What is Gayatri Mantra?


The Gayatri-mantta is a very sacred. mantra from the Rig Veda. It has been known to grant brilliance of the intellect and guide one’s thoughts in the right direction.

ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः॒ तत्स॑वितुर्वरे॑ण्यम् भ॒र्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि। धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त्॥

 om bhurbhuvah svah, tatsaviturvarenyam,
bhargo devasya dhimahi, dhiyo yo nah pracodayat

Om is the basis of everything earth, the space in between, and the heaven. We invoke that Lord who 18 the most venerable, the Sun. We meditate upon the adorable splendor of that effulgent, all-knowing Lord.

May he brighten our minds and direct the intellect in the right direction.

Om is the name of the Lord. Bhuh, bhuvah, and svah are called vyahrtis, mystical utterances that bring about auspiciousness. They stand for this world, the intermediate world, and the heaven. They also denote sat, cit, dnanda. Om, the name of the Lord, is equal to bhuh, bhuvah and svah, which signify the Lord. This statement om bhurbhuvah svah, is followed by the actual Gayatri mantra, which has two parts.

The first part of the Gayatri-mantra is tatsaviturvarenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi. Dhimahi, we meditate upon, bhargah, the splendor, which is described as varenyam, the most adorable. Whose splendor is this? Savituh devasya the splendor of the self-effulgent Sun. This is a prayer to the Lord who manifests in the form of Sun. We meditate upon the most adorable splendor of the Sun, who is the self-effulgent Lord. The second part of the prayer is dhiyo yo nah pracodayat. Nah, our, dhiyah, thoughts, yah pracodayat, may he guide; may the self-shining, self-effulgent deity guide our thoughts in the proper direction.

Light stands for knowledge, so a prayer to Lord Sun also becomes a prayer for knowledge. The sun can be said to symbolize the Lord who is of the nature of knowledge. This can become a prayer to the Sun, seeking his grace to inspire our thoughts and give our minds the same brilliance that is his nature. The sun can also symbolize Isvara, the Lord, in which case we are seeking Isvara’s grace and guidance. The self-shining entity can also mean our very self, in which case we are seeking the grace of the self that illumines our thoughts to guide our minds in the right direction.

Swami Viditatmananda Sarawati

Excerpts from Satsanga with Swami Viditatmananda, Vol: 2

Link to Swamiji’s Discourses


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