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Sri Sathya Sai Baba Teachings

  Gayatri Mantra

From the Discourses of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Gayathri Manthra should be chanted 3 times a day - 4 to 8 AM, 4 to 8 PM are Sattvik times. 8AM to 4PM is Rajsik. 8PM to 4AM is Tamasik.

The best time to chant Gayathri is around 6AM, 12 Noon and 6PM. Goddess Gaythri confers the boon of Intelligence as Gayathri, Protection as Savithri and Learning as Saraswathi. Gayathri is therefore called Sarvadevata Swarupini.

By chanting at least twice a day - morning and evening - the sin committed unknowingly that day are destroyed and left over Karma is burnt. The person gets closer and closer to Divinity.      

Chant the Mantra 3 times when you are having a bath - it will serve the dual purpose of chanting as well as performing Abisheka to the Mantra. Chant 3 times before eating - you would have not only purified the food, but also offered the food to the Mantra. If you do it everyday, you need not chant any other Mantra. It protects you from calamities and confers upon you intelligence, learning and success.

Just as the sun dispels darkness, it drives out the ignorance, indolence and sloth in you. It will aid in developing Prajnana, Sujnana and Vijnana. I WISH that you chant Gayathri at least 2 times a day during your lifetime."

- Swami (from the book 'Sri Satya Sai, Anandadayi')

Source: http://www.geocities.com/saicenter_us/snl/snl_112801

Gayathri is the mother of all vedas, protector of all living beings. You should realize the truth that you have had a second birth after initiation into Gayathri mantra. This Gayathri mantra has to be chanted three times a day. The best time to chant Gayathri is around 6 am, 12 noon and 6 pm. Goddess Gayathri manifests in three phases and confers the boon of intelligence as Goddess Gayathri, protection as Goddess Savitri and learning as Goddess Sarasvati.

Gayathri is therefore called sarva devata svarupini. By chanting the name of the mantra at least twice a day - in the morning and in the evening - the sins committed unknowingly that day are destroyed and the left over karma is burnt. The person gets purified and in the course of time gets closer and closer to Divinity.

Nowadays many people say they do not have the time for Gayathri japa. It is not a question of lack of time. It is a lack of interest. Anyone who has a will to do, can do it atleast twice daily. Chant the mantra when you are having a bath - it will serve the dual purpose of chanting the mantra as well as performing abisheka to the mantra. Chant the mantra thrice befor eating the lunch - you would have not only purified the food, but also made the food as naivedya to the mantra. Repeat the same in the evening. If you do it everyday, you need not have to chant any other mantra. You will be making your lives sacred. Gayathri is all-powerful and protects you from calamities and confers upon you intelligence, learning and success.

- Swami in the book "Sathya Sai Anandadayi"

Source: http://www.geocities.com/saicenter_us/snl/snl_012802.htm


By Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba

Prasanthi Nilayam - February 10, 2000

Sanctify Your Life By Chanting Gayathri Mantra

Dear Boys!

This is the most auspicious moment of your life. Human life can be compared to a four-storeyed mansion. The four storeys correspond to four stages of man?s life. namely, Brahmachaarya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha and Sanyaasa (celibate, householder, recluse and renunciant.) Today you are laying the foundation of the mansion of your life. The safety and security of the mansion is assured once you make the foundation strong and sturdy.

Gayatri ? the Mother of the Vedas

Man has four births. His first birth takes place from his mother?s womb. He gets a second life when he is initiated into the Gayathri Mantra. His third birth occurs when he learns the Vedas. He becomes a Brahmin when he recognises the principle of Brahman. This is his fourth birth. One becomes a Brahmin not merely by birth, but by knowing the nature of Brahman ., For this, chanting of Gayatri Mantra is very essential.

Man is the embodiment of all gods. In fact, the gross form of the food that man consumes refers to the principle of Brahma. On this basis, it is said. "Annam Brahma, Raso Vishnu" (food is Brahma and the essence is Vishnu). The subtle form of the food denotes the principle of Vishnu. The subtlest form symbolises the principle of Easwara. The gross part of the food strengthens the body. The subtle part of the food strengthens the mind and the subtlest part of the food purifies the speech. Therefore, food place a vital role in strengthening and purifying the body , mind and speech.

Gayathri is Sarvadevata Swaroopini and Sarvamantra Swaroopini (Embodiment of all Gods and all Mantras) It is said, Gayathri Chhandasam Matha, meaning Gayathri is the mother of vedas. There is no need to chant any other mantra if you chant the Gayathri Mantra. Gayathri has three names: Gayathri, Savithri and Saraswathi. Gayantham Trayate ithi Gayathri (Gayathri protects the one who recites it). Gayathri is the master of the senses. Savithri is the presiding deity of the life principle. When Gayathri acts as the protector of life force, she is known as Savitri. You might have heard the story of Savithri, a woman of chastity, who brought her dead husband, Satyavaan, back to life with the power of her prayer. Savithri protects those who lead a life of Sathya (truth). This is the inner meaning. Saraswathi is the presiding deity of speech. Man has to earn the grace of Gayathri, Savithri and Saraswathi to sanctify his life.

First and foremost, man has to purify his speech. Only then will his life be safe and secure. If you slip and fall, the injury can be cured, but the injury caused by the slip of the tongue is incurable. It will make your life miserable. So, you should have control over your speech. Excessive talk will lead to untruth and unpleasantness. That is why the ancient saints and seers used to observe silence. You can uphold truth and attain fame only by talking less. Limited talk will confer happiness. Excessive talk will put you to grave dangers.

Gayathri, Savithri and Saraswathi are latent in everybody. Bhur. Bhuvah and Suvah in the Gayathri, Mantra refer to body (materialisation), life-force (vibration) and soul (radiation). Bhur means Bhuloka (the earth), which is nothing but the combination of materials. This denotes the human body, which is also a combination of materials. Bhuvah refers to the life-force which makes the body vibrate. Suvah refer to Pragnyana Shakti, which sustains the life force. This Pragnyana Shakti is known as Constant Integrated Awareness. This is also termed as radiation. All the three, viz. Materialisation, vibration and radiation are present in man. I tell you often, you are not one, but three ? the one you think you are (physical body), the one others think you are (mental body) and the one you really are (Atma).

Heart should be Pure and Compassionate

Human life is the combination of body, mind and Atma. Body is the basis for attaining wisdom. So, it should not be misused. One has to purify one?s body and mind by undertaking sacred actions. The principle of Atma is always pure and unsullied. Human life is highly sacred. Janthunam Nara-janma Durlabham (human birth is the rarest of all beings). Sareeramadyam Khalu Dharma Sadhanam (body indeed is the first medium for the pursuit of Dharma) Do not underestimate the potentialities of human body. In fact, human body is the basis for attaining the goal of life.

Work for the redemption of your life by chanting the Divine Name and undertaking sacred activities. You need not make any special effort to acquire the human values, namely, Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa. They are with you right from your birth. But you have forgotten them, as you have not put them into practice. Instead of giving tons of speeches, it is better that you practise at least an ounce of what you have learnt. Today humanness is on the decline because man does not practise human values. Man is developing Asalu (desires), forgetting Adarsalu (ideals). His attachment to the body is becoming stronger, whereas his attachment to the spirit is on the decline. No doubt, attachment to the body is essential. But it is desirable only when it comes to performing actions.

You should give up Dehabhimanam (attachment to the body) and cultivate Deshabhimanam (spirit of patriotism) After Ravana was annihilated, Lakshmana prayed to Rama to rule over Lanka. He said. "Brother, it is not proper on our part to disturb Bharata, who is ruling over Ayodhya. Moreover, the kingdom of Lanka is more affluent and beautiful than Ayodhya. So, it is my humble prayer that you should become the King of Lanka." Vibheeshana too fell at the feet of Rama, saying, "Swami, I surrender myself, my wealth and the kingdom at your Lotus Feet." But Rama was not carried away by the affluence of Lanka. He said, " Janani Janma Bhoomischa Swargadapi Gareeyasi ( the mothe and the motherland are greater than even the heaven). I cannot leave my motherland even if it is not that affluent as Lanka." This shows the love and respect Rama had for His motherland.

Himachala ( the Himalayas) forms the northern boundary of Bharat. ?Hima? means ice. It is white in colour and melts easily. Whiteness symbolises purity. ?Achala? means that which is steady. Your Hridaya (heart) should also be like Himachala, pure and steady. It should melt with compassion. Hri + Daya = Hridaya. Daya means compassion. God resides in your heart only when it is pure, steady and full of compassion. But today human heart has lost purity, compassion and steadiness due to limitless desires. Life is a long journey and your desires are the luggage. "Less luggage, more comfort make travel a pleasure". The journey of life will become enjoyable only when you reduce the luggage of desires. The lesser the desires are, the happier you will be. The Gaythri Mantra teaches that you should offer everything to God. Sarva Karma Bhagavad Preethyartham (perform all your actions to please God). Only then you will be free from all difficulties and hardships.

Spiritual education is True education

The Vedas declare: "Maathru Devo Bhava, Pithru Devo Bhava" (revere the mother and the father as God.) I keep telling the students very often that their blood, food, head and Dhuddu (money) are all the gifts of the mother. So, first and foremost, one should show gratitude to the mother. You should never forget your mother who gave you birth after carrying you in her womb for nine months and brought you up providing all care and comfort, unmindful of her own discomforts. The mother always has your wellbeing uppermost in her mind in whatever she says or does. You may be highly educated and your mother may be illiterate, but still you should have utmost regard for her. You should consider the teachings of your mother as the Veda itself.

Gayathri is the embodiment of the mother ? principle. You should chant the Gayathri Mantra everyday, in the morning, noon and evening. These are referred to as Praata Sandhya , Madhyahna Sandhya and Saayam Sandhya. When your back is towards the Sun, your shadow will be in front of you. It will fall behind you only when you stand facing the Sun. Similarly, Maya (illusion) which is like your shadow, will overpower you when you turn your mind away from God. It can be overcome only when you turn your mind towards God.

Due to the impact of Kali Yuga and the advancement of modern education, man?s intellect is getting perverted. There is no point in acquiring education bereft of character. Worldly education, which comprises mere bookish knowledge, can never help you to lead a divine life. No doubt, worldly education is essential, but along with worldly education one should have spiritual education too. "Adhyatma Vidya Vidyanam," Spiritual education is the true education. "Nadinam Sagaro Gatih" ( rivers ultimatly merge in the ocean). Worldly education is like rivers and rivulets, while spiritual education is like a mighty ocean. So, of all the forms of education, spiritual education is the highest and the noblest. Today even the highly educated parents are acting without any sense of discrimination. They discourage their children from worshipping God and participating in Bhajans. They tell them that they would have ample time to think of God after retirement. This is a grave mistake. "Start early, drive slowly, reach safely." One can remember God in old age only when one thinks of Him right from one?s childhood.


Childhood is the right age to contemplate on God. This is the golden age as it is a very sacred age. Do not misuse it. Some parents want their children to go abroad immediately after the completion of their graduation. What is there in foreign countries that is not available in Bharat? In fact, that which is not present in Bharat is not present anywhere else in the world. Most of the students who go abroad to pursue higher studies develop perverted minds and lose their character. I have Myself seen that many students who went abroad lost their character. Only a few of them returned to Bharat with good character. People send their children abroad because they want them to become Dhanavantulu (wealthy), but not Gunavanthulu (virtuous). Money may provide all the comforts and conveniences, but can it confer mental peace? No. Only spirituality can grant peace of mind.

Today people are crazy to go to foreign countries, whereas the foreigners themselves are coming to Bharat in search of peace of mind. They have all the material comforts, but lack peace of mind. They have money in abundance. Excessive money gives rise to arrogance, which in turn leads to all wicked qualities. So, one should not go abroad in search of wealth. One should remain in Bharat if one wants to cultivate noble character. Take Swami?s own example. Thousands of devotees have been praying to me to visit their respective countries. But till today I have not even entertained the thought of going abroad. What is the reason? Bharat is the centre of all Dharmas. It is the land of sacred rituals and sacrifice. Here is a small example. The train has an engine in the front and many compartments attached to it. You will find coal, fire in the engine only, and not in other compartments. Bharat can be compared to the engine. (cheers). In Bharat alone you find the sacred fire of Yagnyas and Yagas. The other countries are like different compartment attached to Bharat, the engine. Some `compartments? may get disjoined. What is the reason? They do not have proper `link? with the `engine?.
The culture of Bharat is highly sacred. The Bharatiyas should be attached to their motherland; they should practise and propogate its sacred culture.

Upanayan Necessary at Early Age

Gayathri is known as Panchamuki, meaning `five faces?. What are they? Om is the first face; Bhur Bhuvah Suvah, the second; Tat Savitur Varenyam, the third; Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi. The fourth; and Dhiyo Yo Na Prachodayat is the fifth. Gayathri Manthra has three parts: praise, meditation and prayer. First, the Divine is praised, then it is meditated upon in reverence and lastly, prayer is offered to the Divine to dispel the darkness of ignorance and to awaken and strengthen the intellect. Dheemahi relates to the meditative aspect. Dhiyo Yo Na Prachodayat relates to the prayer. Chanting of the Gayathri Mantra purifies the mind and confers devotion, detachment and wisdom. Young men must necessarily chant the Gayathri Mantra. Today we find that they get initiated into the Gayathri Mantra at an advanced stage of their youth. Intellect will blossom and shine in all its splendour after initiation into Gayathri Mantra. That is why it is essential that Upanayanam is done at the age of eight. One who is initiated into the Gayathri Mantra at an early age will become highly intelligent. Man?s life will be sanctified by chanting this Mantra.

It is because man does not think of God with devotion and sincerity that fear and restlessness have become the order of the day. Chanting of Divine Name alone can make one fearless. God is referred to as Hiranyagarbha. Hiranya means gold. Only when you place this ?gold? in your heart, can you get the jewels of Sathya, Dharma, Santhi and Prema. Once God is installed in your heart, only Divine feelings will originate from it. When sweet pudding is poured into a vessel with a number of holes, what comes out of the holes will also be sweet puddings. Likewise, when you fill your heart Divinity, all your actions will become Divine. But man lacks faith in Divinity. He has Swasa (breath), but Viswasa (faith). Such a life is useless.

Evil Qualities are Gateways to Hell

The youth should work for the progress of the country. They should always help their fellowmen. Sage Vyasa gave the essence of 18 Puranas thus:

Paropakara Punyaya Papaaya Parapeedanam (one attains merit by serving others and commits sin by hurting them). So, Help Ever, Hurt Never. This is the true devotion and surrender. Devotion does not mean offering worship or doing Bhajans. They are all external activities. All these are futile if there is no inner purity. So develop Love.

Love is God, God is Love. So, :live in Love. Love your parents. Serve them, obey their commands and satisfy them. They have immense love for you. But, sometimes they may try to put you on the wrong path unknowingly. In such a case, explain to them, what is right and what is wrong and convince them. If they want you to go abroad to earn more money, tell them that character is important, not money. If you explain to them in a proper way there will certainly be a transformation in them.


If you chant the Gayathri Mantra wholeheartedly you will never face difficulties or hardship in life. Chant the Divine name incessantly. You know the story of Prahaladha. His father Hiranyakasipu commanded him to stop chanting the name of Lord Narayana. Prahaaladha never argued with his father. He smilingly listened to all that his father said but ultimately followed the dictates of the his conscience. Huge elephants were let loose to trample him under their feet, poisonous snakes were set on him to bite. He was also pushed down from mountain cliffs, thrown into deep sea. But never did he give up the chanting the Lord?s name. As a result, the elephants, the poisonous snakes, mountain cliffs and the mighty ocean transformed into Lord Narayana Himself. The Lord came to his rescue whenever he was put to danger. Likewise, if you have Divine feelings in your heart, God will protect you wherever you are. You should have unwavering faith in Him and chant His name with Love.

Do not give scope to the evil qualities of desire, anger and greed. They are like gateways to hell. Ravana was highly educated and powerful. But he ruined his entire clan and kingdom as he became a victim of Kama (desire). Hiranyakasipu symbolised anger and ultimately ruined himself. Duryodhana was greed personified and he too suffered the same fate as that of Ravana and Hiranyakasipu./ You may have immense knowledge, wealth and valour, but you are bound to suffer if you become a slave to anger, desire and greed. Do not take pride in your wealth, physical strength and education. Develop the strength of love. Love can transform even a foe into a friend. Only through love can your life be redeemed.

Some people may argue that it is foolish to believe in the existence of God whom you cannot see. But, in fact, you are seeing God all the time, because the entire Universe is the form of God. Right from microcosm to macrocosm, all forms are His. The Vedas declare, "Eswara Sarva Bhoothanam"(God is present in all beings). You are unable to see Him because you see nature from the physical point of view. Give up the worldly feelings and see nature with divine feelings. Then God will certainly manifest before you. Just as fragrance is present in the flower, Divinity is latent in you. Flower can be seen by the naked eye, but can anyone see its fragrance? Mother loves the child, she has a form but her love has no form. That Love is God.

Gayathri Mantra is highly sacred. As Shahstrigaru pointed out, Gayathri Mantra contains the essence of all the Mantras. Gayathri is the embodiment of all Gods and Goddesses. Just as a single thread runs through all the flowers in a garland the same divine power exists in all the God forms. Understand this unity in diversity. One who has understood this unity will never be put to suffering. Develop faith in God. Do not get carried away by what others say. Follow the dictates of your conscience.

Dear Boys!

Today is a sacred day. In fact, it is the foundation day of your life. Make this foundation strong and sturdy. Then the mansion of life raised on this foundation will also be strong and secured. This will give strength to the grand edifice of our Nation. You should develop national and patriotic feelings. The spirit of nationalism is absent in the youth of today. This is due to the influence of those politicians who keep their self-interest above the interest of the nation. But, you should be ready to sacrifice even your life for the nation. This should be your ideal in life. If you develop such lofty ideals, you are sure to experience Divinity.

If you have the strong desire to see God, contemplate on Him with unwavering faith. Then you can certainly see Him. Never doubt His existence. He exists for those who believe in His existence and does not exist for those who deny His existence. He acts according to your feelings. So, develop faith in Him. Chanting the Gayathri Mantra three times in a day, that is, morning, noon and evening, is not enough. You should chant this mantra perpetually. Why should you stipulate a particular time period for chanting His name who is beyond time. Sarvada Sarvakaleshu Sarvatra Harichintanam (contemplate on the name of God at all places, at all times and under all circumstances).

Bhagawan concluded His Discourse with the Bhajan, " Harri Bhajan Bhina Sukha Santhi Nahi?."

From Sanathana Sarathi, March 2000 issue.

Bhagavan's discourse on significance of Gayathri

The below article is compiled from Divine Discourses of Sri Sathya Sai Baba during Upanayanam Ceremony - Translated & Published for Free Distribution by Sri Sathya Sai Centre, No: 6, Police Park Terrace, Colombo 05 Sri Lanka



Om    Brahma, the creator of the universe
Bhuh    Embodiment of vital breath
Bhuvah    Destroyer of miseries and symbol of bliss
Swah    All pervading, blissful God
Tat    That (Supreme being)
Savitor    Effulgent, radiant
Varenyam    Supreme, excellent
Bhargo    Destroyer of sins
Devasya    Bestower of divine power
Dhimahi    To adopt, to acquire
Dhiyo    Intellect
Yo    Who
Nah    Our
Prachodyat    Inspires to righteousness

We meditate upon the glorious splendor of the Vivifier Divine.
May He Himself illumine our minds!


Aum Bhuh Bhuvah Suvah Tat Savitur Varenyum
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahe Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat


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 needs four supporting walls. It follows therefore that in the huge mansion of ancient Hindu thought, customs and traditions should have a point of meeting together somewhere.

It is not possible for anyone to escape from the consequences of what one does knowingly or otherwise. You have to face up to the consequences of all your actions, whether good or bad. Clearly, therefore, the doctrine of Karma stands as a cardinal principle that governs a person's life. One has to live and die with this principle. It is this Karma which determines one's joys and sorrows. And it is through Karma that you are endowed with this life itself. What is the secret of this Janma? This body has been given to you so that you could undertake your Karma and therein lies the point- that through the body you have to uphold Dharma. When you conduct yourself in keeping with Dharma, you qualify to attain Brahma. The Gita proclaims that when Dharma declines God incarnates as an Avatar. Truly, what you see in the form of a body is nothing but a manifestation of God himself. God takes the form of a huan beng to restore Dharma. What you call 'creation' is a manifestation of the Cosmic Principle. We also refer to it as nature. Whoever is born in this nature will certainly have the same atribute of this nature. Man who has the same qualities of this Cosmic Principle, this creation, this nature, is offering all that is embedded in this creation to someone for some purpose. To whom is he offering 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 feeling that it is for the Ananda of God, then it is bound to reach him. Therefore, the abiding feeling in you should be that whatever you do, you are doing it as worship of the Lord. This principle contains the very essence of Karma.

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 such. After you have been given the Gayatri Manthra, the dawn of a second birth emerges in your life. What is this Gayatri Manthra? It is the very quintessence 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 life forms. You must realise therefore that on being given this Gayatri Manthra, you have been given a second birth.

When you start chanting this Manthra in conformity with certain rules and code of conduct, you will certainly be able to reach a state in fulfillment of this Manthra. You arrive at a new stage, the third stage, which is called the Vipra. At this stage you begin to chant the Vedas.

Even as you try and understand and chant the Manthras in the Vedas, you must realise their significance end start practicing the underlying principle and thus live the Vedas every second of your life. In this way you will certainly succeed in attaining Brahma. It is only when you understand this Brahma Thathwa and perform your actions in accordance with this understanding can one be called a Brahmana. It is not by birth alone that one becomes a Brahmana. It is necessary that one's actions should correspond to this understanding. We really deserve to be called a Brahmana only when we understand the Brahma Thathwa.

Time For Chanting

It has been laid down that this Gayatri Manthra 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 the time when transition from the night to the day takes place. Likewise evening sandhya is the time when the day slides into the night. Madhyanna Sandhya is the time when the morning and afternoon are connected.

Man is the embodiment of three Gunas. These three attributes are not onfined to man as such; even time has these attributes. Time also has Sathwa, Raja and Thamo Gunas. What do we mean by time having Sathwa guna? All these three attributes have 24 hours to go by in a day. Each of these three Gunas takes up 8 hours by itself i.e , Sathwa has 8 hours, Rajasik has 8 hours and Tamasik has 8 hours. What are these 8 hours of Sathwik time? When you designate the period from 4 a m to 8 a m the intervening 4 hours are Sathwik. In like manner, the time between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. is also Sathwik. These two stretches of 4 hours apiece are Sathwik hours. The time from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.is Rajasik. It is during this time that all lifeforms keep doing whatever has to be done by them. Not only men, but also animals and the like do what is expected of them during these 8 hours. The factory worker, the farmer, the agriculturist and anybody that one can think of has to work during these 8 hours of Rajasik time. So we find that every individual has an experience of this Rajasik time

Then we have the time from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. during the night. This is the Thamasik time. That it is indeed Thamasik we know from our experience. The chief quality that is associated with this time is sleep. Sleep is being equated to Thamasik in this analysis.

It is during the Sathwik time viz., from 4 a.m to 8 a.m and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. that we should undertake our sacred and noble duties. This will sanctify our life. We should understand and appreciate how time has been divided for various activities and only then can we realise the true nature of our existence. This Gayatri Manthra has to be taken up for chanting at any time during the period of from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m., and then at any time between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m.

It is absolutely necessary that you chant this Gayatri Manthra either in the early hours of the morning or in the evening 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 morning and evening hours which are sacred for chanting.

You should chant this Manthra at least three times in the morning hours and three times in the evening time. When you do this, you can certainly free yourselves from the fruits of your Karma. It is said that a day's chanting takes care of all the ill effects of the day's Karma. To illustrate this point, let me cite an example.

When you go and buy a certain thing on loan, not only does the loan amount increase, but also the interest on it goes up. On the other hand, if you were to barter something for the item at the shop, there is no loan to be cleared, nor is there any interest to be paid. When you have borrowed something on loan, then you find that whatever you have earned has to be given for repayment of the loan, and the interest thereof. So, when you try and clear your debts as and when you buy a certain thing, then there is no loan nor is there any interest to be paid back. In the same manner, chanting Gayatri three times in the morning and three times in the evening hours before you go to bed would take care of all your errors in the form of loan and interest to be cleared off. By chanting this Manthra with this feeling you can certainly transcend Your Karma, you can even reach the state of Nishkama Karma. You can sanctify your life in this manner. Therefore, in order that you may understand the significance and reap the benefits of chanting Gayatri, you should know the significance of the morning and evening hours. There are those who feel that they do not have the time either in the morning or in the evening, to chant Gayatri. You do have the time indeed! Where there is a will, there is a way, it is said. We do fritter away a lot of our time. A fraction of your time 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 benefits thereof, but it becomes a form of worship. So also, in the afternoon, if you were to chant this Manthra as you eat your food, the meal becomes sanctified - the food becomes a Naivedya. You may or you may not chant any other Manthra, but do remember that chanting the Gayatri is beneficial and you can experience this yourself.

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 as such. It is universal in its scope.

Gayatri has nine important attributes. These are:

  1. Aum: Sound as the basis of Creation, Brahman
  2. Bhuh: The Earth, the gross.
  3. Bhuvah: The Atmosphere, the Ether, the Subtle.
  4. Suvah: Heaven, the region beyond Bhuvah the Causal.
  5. Tat: Stands for That. The Ultimate Reality is simply referred to as That because it defies description through speech or language.
  6. Savitur: Stands for Divine Savitri, equated with the vivifying power contained within the Sun.
  7. Varenyum: Adore
  8. Bhargo: Radiance, Lustre, Illumination
  9. Devasya: Divine 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 prayer) - 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 mind. When we talk of the aspect of "wavering" we have the Chithha. When you think of discrimination, Vicharana, we use the term Buddhi, the intellect. When you have the motive of selfishness, you talk of Ahamkara or ego. What you have to understand is that basically one entity is described as mind, chithha, intellect and ego. We will do well to understand the basic difference between the mind on the one hand and the intelligence on the other. Mind is something that has got in its nature a divisive tendency. The intellect is beyond such divisions. Therefore this intellect is associated with the principle of Adwaitha. When there is a division taking place in understanding the phenomena, we are assailed by the Dwaitha bhava. When you have this divisiveness in you, when you tend to see more than one thing, it is the mind that perceives this duality. The intellect tries to see the one among the many. What you should try and do is see the underlying unity in the diversity and not the other way around. This Gayatri is a sacred Manthra which tells you about this underlying unity in the diversity of things. It is through this vision on unity that we can perceive divinity and sanctify our lives.

In this world we have mud or clay in one form or another. This clay can be one but the forms that it can take are multifarious. Likewise, gold is one, but the ornaments could be many. Milk is one, but the cows can be many in description. So also the Atma is one, but the forms that it indwells are many. In the world around you, beyond the names and forms, there is no third entity. This world is nothing but the convergence of name and forms. One form, one name. Between these two viz., the name and form- is the form that changes continually, something which withers away and fades away and finally disappears. Though the form disappears, though the form undergoes change, the name as such remains the same at all times (Nithya Sathya); it remains changeless. For example, you have given the name cow to an animal. Tho cow, the animal, will disappear with the passage of time. But the name will remain. Forms will disappear but the names will last for ever.

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. However 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, therefore you can recognise the individual. In the same way if you take up the Lord's name as the basis, you can understand that forms in various hues and sizes have taken that name. If you know the name of the station, you can ask for a ticket 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? Therefore 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 will 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 five faced divinity. The first face signifies Om. The second is Bhur Bhuvah Suvah. Thath Savithur Varenyam is the third face. Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi is the fourth face. Dheeyo Yo Nah Prachodayath is the fifth face. This is the Pancha Mukhi Swaroopam, the five-faced divinity. From these five faces emanate the five life forces, Pancha Pranas. These five life forces are fostered and protected by Gayatri and therefore She is called the benefactor and the protector. During the time She is protecting thus, She is called Savitri. You may have read about the story in the epics that Savitri protected Satyavan.

Who is this Savitri? She is the Pancha Prana Swaroopini. This truly means that Savitri protects and guides those who lead a life of truthfulness. When She tries to improve your qualities, She is called Gayatri; when She protects and fosters your word, She is called Saraswati. Therefore, this Goddess protects the intellect, the life force and the word, and thus in every way She protects the 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 sanctify your second life and then you become eligible for the third stage of Viprathwa. From there you will proceed to the stage of attaining Brahma. Brahmavid Brahmaiva Bhavathi - how do you attain this state? You can attain in only when you have understood your own nature. When you ask the question, `when do we become deserving to attain the state of Brahma?' then can you understand this. Before being married, a girl would be an ordinary person. After the marriage, she has the privilege of claiming half of whatever her husband has, as a matter or right. What is it that marks out from the earlier stage of 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 tied to her neck, the Mangal Sutra. In the same manner, so long as you have not reached the state of surrender, you are an alien to the Lord. Once you have put the thread of surrender around your neck, you become One with Him, and you have earned the right to, and can demand from God, half of whatever He has. Therefore, through your own efforts you should try and reach the state of surrender to GOD. How is it possible, you might ask, by chanting this Gayatri continuously, to reach the state of fulfillment and sense of feeling that you have received something?

There is an inner meaning in giving this Gayatri Manthra to young people. We have in this Manthra the concluding words, Dheeyo yo nah Prachodayat. The meaning is this: Before you were given this Manthra, you may have been backward intellectually, or were a bit lazy. But now that you have been given this Manthra, you become sharper in intellect, become more zealous, more enthusiastic, and certainly become more qualified for scaling 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 dispels all darkness and ignorance. The rays of this Sun dispels the area of darkness. Darkness has no place where the rays of the sun reach out. So also once your intellect blossoms forth by virtue of your having been given this Manthra, your intellectual rays will dispel the ignorance which has been persisting in you, will drive away all darkness and endow you with intelligence.

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