The Gāyatrī Mantra, also known as the Sāvitrī Mantra, is a highly revered mantra from the Rig Veda (oldest sacred Hindu texts), dedicated to the sun deity (before sunrise called Savitr, and sunrise until sunset called Sūrya). The Gayatri mantra is cited widely in Vedic and post-Vedic texts, such as the mantra listings of the Śrauta liturgy, and classical Hindu texts such as the Bhagavad Gita, Harivamsa,and Manusmṛti. It was also praised by the Buddha in the Pali Canon. Its daily use, long a common Hindu practice is now widespread all over the world.
ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः ।
Om Bhur Bhuvaḥ Swaḥ
Bhargo Devasya Dhīmahi
Dhiyo Yonaḥ Prachodayāt
– Rigveda 3.62.10
Quotes about the Gayatri Mantra
- The Gayatri is a universal prayer enshrined in the Vedas. It is addressed to the Immanent and Transcendent Divine which has been given the name 'Savita,' meaning 'that from which all this is born.' The Gayatri may be considered as having three parts - (i) Adoration (ii) Meditation (iii) 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.
The Gayatri is considered as 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 core-declarations enshrined in the four Vedas are implied in this Gayatri mantra.
- Gayatri is the Mother of all scriptures (Vedas). She is present, wherever Her name is chanted. She is very powerful. The One who nourishes the individual being is Gayatri. She bestows pure thoughts on anyone who worships Her. She is the embodiment of all Goddesses. Our very breath is Gayatri, our faith in existence is Gayatri. Gayatri has five faces, they are the five life principles. She has nine descriptions, they are ‘Om, Bhur, Bhuvah, Swah, Tat, Savitur, Vareñyaṃ, Bhargo, Devasya’. Mother Gayatri nourishes and protects every being and she channelizes our senses in the proper direction. ‘Dhīmahi’ means meditation. We pray to her to inspire us with good intelligence. ‘Dhīyo Yonah Prachodayāt’ - We beseech her to bestow on us everything we need. Thus Gayatri is a complete prayer for protection, nourishment and finally, liberation.
- It will protect you from harm wherever you are --traveling, working, or at home. Westerners have investigated the vibrations produced by this mantra and have found that when it is recited with the correct accent as laid down in the Vedas, the atmosphere around becomes visibly illumined. So Brahma-prakāsha, the Divine Effulgence, will descend on you and illumine your intellect and light your path when this mantra is chanted. Also repeat shanti thrice at the end, for that repetition will give shanti or peace to three entities in you --body, mind, and soul.
- For every kind of power, proofs may be sought by direct perception or by the process of inference. Men sought to find out by what direct proof they could experience this transcendental power. They found the proof in the Sun. Without the Sun there will be no light at all. Nor is that all. All activities will come to a standstill. In this world hydrogen is essential for the growth of plants and of living beings. The Sun's primary components are hydrogen and helium. Without hydrogen and helium, the world cannot survive. Hence, the ancients concluded that the Sun was the visible proof (of a transcendental power). They also found some subtle secrets about the Sun. Hence, they adored the Sun as the principal deity in the Gayatri mantra. “Dhiyo yonah Prachodayāt” - May the Sun illumine our intellects in the same way he sheds his effulgence. This is the prayer addressed to the Sun in the Gayatri mantra. In this way, they came to regard the Gayatri mantra as the mother of the Vedas.
- The eight hours from 8pm to 4am are used mainly for sleep. The eight hours of the day (from 8am to 4pm) are employed by all beings, including animals and birds, in the discharge of their day to day duties and are regarded as rājasic. When the four sātvic hours of the morning are used for engaging oneself in good actions like worship, virtuous deeds, and keeping good company, one is sure to raise oneself from the human to the Divine level. It is during the sātvic period (4am to 8am and 4pm to 8pm) that the Gayatri mantra should be recited.
- Madame Blavatsky told us, I remember, that a mantra might be recited not for oneself at all, but with a special view to someone whom it was thought it might help. In this way we might recite the Sacred Word or the Gayatri, or any of those beautiful Buddhist mantras which flow so sweetly, thinking strongly of a special person and projecting towards him the force of the mantra. But she advised us to use these things with care. Again, she gave a caution that no one should attempt to use a mantra which is too high for him. None such will be given to us by our teachers; but I would say this, as a caution to neophytes, that if the reciting even of the Sacred Word in any particular way should produce headache or a feeling of nausea or faintness, it should be stopped at once. We should go on working at the development of our characters, and try it again in a few months. In using the Word, we are invoking great forces, and if we are not yet quite up to their level they may not be harmonious, and the result may be not invariably good.
- The Gayatri is one of the oldest mantric prayers humanity has ever had. When even partially understood its potency is very great. The Gayatri places our destiny as part of a cosmic Plan, the majesty of which we cannot comprehend. It is a declaration of ultimate victory to be achieved by knowing the truth and doing our whole duty, and this we do as we journey to God's sacred feet. In the Gayatri we pray to the creator of the entire universe and so establish the beginnings of a conscious relationship, transcending all limitations of "the one supreme God". Its use builds into our deepest consciousness the reality that man is God-created and not the mere result of a biological urge.
- The Gayatri is a prayer for more knowledge about our solar Logos. That so ancient a prayer could have such an objective is deeply significant. Today the full potency of this ancient prayer can become effective. All people everywhere in the world will gain much as it is increasingly used by the men and women of goodwill. Its use by disciples everywhere will bring new effectiveness to all their work. "The hour of the saving force has now arrived", and the Gayatri is an agent of that saving force. Its day of greatest usefulness has surely come.
- The Gayatri is perhaps the greatest and most beautiful of all the ancient mantras. It has been chanted all over India from time immemorial... in an antiquity so remote that the very memory of it has been forgotten, the altruistic use of such mantras was fully comprehended and practiced. It begins always with the sacred word Om, and with the enumeration of the planes upon which its action is desired—the three worlds in which man lives, the physical, the astral and the mental.
Gayatri Mantra by S. Viraswami Pathar (2005)
- Gayatri, the greatest and the most beautiful of all the ancient mantras, universally hailed as the Mother of the Vedas that has been chanted from time immemorial, has acquired such an enormous mystical power and transcendental importance that it continues to remain even now as the mantra which has been universally accepted as capable of unfolding our spiritual faculties in the most remarkable manner.
- p. 1
- There is no higher mantra than Gayatri, there is no higher deity than one’s mother.
- Manu p. 6
- Gayatri is “Vedas” in a nutshell. It is out of Gayatri the Vedas have come and into Gayatri Vedas have converged. This sacred verse adorns all the vedas. It occurs in Rigveda III 62.10, in Yajur Veda III-35, XX-II-9, XXX-2, and XXXVI-3 and in Sama Veda XXX-6-3-10.
- p. 6
- ...It is the supreme prayer, described the mother of the Vedas, named after its metre which means “the saviour of the singer”, revealed to sage Vishvamitra. Gayatri is the mantra of the real Guru, the Omniscient God. The writers of the scriptures call it the 'Soul of the Vedas'.
- p. 6