THE SECRET OF GAYATRI MANTRA
GAYATRI-MANTRA is the most important and basic mantra of the Vedic science of sounds. In ancient Vedic Guru disciple system of learning, a child at the tender age of five was introduced to the learning, of the complexities of the Vedas by initiation into the Gayatri Mantra. This initiation was performed by the child's father who is regarded as first teacher or guru. The Samskara ( Purificatory ceremony) was termed as Upanayana or Maunjibandhana in which a sacred thread was put around the shoulder and arm of the child. It contained three threads and a knot denoting the four Vedas. This thread is also known as Yagya-Sutra with which a child was, as if, tied symbolically with the five fold path of Vedas and practice of Agnihotra and other Yagyas. The learning of Vedas literally commenced with the chanting of GAYATRI MANTRA. This endowed ability and insight to the child's faculty of pronunciation and understanding.
A mantra is an esoteric combination of specific sounds, syllables and meaning. It is all combined together to impart a powerful effect on mind and matter. GAYATRI is the name of poetic meter in which this particular mantra is revealed. This is the reason why it is known as GAYATRI MANTRA. It refers to SAVITA, the almighty cosmic power which impels the entire universe. Thus it is also known as the SAVITRI MANTRA. SAVITA is its presiding deity and AGNI (Holy fire) is the identifying Mark (Mukh i.e. Face) of this mantra. This mantra was revealed unto seer Vishwamitra in the ancient times. It contains eight syllables per couplet and 24 total syllables in entire mantra.
Chanting and meditating on the GAYATRI MANTRA is the essence of the rite Samdhya performed twice daily by followers of Veda. This mantra is called mother of Veda (Vedamata) because it is the essence of the science of sounds. It imparts ability and power to delve deeper in to endowing of Vedas. It opens the doors of liberation by insight into Vedic learning. The ancient seers meditated upon this mantra which in turn endowed them the knowledge of a new array of mantras. In this sense it is truly the mother of Vedas.
The traditional definition of the word GAYATRI clearly denotes its power of liberation from bondage of ignorance. It is defined as follows: " Gayanatam trayate iti gayatri " i.e the mantra has the ability to liberate a person who continuously chants it. What is the simple meaning or sense of liberation? It is thus: " every soul engulfed by dark illusion of ignorance (Maya) and bonds of past karmas experience an inborn feeling of deep attachment to body. It identifies of mistake itself with body which is called dehatama-bhava. While and meditating on GAYATRI-MANTRA we pray to divine power to bestow upon us the feeling and experience that " I am pure divine immortal soul ( aham brahmasmi ) I am the manifestation of divinity " This spiritual experience is described as " I and my father are one " GAYATRI-MANTRA may be chanted mentally, any time preferably before or after Agnihotra-times, otherwise it may be chanted in all states of life, walking, sitting or lying etc.
This mantra is a common or universal prayer ideal for any spiritual aspirant
( sadhaka). Those who are fortunate to have received initiation at the feet of a proper guru also may chant GAYATRI - MANTRA because it has a power and ability to awaken the hidden strength of soul and mind. It does not contradict with ones regular practices of any type, while those who have not received any initiation at the feet of a proper guru may simply treat the chant and meditation with GAYATRI as their principle practice. It is supportive to all spiritual practices.
The word "SAVITA" originates from Sanskrit verbal root "SU" meaning to impel, incite or set in motion. Savita is the denomination of the cosmic power which sets in motion the cycles of the universe. The gross visible form of the power of Savita is sun which sets and rise everyday making day and night. It sets in motion all actions of living beings because with the hint of sunrise the birds start chirping, animals start moving about collecting food and human beings embark upon daily chores. At the time of sunset the luster and power of the sun is, as if deposited in Agni (Fire) around which the life at night encircles. In this essence GAYATRI-MANTRA is addressed to both Sun and Agni.
The chanting of GAYATRI - MANTRA with mental attunement is an effective Swadhayay ( i.e.: Self-Study ) the fifth aspect of the five fold path of Vedas, ordained by Paramsadguru Shree Gajanan Maharaj of Shivapuri, Akkalkot, INDIA.
GAYATRI-MANTRA bears great esoteric relation with the life of SHREE. The maternal grandfather of SHREE, Bhausaheb Shingwekar, was an ardent devotee of GAYATRI-MANTRA, resultant to which he was blessed with a Divine daughter Sonamata. Sonamata was pure saintly Yogini who was the mother of SHREE. She was believed to be the incarnation of goddess GAYATRI, the presiding deity of this mantra. As the mantra has 24 syllables in it. The divine life dedicated to the service of poor and downtrodden led by Sonamata was fulfilled at an early age of 24. The upanayana or thread ceremony of child Gajanan (SHREE) was performed in the holy place Sakori, Dist. Ahemednagar, (M.S). The great Yogi-saint Upasanimaharaj, initiated SHREE with the GAYATRI - MANTRA. Later on SHREE stayed for a few years in Sakori following the strict disciplinary life of a brahmachari and learnt Vedas, at the feet of His grandfather.
The chanting and purport of GAYATRI MANTRA ordained by SHREE is as follows.
You will notice that there is OM sound in the beginning, middle and at the end of the mantra; it is as if engulfed by OM sound.
OM BHUR BHUVAH SVAHAH OM TAT SAVITURVARENYAM BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI DHIYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAT OM.
OM: Symbol of the Divine power the primal esoteric sound.
BHUH: Physical plane.
BHUVAH: Astral plane
SVAH: Celestial plane.
TAT: That transcendent divinity
SAVITHU: The power which impels the universe.
VARENYAM: Fit to be worshipped, all powerful.
BHARGO: Glory, effulgence
DHEEMAHI: We meditate
YAH: Who NAH: Our
PRACHODYAT: Enlighten, guide.
MEANING OF MANTRA: I meditate and pray unto the Supreme self--illuminated, Divine, cosmic-power, which is the creator of the entire universe, to impel my intellect towards self realization.