Gayatri Mantra Booklet
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAT
meditate upon the
glorious splendor of
the Vivifier Divine.
May He Himself illumine our minds!
The ancient mansion of Hindu
tradition and custom is built on the four walls
of Karma, Janma, Dharma and Brahma.Regardless of its size, a house
supporting walls. It follows therefore that in the huge mansion of
Hindu thought, customs and traditions should have a point of meeting
somewhere. It is not possible for anyone to escape from the
what one does knowingly or otherwise. You have to face up to the
of all your actions, whether good or bad. Clearly, therefore, the
Karma stands as a cardinal principle that governs a person's life. One
live and die with this principle. It is this Karma which determines
and sorrows. And it is through Karma that you are endowed with this
What is the secret of this Janma? This body has been given to you so
could undertake your Karma and therein lies the point- that through
you have to uphold Dharma. When you conduct yourself in keeping with
you qualify to attain Brahma. The Gita proclaims that when Dharma
incarnates as an Avatar. Truly, what you see in the form of a body is
but a manifestation of God himself. God takes the form of a human
restore Dharma. What you call 'creation' is a manifestation of the
Principle. We also refer to it as nature. Whoever is born in this
certainly have the same atribute of this nature. Man who has the same
of this Cosmic Principle, this creation, this nature, is offering all
embedded in this creation to someone for some purpose. To whom is he
it? Is it for the sake of one's own selfish ends? Or is it for the benefit of
the fellow beings around him? It is not right to act that way.
Whatever you do
and whatever you may perform, if you were to be inspired by the
it is for the Ananda of God, then it is bound to reach him. Therefore,
abiding feeling in you should be that whatever you do, you are doing
worship of the Lord. This principle contains the very essence of
CHANTING OF GAYATRI
When an individual is first born from
the mother's womb, this is the natural
type of birth. This is the natural state. This is the first birth as
After you have been given the Gayatri Manthra, the dawn of a second
emerges in your life. What is this Gayatri Mantra? It is the very
of the Vedas. Verily it is the mother of the Vedas. The meaning of the
syllable "Ga" is Jiva. Gayatri is that which protects and fosters all
forms. You must realise therefore that on being given this Gayatri
you have been given a second birth. When you start chanting this
conformity with certain rules and code of conduct, you will certainly
to reach a state in fulfillment of this Manthra. You arrive at a new
the third stage, which is called the Vipra. At this stage you begin to
the Vedas. Even as you try and understand and chant the Manthras in
you must realise their significance end start practicing the
principle and thus live the Vedas every second of your life. In this
will certainly succeed in attaining Brahma. It is only when you
this Brahma Thathwa and perform your actions in accordance with this
understanding can one be called a Brahmana. It is not by birth alone
becomes a Brahmana. It is necessary that one's actions should
this understanding. We really deserve to be called a Brahmana only
understand the Brahma Thathwa.
TIME FOR CHANTING
It has been laid down that this
Gayatri Mantra has to be chanted three times
every day: during the sandhyas of early morning, afternoon and evening.
Sandhya means the conjunction of two stages of time. Pratah Sandhya is
time when transition from the night to the day takes place. Likewise
sandhya is the time when the day slides into the night. Madhyanna
the time when the morning and afternoon are connected. Man is the
of three Gunas. These three attributes are not confined to man as such;
time has these attributes. Time also has Sathwa, Raja and Thamo Gunas.
we mean by time having Sathwa guna? All these three attributes have 24
to go by in a day. Each of these three Gunas takes up 8 hours by
Sathwa has 8 hours, Rajasik has 8 hours and Thamasik has 8 hours. What
these 8 hours of Sathwik time? When you designate the period from 4 a
8 a m the intervening 4 hours are Sathwik. In like manner, the time
4 p.m. and 8 p.m. is also Sathwik. These two stretches of 4 hours
Sathwik hours. The time from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.is Rajasik. It is during
time that all lifeforms keep doing whatever has to be done by them.
men, but also animals and the like do what is expected of them during
8 hours. The factory worker, the farmer, the agriculturist and anybody
on can think of has to work during these 8 hours of Rajasik time. So
that every individual has an experience of this Rajasik time Then we
time from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. during the night. This is the Thamasik
it is indeed Thamasik we know from our experience. The chief quality
associated with this time is sleep. Sleep is being equated to Thamasik
this analysis. It is during the Sathwik time viz., from 4 a.m. to 8
from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. that we should undertake our sacred and noble
This will sanctify our life. We should understand and appreciate how
been divided for various activities and only then can we realise the
nature of our existence. This Gayatri Manthra has to be taken up for
at any time during the period of from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m., and then at
between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. lt is absolutely necessary that you chant
Gayatri Manthra either in the early hours of the morning or in the
hours. During the mid-day also it can be taken up for chanting, but
for certain purposes. When you look upon it as a Sadhana, it is the
evening hours which are sacred for chanting. You should chant this
at least three times in the morning hours and three times in the
When you do this, you can certainly free yourselves from the fruits of
Karma. It is said that a day's chanting takes care of all the ill
the day's Karma. To illustrate this point, let me cite an example.
go and buy a certain thing on loan, not only does the loan amount
but also the interest on it goes up. On the other hand, if you were to
something for the item at the shop, there is no loan to be cleared,
there any interest to be paid. When you have borrowed something on
then you find that whatever you have earned has to be given for
of the loan, and the interest thereof. So, when you try and clear your
as and when you buy a certain thing, then there is no loan nor is
interest to be paid back. In the same manner, chanting Gayatri three
the morning and three times in the evening hours before you go to bed
take care of all your errors in the form of loan and interest to be
off. By chanting this Manthra with this feeling you can certainly
Your Karma, you can even reach the state of Nishkama Karma. You can
your life in this manner. Therefore, in order that you may understand
significance and reap the benefits of chanting Gayatri, you should
know the significance of the morning and evening hours. There are those who
they do not have the time either in the morning or in the evening, to
Gayatri. You do have the time indeed! Where there is a will, there is
it is said. We do fritter away a lot of our time. A fraction of your
that you waste, if directed to chanting Gayatri, can purify your life.
You do have a bath every day. So, even as you bathe, if you chant this
Manthra, you are not only chanting this Manthra and deriving the
thereof, but it becomes a form of worship. So also, in the afternoon,
were to chant this Manthra as you eat your food, the meal becomes
the food becomes a Naivedya. You may or you may not chant any other
but do remember that chanting the Gayatri is beneficial and you can
EXPLANATION OF THE MANTHRA
Gayatri is the embodiment of all
forms of Godhead- "Sarva Devatha Swaroopam."
Gayatri does not belong to any caste, to any sect or to any religion
It is universal in its scope.
Gayatri has nine important attributes.
as the basis of Creation, Brahman.
Earth, the gross.
Atmosphere, the Ether, the Subtle.
the region beyond Bhuvah the Causal.
for That. The Ultimate Reality
is simply referred to as That because
it defies description through speech or language.
for Divine Savitri, equated
with the vivifying power contained
within the Sun.
Radiance, Lustre, Illumination.
Radiance or Grace.
"Dheemahi" signifies worship of or
meditation on the Lord. "Dhiyo Yo Nah
Prachodayat" as the last syllable, is a prayer. Therefore, in the Gayatri,
there is Varnam, Dhyanam and Prathana (description, meditation and a
these aspects converge in the Manthra.
GAYATRI AND ADVAITHA
What goes on within you, depending
upon the circumstances, are classified as
follows - we talk of Sankalpa and for this we use the "manas" or the
When we talk of the aspect of "wavering" we have the "Chithha." When
think of discrimination, "Vicharana," we use the tern "Buddhi", the
When you have the motive of selfishness, you talk of "Ahamkara" or
you have to understand is that basically one entity is described as
chithha, intellect and ego. We will do well to understand the basic
between the mind on the one hand and the intelligence on the other.
something that has got in its nature a divisive tendency. The
beyond such divisions. Therefore this intellect is associated with the
principle of "Adwaitha". When there is a division taking place in
the phenomena, we are assailed by the "Dwaitha" bhava. When you have
divisiveness in you, when you tend to see more than one thing, it is
that perceives this duality. The intellect tries to see the one among
What you should try and do is see the underlying unity in the
not the other way around. This Gayatri is a sacred Manthra which tells
about this underlying unity in the diversity of things. It is through
vision on unity that we can perceive divinity and sanctify our lives.
world we have mud or clay in one form or another. This clay can be one
the forms that it can take are multifarious. Likewise, gold is one,
ornaments could be many. Milk is one, but the cows can be many in
So also the Atma is one, but the forms that it indwells are many. In
around you, beyond the names and forms, there is no third entity. This
nothing but the convergence of name and forms. One form, one name.
these two viz., the name and form- is the form that changes
something which withers away and fades away and finally disappears.
form disappears, though the form undergoes change, the name as such
the same at all times (Nithya Sathya); it remains changeless. For
have given the name cow to an animal. Tho cow, the animal, will
the passage of time. But the name will remain. Forms will disappear
name will last forever.
The sanctity of the name needs to be
understood properly. It will be difficult
for you to try and identify a person in a crowd by means of his form.
even in a huge congregation of people, if you were to call out the
name of an
individual, he would respond to your call. Through this name,
can recognise the individual. In the same way if you take up the Lord's
as the basis, you can understand that forms in various hues and sizes
taken that name. If you know the name of the station, you can ask for
for that station and undertake your journey. When you are not aware of
the name of the station, how can you possibly proceed on the journey?
it is the name that is important, and not the form as such. When you
understand the full efficacy and the significance of this Gayatri, you
be in a position to understand the true nature, the underlying unity,
the Atmic principle dwelling in all different forms.
ITS GREAT BENEFICIAL EFFECTS
Who is this Gayatri? She is the
personified unity of the triumvirate divinity
- Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi. Gayatri is also known as the
divinity. The first face signifies Om. The second is Bhur Bhuvah Svah.
Savithur Varenyam is the third face. Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi is the
face. Dheeyo Yo Nah Prachodayath is the fifth face. This is the Pancha
Swaroopam, the five-faced divinity. From these five faces emanate the
life forces, Pancha Pranas. These five life forces are fostered and
by Gayatri and therefore She is called the benefactor and the
the time She is protecting thus, She is called "Savitri." You may have
about the story in the epics that Savitri protected Satyavan. Who is
Savitri? She is the Pancha Prana Swaroopini. This truly means that
protects and guides those who lead a life of truthfulness. When She
improve your qualities, She is called Gayatri; when She protects and
your word, She is called Saraswati. Therefore, this Goddess protects
intellect, the life force and the word, and thus in every way She
individual at all times. Today you have been given this Gayatri
Manthra. It is
verily a day when you are having your second birth. Purify and
second life and then you become eligible for the third stage of
From there you will proceed to the stage of attaining Brahma. "Brahmavid
Brahmaiva Bhavathi" - how do you attain this state? You can attain in
when you have understood your own nature. When you ask the question,
we become deserving to attain the state of Brahma?' then can you
this. Before being married, a girl would be an ordinary person. After
marriage, she has the privilege of claiming half of whatever her
as a matter or right. What is it that marks out from the earlier stage
being an alien and the latter stage of married life when she can claim
something by right? That right is conferred on her by a sacred thread
to her neck, the Mangal Sutra. In the same manner, so long as you have
reached the state of surrender, you are an alien to the Lord. Once you
put the thread of surrender around your neck, you become One with Him,
have earned the right to, and can demand from God, half of whatever He
Therefore, through your own efforts you should try and reach the state
surrender to GOD. How is it possible, you might ask, by chanting this
continuously, to reach the state of fulfillment and sense of feeling
have received something? There is an inner meaning in giving this
Mantra to young people. We have in this Mantra the concluding words,
nah Prachodayat. The meaning is this: Before you were given this
may have been backward intellectually, or were a bit lazy. But now
have been given this Mantra, you become sharper in intellect, become
zealous, more enthusiastic, and certainly become more qualified for
greater heights in acquiring knowledge.
Before the sun rises, everything is
enveloped in darkness. Even as the rays
of the Sun dispel this darkness, so also the chanting of this Gayatri
all darkness and ignorance. The rays of this Sun dispels the area of
Darkness has no place where the rays of the sun reach out. So also
intellect blossoms forth by virtue of your having been given this
your intellectual rays will dispel the ignorance which has been
in you, will drive away all darkness and endow you with intelligence.
Compiled from Divine Discourses of
Sri Sathya Sai Baba during Upanayan Ceremony
Translated & Published for Free Distribution by:
SRI SATHYA SAI CENTRE, No: 6, Police Park Terrace, Colombo 05 Sri