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Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Significance of the Gayatri Mantra


The Gayaathri Manthra is perhaps the most universal Manthra that is known and chanted by people across the continents. In this posting Bhagawan explains the importance of chanting the Gaayathri Manthra and its inner significance.

There are four Discourse excerpts presented in this posting. These have been selected from the Discourses given by Bhagawan Baba in the year 1995. 

Each audio clip has a name that adopts the following code: Serial number, Title appropriate to the key content, Duration of the clip, Year-Month-Date of the Clip. Below the title is the translation in English of the select excerpt of the Discourse, followed by the audio player. At the end of all the excerpts, are some personal reflections. The post ends with a short quiz that would help you evaluate your assimilation of Bhagawan's Message.  

1. Gayathri Mantra - Materialization-Vibration-Radiation-2.11-1995 Aug 23

Bhu, Bhuvah and Suvah are within us only
The first line in the Gayathri Manthra is Om Bhur-Bhuva-Suvah. This manthra is imagined to refer to three worlds: the earth, the middle world and heaven (or Swarga, the land of the gods). Bhu refers to the body. It is made up of the five elements (Pancha Bhutas). These five elements constitute nature (Prakriti). There is an intimate relationship between the body and nature. The same five elements that are in nature are also in the body. Therefore, Bhu represents the physical body only. What is Bhuvah? Bhuvah is the life force that animates/pulsates the body (Praana Shakthi). Even if the life force exists, without Jnana (Awareness – which is represented by Suvah) the body will be of no use. It is on this account that the Vedas declare: Prajnaanam Brahma (Constant Integrated Awareness is Brahma). It is by the presence of Prajnaana that the life force is able to animate the body.

The body represents inert matter - materialization. The life force pulsating this body is vibration. This vibration derives its power from Prajnaana, which finds expression as radiation. Therefore, the body, the life force and the Awareness (Atma) – i.e. Bhu, Bhuvah and Suvah are within the body only, not anywhere else.



2. Gayathri-Savitri-Saraswathi and Panchamukhi-4.07-1995 Aug 23

Gaayathri is the Mother of all Vedas
Who is Gaayathri? Gaayathri is not a Goddess. Gaayathri is the mother of the Vedas (Gaayathri Chandasaam Maathaa). She is the essence of the four Vedas. Where is Gayathri? Gaayantham Thraayathe Ithi Gaayathri. Gaayathri redeems the chanter of the manthra. Gaayathri is present wherever the manthra is chanted. 

Gaayathri has three names: Gaayathri, Saavitri, Saraswathi. These three are our very own forms. Gaayathri represents the senses, power of sense. It is the master of the senses. Savitri is the master of the life-force (Praana). Many Bharatiyas are familiar with the story of Saavitri who brought back to life her dead husband, Sathyavaan. Saavitri signifies truth. Saraswathi is the presiding deity of speech (Vaak). The three represent purity in thought, word and deed (Thrikarana Suddhi). The feeling in the mind, the words in the speech and the actions in our hands – all the three must be in unity. This is what is called – ‘The Proper Study of Mankind is Man’. Although Gaayathri has three names, all the three are in each of us: as the senses (Gaayathri), the power of speech (Saraswathi) and the life-force (Saavithri). 

Gaayathri is said to have five faces and hence is called Panchamukhi. Is there anybody in the world with five faces? No. In the Ramayana, Ravana is said to have ten heads. If really he had ten heads, how would he be able to lie in his bed or move about? This is not the inner meaning of this description. He is said to be ten headed because he was the master of the four Vedas and the six Sastras. Likewise, Gaayathri is described as five faced. The five faces are: Om (the Pranava) is the first face. The Pranava principle is the very foundation of everything and it represents the eight different forms of wealth (Ashta Aiswarya – Shabda Brahmamayi, Charaacharamayi, Jyotirmayi, Vaangmayi, Nityaanandamayi, Paraatparamayi, Mayaamayi and Sreemayi). The second face is: Bhurbhuvas-Suvaha. The third face is: Thath-Savitur-Varenyam. The fourth face is: Bhargo-Devasya-Dheemahi. Dheeyo-Yo-Nah-Prachodayaath is the fifth face. When the Gaayathri mantra is understood in this way, it will be realised that all the five aspects of Gaayathri are within each of us. 



3. Description-Meditation-Prayer-Power of Gayathri-1.45-1995 Aug 23

Do not treat the Gaayathri Manthra casually
The Gaayathri manthra has all the three elements which figure in the adoration of God: description, meditation and prayer. We describe God in so many ways as Sachidaananda Swarupa (one of eternal bliss), Karunaamayi (one of love), Dayaamayi (one of compassion). The essence of all these is one - Om Bhur-Bhuvas-Suvah Thath Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya. These first nine words of the mantra represent the attributes of the divine. Dheemahi pertains to Dhyaana (meditation). Dheeyo Yo Nah Prachodayaath is the prayer to the Lord. The mantra is thus a prayer to God to confer powers and strength to our intellect. 

Sarvaroganivaarini Gaayathri: Gaayathri is the reliever of all diseases. Sarvaduhkha Parihaarini Gaayathri: Gaayathri wards off all misery. Sarvavaancha Phalasiddhi Gaayathri: Gaayathri is the fulfiller of all desires.

Gaayathri is the cause for all that is bestowed on us. If the mantra is chanted even once, various kinds of powers will emerge in one. Hence the Gaayathri mantrha should not be treated casually.



4. Chant Gayathri while bathing-before taking food-1.20-1995 Aug 23

Chant the Gaayathri Manthra whenever you can
It may not be possible for you to chant Gaayathri three times a day – in the morning, in the noon and in the evening. Therefore, chant Gaayathri whenever you can, anytime in the day. As you get up late at 8 am, you have to go to school, you have no time and so you may think how you can chant the manthra. This is sheer laziness. After you get up in the morning, do you not brush your teeth, do you not go to the bathroom, do you not take your bath? You must consider chanting of this manthra also as one of your daily duties. When you take your bath, chant the manthra, it will be equivalent to performing Abhishekam (sacred bath)to Gaayathri. While taking your food, before placing the first morsel of food into your mouth, chant the manthra, it will be equivalent to offering Naivedya (sacred offering) to God.



Personal Reflections 

The concept of an Avataar is truly amazing and can never be comprehended in its totality. One aspect that touches me most is the number of discounts and exemptions that the Lord offers when He descends as an Avataar, for the ascent of humanity. He relaxes all the stringent rules and regulations prescribed in the scriptures, highlights the inner significance of all rites and rituals and cajoles humanity to start walking on the royal pathway to Godhood.

Earlier, the chanting of the Gaayathri Manthra and the Vedas  was believed to be the privilege of only the men, but Swami opened up the same for women too. As per the Vedic prescription, the Gaayathri Manthra is to be recited along with performance of the ritual called Sandhyaavandanam, thrice a day - at dawn, noon and dusk. But as we hear in the final clip, Bhagawan says it does not matter where and when you chant - it is enough if you start chanting with sincerity.

We ought to be very grateful to Bhagawan for demystifying so many traditional practices and beliefs held by the masses. Every teaching of His is so simple, clear, logical and pragmatic. Can we still have any reason for not following His message? I guess we have no choice now, but to follow His footsteps and make our life His message.   

A Short Quiz:

1. In the Gayathri Manthra, what aspects of our human personality do Bhu, Bhuvah and Suvah truly represent?

2. Therefore, what is the relationship between Bhu, Buvah and Suvah?

3. Who is Gaayathri?

4. Where does Gaayathri reside?

5. What are the three names of Gaayathri? What do these three names represent?

6. What do the ten heads of Ravana represent?

7. Gaayathri is said to have five faces and hence is called Panchamukhi. What are the five faces?

8. Pranava or Om is the foundation for everything in life and represents all the eight forms of wealth? Name these eight forms of wealth.

9. The Gaayathri manthra has all the three elements which figure in the adoration of God: description, meditation and prayer. Identify these three components of the manthra.

10. What are the boons that Gaayathri bestows on the one who chants the manthra?

11. What is the crash formula that Bhagawan gives to the current generation of youth who claim that they do not have time to chant the manthra?

4 comments:

  1. Dear sir, SAIRAM

    Kindly add here Audio of Swami's Gayatri Mantra chanting.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sai Ram. Thanks

    ReplyDelete