Understanding the Gayatri Mantra

universalThe Gayatri mantra is a universal prayer enshrined in the Vedas.  It is addressed to the Immanent and Transcendent Divine which has been given the name Savita, meaning “that from which all this is born”.  As a sacred chant that demonstrates the unity that underlies manifoldness in creation, the Gayatri mantra may be considered as having three parts:
(i) Adoration,
(ii) Meditation, and
iii) Prayer.

First the Divine is praised, then it is meditated upon in reverence and finally an appeal is made to the Divine to awaken and strengthen the intellect, the discriminating faculty of man.

gayatri deviGayatri is the Mother of all Scriptures (the Vedas).  She is present wherever Her name is chanted.  She is very powerful, being an embodiment of all Goddesses, and is the one who nourishes.  She bestows pure thoughts on anyone who worships Her.  Our very breath is Gayatri, and our faith in existence is Gayatri.

The wording of the Gayatri mantra is:

Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ
Tat-savitur Vareñyaṃ
Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi
Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt

The general meaning of the mantra is:
“We meditate on that most adored Supreme Lord, the creator, whose effulgence (divine light) illumines all realms (physical, mental and spiritual). May this divine light illumine our intellect.”

When each word of the Gayatri mantra is broken down, deeper insight into its meaning is gained:
Om: The primeval sound;
Bhur: the physical body/physical realm;
Bhuvah: the life force/the mental realm
Suvah: the soul/spiritual realm;
Tat:  That (God);
Savitur: the Sun, Creator (source of all life);
Vareñyam: adore;
Bhargo: effulgence (divine light);
Devasya: supreme Lord;
Dhīmahi: meditate;
Dhiyo: the intellect;
Yo: May this light;
Nah: our;
Prachodayāt: illumine/inspire.


When we chant the Gayatri mantra, it can be perceived as having three parts:

the meditation on the glory of God/Divine as the illumination immanent in the three worlds – upper, middle and lower (Om Bhur Bhuva Swah; Tat Savitur Vareñyam);
having smaraña or picturisation of the Grace (Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi); and
prārthanā, prayer for compassion for the sake of liberation, through awakening of intelligence that pervades entire universe.

Gayatri_If the Gayatri mantra is adhered to, there can be no fanaticism, no hatred, no rivalry for through its pious repetition, love is promotes.

From 9 April Monday Night Meditations will be focusing on the beautiful Gayatri mantra.  If you are interested in learning more about this mantra, the discipline of meditation or just need some time out for yourself, then come along and join us.

Monday Night Meditations are open to all.

Cost: $10 per class

“Gayatri Mantra: A Universal Prayer”

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