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gAyatrI mantra: A comprehensive compilation

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1 gAyatrI mantra: A comprehensive compilation on Fri Nov 25, 2011 2:57 pm

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Here is a comprehensive--but not exhaustive--compilation of the text, meaning and mahiman--greatness/power of the gAyatrI mantra.

It should be remembered that from the time the gAyatrI was first listed in Rg veda 3.62.10, the mantra has evolved in a rich tradition of satsangha from our gurus, for specific requirements of japa homa dhyAna, and that no interpretation can fully express its potency, which is realized in varying degrees of spiritual advancement and benefits, by people who chant the mantra with shraddha--sincerity and faith.

Three popular invocations

The gAyatrI mantra has three popular invocations: gAyatrI proper, gAyatrI popular and gAyatrI in prANAyAma.

• The gAyatrI proper has the text:

तत् सवितुर् वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि ।
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥

tat savitur vareNyaM bhargo devasya dhImahi |
dhiyo yo naH prachodayAt ||

• Chanted with the three mahA vyAhRutis--manifest worlds, the gAyatrI becomes (which is the popular version):

ॐ भूर् भुव सुवः ।
तत् सवितुर् वरेण्यम् ।
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि ।
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥ ॐ ॥

oum bhUr bhuva suvaH |
tat savitur vareNyam |
bhargo devasya dhImahi |
dhiyo yo naH prachodayAt || oum ||
--Baraha transliteration

• Chanted with the sapta vyAhRutis--seven manifest worlds, the gAyatrI becomes (which is used in prANAyAma):

ॐ भूः । ॐ भुवः । ओँ सुवः । ॐ महः ।
ॐ जनः । ॐ तपः । ओँ सत्यम् ।
ॐ तत् सवितुर् वरेण्यम्
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि ।
धियो यो न प्रचोदयात् ॥
ओमापो-ज्योती-रसोऽमृतं-ब्रह्म भूर्भुवस्सुवरॊम् ॥

oum bhUH | oum bhuvaH | o~M suvaH | oum mahaH |
oum janaH | oum tapaH | o~M satyam |
oum tat savitur vareNyam
bhargo devasya dhImahi |
dhiyo yo na prachodayAt ||
omApo-jyotI-raso&mRutaM-brahma bhUrbhuvassuvarOm ||
--Baraha transliteration

*****
Three popular interpretations
The three invocations of the gAyatrI are usually interpreted as follows:

• gAyatrI proper

tat savitur vareNyam:
That (tat or Brahmam) which creates and vivifies everything (savitur) is the best for worship (vareNyam).

bhargo devasya dhImahi:
light (bhargo) of the divine (devasya), let us meditate on (dhImahi).

dhiyo yo naH prachodayAt:
that which (yo) kindles and inspires (prachodayAt) our (na) intellect (dhiyo)

• gAyatrI popular

That which remains as AUM, the praNava mantra, and as the three worlds (bhuH, bhuvaH and suvaH), kindles our intellect (buddhi). It is the divine light (as of the sun) of tat (Brahmam) which creates and vivifies everything, and is the best for us to worship (vareNyam). Let us meditate (dhImahi) on this divine light.

• gAyatrI in prANAyAma

The seven worlds are only Brahman, denoted by AUM. We meditate on the excellent light of Ishvara who kindles from inside our intellectual actions, in order that the right wisdom arises in us. That same Brahman denoted by AUM is what appears as water, light, taste and nectar. The three words, namely this earth, astral world and the heavens are indeed Brahman, denoted by AUM.

• Agastya maharShi has given the common meaning of gAyatrI thus:

यो देवः सवितास्माकं धियो धर्मादिजोचराः ।
प्रेरयेत् तस्य यद्भर्गः तत्वरेण्यम् उपास्महे ॥

yo devaH savitAsmAkaM dhiyo dharmAdijocharAH |
prerayet tasya yadbhargaH tatvareNyam upAsmahe ||

We meditate on the excellent light of the deva called SavitA who directs our intellect towards the ways of dharma.

*****

Chanting gAyatrI

1. The gAyatrI should be chanted as five parts, with four passes, thus:
AUM | bhUr bhuva suvaH | tat savitur vareNyam | bhargo devasya dhImahi | dhiyo yo naH prachodayAt AUM ||

2. Specific care should be taken to follow the svara marks in the Sanskrit version of the mantra. Here is an image of the mantra with the svara notations:
mediafire.com /imageview.php?quickkey=20ntrdea83e4ye6&thumb=4
Here is an audio version of the mantra chanted with svaras:
mediafire.com /download.php?lxug29cii0debd1

3. When doing gAyatrI japam, the meaning of the mantra should be contemplated. The japam must be preceded by a saMkalpam and a count is always maintained, either using a japamAla or the knuckles of the right hand. The person in gAyatrI japam should sit erect and still and should not let the mind wander outside the scope of the mantra.

4. The gAyatrI proper should never be chanted in isolation in gAyatrI japam. It is ordained that the gAyatrI should be chanted with the praNavam and the vyAhRutis, and that the chanting should be done in nitya-karma--daily religious routine and in prAyashchittam--atonement.

Courtesy : Saidevo on Brahmins Forum

http://hinduismforall.forumotion.com

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