Om: The primeval sound Bhur: the physical world Bhuvah: the mental world Suvah: the celestial, spiritual world Thath: That; God; transcendental Paramatma Savithur: the Sun, Creator, Preserver Varenyam: most adorable, enchanting Bhargo: luster, effulgence Devasya: resplendent,supreme Lord Dheemahi: we meditate upon Dhiyo: the intellect,understanding Yo: May this light Nah: our Prachodayath: enlighten,guide,inspire
The Gayatri (Vedic prayer to illuminate the intellect) is the universal prayer enshrined in the Vedas (Divine Knowledge), the most ancient scriptures of man. It is addressed to the Immanent and Transcendent Divine, which has been given the name 'Savitha', meaning 'that from which all this is born.
Gayatri is Annapurna, the Mother, the sustaining Force that animates all life. So do not neglect it.[ 20-6-1977]
The Gayatri is considered as Vedasara --"the essence of the Vedas." Veda means knowledge, and this prayer fosters and sharpens the knowledge-yielding faculty. As a matter of fact, the four mahavakyas or 'core-declarations' enshrined in the four Vedas are implied in this Gayatri mantra.
The Gayatri mantra (Vedic prayer to illuminate the intelligence) is a sacred mantra that demonstrates the unity that underlies manifoldness in creation. It is through the recognition of this unity that we can understand the multiplicity. Clay is one and the same thing, though pots of different shapes and sizes can be made from it. Gold is one, though gold ornaments can be multifarious. The Atma (Divine Self) is one, though the embodied forms in which it resides may be many. Whatever the colour of the cow, the milk is always white.
The Gayatri may be considered as having three parts: (1) praise, (2) meditation, and (3) 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.
This mantra is the embodiment of all deities. It is not related to any particular sect, caste, idol, or institution. It is said to embody nine "colours": (1) Om (2) Bhuh (3) Bhuvah (4) Suvah (5) Thath (6) Savithur (powers) (7) Varenyam (8) Bhargah (9) Dhevasya.
"Dheemahi" is related to the meditative aspect. "Dhiyo-yo-nah prachodayaath" relates to the aspect of prayer. The mantra as a whole thus contains three aspects: descriptive, meditational, and prayer.
Who is Gayatri? Gayatri is not a goddess.Gayatri is the mother of the Vedas (Gayatri Chandhasam matha) Gayatri, however, has three names: Gayatri, Savitri, and Saraswathi. These three are present in everyone. Gayatri represents the senses; it is the master of the senses. Savithri is the master of Prana (Life Force). Many Indians are familiar with the story of Savitri, who brought back to life her dead husband, Sathyavan. Savithri signifies truth. Saraswathi is the presiding deity of speech (vaak). The three represent purity in thought, word, and deed (thrikarana shuddhi). Although Gayatri has three names, all three are in each of us as the senses (Gayatri), the power of speech (Saraswathi), and the life force (Savitri).
When one's intelligence and intuition are developed by recitation of the mantra, the activating deity is Gayatri. When the life-forces are protected, the guardian deity is called Savitri. When one's speech is protected, the deity is called Saraswathi. Because of the protective roles of Savitri, Saraswathi, and Gayatri in relation to life, speech, and the intellect, Gayatri is described as "the embodiment of all goddesses (Sarvadhevathaa-swaruupi)
Gayatri pervades everywhere. It consists of three deities, Gayatri, Savitri, and Saraswathi. Of these, the first one is master of the sense, the second is the teacher of truth, and the third is the master of speech. Hence it is a Trinity of the senses, the mind, and speech.
Gayatri 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, Gayatri is described as five-faced. The five faces are as follows.
Om (the Pranava). The Pranava Principle represents the eight different forms of wealth (ashta-aishvarya).
Bhur Bhuvas Suvah.
The third is: Thath-Savithur-varenyam.
Bhargo Dhevasya dheemahi.
Dheyo yo hah prachodayaath.
When the Gayatri mantra is understood in this way, it will be realised that all the five aspects of Gayatri are within each of us.
Gayatri represents in these five faces the five pranas (life forces). Gayatri is the protector of the five pranas in man. "Gayantham thrayathe ithi Gaytri (Because it protects the one who recites it, it is called Gayatri." When Gayatri acts as protector of the life-forces, she is known as Savitri. Savitri is known in the puranic story as the devoted wife who brought back to life her husband, Sathyavan. Savitri is the presiding deity of the five pranas. She protects those