Friday, 16 January 2015

Gayatri Mantra: Its Significance

"Ohm Bhoorbhuvah Suvaha
Tat Savithurvaraenyam
Bhargoo devasya dheemahi
Dhiyo yo nah prachodayath"

All things in the universe obey what we call laws of Nature. In other words, they automatically obey the commands of Gods. The evolution of planets and stars, the recurrence of seasons, the growth and decay and  decay of trees, the ripening of corn and the behaviour of birds and beasts- all these are subject to the will of the immanent God. There is a single exception to this common rule. And that is the mind of man. In this domain alone the divine law is kept in abeyance. For man is endowed with a will of his own. He alone has the freedom in the universe either to obey or disobey God. His highest happiness, according to the teaching of all religions, would consist in his falling in line with the rest of the universe and making his free will coincide with the will of the creator. He would then be doing voluntarily what the other orders of creation are doing automatically.
But man, in his ignorance, thinks his happiness consists in going according to his own will even when he knows that it is against the divine law. This is his fundamental 'Ajnaana' or ignorance. From this Ajnaana arises his sin and sorrow and all the ills. So his best prayer should ever be that his free will might be prompted not by his own desires, but by the will of the Immanent spirit and that he should be a willing instrument in its hands.
This is exactly what the gayatri mantra teaches us to do.

For, in it we meditate on the luminous Prescence of the creator of the universe in the form of the SUN so that he might prompt our minds according to his own creative will.

The Gayatri Mantra means, "Om, the eternal pervades the earth and the heaven and all that lies in between. on his adorable and divine radiance we meditate. may he prompt our minds".

gayatri mantra, which derives its name from its metre, may be said to contain the essence of the hindu philosophy in the form of a common prayer. At the very outset, the three words, viz.Bhooh, Bhuvah and Suvah which are called 'Vyahritis' in sanskrit represent all the lokas or the worlds.

These three words therefore convey that the Supreme spirit designated by the letter OM is immanent in the universe-in all the worlds known to us. the mantra is one of the oldest available Divine hymns.

Even though many revolutionary changes have taken place in our religious beliefs, the Gayatri continues to persist and has even today a compelling charm of its own to almost all Hindus. This has been attributed to the fact that it has been the experience of many that the repetition of this mantra with the right understanding of its sacred meanings, removes all negative tendencies in the human mind.

This mantra is never chanted for the purpose of material gains, either physical or otherwise. its very invocation concludes with an appeal to the Paramatmum to illumine our mind and heart. in other words, it is a prayer unto the self to unveil itself and come to manifest as pure wisdom in our life.

The speciality of the Gayatri is that it contains the essence of Jnana yoga, bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga. It is the essence Jnana Yoga because we are no longer subject to the primal 'Ajnana' of preferring our own transitory desires to the purposes of the Supreme Spirit. It is the essence of Bhakti Yoga because we willingly surrender ourselves to the sovereign Ruler of the universe. And it is the essence of Karma Yoga because we are to be prompted in all our activities not by self-will, but by the will of God.

The mantra thus contains in a nutshell the highest religious philosophy of the hindus.

It is chanted in the twilight hours both in the morning and evening. As Brahman is the supreme Reality of everyone, as the sun belongs to all, the Gayatri Mantra is a precious spiritual wealth of every human being who realises the value and significance of this great mantra.

It is the common practice to chant this Mantra a minimum of 108 times as in the evening.

Our ancient Rishis discovered that during sunrise and sunset there is a special subtle vibration in the energies emanating from the sun and this has significant positive effects on the life-current in all beings. Therefore, if the Gayatri is chanted at these times it will have beneficial effects.

There is another, greater significance concealed in the Gayatri Mantra. this may be traced to the contrast between the two words 'Bargah' and 'Dhiyah', which occur in the mantra. 'Bhargah' the light of the sun, which symbolises divine consciousness.

And 'Dhiyah' phases of individual consciousness. Therefore, the meditation on the mantra should be considered as an endeavour on the part of the individual consciousness to grow into Divine Consciousness

Thus the Gayatri Mantra may be said to contain the quintessence of Religion

--B M N Murthy
Bhavan's Journal
Feb, 2014

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