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Gayatri Mantra - Meaning and Translation

Not open for further replies.
If the whole mantra is translated at one stretch, there will be divergent translations from different scholars.

If the meaning of each of the words are analysed then the mantra can be understood without much difficulty - and of course, it will lead to the same net effect expressed in different combination or set of words.

Aum (OM) – Supreme Name of God
Bhur – Existence or Earth
Bhuvah – Absolute Consciousness of God
Swah – All pervading nature of God
Tat – That - God
Savitur – Another name of God
Varenyam – Our acceptance of God
Bhargo – God’s love and power
Devasya – All functions, roles and attributes of God
Dhimahi – Meditate and focus our mind on God
Dhiyo - Intellect
Yo – Who or That
Nah - Ours
Prachodayat – Request from God in which we ask Him for Guidance and Inspiration

And the Basic Translation is :

Oh God, the Protector, the basis of all life, Who is self-existent, Who is free from all pains and Whose contact frees the soul from all troubles, Who pervades the Universe and sustains all, the Creator and Energizer of the whole Universe, the Giver of happiness, Who is worthy of acceptance, the most excellent, Who is Pure and the Purifier of all, let us embrace that very God, so that He may direct our mental faculties in the right direction.

The above meanings are taken from the following source :

Hinduism at Eaglespace - Spiritual Pagesgayatribywords.php

Please see here.
pages 28-30
Structure of the gAyatrI

All speech is either in the form of verse or prose. The assembly of akSharas--syllables with niyama--order, is called verse. Of the Chandas--metres, of verse, gAyatrI is one.

• In the laukika gAyatrI Chandas there are six akSharas for every pAdam--foot/quarter. So, if we add up all the four pAdas, there are 24 akSharas.

KAtyAyana has mentioned that in the vaidika gAyatrI Chandas, there are eight akSharas in each pAdam, and three pAdas in total. Therefore, there too there are 24 akSharas in the gAyatrI Chandas. The Vedas too have explained

त्रिपदा गायत्री
tripadA gAyatrI*

There might arise a saMdeham--doubt here. The Vedas that explain the niyama of the gAyatrI Chandas say

गायत्री चतुर्विंशत्यक्षरा

gAyatrI chaturviMshatyakSharA*
"There are 24 syllables in the GAyatrI."

but then in the sAmAnya--popular, gAyatrI mantra, we see only 23 akSharas. How to reconcile this with the veda-vAk?

By the explanation

अर्घ्यकाले वरेण्यं स्याज्जपकाले वरेणियम्

arghyakAle vareNyaM syAjjapakAle vareNiyam*

"At the time arghyam is given, it is vareNyam (three akSharas); when doing japam it is vareNiyam (four akSharas).

The padam--word, vareNyam in the gAyatrI mantra should be considered as one having four akSharas, but it should not be pronounced (as vareNiyam) as having four akSharas. In this way, if we include the fourth akShara, the count can be reconciled, isn't it?

About the saura aShTAkShara mantram, the Veda teaches

घृणिरिति द्वे अक्षरे, सूर्य इति त्रीणि, आदित्य इति त्रीणि

ghRuNiriti dve akShare, sUrya iti trINi, Aditya iti trINi*

"It should be considered as two akSharas in the padam 'ghRuNi'--a ray of light, three akSharas (not two) in the padam sUrya, and three akSharas in the padam Aditya."

Thus, although this sUrya mantram has only seven syllables instead of eight, in the same way that we consider the term sUrya as having three syllables and adjust the count, we should adjust the count of syllables in the gAyatrI mantra (as 24 syllables), considering vareNyam to have four (instead of three) syllables.

(to continue...)

Note: I am unable to find the source of the verses marked with '*'; any help is appreciated.--sd
pages 30-33
Meaning of the gAyatrI mantra

The meaning of the mantra is given as below in the sandhyA bhAShyam.

दीव्यतीति देवः, अखण्डानन्दैकरसः, तत् तस्य ब्रह्मणः
’ओं तत् सदिति निर्देशो ब्रह्मणः त्रिविधः स्मृतः’
इति जीतावचनेन तत् तच्छब्दस्य ब्रह्मपरता, सवितुः
नानारूपकर्मफलप्रसोष्टुः, जगत्स्त्रष्टुर्वा, वरेण्यं मुमुक्षुभिः
आकाडक्षयं, भर्गः अविध्यादिभर्जकं तेजः यद्यपि
ब्रह्मतेजसोरभिन्नत्वेन तस्येति षष्ठया अनुपपत्तिः
तथापि ’एषोऽस्य परमानन्दः’, ’राहोस्शिरः’ इत्यादाविव
काल्पनिकभेदमादायोपपत्तिः, धीमहि ध्यायेमहि सोऽहमित्यभेदेन उपास्महे ।
यः प्रत्यक्, नः अस्माकं, धियः अन्तःकरणवृत्तिः प्रचोदयात् प्रेरयति ।

dIvyatIti devaH, akhaNDAnandaikarasaH, tat tasya brahmaNaH
'oM tat saditi nirdesho brahmaNaH trividhaH smRutaH'
iti jItAvachanena tat tachChabdasya brahmaparatA, savituH
nAnArUpakarmaphalaprasoShTuH, jagatstraShTurvA, vareNyaM mumukShubhiH
AkADakShayaM, bhargaH avidhyAdibharjakaM tejaH yadyapi
brahmatejasorabhinnatvena tasyeti ShaShThayA anupapattiH
tathApi 'eSho&sya paramAnandaH', 'rAhosshiraH' ityAdAviva
kAlpanikabhedamAdAyopapattiH, dhImahi dhyAyemahi so&hamityabhedena upAsmahe |
yaH pratyak, naH asmAkaM, dhiyaH antaHkaraNavRuttiH prachodayAt prerayati |

[It would be nice if someone can give us the meaning of this passage.--sd]

gAyatrI mantra (by itself) is in this way:

तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात्
tatsaviturvareNyaM bhargo devasya dhImahi dhiyo yo naH prachodayAt

तत् tat--parabrahmam. From the gItopadesham--GItA teaching, that the three, AUM, tat, sat, are the names of brahmam, it is known that for the word tat here, the meaning is Brahman.

सवितुः savituH--One who gives the phalas--fruits, of actions; or one who created the world.

वरेण्यं vareNyam--desired by those who desire mokSham--liberation.

भर्गः bhargaH--The light that removes ajjnAnam--ignorance. Brahmam and its light are not two different things. Still, according to the upadeshas--teachings given in the shAstras--scripures, imagining differences, such as (although Brahmam itself is Anandam) 'This is the Ananda of paramporuL--(tam)Brahmam' and 'RAhu's head', (such is the case) here too. (Although Brahmam is its light, it is mentioned as Brahmam's light).

देवस्य devasya--One who is in the form of light (This Deva is in the form of Ananda).

धीमहि dhImahi--We do-dhyAna--meditate on. That meditation is one that seeks no differences and contemplates 'I am that Brahman'.

धियः dhiyaH--The kAryas--actions, of antaHkaraNa (which comprises chitta, manas, buddhi and ahaMkAra).

यः yaH--He, that is, one who resides inside us.
नः naH--our.
प्रचोदयात् prachodayAt--kindles, incites.

Therefore the meaning of the gAyatrI mantra is:
"We meditate on the light that removes ignorance, and is desired by those who desire liberation, (that light being) of one who incites our inner faculties, one who created the world, and one who remains Supreme being, remaining as the form of bliss."

• According to the words of Agastya maharShi, the sAmAnya--common meaning of the gAyatrI is:

यो देवः सवितास्माकं धियो धर्मादिजोचराः ।
प्रेरयेत् तस्य यद्भर्गः तत्वरेण्यम् उपास्महे ॥

yo devaH savitAsmAkaM dhiyo dharmAdijocharAH |
prerayet tasya yadbhargaH tatvareNyam upAsmahe ||

"We meditate on the excellent light of the deva called SavitA who directs our intellect towards the ways of dharma."

The need to know the meaning

When we do japam of the gAyatrI mantra, we should contemplate its meaning. Having known the meaning, we should not let our mind wander elsewhere. If we do the japam, winding a japamAlA--rosary on our wrists, rolling our tongue in the mouth and letting our mind wander in the ten directions, it would not amount to any japam at all.

• When there is no knowing of the meaning, our shraddhA--sincerity in the task we are at would lessen. There would be no tRupti--satisfaction in the mind too.

• This is why it is mentioned in the very first page of the book titled gAyatrI mahimA

यथा पशुर्भारवाही न तस्य फलमश्नुते ।
द्विजस्तथार्थानभिज्ञो न वेदफलमश्रुते ॥

yathA pashurbhAravAhI na tasya phalamashnute |
dvijastathArthAnabhij~jo na vedaphalamashrute ||

"Just as an animal does not enjoy the fruits of the burden it carries, the dvija--twice-born (who chants without knowing the meaning), does not attain the fruits mentioned in the Vedas."

• The author of the niruktam (YAska), which is an angga--limb, of the Vedas has acclaimed the knowledge about meaning as

स्थाणुरयं भारहारः किलाभूत्, अधीत्य वेदं न विजानाति योऽर्थ ।
योऽर्थज्ञ इत्सकलं भद्रमश्रुते नाकमेति ज्ञानविधूतपाप्मा ॥

sthANurayaM bhArahAraH kilAbhUt, adhItya vedaM na vijAnAti yo&rtha |
yo&rthaj~ja itsakalaM bhadramashrute nAkameti j~jAnavidhUtapApmA ||
--nirukta 1.18

"He who does not (get to) know the meaning although he does-adhyayana-of--study the Vedas, he is like a jaDam--lifeless matter, that carries a bhAram--burden. He who does it knowing the meaning, attains all the good things. He who is released of his pApas--sins, through jnAnam--knowledge, attains the svargam--heaven."

• Veda too appreciates the knowledge of meaning with the statement

यो अश्वमेधेन यजते य उ चैनं येवं वेद
yo ashvamedhena yajate ya u chainaM yevaM veda*

"He who does the ashvamedha yajna attains its specific fruits. Similarly, he who knows the meaning of the yajna, he too attains (those fruits)."

Note: I am unable to find the source of the verses marked with '*'; any help is appreciated.--sd

(to continue...)
pages 33-36

From what has been said above, it does not mean that the japam done without knowing the meaning (of the mantras involved) will not at all give any fruits; only that the fruits will be less.

• This is clarified by the following vAkyam--statement from the ChAndogya upaniShad:

यदेव विद्यया करोति श्रद्धयोपनिषदा तदेव वीर्यवत्तरं भवति इति ।

yadeva vidyayA karoti shraddhayopaniShadA tadeva vIryavattaraM bhavati iti |
--ChAndogya upaniShad 1.1.10

"What is done with knowledge, sincerity, and contemplation, only that is capable of giving much more fruits than what is done without knowledge."

• Similarly, at the appropriate places, the Veda says:

यद्विद्वाँसो यदविद्वाँसो मुग्धाः कुर्वन्त्यृत्विजः ।

yadvidvA~Mso yadavidvA~Mso mugdhAH kurvantyRutvijaH |

"That which is done with knowledge is different from that done by those who perform their yajna in bhrama--just by its motions, without knowledge."



"That is which is done with knowledge, and that which is done without knowledge, are different."

• Thus, even the one who has no knowledge of the meaning has the qualification to do karma--Vedic rituals. The conclusion by our investigation is that if one has the knowledge of the mantras, the results will be much better.

Practice of the dhyAnam--contemplation/meditation

As said before, when doing japam, we must contemplate the meaning (of the mantras involved).

• In the same way, we should do dhyAnam on the devatA--deity, who is related to the mantra.

• Although the gAyatrI as BrahmA's shakti is the same deity, she must be meditated on in different forms depending on the time. In the pArAshara mAdhavIyam it is mentioned

गायत्री नाम पूर्वाह्णे सावित्री मध्यमे दिने ।
सरस्वती च सायाह्ने सैव सन्ध्या त्रिधा मता ॥

gAyatrI nAma pUrvAhNe sAvitrI madhyame dine |
sarasvatI cha sAyAhne saiva sandhyA tridhA matA ||

"Her name in the morning is GAyatrI, in the afternoon SAvitrI, and in the evening SarasvatI. Thus, SandhyA is contemplated in three forms."

• Our ancestors have shown the reasons for calling the same devatA by three names.

गायत्री प्रोच्यते तस्माद्गायन्तम् त्रायते यतः ॥
सवितृद्योतनात्सैव सावित्री परिकीर्तिता ॥
जगतः प्रसवित्री वा वाग्रूपत्वात्सरस्वती ॥

gAyatrI prochyate tasmAdgAyantam trAyate yataH ||
savitRudyotanAtsaiva sAvitrI parikIrtitA ||
jagataH prasavitrI vA vAgrUpatvAtsarasvatI ||

"Since she protects those who do japam on her, she is called GAyatrI. Since she shines like sUrya--sun, she is herself called SAvitrI. Since she creates the world or stays in the form of language, her name is SarasvatI."

• In the tantra texts, her forms that differ according to the time are prescribed for doing meditation. Since it is difficult for people to know these forms and meditate, we meditate on a single form as shown in the shAradA tilakam.

युक्तामिन्दुनिबद्धरत्नमकुटां तत्त्वार्थवर्णामिकाम् ।
गायत्रीं वरदाभयाङ्कुशकशाः शुभ्रं कपालं गदां
शङ्खं चक्रमथारविन्दयुगलं हस्तैर्वहन्तीं भजे ॥

yuktAmindunibaddharatnamakuTAM tattvArthavarNAmikAm |
gAyatrIM varadAbhayA~gkushakashAH shubhraM kapAlaM gadAM
sha~gkhaM chakramathAravindayugalaM hastairvahantIM bhaje ||

"I do-bhajanam--worship GAyatrI
• who has five faces with the complexions of pearl, coral, gold, sapphire and dazzling white (as of camphor);

• has three eyes in each face; has the crescent moon as her crown jewel;

• has the form of akSharas--syllables, that teach the tattvas--divine principles;

• has in her hands, the varada-mudrA--sign of giving a boon (fingers pointing downward) and the abhaya-mudrA--sign of protection (fingers pointing upwards);

• has the goad and whip that control an elephant; a clean alms-bowl and a mace/sceptre;

• has the conch, the chakra--disc;
• and has a pair of lotus feet."

[This beautiful sandhyA-vandana mantra, published in the nyAsam part of the gAyatrI japa vidhi in the LIFCO Tamil book, is usually omitted by the performers of the spiritual rite. Now that we know the meaning clearly, let us hope we would include it and let our young boys chant it as part of their sandhyA-vandanam.--sd]

(to continue...)
pages 36-38

In the tantra texts, different kinds of dhyAnas--meditations and akShara nyAsas (preludes and postludes to a japam) are explained.

• Although those who have tAtparyam--interest (towards the purport), should perform it, those who have much interest in the karmas--rituals denoted in the Vedas are not required to it.

• This is why it is mentioned in the gRuhya parishiShTam

एषोऽङ्गन्यासः एतमेके नेच्छन्ति स हि विधिरवैदिकः
eSho&~gganyAsaH etameke nechChanti sa hi vidhiravaidikaH

"Some do not like performing this angga-nyAsa (done before and after a japam). There is no injunction in the Vedas that these must be done."

• In the Vedas, the gAyatrI-dhyAnam is taught by mantras such as

ओजोऽसि सहोऽअसि बलमसि भ्राजोऽसि देवानां धामनामसि
विश्वमसि विश्वायुः सर्वमसि सर्वायुः अभिभूरों ।
गायत्रीमावायामि सावित्रीमावाहयामि सरस्वतीमावाहायामि ॥

ojo&si saho&asi balamasi bhrAjo&si devAnAM dhAmanAmasi
vishvamasi vishvAyuH sarvamasi sarvAyuH abhibhUroM |
gAyatrImAvAyAmi sAvitrImAvAhayAmi sarasvatImAvAhAyAmi ||
--taittirIya AraNyaka 10th prapAThaka, 26th anuvAka.

"Hey GAyatrI! You are the eight dhAtus--constituents that are the reason for strength. You are the power that conquers enemies. You are in the form of sAmarthya--efficacy that enables the vyavahAra--action, of this sharIram--body. You are the resplendent one. You are the tejas--shine of the devas. You are the form of all creations. You are the lifetime of all beings. And you are everything. You are the Supreme One denoted by the praNava AUM that can remove all pApas. Therefore, I do-AvAhanam--invoke such great GAyatrI in my mind. I invoke you as SAvitrI; and as SarasvatI."

So, one should do-dhyAnam--contemplate in this way and start his (gAyatrI) japam--litany.

The need to know the RShi, Chandas and devata

RShi--seer, Chandas--metre, devata--deity, viniyogam--corelation, brAhmaNam--explanatory text, are the five parts of a mantra. One should know them; and if they are remembered when doing japam, the japam will give visheSha phalas--distinct results.

• It is mentioned in the sarvAnugraha maNika parishiShTam that adverse effects might arise if these five parts are not known and remembered.

यो ह वा अविदितार्षेयच्छन्दोदैवतब्राह्मणेन मन्त्रेण याजयति
वा अध्यायति वा स्थाणुं वच्छर्ति गर्तिं वा प्रतिपद्यते ।
तस्मादेतानि मन्त्रे मन्त्रे विद्यात्

yo ha vA aviditArSheyachChandodaivatabrAhmaNena mantreNa yAjayati
vA adhyAyati vA sthANuM vachCharti gartiM vA pratipadyate |
tasmAdetAni mantre mantre vidyAt

"He who performs a yajna without knowing the RShi, Chandas, devata, viniyogam, brAhmaNam or teaches the mantras, will be either born as a jaDam--dunce, or will fall in the narakam--hell."

• In the yoga yAjnavalkyam

यस्तु जानाति तत्त्वेन ऋषिं छन्दश्च दैवतम् ।
विनियोगं ब्राह्मणश्च मन्त्रार्थज्ञानकर्म च ॥

yastu jAnAti tattvena RuShiM Chandashcha daivatam |
viniyogaM brAhmaNashcha mantrArthaj~jAnakarma cha ||

"He who truthfully knows the RShi, Chandas, devata, viniyogam, brAhmaNam as well as the meaning and karma--rite of the mantra..." Starting with these words, he who knows them is praised.

• Those who have practised and attained the fruits of specific mantras, although they all came from Ishvara, as they brought them out for the (welfare of the) people, they are known as the RShis--seers of those specific mantras.

• In the yoga yAjnavalkyam

येन यदृषिणा दृष्टं सिद्धिः प्राप्ता च येन च...

yena yadRuShiNA dRuShTaM siddhiH prAptA cha yena cha...

"That sage who has discovered a mantra and by which he attained siddhi--spiritual powers, he is the RShi--seer of that mantra."

Chandas is (metre,) the way to control the akSharas--syllables in a mantra. The deity made known through the mantra is the devata. The way to make use of the mantra in japam, pArAyaNam is viniyogam. The book that explains it is brAhmaNa.

• For the gAyatrI mantra, VishvAmitra is the RShi; savitA the devata; gAyatrI the Chandas; upanayanam, japam, arghyam are the viniyogam. Knowing these things, one should do the japam.

(to continue...)
pages 38-40 (concluding part)
The method of doing japam

japam is repeating a mantra. It is of three kinds.

उत्तमं मानसं जप्यमुपांशुर्मध्यमः स्मृतः ।
अधमं वाचिकं प्राहुः सर्वमन्त्रेषु वै द्विजाः ॥

uttamaM mAnasaM japyamupAMshurmadhyamaH smRutaH |
adhamaM vAchikaM prAhuH sarvamantreShu vai dvijAH ||

"The superior way is to chant (the mantra) in mind. To chant it with lip movement but not producing any sound is intermediate. To read it aloud is inferior. The twice-born thus say it of all mantras."

• Some mantras must be recited when there is desire towards its results. Some mantras can be recited only certain people. If some are not recited, pApa--sin, will arise. But then the gAyatrI can be recited by people of all Ashramas--stages of life (bachelor, householder, abstainers and renunciates).

• About the count of chanting

ब्रह्मचारी गृहस्थाश्च शतमष्टोत्तरं जपेत् ।
वानप्रस्थो यतिश्चैव जपेदष्टसहस्रकम् ॥

brahmachArI gRuhasthAshcha shatamaShTottaraM japet |
vAnaprastho yatishchaiva japedaShTasahasrakam ||

"The bachelor and the householder should chant it (the GAyatrI mantra) 108 times (a day). The abstainer remaining in the household and the wandering renunciate should chant it 1008 times (a day)."

• About doing the japam itself

असंख्यातं तु यज्जप्तं तत्सर्वं स्यात्रिरर्थकम् ।
पर्वभिस्तु जपः कार्यो नाङ्गुलीनां निपातनैः ॥

asaMkhyAtaM tu yajjaptaM tatsarvaM syAtrirarthakam |
parvabhistu japaH kAryo nA~ggulInAM nipAtanaiH ||

"There is no prayojanam--use, for the japam done without a count. Instead of shaking the fingers, the japam should be done using the knuckles of the fingers."

• Since it is prescribed in this way, the japam should be done either using the finger knuckles or a japamAlA--rosary.
• The prescription that saMnyAsis--renunciates can chant the gAyatrI mantra is indicated to apply only to the three kinds of saMnyAsis: kuTIchaka--hut-dwelling mendicants, bahUdaka--mendicant who begs for his food, and haMsa--wandering mendicants; and not for the parahaMsa saMnyAsis who meditate only on the Atman and do no saguNa upAsana--attributive worship.

[More details about the four kinds of saMnyAsis are found in the bhikShuka upaniShad, whose translation is given here:
Bhikshuka Upanishad --sd]

The paramahaMsa saMnyAsam is the highest of the four kinds. The paramahaMsa saMnyAsis don't wear the sacred thread or the tuft of hair, and they carry one only staff--daNDa. The paramahaMsa saMnyAsis, since they have only the terms relating to the Atman for meditation and do no saguNa upAsana, how can they be included (in the group that can chant the GAyatrI)?

• The gAyatrI proper should never be chanted in isolation. It is mentioned

प्रणवस्याहृतियुतां गायत्री वै जपेत्ततः ।
praNavasyAhRutiyutAM gAyatrI vai japettataH |

"The gAyatrI should be chanted with the praNava--AUM and the vyAhRutis--sacred utterances related to manifest worlds."

• The gAyatrI is prescribed to be chanted as nitya-karma--daily religious routine and in prAyashchittam--atonement.

• Besides, the gAyatrI mantra is there for us to attain all that we desire. The sUta-saMhitA says

बहुनोक्तन किं विप्राः जपेनास्याश्च होमतः ।
अभीष्टं सर्वमाप्नोति नात्र सन्देहकारणम् ॥

bahunoktana kiM viprAH japenAsyAshcha homataH |
abhIShTaM sarvamApnoti nAtra sandehakAraNam ||

"Hey brAhmaNas! What is there to accomplish with so much explanation? If the homam is done by the gAyatrI mantram, one will get whatever he desieres. There is no doubt about it."

[The English translation of the Tamizh-translated publication of the essay blessed to us by the Jagadguru shrI Abhinava VidyAtIrtha mahAsvAmigaL--sd)

*** *** ***
(to continue...)
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thank you very much your accepting me as a member,i feel shy to say ihave not fluancy in english and computing, even though i am intrested know the mantras and slokas thats why i registered be amember, if anything wrong from my side pl forgive,
Paraphrased from the book shrI gAyatrI mahA mantra sAram
by S.S.RAghavAchAryAr

pages 1-14

जन्मना जायते सूद्रः संस्काराद् भवेद् द्विजः ।
वेदपाठाद् भवेद् विप्र ब्रह्म जनातिति ब्राह्मणः ॥

janmanA jAyate sUdraH saMskArAd bhaved dvijaH |
vedapAThAd bhaved vipra brahma janAtiti brAhmaNaH ||
--mahAbhArata, shAnti parva, section 188

"By birth, one is a sUdra. By training of saMskAra, one will become twice-born. By study of the Vedas, one becomes a learned man, and one who knows brahman is a brahmana."

This shloka highlights the importance of the upanayana saMskAram--investiture of the sacred thread, to the men of the trivarNa--three classes, viz. brAhmaNa, kShatriya, vaishya.

• The adhikAram--authority, to enter the adhyAtmika mArgam--path of Self-Realization is obtained only after this ceremony. The twice-born also gets elibigle to chant, learn and study the Vedas and do puja to the deities.

• The second adhyAtmika birth is obtained after the bhUta--physical birth by the men of the three classes only after they are given upadesham--instructions, on the mahA mantram gAyatrI.

SAyaNAcharya explains the meaning of the gAyatrI mantra as below:

"SavitA kindles the intellect in us. She is the one who is prasiddha--well know, in the shruti. She is the one who imbues the prakAsha--brightness in us. We do dhyAnam--meditation of that celebrated divine light of Parameshvara who creates the world."

• The svarUpas--forms, the gAyatrI mantra takes are: ekapAda, dvipAda, tripAda and chatushpAda.

The chatushpAda gAyatrI is also known as turIya gAyatrI. The normal gAyatrI mantra with 24 akSharas--syllables, that we chant is called tripAda--3-footed gAyatrI.

More about the other forms in these links--sd:
(No subject)
Vedas, Tantra and Aghora: Nyasa in Vedas and Tantra

• The agnipurANam throws light on the explanation of SAvitrI as:

सर्वलोक प्रसवनात्सवितास तु कीर्त्यते ।
यतस्तत् देवता देवी सावित्री द्युच्यते ततः ॥
वेदप्रवसनाच् चापि सावित्री प्रोच्यते पुतैः ॥

sarvaloka prasavanAtsavitAsa tu kIrtyate |
yatastat devatA devI sAvitrI dyuchyate tataH ||
vedapravasanAch chApi sAvitrI prochyate putaiH ||

"Since she creates the world, it is known as savitA and she, its devI--deity, is known as SAvitrI. Or it can be said that as she gives the birth necessary to chant the Vedas, she is called SAvitrI."

(to continue...)
In the Tamil group it was maintained that women, and NB should not chant Gayatri Mantra.
My next door neighbor was from Arya samaj, and they used to have monthly Havan and used to chant Gayatri Mantra with Microphone. My mother was too liberal and used to participate, others mami's used to complain.
I never understood the restriction.

Was this practice of restricting this Mantra to few, only practiced in Tamil communities?
In the Tamil group it was maintained that women, and NB should not chant Gayatri Mantra.
My next door neighbor was from Arya samaj, and they used to have monthly Havan and used to chant Gayatri Mantra with Microphone. My mother was too liberal and used to participate, others mami's used to complain.
I never understood the restriction.

Was this practice of restricting this Mantra to few, only practiced in Tamil communities?

Dear Prasad,

Gayatri is defined as 'gayantam trayate iti gayatri'.. it means the that which protects (trayate) the one who sings (gayantam) is (iti) gayatri.

In that phrase there is no mention of any community,class,caste etc.
Gayatri is universal.
page 15
gAyatrI mahiman: greatness of the gAyatrI

01. ChAndogya upaniShad says:

गायत्री वा इदँ सर्वं भूतं यदिदं किञ्च वाग्वै गायत्री वाग्वा
इदँ सर्वं भूतं गायति च त्रायते च ॥३.१२.१॥

या वै सा गायत्रीयं वाव सा येयं पृथिव्यस्याँ
हीदँ सर्वं भूतं प्रतिष्ठतमेतामेव नातिशीयते ॥३.१२.२॥

या वै सा पृथिवीयं वाव सा यदिदमस्मिन्पुरुषे
शरीरमस्मिन्हीमे प्राणाः प्रतिष्ठिता एतदेव नातिशीयन्ते ॥३.१२.३॥

यद्वै तत्पुरुषे शरीरमिदं वाव तद्यदिदमस्मिन्नन्तः
पुरुषे हृदयमस्मिन्हीमे प्राणाः प्रतिष्ठिता एतदेव नातिशीयन्ते ॥३.१२.४॥

सैषा चतुष्पदा षड्विधा गायत्री तदेतदृचाभ्यनूक्तम् ॥३.१२.५॥

तावानस्य महिमा ततो ज्यायाँश्च पूरुषः ।
पादोऽस्य सर्वा भूतानि त्रिपादस्यामृतं दिविइति ॥३.१२.६॥

gAyatrI vA ida~M sarvaM bhUtaM yadidaM ki~jcha vAgvai gAyatrI vAgvA
ida~M sarvaM bhUtaM gAyati cha trAyate cha ||3.12.1||

yA vai sA gAyatrIyaM vAva sA yeyaM pRuthivyasyA~M
hIda~M sarvaM bhUtaM pratiShThatametAmeva nAtishIyate ||3.12.2||

yA vai sA pRuthivIyaM vAva sA yadidamasminpuruShe
sharIramasminhIme prANAH pratiShThitA etadeva nAtishIyante ||3.12.3||

yadvai tatpuruShe sharIramidaM vAva tadyadidamasminnantaH
puruShe hRudayamasminhIme prANAH pratiShThitA etadeva nAtishIyante ||3.12.4||

saiShA chatuShpadA ShaDvidhA gAyatrI tadetadRuchAbhyanUktam ||3.12.5||

tAvAnasya mahimA tato jyAyA~Mshcha pUruShaH |
pAdo&sya sarvA bhUtAni tripAdasyAmRutaM diviiti ||3.12.6||

Tr: svAmi SvAhAnanda (RK Mission publication):
3.12.1: gAyatrI indeed is all this, whatever being exists. Speech indeed is gAyatrI, for speech indeed sings and removes fear of all this that exists.

3.12.2: That which is this gAyatrI, even that is this earth; for on this earth are all the beings established and they do not transcend it.

3.12.3: That which is this earth (as gAyatrI), even that is this, i.e., this body in respect of this person; for these senses are indeed established in this body and they do not transcend it.

3.12.4: That which is the body in respect of a person, even that is (identical with) the heart within the body; for these senses are indeed established in it and they do not transcend it.

3.12.5: This well-known gAyatrI is four-footed and sixfold. This gAyatrI Brahman is thus expressed in the following Rk.

[The gAyatrI is sixfold in the shape of speech, beings, earth, body, heart and prANa. Though speech and prANa are mentioned to show the relation of gAyatrI and the heart with all beings, it is taken as a form of the gAyatrI. The four feet of the gAyatrI are beings, earth, body and heart. This also is stated for the purpose of meditation.]

3.12.6: Such is the greatness of this (Brahman called gAyatrI). The PuruSha--Person, is even greater than this. All this world is a quarter in Him, the other three quarters of His (constitute) immortality in heaven.

[There is no division in Brahman; but to make it clear that compared to the phenomenal world Brahman is infinite, the parts are assumed and it is said that Brahman emanates only in only one part whereas in the other parts It is immortal or unchangeable.]


02. Shankara bhAShya of sage VyAsa's brahma-sUtra says:

Tr: svAmi SivAnanda:
1.1.25: If it be said that Brahman is not denoted on account of the metre gAyatrI being denoted, we reply not so, because thus i.e. by means of the metre the application of the mind on Brahman is declared; because thus it is seen (in other passages also).

Brahman is meditated upon as gAyatrI. By this explanation all become consistent. If gAyatrI meant metre then it would be impossible to say of it that "gAyatrI is everything whatsoever here exists" because certainly the metre is not everything. Therefore the Sutra says "tatha hi darshnam"-—so we see. By such an explanation only the above passage gives a consistent meaning.

The direction of the mind is declared in the text 'gAyatrI is all this'. The passage instructs that by means of the metre gAyatrI the mind is to be directed on Brahman which is connected with that metre.


03. manusmRti says:

ओंकारपूर्विकास्तिस्रो महाव्याहृतयोऽव्ययाः ।
त्रिपदा चैव सावित्री विज्ञेयं ब्रह्मणो मुखम् ॥२.८१॥

यो अधीते अहन्यहन्येतां त्रीणि वर्षाण्यतन्द्रितः ।
स ब्रह्म परमभ्येति वायुभूतः खमूर्तिमान् ॥२.८२॥

oMkArapUrvikAstisro mahAvyaahRutayo&vyayAH |
tripadA chaiva sAvitrI vij~jeyaM brahmaNo mukham ||2.81||

yo adhIte ahanyahanyetAM trINi varShANyatandritaH |
sa brahma paramabhyeti vaayubhUtaH khamUrtimAn ||2.82||

2.81: Know that three imperishable mahAvyAhRutis, preceded by the syllable AUM, and (followed) by the three-footed SAvitrI are the portal of the Veda and the gate leading to (union with) Brahman.

2.82: He who daily recites that (verse), untired, during three years, will enter (after death) the highest Brahman, move as free as air, and assume an ethereal form.
• Manu (about the gAyatrI mahimA) says:

manuSmRti also says:

सहस्रकृत्वस्त्वभ्यस्य बहिरेतत्त्रिकं द्विजः ।
महतोऽप्येनसो मासात्त्वचैवाहिर्विमुच्यते ॥

sahasrakRutvastvabhyasya bahiretattrikaM dvijaH |
mahato&pyenaso maasAttvachaivAhirvimuchyate ||2.79||

"If a man does japam--litany of the gAyatrI mantra for a month at one thousand times per day (in places such as the river banks or jungles), with the praNava (AUM) and the vyAhRtutis (bhUrbhuvasvaH), he will be freed from his great sins, like a snake from its slough."


04. shrI KRShNa says in his bhagavad gItA:

बृहत्साम तथा साम्नां गायत्री छन्दसामहम् ।
मासानां मार्गशीर्षोऽहमृतूनां कुसुमाकरः ॥१०.३५॥

bRuhatsAma tathA sAmnAM gAyatrI ChandasAmaham |
mAsAnAM mArgashIrSho&hamRutUnAM kusumAkaraH ||10.35||

10.35: Further, I am BRhatsAma, the Great Chant, of the chants. I am gAyatrI of the metres. I am mArgashIrSha of the months. I am spring of the seasons.

(to continue...)
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Gayatri's "Bhargo" of Bhargo devasya demahi means Sun according to Lifco's Sandhyavandanam book which I have.
What is the true meaning of Bhargo? Thanks!
Gayatri's "Bhargo" of Bhargo devasya demahi means Sun according to Lifco's Sandhyavandanam book which I have.
What is the true meaning of Bhargo? Thanks!

Ok when we rewrite the words sans the Sandhi rules of Sanskrit...

We get this : Bhargah Devasya Dhimahi

Bhargah is from the root word Bha.
Bha means Effulgence(Brightness).

Sun is also called Bhaskara cos it means Giver of Effulgence.
I hope you have a Bhargah(brighter) Picture now!!
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In the Tamil group it was maintained that women, and NB should not chant Gayatri Mantra.
My next door neighbor was from Arya samaj, and they used to have monthly Havan and used to chant Gayatri Mantra with Microphone. My mother was too liberal and used to participate, others mami's used to complain.
I never understood the restriction.

Was this practice of restricting this Mantra to few, only practiced in Tamil communities?

No it is not correct. Then what about King Viswamitra who became a Brahma rishi.

Anyone can chant ( meditate upon is the correct word ) any mantra at any time.
Everyone has a right to attain liberation.

Have you heard of Gargi, Maitreyi and others , brahmavadins mentioned in
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Sloka is normally chanted in Sanskrit and it is a Sanskrit word to denote a prayer with certain grammatical rules and proper
accent. Slokas are generally specific ones and some are towards God or Goddesses viz. Ganesh, Rama, Durga, Krishna, etc.
Conveying the majesty and the Omnipotence of God, the slokas normally describe in words of the different God and their divine
powers. It is said that anyone who chants the powerful verses of slokas and invokes the appropriate God/Goddess by their
full devotion and bakthi, would be able to have peaceful mind. With this aim the slokas are chanted at home and at temples
by Pundits and others.

I would like to submit here an information from Baghavan Baba's version about the importance of chanting and practicing Sloka.
In one of his Discourses, He said quote "I always begin My discourse with a Sloka or a poem and conclude it with a bhajan.
Do you know what they are? The first poem or sloka is like a plate, the discourse can be compared to the various delicious
items that are served on the plate, and the bhajan in the end is like a plate covering the delicious items. Do not treat this
as a Mandhu (Medicine), thereby taking a little. Treat this as a Vindhu (banquet) and partake of the delicious items that I serve
to the maximum extent. Experience and enjoy this banquet."

Unquote : May Bhagavan Baba Bless us all to enjoy this banquet of Slokas.

Jai Sai Ram.

Humble submission to have a glance of his Quote.

Good day to all

My name is Gishen, im 24 years of age and im staying in South Africa. One of my greatest dreams is to become a Gurukul, but unfortunetly in South Africa we dont have any schools or high Brahmins to teach in to us youngsters, the reason for me joining this forum is to get in contact with some one who is welling to teach me and for to atleast try and accomplish my dreams, thank you guys for taking the time reading this message,
Good day to all

My name is Gishen, im 24 years of age and im staying in South Africa. One of my greatest dreams is to become a Gurukul, but unfortunetly in South Africa we dont have any schools or high Brahmins to teach in to us youngsters, the reason for me joining this forum is to get in contact with some one who is welling to teach me and for to atleast try and accomplish my dreams, thank you guys for taking the time reading this message,

Hello Gishen,

Am curious - why do you want to be a gurukal?

In case you are a female, am not sure if you qualify to study agamas. Someone knowledgable can clarify.

Incase you are not a brahmin, you may have a problem also (getting a teacher to teach you may get tuf).

In a way, you are lucky to be living in the 21st century. So even if you are a female or if you were born in a NB family, perhaps you still can try your luck to pursue your passion.

Its good you are not interested in learning vedas. In case you are a non-dvija, and if this was 1712 instead of 2012, you cud be flogged with limbs cut off for uttering or listening to words of the veda.

[Ofcourse venues existed in an ancient past to gain knowledge, but who knows, one can be asked to 'vomit out knowledge' like yagnavalkya, or cursed like karna by parashurama, etc].
Good day to all

My name is Gishen, im 24 years of age and im staying in South Africa. One of my greatest dreams is to become a Gurukul, but unfortunetly in South Africa we dont have any schools or high Brahmins to teach in to us youngsters, the reason for me joining this forum is to get in contact with some one who is welling to teach me and for to atleast try and accomplish my dreams, thank you guys for taking the time reading this message,

Dear Gishen,

Why dont you start a new thread under the general discussions category and ask this Q cos I dont think many noted this here..hence you see no replies to you on this subject matter.

There are many learned individuals here willing to help out I am sure.
Before that what is the system right now in SA temples?
Have you approached any Gurukkal there to see if there is anyone conducting training classes?

I am sure you need practical classes on this and online teaching might not fully be able to cover every aspect of being a priest.

May be the learned members here might be able to guide you.
Hopefully you achieve your dream soon..dont worry for the sincere student a guru will always appear.


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