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Gayatri Mantra Meaning – A Sacred Chant

Gayatri Mantra Meaning – A Sacred ChantUpdated on September 23, 2020 | Published on June 22, 2020

Gayatri Mantra Meaning – A Sacred Chant

Many of you must have experienced the benefits of chanting hymns in your yoga sessions. It brings a profound state of calmness within you. The Gayatri mantra meaning shows the power of the universal sound of creation “OM”.

It is a spiritual catchword that enlightens your inner fire to burn away all impurities and negativities that clouds your awareness of “self”. This mantra is a powerful tool to eliminate sorrow and despair and bring intense happiness and hope within you.

Gayatri Mantra Meaning


SUMMARY
Gayatri mantra is a hymn which denotes the oneness that lies under the diverseness in creation.

The Gayatri mantra is the oldest and the most sacred of all Vedic mantras. It is considered as a universal prayer that binds the manifold aspects of this cosmic entity, of which we are a part.

It was written in Sanskrit and is the oldest mantra known to human existence. Gayatri mantra’s reference is found in Rig Veda (the ancient spiritual scriptures of the Hindus). This mantra is dedicated to Sun God, the first God that humans on this planet started worshipping, since the onset of creation

It is because the light of the Sun symbolizes light and hope. It represents a Universal power that illuminates positivity and removes darkness from the world. Gayatri Mantra is a powerful way to connect with the natural energies of the cosmos.

The word Gayatri is composed of two words. ‘Gaya’ means reveal and ‘tri’ means three Vedas. The Gayatri mantra makes you spiritually inclined towards truth, wisdom, happiness, and peace. This mantra is meant for the realization of God or supreme power.

As the mantra reveals the knowledge of the Vedas, the Gayatri mantra is also known as ‘mother of the Vedas’. Few Hindu sects also consider this mantra as an epitome of praising the ‘one supreme creator of the Cosmos’, known by the name ‘AUM’. From this ‘AUM’, we get the universal sound of the Cosmos ‘Om’, that which represents the unanimity of creation.

The Gayatri Mantra’s Meaning of Its Lines


The Gayatri mantra reads as:

OM BHUR, BHUVA, SWAHA

OM TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM

BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAYI

DHIYO YONAH PRACHODAYAT

This mantra, when chanted in absolute peace and consciousness opens the door of spiritual awakening. You feel merged with the omnipresent Lord, who guides your path towards righteous living.

In simple terms, the mantra means as such:

“We meditate on the glory of the creator;

Who has created the Universe;

Who is worthy of worship

Who is the embodiment of knowledge and light;

Who is the remover of sin and ignorance;

May he open our hearts and enlighten our intellect” – Swami Sivananda

In the words of Swami Vivekananda, “We meditate on the glory of that being who has produced this Universe, may he enlighten our minds”.

In the words of Sir William Jones (1807), “ Let us adore the supremacy of that divine Sun, the God-head who illuminates all, who recreates all, from whom we proceed, to whom all must return, whom we invoke to direct our understandings right in our progress towards his holy seat”.

Gayatri Mantra Meaning – A Sacred Chant
Gayatri Mantra Meaning – A Sacred Chant

Gayatri Mantra Words


Om – This single word represents ‘Prana’ or life energy and denotes the unity of the cosmos. ‘Om’ is a primordial sound of creation. The infinite and divine glory of Oneness is inherent in this primitive sound.

Bhur – The physical world, the Earth of which living beings are a part of.

Bhuva – The mental or psychic world that represents the thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and intellect.

Swaha – The spiritual world of the soul that is immortal and omnipresent.

Tat – meaning that. It represents the supreme power or creator of this Universe.

Savitur – the divine Sun (Who gives the light of wisdom and knowledge to live an honest and righteous life.

Varenyum – ‘to adore’ and imbibe all that is good within oneself.

Bhargo – the illumination of body, mind, and soul towards awakening. It means to shine in the divine light of wisdom and truth.

Devasya – divine and spiritual Lord

Dheemahi – Meditate in the glory of God

Dhiyo – Intellect

Yo – which 

Nah – Our

Prachodayat – comes from the word ‘Pracud’ meaning to excite, command, and inspire something towards good deeds.

24 Syllables of Gayatri Mantra


The mantra is a short hymn of 3 lines with 8 syllables. It is written in Gayatri meter or chhanda which is a rhythmic structure followed in Vedic mantras. 

It is a time-honored treasure that leads you toward spiritual realization. Gayatri mantra has a total of 24 syllables that represent 24 energy centers of the human body.

These energy centers awaken the chakras and kundalini towards enlightenment. A person who chants the Gayatri mantra can illuminate his mind and intellect towards far-sighted wisdom. He is saved from all evils and can never get into calamities.

Gayatri mantra is a Maha-mantra that protects, uplifts, and guards you against everything harmful and evil. The mantra is used as a prayer tool by all irrespective of caste, religion, and nationality.

Though originally used in Hinduism, the essence of the mantra makes it universal. It is not doctrinated by the barriers of any religion. People across the globe can chant this mantra as a part of their daily meditation practice. The 24 syllables are:

  1. Tat
  2. Sa
  3. Vi
  4. Tur
  5. Va
  6. Re
  7. Ni
  8. Yam
  9. Bhar
  10. Go
  11. De
  12. Va
  13. Swa
  14. Dhi
  15. Ma
  16. Hi
  17. Dhi
  18. Yo
  19. Yo 
  20. Na
  21. Pra
  22. Cho
  23. Da
  24. Yat

Historical Background of the Gayatri Mantra


The Gayatri mantra is a revered hymn from the Rig Veda that was written approximately between 1800 and 1500 BCE. Its mention is found in the Upanishads and the Bhagavad Gita, the holy scriptures of the Hindu religion.

The mantra is known as the mother of the Vedas or ‘Veda Mata’. It is dedicated to Savitr, an ancient Sun deity who was cognized as a supreme power who can give wisdom and enlightenment to human souls.

The original version of the mantra was composed by Maharishi Vishwamitra and given the mantra to the world for its universal use. Though the mantra is dedicated to Sun God, the essence of the mantra symbolizes a mother or female deity goddess Gayatri. 

She has 5 faces, signifying 5 elements of the Cosmos. They are Earth, water, air, fire, and sky. Gayatri Devi is the incarnation of Goddess Saraswati, the deity of speech and wisdom.

Gayatri mantra is also known as Savitri mantra. It is said that the mantra is very powerful and protects the person who recites it regularly. 

Since it protects the person who recites it, the mantra is known as ‘Gayantam trayate iti Gayatri’. It means one who recites it will always be protected from harm and injury.For many centuries, this sacred mantra was only meant to be versed by Sages of India and spiritual leaders. It was kept a secret because of its divine transformation of consciousness. The prayer is about the highest wisdom and realization of our subtle nature.

Significance of Gayatri Mantra


Reciting the Gayatri mantra has been acknowledged by spiritualists as well as common practitioners of yoga and mindfulness.

  • The word ‘Om’ which is used to start the mantra symbolizes ‘Brahma’, the creator. It is a primitive sound that comes from a life force within you.
  • When you chant the Gayatri mantra, you surrender yourself to the mystical powers of the Universe. Thereby, telling the Cosmos to remove all darkness that lies within you.
  • You call upon to illuminate your intellect and mental powers towards righteous living.
  • The words Bhur, Bhuvah, and swaha means past, present, and future. These are called ‘Vyahrities’. It gives knowledge of the entire Universe or ‘Ahriti’. By chanting these three words you contemplate and become aware of the creator who enlightens the three regions of human experience.
  • You soak in a divine light of wisdom that takes away all your sins and bestow purity of body, mind, and soul.
  • This prayer is done to bring good thoughts, pure feelings and good karma or actions. It’s an ideal way to lessen your karmic relations, so that you can move towards spiritual ascension.

Various Meanings of Bhur, Bhuvah, Swaha


There are various meanings of these words

BhurBhuvahSwaha
Earth or physical existenceAtmosphere or the skySpiritual world and soul connection
pastpresentfuture
bodymindspirit
morningnoonevening
tamasrajassattwa
grosssubtlecausal
inactionpassionpurity

The 3 Gunas and The Gayatri Mantra


Gunas are mental attributes that are notable features of your personality. They are obstacles to achieving your higher self. There are three types of Gunas. They are

  1. Tamas
  2. Rajas
  3. Sattva

Gayatri mantra removes the negative effects of gunas. It illuminates you with pure wisdom. You can see the truth as it is, not the way you want it to see. As you meditate deeply, your inner world unfolds the truths and purifies the obstacles.

Tamasic qualities are attachment to objects and worldly pleasures. It brings greed, pride, power, laziness, guilt, apathy, confusion, and ignorance. Your flow of life is restricted and you are unable to find your true purpose in life.

Rajasic qualities are your attachment to money, people, fame, ambition, and goals. Your desires and wants are called rajas. It makes you mentally restless as your motto in life is to gather more worldly pleasures. 

Anger, jealousy, and euphoria can cloud your perspectives and you are not able to perceive things and situations as it is. This ignorance leads to many mental problems and restricts your spiritual ‘self’ to attain moksha.

Your false ego and personal narratives start guiding your thoughts and actions. You cannot consider yourself as being a small part of this Universe.

Sattva guna represents balance, happiness, peace, and harmony. Sattvic qualities are attained by you in a state of peace and wellness. When you free your mind from kleshas, you develop truth and wisdom. These qualities bring empathy, self-control, selflessness, and gratitude.

The chanting of the Gayatri mantra is said to eliminate tama and raja and improve the Sattva guna by elucidating your mind and spirits with pure love, happiness, and devotion to the supreme Lord.

Gayatri Mantra Chanting


There are several reasons for chanting a Gayatri mantra.

  • You may chant a Gayatri mantra to achieve absolute bliss, happiness, and truth
  • Regular chanting of this mantra can control your wandering mind. Your perceptions and perspectives are guided by good thoughts and feelings. You can take stable actions towards the accomplishment of goals.
  • People chant this mantra to achieve satisfaction and peace to overcome life’s miseries.
  • It strengthens the mind power and deep sorrow, anger, fear, and depression at bay.
  • The Vedas refer that chanting the Gayatri mantra purifies the chanter from mental agonies and sins. If you listen to the mantra, it takes your mind to a state of infinite happiness and peace.
  • It helps by illuminating our intellect.
  • People who practice this mantra as a spiritual ritual can awaken their ‘Atman’ or ‘soul’ towards a union of collective consciousness. They accept being one with the Lord by shedding their ego behind them.
  • The continuous and dedicated practice of this mantra opens opportunities for positive intent and faith. You trust the innate goodness that lies within you. It stirs your abilities for spiritual improvement.

When to Chant?

Since chanting the Gayatri mantra is auspicious, there are specific times when you can chant it to get the maximum benefits.

It is said that this mantra should be chanted 3 times a day.

  • The morning hours between 4 am and 6 am are the ideal time for chanting. At this time, the focus of the mantra is Goddess Brahmani, the consort of Lord Brahma.
  • Again it can be chanted in the afternoon, when the focus is on Goddess Vaishnavi, the Consort of Vishnu.
  • The mantra can be chanted at 6 pm, just before the sun sets in the horizon. This time, the focus is on Goddess Rudrani, the consort of Rudra or Shiva.

The mantra can be chanted only during the waking hours, which means in daylight. The mantra is dedicated to Sun God, it should not be chanted in darkness.

Modern concepts say that this mantra is a powerful tool to illumine our intellect and understanding of ‘Self’. Thus, it can be chanted at all times in mind whenever you feel depressed and hopeless. You can even make this mantra a part of your meditation ritual.

Gayatri Mantra 108 times – Why?

Gayatri Mantra chanting is considered auspicious as it sharpens the intellect and intuitions of the chanter. Astrophysical calculations show that 108 is an amazing celestial ratio between the sun, moon, and earth. 

You can chant the mantra 108 times, to bring universal harmony with the various cosmic forces. It was estimated that there are 8 planets and 12 constellations, so it brings 108 kinds of celestial changes in energy vibrations.

The positive energy of the mantra can bring profound changes in this cycle of sound vibrations that reverberate in the Cosmos. It surrounds you with positive energy from the Sun. The mantra, if chanted 108 times will negate the bad planetary influences on you.

The link given below shows the Gayatri mantra meaning and significance.

Wisdom of Gayatri Mantra

Can Women Chant Gayatri Mantra?


Yes, women can recite the Gayatri mantra. In the olden days, people believed that the Gayatri mantra is a very powerful mantra. So, the chanter is bestowed with immense power and protection. 

Women were never considered worthy of chanting because if they become powerful, they may develop male qualities physically and mentally. 

They may not be able to honor their duties. Moreover, several theories also suggest that a women’s body is meant for procreation. If they chant this mantra, the entire social structure will change.

All these explanations do not hold any scientific explanation. In recent times, it is said that the Gayatri mantra is universal. It does not belong to any particular gender, religion, community, and country. Anybody who chants this mantra will be able to empower themselves. Happiness, peace, and divine wisdom will prevail.

Gayatri Mantra Benefits


Gayatri mantra has phenomenal powers that have been acknowledged by people across the globe. The benefits of chanting this mantra are as follows:

  1. The mantra chanted, brings peace of mind and purity of feelings.
  2. It improves your learning ability and memorizing power.
  3. You develop good levels of concentration.
  4. It acts as an energy cleansing tool by removing toxins from your body and mind.
  5. Gayatri mantra improves the functioning of the nerves.
  6. It improves breathing and reduces respiratory illnesses.
  7. You develop better immunity to diseases.
  8. It destroys ignorance and purifies your inner hearts.
  9. The mantra takes you to a peaceful abode so it is highly beneficial to reduce anxiety and worry.
  10. It stimulates the chakras and balances the energy lines of your body.
  11. Reciting this mantra makes you feel eternal. You feel connected with God’s grace and his omnipresence.
  12. It gives you a positive outlook towards life and eliminates feelings of depression and hopelessness.

Rules for Chanting The Gayatri Mantra


When you chant mantras, your mind and senses remain in a calm state.  You stay focused in your present moments. There are a few rules for chanting this mantra to fetch the maximum benefits.

  1. You can chant this mantra 3 times a day, preferably in the morning.
  2. Take a bath and sit in a comfortable place, away from too many distractions.
  3. Recite and repeat the Gayatri mantra by closing your eyes.
  4. Try to understand each syllable of the mantra to get maximum benefits.
  5. Pronounce it clearly and correctly to see its magical powers
  6. Try to avoid thinking about anything else while reciting the mantra.
  7. Have a meditative mind and contemplate your thoughts.

Gayatri Mantra Youtube

Gayatri Mantra Youtube

Closing thoughts 

Gayatri mantra meaning invokes the brilliance of the supreme power within you. You develop clarity of thought and understanding. There is a subtle awareness and alertness that develops a powerful intellect.

It purifies your soul from all evils and makes you realize a pure conscious state of universal existence.