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. 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.
Gayatri is the expansion of Pranava while all the 33 crore Devtas are expansions of the Trinity. It is said that all these Devtas are residing in different places in the body of Gayatri. When one prays for some boon, the appropriate Devta is activated and pleased to grant the particular boon to the worshipper. It is of interest to note that at Dawn, Gayatri appears as Baala (Child), at noon as a Yowvanam (Youth) and at dusk, she appears as Vruddha (Old lady).
The Gayatri Mantra (Rig Veda (III, 62, 10 an ancient Hindu sacred book said to be more than 5000 years old). does not belong to any particular sect of worship, or it is not restricted to any certain community. It is universal, for the whole world. It contains in it the culture not of any particular society, but the culture of humanity. The Gayatri Mantra is a treasure and heritage that belongs to the whole of humanity without exclusion.
Om Bhoor Bhuvah Svah
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayaat.
Oh Creator of the Universe!
We meditate upon thy supreme splendor.
May thy radiant power illuminate our intellects,
destroy our sins, and guide us
in the right direction!
Rishis selected the words of various Mantras and arranged them so that they not only convey meaning but also create specific power through their utterance. Gayatri Mantra inspires wisdom. Its meaning is that "May the Almighty God illuminate our intellect to lead us along the righteous path". All the problems of a person are solved if he/she is endowed with the gift of righteous wisdom. Once endowed with far-sighted wisdom, a man is neither entangled in calamity nor does he tread the wrong path. A wise man finds solution to all outstanding problems. Only those persons who do not think correctly find difficulty and take wrong steps due to foolishness. Chanting of Gayatri Mantra removes this deficiency. The teachings and powers incorporated in the Gayatri Mantra fulfill this purpose. Righteous wisdom starts emerging soon after Jap (recitation) of this Mantra is performed.
Gayatri mantra is meant for realization of god and is regarded as representing the Supreme Lord. It is meant for spiritually advanced people. Success in chanting it enables one to enter the transcendental position of the Lord. But, in order to chant the Gayatri mantra, it is necessary for one to first acquire the qualities of the perfectly balanced person in terms of the qualities of goodness according to the laws of material nature. The Gayatri mantra is considered to be the sonic incarnation of Brahman and is regarded as very important in Vedic civilization. In Bhagavad-Gita (Ch. 10. 35), Lord Krishna states:
Brihat saama latha saamnaam
Gayatri chandasaam aham
Maasaanam maarga sirshoham
Among the hymns, I am the Brihat saama sung to Lord Indra, Of the poetry, I am the Gayatri verse sung daily by the initiated, Of all the nuwsas (months), I am theMargasira (November- December). Among all the ritus (seasons), I am the flower bearing spring. Gayatri is depicted seated on a lotus. She is depicted with five faces representing the pancha pranas /pancha vayus (five lives/winds): prana, apana, vyana, udana, samana, of the five principles/ elements (pancha tatwas) earth, water, air, fire, sky (prithvi, jala, vayu, teja, aakasha). She has 10 hands carrying the fiveayudhas: shankha; chakra, kamala, varada, abhaya, kasha, ankusha, ujjwala utensil, rudrakshi mala. The Shiva-Vishnu Temple performs Gayatri havan (homam) periodically to propitiate the Lord. Numerous devotees participate in the function performed outdoors in the Temple precincts depending on the weather conditions. Ghee (rectified butter) is applied during the homa by all the participants seated around the homa-kunda.
The divine and great Gayatri mantra inspires righteous intellect and elevates prudence and devotion. It is a universal prayer and the supreme mantra of all ages.Chhandogya Upanishad describes the existence, expansion and activities of the world as a reflection of the eternal vibrations of this mantra. According to Adi Shankaracharya , "Gäyatrï represents the limitless Brahm --- eternal, omnipresent, absolute existence of Thee….". As per the Vrahadaranyakopanishada --- "One, who realizes and attains the essence of the knowledge of Gäyatrï in life, becomes Omniscient and Omnipotent". The Sädhanä of (spiritual endeavors of realization of ) Gäyatrï bestows immense boons on a true devotee and arouses the divine element existing in his individual self.
The Gayatri mantra is mentioned in the Srimad Bhagavatam also. Great sins are said to be expiated by a pious recitation of this Gayatri verse. The origin of the divine culture and philosophy of ancient times has been attributed to the Gäyatrï Mantra. The Indian rishis of yore --- who are honored as perfect beings, had devoted their lives to the Sädhanä of Gäyatrï Mantra for the ultimate realization and spiritual refinement of the inner self and attainment of divine potentials. Gäyatrï Sädhanä has been an integral part of the lives of the spiritual saints and sages of the later ages too.
That Gäyatrï Sädhanä indeed bestows miraculous blessings and boons. Although, the positive effects and astonishing attainments by Gäyatrï Sädhanä occur through the subtle scientific process at deeper domains of consciousness, the devotional sentiments of gratitude towards the power are advisable in order to maintain humility and dedicated sincerity of mind --- which are necessary for the consistent advancement of the Sädhanä".
Incidents of miraculous transmutation of the personalities of Gautam, Dhruva, Mahatma Anand Swami, Kathiyawadi Baba, Siddha Booti Baba, Madhavacharya, etc., by Gäyatrï Sädhanä and the experiences and views of Swami Ramakrishna Paramhansa, Vivekanand, Ravindra Nath Tagore, Lokamanya Tilak, Mahatma Gandhi, William Magnere, Arthur Koestler, etc, are worth mentioning in this context.
Immediate effects of Gäyatrï Upäsana include --- cultivation of self-confidence and fearlessness in the Sädhaka (devotee) and gradual illumination of his intellect, power of decision-making and sense of responsibility and purification of the inner cores of mind. As a result, the devotee’s worldly life too begins to progress well at personal, professional and social levels. Further advancement of the Sädhanä with increasing devotion awakens the hidden talents and divine sentiments and opens the doors for materialistic as well as spiritual development. This implies the eternal validity of the following vedic hymn ---
"Om Stutä Mayä Vardä, Vedamätä Prachodayantäm
Pävmäni Dwijänäm, Äyuh, Pränam, Prajäm, Pashum,
Kïrtim, Dravinam, Brahmvarchasam
Mahyam Dattwä Brajata Brahmlokam || "
That "Gäyatrï bestows good health, vitality, longevity, wealth with grace, glorious success, co-operation, love, intellectual elevation and divine culmination of the self" --- can be verified by everybody by sincerely practicing Gäyatrï Sädhanä in day-to-day life with intrinsic faith….. Nothing could be more authentic then self-experience…..
The highest level spiritual endowments described as ashta siddhi and nava nidhï are natural consequences of progress in Gäyatrï Sädhanä. At initial stage the righteous progress of this Sädhanä is reflected in the serene charm, impressive voice, brilliance of eyes, glow of the aura around the face and the body. Clarity of thoughts, trenchancy of wisdom, intellectual talents, creativity and prudence arouse automatically in the Sädhaka as he (or she) matures in the Sädhanä. Most importantly, the Sädhaka (devotee) begins to feel the presence of divine power in the inner self which educes immense strength and peace in his mind to face all adversities and ups and downs of life with stable faith and patience. His inner voice forcibly cautions him against every immoral activity and thought and guides ideal path in the moment of difficulty and dilemma.
The japa (rhythmic enunciation with deep meditation) of Gäyatrï Mantra is an integral part of Gäyatrï Sädhanä. This helps refine the Sädhaka’s voice and leads to its subtle transmutation into the extrasensory divine voice. Boons or curses expressed in this sublime voice indeed come true. Further awakening of the inner potentials gradually bestows the supernormal powers of premonition, afflatus, telepathy, clairvoyance and prophecy. Activation and sublime transformation of unconscious and super conscious minds of such a Sädhaka links his conscious mind with divine impulses….
In the above state, the Sädhaka -- whether awaken, asleep or in trance, can receive cosmic signals and divine messages. Transmission of his vital energy or mental vibrations into other beings becomes as easy for him as if one is handing over some physical items to the other. The atmosphere surrounding these spiritually empowered personalities also becomes serene and remains charged with some kind of divine influence.
Sincere and determined efforts in the appropriate direction take one closer to the goal. Spiritual endeavors are no exceptions. This seems to be more true and certain in case of Gäyatrï Sädhanä. The nectar of the eternal divine power of Gäyatrï is for every body. Each one of us can be blessed by enormous attainments in materialist, mental, intellectual and spiritual domains of life with the help of devoted Gäyatrï Sädhanä. By this one will all positive energies.