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Part I of Gayathri for Children

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It is said that there are more than 70 million main Mantras contained in the various Vedas
and Upanishads. “ Mantaram Trayata iti Mantrah “ Mantra is one which protects one who
thinks of them. It is also said that “ there is no word which is not a Mantra, no herb which is
not medicinal and no man who is not useful; but, a person who can extract the best out of
them so as to be useful for specific purposes, is difficult to get”
A Mantra is a particular combination of some letters of the Sanskrit alphabets arranged in a
certain way to bring out a specific result. Each of the constituent letters ,.representing a
particular sound is credited with a certain power or potency, even as certain specific
properties are inherent with every kind of chemical atom and the combination of the elements
in the periodic table. Hydrogen and Oxygen in a certain ratio produces water but Hydrogen
and Carbon in combination as chains or rings of Hydrocarbons produces millions of products
that are indispensable in today’s life. Oxygen does not burn but no inflammable material can
burn without oxygen. Hydrogen itself is going to be the noncarbon fuel of the future. Similar
functions are inherent and attributed to these Mantras and the combination of alphabets in a
particular form, in a higher plane. Japa is a repetition of a chosen mantra with the object of
bringing out certain changes in our mind, resulting in influx of higher powers. If one is born
with these powers, it is called PRABHAVAM. If one acquires them through the process of
meditation, yoga or simply concentration, it is called SIDDHI. For example, swimming is
Prabhavam for fish, but it is Siddhi (acquired) for man. Similarly, flying is Prabhavam for bird
but the ancient Rushies acquired this by Siddhi.
In reciting Mantras, it is usual practice to recall prior to the main Mantra, another
Mantra,which gives the Rushi, Chandas and the Devata and the purpose for which the Mantra
is recited. What do these names indicate? The Rushi is normally the person who got
enlightened first and who constructed the Mantra with this knowledge. Even as we attribute a
particular scientific discovery as Faraday’s Law or Newton’s Law or Einstein’s equation etc,
the Rushi’s name is mentioned. The whole manifested universe is considered to be based on
vibration through the agency of sound in different decibals and that is Chandas. In a more
comprehensive manner, Chandas can be considered as precursor to Ragas . .Even as
Pancharatna Kirtanas are sung only in specified Ragas, each one of the Mantra is chanted in
a particular chandas and this is recalled before the main Mantra. The Devata of a Mantra is
one whose power is expressed through the Mantra through whom the student can inculcate
as much power as feasible, proportionate to his capacity, concentration etc.
Thus, we chant in Gayatri aavahanam:
“aayaatviti anuvakasya
Vamadeva Rushihi
Anustup chandaha
Gayatree Devata”
And, before the Gayatri Mahamantra
“ Savitryaa Rushi Viswamitraha
Nruchut Gayatri Chandaha
Savita devata” etc and so on.
Why Vaamadeva Rushi and ViswamitraRushi? Sage Vaamadeva was ordained specifically
by Sage Vasishta to help guide Kaushika ( the earlier name of Viswamitra) to raise him from
his Rajoguna dominant personality to satwaguna dominance. In that process,Viswamitra (
Earth dominant) married Menaka (etherial Apsara, a devakanya) and produced a child
Shakuntala ( Immortal classic of Kalidasa), who married Dushyanta and produced Bharata.
Bharata was the founder of the Lunar dynasty (Chandravamsa) and brought the whole
country under one empire for the first time and hence the country is known as Bharata
Kanda. Lord Krishna and the Pandavas are the famous descendants of the Chandravamsa.
An union between a celestial nymph and a human, resulting in a baby is very rare and such
places are called DHYAVA PRITHVI. Dhyava prithvi is a temple in archaeological ruin today
in the waste lands of Kutch.
Viswamitra, together with the two Aswini devas and Vamadeva are probably the first Space
Scientists on record. They knew that a body has to be made lighter by removal of the earth
and water elements to make it fly and this has to be at a speed greater than the gravitational
pull of the earth. To get into earth’s orbit. Viswamitra, ably assisted by the Aswini devathas
and others, prepared Trishanku for the flight and sent him successfully up towards Swarga.
Unfortunately, he did not know the procedure to penetrate into the gravitational field of
Swarga, whatever that planet or satellite was, nor did he know the technique to bring the
object back into the earth. Thus, Trishanku is still orbiting the earth! These were efforts when
his Rajoguna was still remnant with him and hence his lack of patience and strong passion to
When Viswamitra was to be declared a “Brahmarushi”, it was done in an assembly presided
over by Bhagwati Gargi, a scholar of unparalleled knowledge, strictness and straight
When, as Brahmarushi, Vasishta requested Viswamitra, with the help of Agastya, to devise a
means by which, whoever wants to become a Brahmana, should be enabled to achieve
Brahmanya easily, . it was Lopamudra, wife of Agastya, who logically suggested to him as
follows. ”Dhyana Yoga is not possible for all. Dhyana flows as a stream in some people but it
does not in some others. Karma Yoga will also be of no avail because a certain Karma
performed by those who are not entitled to do it, will not yield any results. Upasana Marga
(Worship) will please Gods but it does not do Jeevanasamskara (Refinement of life and living)
and the body does not become Brahmana. Unless the body becomes Brahmana, Brahmanya
cannot be attained. The only choice left, therefore, is MANTRA YOGA.”
Brahmanaspati appeared before Viswamitra during his Dhyana and declared that the”
Parishat presided over by Sage Gargi had sought through him Gayatri Mantra. That Mantra
will confer Brahmanya on one who does its Anushtana. Who is Brahmana? At present, all
human beings are Agneyas, which means that the physical body always needs food and
drinks. Besides Soma and Ghandharvas reside in the human body. The Ghandharvas
provoke and sustain Kama ( desire) while Soma encourages conservation ( Sangraha,
Savings). Thus, the human body is built up of Agni, Soma and Ghandharva. He, who is
capable of going beyond these three by conquering them, is a Brahmana. The condition
imposed for this is that the person should practice self control, observe Brahmacharya ( self
restraint and abstinence) and do the Anushtana of the Mantra. Such a person achieves
Atmoddhara ( upliftment of self)”
Then, the Devaguru directs Viswamitra to meditate upon Pushan by whose Anugraha, all his
nadichakras will be cleansed and will be able to bear the Pranashakti, going to be created as
a result of the Dhyana. Pushan explains to him what is Savitru and the role of Savitru. He
explains that, in the sun,between the outer red layer disc (Agnimandala) and the blue colour
of the Somamandala, there is the subtle yellowish region, which is the Savitru mandala. As
soon as a person faces that Savitru mandala, a ray is beamed at him. That ray is Savitru.
That Savitru is the soul and spirit of all Sthavara and Jhangama ( movable and immovable)
objects and that Tejas actually causes the fertilisation of the egg in the womb. This generating
power of Savitru in the sun manifests itself at dawn, noon and at dusk. Thus, he who collects
this energy from the sun, with the help of this Gayatri Mantra and stores it, is Brahmana.
Sage Visvamitra is credited to have extracted the nectar out of the three Vedas and reduced
them to eight BHIJA AKSHARAS or Mahamantras, from each one of the three Vedas ( 24
letters in all ), set them in a particular metre, and also devoted them to a particular God .This
condensed form of all the three Vedas is known as SAVITRI MANTRA:
TAT SA VI TUR VA RE NI YAM ( 8 words, Rig Veda )
BHAR GAH DE VAS YA DI MA HI ( 8 words, Yajur Veda )
DHI YAH YAH NAH PRA CHO DA YAT ( 8 words, Sama Veda )
The literal meaning of the words is “We meditate on that light “SAVITA”, which motivates our
inner conscience, the creator of this world, the Paramatma who is personification of eternal
happiness, one who removes the ignorance and leading one aspiring to attain Moksha or
Liberation towards that eternal bliss “. Sage Agasthya further simplified this meaning as “ We
worship the God of Light, known as SAVITA, who kindles and guides our intellect towards
God and righteous path “
Generally, the word Savita means the Sun, the centre of the Solar System . The Yogic and
Occult researches by the Rushies have shown that the Sun is not only the centre and source
of all physical life but also of life in all its aspects, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual..
There are many references to Savita in scriptures but Yagnavalkya Samhita and
Isavasyopanishad give an idea of the magnificient concept of Savita.
“The spiritual light which is hidden within the Sun is the most excellent light. It is shining
through the hearts of all living creatures in the form of Consciousness.” Yagnavalkya
“ O Lord, be pleased to remove from me, who follows the path of truth, the brilliant outer disc
of the sun, withdraw the rays of your external light so that I may be able to see your real
nature, the reality that you are the same as I am.” Isavasyopanishad.
Thus, the physical Sun that we see and science has studied, is merely an outer cover of a
glorious Reality, which pervades and energises the entire Solar System. And, this Reality is
the same as the Reality hidden in the conscience of every human being. What a great
philosophy expressed in such a simple manner! You remove the veil (burqua) and the truth is
seen, whether it is bigger than the biggest (Viswam) or smaller than the smallest(Vishnum).
This spiritual Sun of conscience is Savita, Whom Gayatri Mantra is meant to reveal in stages,
by removing the veils we have covered ourselves with, in the form of various egos, vasanas.
What is this Bhargah or Light of Savita? Just as the physical sun is an orb of incandescent
gas but surrounded by an aura of light of decreasing intensity, in the same way, the spiritual
consciousness is stepped down from the ultimate Reality, which is the Core. For example, we
can get the reflection of the sun in a tub of water or through a powerful telescope. The form is
a faint image in water, while the later is so bright that you can not look at it. The sun’s
brilliance remains unaffected in either case. Similarly, the different kinds of consciousness
that we contact are really the reflections of different grades, depending upon the state of mind
at that time.
Why is the light called Vareniyam? The Sanskrit word Vareniyam means “most excellent”.
After understanding Savita and Bhargah, the particular light we need to concentrate on, it may
be easier to perceive that this not only leads to vistas of unlimited knowledge but , perhaps, is
the only means to release ourselves from the great illusions of our egos or vasanas, and
hence these rays are “ most excellent”.
“Dimahi” means, we meditate upon or may we meditate upon? A point to be noted is “Dimahi”
is in plural form. One would normally expect the prayer to be in singular. But the Gayatri
Mantra, by its very nature, is on behalf of all human beings and the intention is that the influx
of spiritual forces must benefit all human beings collectively.
The third part of the Gayatri Mantra involves a complete reversal of the attitude from the
second part. Here , he surrenders himself to the Divine completely with all his egos and
vasanas wiped out.
The word Dhiyah means Buddhi , again in plural form.
A little elaboration here may be relevant. All Nature, of which man is a part, is composed of
three fundamental qualities (Gunas), namely, Satwa, Raja and Tama. Satwa denotes purity or
goodness, Rajas denotes bristling activity and strong passions of likes and dislikes and
Tamas denotes dullness, ignorance and sloth. All these Gunas are present in different ratios
in each man. Depending upon the dominance of one over the other two, a man’s external
manifestation of qualities are evident. The various mantras and yogas aim at manipulating the
24 Tatwas or principles in such a way that the man sheds more and more of the Tamas and
Rajas in him and acquires more and more of the Satwaguna. The 24 Tatwas of which the​
gross human body is made are:
I would sincerely request the readers to go through both postings, part 1 and part2 of Gayatri, together. Ther had to be posted in two parts, since the entire writing was not accepted in one posting in this site.
Thank you very much Mrs. Visalakshi Ramani for your compliments.
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