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  • Writer's pictureAlessandra Cossu

The Meaning of Gayatri Mantra

The Gayatri mantra is the oldest mantra belonging to the Vedic tradition, a chant which demonstrates the unity that resides in the multiplicity of creation. It is only through unity that we can understand diversity (for example: clay is unique, but it can give birth to plates and vases of different shapes; Brahman or cosmic energy is unique, but it resides in countless living beings).


Gayatri is the mother of all sacred scriptures (Vedas); and she is the Goddess who nourishes and enables the life of every being. Gayatri is also considered the Divine awakening of individual consciousness – Atman – and its union with the Universal consciousness – Brahman.


This mantra is a hymn to Savitur, the Sun God; the mantra represents both the sun and the divine which is present in everything around us.


The Gayatri mantra is made up of 24 syllables which directly influence 24 energy centers in our body (endocrine glands).


Text of the Gayatri Mantra


Om

Bhur Bhuvah Svah

Tat Savitur Varenyam

Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi

Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat


Simplified translation of the Gayatri Mantra:


Om,

Earth, Atmosphere, Sky,

Let us meditate on this exquisite glory

of the divine light of the Sun.

May it inspire and illuminate our intellect.


Analysis of Meaning


  1. Om : The primordial sound, representing the entire universe.

  2. Bhur Bhuvah Svah : Invoke the three worlds — the Earth (Bhur), the Atmosphere (Bhuvah), and the Sky (Svah).

  3. Tat Savitur Varenyam : Refers to the lovely light of the Sun (Savitur), worthy of veneration (Varenyam).

  4. Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi : Involves meditation on this divine light (Bhargo) of the divine (Devasya).

  5. Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat : Ask for the illumination of our intellect (Dhiyo) by this divine light, so that it guides us (Prachodayat).


Here is a version that I really like. You can listen to it during savasana or chant it during your practices. Ideally this mantra is chanted 11 times, at sunrise or sunset.






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