The Gayatri mantra is one of the oldest and most powerful of Sanskrit mantras. It is believed that by chanting the Gayatri mantra and firmly establishing it in the mind, if you carry on your life and do the work that is ordained for you, your life will be full of happiness.
Mantra-recitation. Gayatri japa is used as a method of prāyaścitta, instrument of Tantric practice. It is believed by practitioners that reciting the mantra bestows wisdom and enlightenment, through the vehicle of the Sun (Savitr), who represents the source and inspiration of the universe. The Gāyatrī Mantra, also known as the Sāvitrī mantra, is a highly revered mantra from the Rig Veda (Mandala 3.62.10), dedicated to Savitr, the sun deity.
Gāyatrī is the name of the Vedic meter in which the verse is composed. The vibration which is created by the chanting of this mantra is directly working on the three chakras of your body, and therefore it is helping your brain, eyes, sinuses and lower head. Concentration and memory power are sure to improve with this powerful mantra. The most fundamental answer has to do with light itself, which the Gayatri mantra is invoking. Light is an important element because of the power it was over darkness. … Gayatri does not invoke any deity…only the Primordial and sacred Light of the Divine itself.
How many times should we chant the Gayatri mantra? On daily basis one can chant 12 or 24 or one mala or multiple of mala. Some basic rules must be followed. The best time is before sunrise or before noon time or sandhya kaal up to one hour from sunset if one follows vedic one.
“O thou existence Absolute, Creator of the three dimensions, we contemplate upon thy divine light. May He stimulate our intellect and bestow upon us true knowledge.”
“O Divine mother, our hearts are filled with darkness. Please make this darkness distant from us and promote illumination within us.”
Let us take each word of the Gayatri Mantra and try to understand its inherent meaning.
The First Word Om (Aum)
It is also called Pranav because its sound emanates from the Prana (vital vibration), which feels the Universe. The scripture says “Aum Iti Ek Akshara Brahman” (Aum that one syllable is Brahman).
When you pronounce AUM:
A – emerges from the throat, originating in the region of the navel
U – rolls over the tongue
M – ends on the lips
A – waking, U – dreaming, M – sleeping
It is the sum and substance of all the words that can emanate from the human throat. It is the primordial fundamental sound symbolic of the Universal Absolute.
The “Vyahrities”: Bhuh, Bhuvah, and Svah
The above three words of the Gayatri, which literally means “past,” “present,” and “future,” are called Vyahrities. Vyahriti is that which gives knowledge of entire cosmos or “ahriti”. The scripture says: “Visheshenh Aahritih sarva viraat, praahlaanam prakashokaranh vyahritih”. Thus, by uttering these three words, the chanter contemplates the Glory of God that illumines the three worlds or the regions of experience.
The Remaining Words
Tatsimply means “that” because it defies description through speech or language, the “Ultimate Reality.”
Savitur means “Divine Sun” (the ultimate light of wisdom) not to be confused with the ordinary sun.
Varenium means “adore”
Bhargo means “illumination”
Devasya means “Divine Grace”
Dheemahimeans “we contemplate”
Dhi means intellect
Yo means “who”
Nah means “ours”
Prachodayat means “requesting / urging / praying”
The last five words constitute the prayer for final liberation through the awakening of our true intelligence.
Finally, it needs to be mentioned that there are a number of meanings of the three main words of this mantra given in the scriptures:
Various meanings of the words used in the Gayatri Mantra
The mantra is an expression of gratitude, to both the life-giving sun and the Divine.