundamental sound symbolic of the absolute Universe.
The Vyahrities – BHU, BHUVAH, SVAH
These three words of the Gayatri, which literally means “past,” “present,” and “future,” are called Vyahrities.Vyahrities represent the seven planetary systems.Vyahriti is that which gives knowledge of the entire cosmos or “ahriti”. Bhu means “Bho Lok” the material or physical world in which we live. Bhuvan means “Anatariksha Lok” the space or sky where the material world exists. Svah represents the “Svarga Loka” the heave or higher plane of existence. It not only represents the three different external worlds but also the life within our own self.
TAT SAVITU VARENYAM
Tat that (God), savitur the sun (star), varenyam worthy of bowing or respect. Sage Vishvamitra stated that we could realize or feel the presence of unknowable formless God through the known factors, viz., sound Om and light of suns (stars).
BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI
Bhargo the light, devasya of the deity, dheemahi we should meditate. The Vishvamitra instructs us to meditate upon the highest form of brilliance(light of the sun) to discover the formless Creator (God).
DHIYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAT
Dhiyo (intellect), yo (who), nah (we all), prachodayat (guide to right Direction). O God! Deploy our intellect on the right path
Full scientific interpretation of the Mantra: The earth (bhu), the planets (bhuvah), and the galaxies (swah) are moving at a very great velocity, the sound produced is Om , (the name of formless God.) That God (tat), who manifests Himself in the form of light of suns (savitur) is worthy of bowing/respect (varenyam). We all, therefore, should meditate (dheemahi) upon the light (bhargo) of that deity (devasya) and also do chanting of Om. May He (yo) guide us in the right direction (prachodayat) our(nah) intellect dhiyo.
Benefits of Chanting Gayatri Mantra
Chanting this miraculous mantra is meant to have both a psychological and physiological effect on our bodies. It is considered to be one of the most powerful recitations, also used as a remedy for solving all life problems. It is also believed that chanting the Gayatri Mantra for once can expel the sins of the day. But surprisingly, there are also several health benefits of chanting the Gayatri mantra.
Calms the mind and body:
According to studies, chanting Gayatri mantra helps in the release of endorphins and other relaxing hormones. The sound of this mantra sends a vibration through the lips, tongue, palate, back of the throat and skull which calms the mind. The vibrations from this mantra stimulate the chakras or the extrasensory energy centres and pineal gland.
Sharpens the intellect and brightens the memory
Studies have found that people who chant the Gayatri mantra had better concentration and memory. It shows that when you chant the Mantra the resultant vibration first activates the three higher chakras -- the Vishudha, Ajna and Sahasrara. These three chakras help to sharpen the intellect, brighten the memory and improve concentration. The syllables of the Gayatri Mantra are so devised that they help a person to focus the mind.
Brings clarity to life
As a mirror gathers dust and needs cleaning so that it can reflect clearly. Similarly, our mind becomes tainted or dusty with time, the company that we keep, the knowledge we receive and our latent tendencies. By chanting the Gayatri mantra, we give a deep cleansing to our minds to get better clarity in life. Through the mantra, one gains brilliance in both the inner and outer worlds.
Improves the working of your nerves
When you chant the mantra the pressure is exerted on your tongue, lips, vocal cord, palate and the connecting regions in and around your brain to create a resonance or a vibration that helps strengthen and stimulate the functioning of your nerves. Apart from that it also stimulates the proper release of neurotransmitters that help in the conduction of impulses.
Keeps depression and anxiety at bay
Regular chanting of this mantra gives a person relief from stress making them more resilient. According to many studies, the Gayatri Mantra chant helped stimulate the functioning of the vagus nerve, which is a common form of treatment for people with depression and epilepsy.
Gets Rid of Toxins
There are certain beauty benefits of reciting this mantra. The vibrations stimulate vital points in the body as well as on the face that help increase circulation. It, in turn, helps to get rid of toxins from the body and skin. It oxygenates your skin which makes it look younger and glowing.
Improves lungs capacity
While chanting the mantra you are required to take deep rhythmic breaths which eventually enhance the functioning and capacity of the lungs. Deep breathing withholds oxygenate the body cells thereby keeping your whole body fit. It can also help to relieve the symptoms of Asthma or other breathing disorders.
Improves Immunity to Diseases
Reciting of Gayatri mantra for a certain period improves the immunity of the body. It ensures that a person is protected from common diseases and infliction of infections. The powerful vibration from this mantra stimulates the hypothalamus gland, which helps in boosting the body's immune system.
History of Gayatri Mantra
The Gayatri Mantra, an early Vedic text is first appeared in the oldest Vedic literature, Rig Veda (Mandala 3.62.10). It is written in Sanskrit between 1100 to 1700 BCE. In the Upanishads, it is stated as a significant ritual and as the poem of the Divine in the Bhagavad Gita. This secretive and powerful mantra is also mentioned in Devi Bhagavatam and Ramayana.
For many years when the Gayatri Mantra was not spoken outwardly: it was chanted only in silence or whispered so that it can’t be audible to anyone. It is a very subtle and effective way of reciting this mantra. Only the Brahmin priests were allowed to chant the mantra, women and others are forbidden from chanting the Gayatri Mantra. In today’s time, everyone has the privilege to chant the Gayatri Mantra.
How to Chant Gayatri Mantra
- To practice chanting the Gayatri mantra, a person needs a quiet place.
- Sit comfortably on a floor in Sukhasana, Siddhasana or Padmasana you can even sit on a chair with your back straight.
- Keep your eyes closed and both hands resting on your knees in Gyan Mudra.
- Relax your body and muscles and smile.
- Slowly take a few deep breaths and observe each breath. Repeat it 4-5 times.
- Take a deep breath in and slowly chant the Mantra.
During chanting try to feel the vibrations of the mantra, originating from your naval and moving upward all the way up to your brain. With the flow of vibration feel a sense of calm and bliss and the flow of energy in all your seven chakras from the seven planetary systems. Repeat the mantra for as long as you want, but for powerful results, chant at least for 15-20 minutes.
Is Gayatri Mantra religious practice?
The vibrations of Gayatri Mantra has immense power, can be recited by anyone, irrespective of time and place. However, according to Vedas, time has three qualities: satva, rajas, tamas which denotes purity, passion and inaction respectively. The Sattvic guna is dominated between 4 am to 8 am and 4 pm to 8 pm. The Rajasic guna 8 am to 4 pm and the Tamasic guna 8 pm to 4 am. Satva is the best time to chant the Gayatri Mantra as it helps you to gain maximum benefits. Hence, it is recommended to chant the Gayatri Mantra between 4 am-8 am and 4 pm-8 pm.