Introduction To Gayathri Mantra – Part 1

Sanatana dharma (eternal dharma) is beyond the reaches of understanding and time. The four Vedas comprise the essence of this dharma, and the knowledge contained within is absolute and primeval – it is the root of all knowledge. This knowledge is offered in the form of mantras, each line and word are complete and overflows with the juicy essence of wisdom.

Hidden in these mantras are mystical secrets that blossom in measure with the deserving openness and ability of the seeker. The ancient Rishis (saints) discovered these Vedic secrets through their meditation and have written these revelations into smaller versions called the Upanishads. In other words, Upanishads are the Vedas written by the Rishis as experienced by them in their meditation.

The Gayathri mantra from the Rigveda (the first of the Vedas) contains the essence of all the Vedas and is thus the condensed form of the Vedas. In other words, the Gayathri mantra came into existence by imbibing all the Vedas into it, and by chanting the Gayathri mantra, man can experience the essence of his true Self.

Man is one of Nature’s most wonderful and mysterious creations. Not only can he experience all the worldly pleasures with his five sense organs and mind, he can experience the Brahma Ananda (eternal bliss) through sadhana. Sadhana shows man that worldly pleasures are only transient and that he can in fact experience an eternal bliss – the primary and real wealth of human existence.

Through this universal game of Maya (illusion), most crave for an ounce of worldly pleasure though mired in a ton of misery, rather than cultivating a desire for Paramandanda – a crystallized, manifested eternal bliss dissolving all sorrows. And though our Rishis have described the beauty of Paramandanda in the Upanishads and Bhagavad Geeta, man continues to search for happiness engrossed in Maya. These scriptures were written by our sages as guideline documents, meant to support man’s own exploration of the truth. Thus, each one of us must become explorers and follow these benevolent guidelines – be it the Upanishads or the Gayathri mantra – to realize its benefit. Only when the practiced teachings and messages of the Upanishads or the Gayathri are implemented can real eternal happiness become a reality.

It is said that there are five things that can lead to ultimate happiness, all of which start with the syllable “Ga”: Geeta (Bhagavad Geeta), Govinda (Vishnu), Ganga (the holy river), Govu (the holy cow), and the Gayathri (Gayathri mantra).

In this newsletter, we have chosen the path of Gayathri, the greatest mantra, to reach ultimate happiness. Gayathri, a universal prayer of the highest order, is literally the door to happiness or bliss.

The Gayathri mantra is based on the visible form of Brahma (creator) – Surya (the sun), omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent, without whom nothing can exist, as he is the primary source of all existence (from subtle to causal). Surya’s energy is the Gayathri Shakti in the form of Savitr.

To understand Gayathri, it is important to remember that the Gayathri mantra encapsulates the essence and wisdom of all the Vedas in just four lines, each line bearing the same ancient wisdom and emotion. In other words, Gayathri mantra is nothing but the Vedas in a nutshell.

Rigveda 3.62.10

The Gayathri mantra begins with its root word OM, the supreme, non-personal reality, the holy sound, initiated as God’s spandana (thought) which resulted in a huge blast that created the universe in its manifest form. OM contains and embodies the Gayathri mantra; the Gayathri mantra contains and embodies the Vedas; the Vedas contain and embody the wisdom of God. Thus, the Gayatrhi mantra is, in truth, the trinity of creation, vibration and wisdom. The explosive resonance when chanting OM with the inherently powerful Gayathri mantra can take the open and ready seeker directly to God.

While performing Gayathri japa (chanting):

  • It should be chanted with the correct pronunciation, intonation, cadence
  • It should be chanted with absolute faith, remembering that it:
    • protects those who chant it
    • is sacred and pure of the highest form (pavitra).

The seeker should begin with the chanting of the syllable OM (omkara) while meditating on Surya’s five qualities: pavitra (sacred and pure), ananthaprana (life force), shaka (warmth), niyama (discipline) and kriminashaka (destroyer of disease).

The Gayathri mantra has three padas (parts) to it. The three words of the first pada “bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ” are known as the Vyahrithi, represent the stula (gross), sukshma (subtle) and the karana (ether), symbolized by the earth, sky and heaven, existing in both the microcosm and the macrocosm. After chanting the Vyahrithi, the seeker must lose his identity and immerse becoming one with Brahma.

The three words of the Vyahrithi also represent the 3 lokas (worlds):

  • The bhūrloka: representative of life and being
  • The bhuvaḥloka: representative of becoming, spreading or multiplying
  • The svaḥloka: representative of moving towards bliss

In the second pada, the words “tatsaviturvareṇyaṃ” means “that which is adorable”, representative of the splendour of the Savitr devatha, the protector of the universe. The Savitr energy in the sun works as kāla (time). It is the cause of all creation, balance and destruction, and is also known as the Trigunadharini – one who possesses the three gunas (tamas, rajas and sattva) or qualities of demon, animal and divine. She is said to be the mother of all the Vedas and the mother of Trimurthi (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva). The Savitr energy is expressed in the form of rest in the tamasguna and is expressed as awakening in the state of wakefulness. Savitr energy is the source of warmth that gives rise to the germination of seed, ripening of fruit, etc. in the physical universe, and is the source of creativity and the power of knowledge in the mind. Savitr is the adorable splendour and in that bhava (emotion), I invoke the Savitr in my heart.

Atma samshodhanege vyasanga vethanavilla
Vyamoha vyapisi hrudaya vyapakaka vagiddaroo vishwasavirali
Vishagaali agnaana vishayisuvudu vishaghalige prapthavaguvudu
Vishaadava thoredu vishama rekheyanthe katthalanu belakininda seeli holagisu

There is no scholarship for Self realization, you can come out of this vicious circle.
Have trust even when the heart encroaches and infatuation spreads.
Evil moment may arise when ignorance of poisonous air spreads.

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