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Part II of Gayathri for Children

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The 5 basic elements or the pancha bootas ( Prithvi or earth, Ap or water, Vayu or air, Tejas
or fire and Akasa or ether
The 5 Gnana Indriyas ( ears, skin, eyes, nose and tongue ),
The 5 Karma Indriyas ( organ of speech, hands, legs, anus and the genital organ ),
The 5 Pranas ( Prana or perception,Apana or excretion, Vyana or digestion, Samana or
circulation and Udhana or thinking of thoughts ). These varying names are given to the one
and the same vital energy of life, only bcause of their various functions in different parts of the
body and the change in relative functions as one advances in age.
The remaining four are the 4 inner Instruments or Antah karanas. These inner organs are
called, according to their functions, as Mind, Intellect, Ego and Chitta.
Mind-----When the thoughts are in a state of chaos and agitation, doubts and despair, they
constitute the mind.
Intellect….When the mind has determined its perception with reference to the memories of
the past and reached a condition of relative quietitude, this condition is called intellect.
Ego…..The vanity of the individual which arrogates to itself both the doubts and decisions as
its own analytical capability, is called ego.
Chitta…When we are fully aware of our doubts and decisions and the analysis ( the mind,
intellect and ego ), this awareness is called Chitta .It is pure state, unconditioned by these
three, the chitta becomes the pure consciousness, the infinite, constantly illuminating the
Each one of these 24 Tatwas is ruled by a devata. The five elements composing the human
body are described as first created in their subtle form. These subtle particles are called
Tanmatras. Sound is the Tanmatra of ether (Akasha), Touch (Sparsha) is the Tanmatra of Air
(Vayu), Form (Rupa) is the Tanmatra of Fire (Agni), Smell is the Tanmatra of Earth (Prithvi),
and Taste is the Tanmatra of Water (Ap). There are five distinct tanmatras each for the five
great elements and each one of them divide and reunite with the other elements in different
proportions in five different stages to produce the physical form of the tanmatras. This
process of self division and recombination is called Pancheekarana. It is the Tanmatras that
give birth to Pranas, which, in turn, by proper control of their circulation and internal burning,
enables each one of the five elements of the body become active and alive. This science is
known as Agnividya (Rahasya ) and one who has mastered this technique is called a Vipra
Prachodayat means “ May He unfold? ( our Buddhi ). Thus, the Gayatri Mantra leads us to
meditate upon the Supreme Light of the Divine Savita, beyond the outer disc of the Sun, who
unfolds our Buddhis to concentrate the mind in Japam on the Light of Divine Consciousness
hidden within each of our heart to understand the Reality.
These 24 letters were further meditated upon by various Rishis. In CHANDOKYA
UPANISHAD, it is mentioned as follows: “Prajapati “ (Brahma) meditated upon the
constituents of the Universe and extracted the essences AGNI ( Fire )from the Physical world,
VAYU ( Air ) from Antariksha or Astral world and ADITYA ( Sun ) from Swarga or Mental
world. He further meditated on the three Devatas, Agni, Vayu and Aditya and extracted the
essences Rig Veda from Agni, Yajur Veda from Vayu, and Sama Veda from Aditya. He
further meditated on the three Vedas and extracted the essences, the three Mahamantras,
known as MAHA VYAHRITI, BHUH from Rig Veda, BHUVAH from Yajur Veda, and SUVAH
from Sama Veda.
He then reflected on these three Mahavyahrities themselves and out of this reflection was
born the PRANAV Mantra OM (A U M ). The peculiar humming sound produced by this well
known one lettered syllable AUM hastens the process of Self Realisation through its Mantra
Sakthi, which is inherent in the peculiar combination of sounds. Its power is the most
comprehensive and fundamental among all the Mantras. Here we transcend from Mantra to
Yoga. There are various schools of yoga teachers like Jaggi Vasudev, who teach us how
exactly to chant AUM from the naval to the throat through the heart region and what benefits
we attain, both physical and mental. The whole of Manduka Upanishad is a commentary on
the nature and significance of Pranava Mantra AUM. Thus, The Pranavama Mantra and the
three Mahavyahrities—Bhuh, Bhuvah, and Suvah constitute the first part of the Gayatri
Japam. This, together with the three sentences of 24 words mentioned earlier as Savitri,
constitute the Gayatri Maha Mantra Japam, which finds its place in the 36​
th chapter of Yajur
Veda. This Gayatri Japam has to be obtained as Upadesam or teaching from a Guru, usually
through parents, who fully explain the significance and the way the Mantra is derived by great
In this connection I am reminded of a joke. An excellent sportsman was to be recruited by an
office. At the same time, the office has to follow its own procedures for recruitment, like
interview etc. therefore, they asked the sportsman to write an essay on coffee, since he was
being recruited for the coffee board. He said it was beyond him. Then they asked him to write
one sentence on coffee. He said “ sorry” once again. They asked him to write “Coffee” without
mistake. He said he was not confident of that. The board discussed among themselves and
came to the conclusion that he was anyway to be recruited and therefore he should be given
a still simpler test. They asked to write at least one syllable in Coffee correctly and then they
would select him. Now he said he would try and wrote KAUPHY—not even one letter
correct! Well, the Rishis have simplified to such an extent of single syllable, the entire Vedas
and even then if we do not follow it, who is to blamed for it? The intention to uplift us under
the slightest pretext is always there!!
GAYATRI is an invocation to God SAVITA for more light, for enlightenment of the highest
kind. Who is this Savita, the Devata of the Gayatri Mantra? Generally, Savita, as already
mentioned, refers to Sun, the centre of the Solar System. The sun is the source of all
energies needed for life and survival. But Sun is merely a huge ball of fire, whose energy is
being maintained by conversion of Hydrogen into Helium, the thermonuclear reaction
underlying the production of Hydrogen bomb. This mighty centre of Physical energy is pouring
out continuously without diminishing all kinds of Vibrations and Energies, which are essential
for sustaining life in this planet. We now know that Sound vibrations through the atmosphere
from one place to another can be heard by the Radio and light vibrations by Television.We
now know that a man can cross the international date line and reach a place one day before
he started, in time. We are able to appreciate these things because we have realised them
through Science, There are, however, many other phenomena, which the ancient Rishies
have achieved by their meditation, which we are still unable to understand. For instance, a
mere charioteer, Sanjay,could see, sitting in a far away place from the battle field, what was
happening in the battle field in MAHABHARATA and gave a running commentary of the same
to his blind king Dridurashtra. This Divyadrushti or the Power of Perception is still not
understood. There were many great saints, who could leave their physical form and enter into
the body of another dead person or creature, achieve certain things and then return back to
their own body and continue their lives. Adi Sankara has performed this. It is believed that
whatever we have achieved is from the understanding of the highly filtered sun’s rays ( light ),
filtered through the ozone layer, atmosphere etc. If we aim at a reversal of this process, attain
the power by meditation to see what is happening beyond the outermost layer of the sun, in
the inner layers and core, we may understand many things yet unravelled and not yet
understood. The Gayatri Mantra is a song praising this light, the SAVITA in the earlier part
and an abject surrender to Savita to enlighten us on the various mysteries, in the later part.
Many of the scientific achievements of the ancient days, which are now lost and forgotten, are
written with descriptive passages in the great book called BRIHAT SAMHITA by
VARAHAMIHIRA, many centuries back.
The Mantras are inseparably interwoven with various Tantric rights, reflected often in the form
of Yoga and rituals. PRANAYAMA is one such Yoga. In this, we invoke seven Vyahrities,
including the three Mahavyahrities already explained and the Gayatri Mantra. In the Yogic
part, we inhale a deep breath ( known as Poorakam ) through the left nostril, retain it in the
left lungs ( known as Kumbakam ) and exale it ( Known as Rechakam ) through the right
nostril in a certain proportion of time of 1:2:2. Normally, when one breaths, one can observe
the exalation, sometimes through the right and sometimes through the left nostril. It is
considered good and healthy for the body if one exhales more through the right than the left
nostril. And that is why, when one does Pranayama, you inhale through the left nostril (
closing the right ) and exhale through the right nostril. There are many Yoga centres like
Vivekananda Kendra, which teach the correct way of doing Pranayama.
A proper combination of Mantra and Yogic rights, chanting AUM a number of times with
proper intonation, performance of Pranayama giving Arkyam and performance of Japam of
Gayatri Mantra, all constitute an integral part of SANDHYAVANDANAM. Take the simple
case of Achamaneeyam. The three words, Achyuta, Ananta and Govinda are credited to cure
a person from any incurable disease. And the Angavandanam is nothing but an Acupressure
tchnique for the Karma Indriyas and the principal Sushmanadi to enable them to function
properly. Yet, how many of us understand this and do it sincerely or properly, though they are
repeated so many times in the Sandhyavandanam.
When we say ABHIVADHAYEY etc, while performing namaskaram, we mention the names of
the Rishies, whose descendants we are. We also mention the name of the Rishi, who has laid
down the procedures ( Sutras ) for following the Vedic rites. A number of Rishies like
have laid down procedures to be followed for KrishnaYajurveda. Of these, a large majority of
people follow the Sutra laid down by Apasthamba and we mention this also while performing
the namaskaram. These Rishis have perceived some supernatural things by virtue of their
penance and constant reciting of various Mantras. It is imperative for us to hold their tradition
and achievements. When a medicine or food is not used within the prescribed time limit, it
becomes useless and we throw it away. In order to cultivate it again, we follow the elaborate
process of sowing seeds and reaping the harvest. An alternate immediate way for using the
existing food is to preserve it by using the preservatives. Chanting of Gayatri Mantra is the
preservative, so that they do not become useless and we can understand and avail the
benefits of the mysteries of the Vedas when another great Rishi is born, capable of achieving
If Sandhyavandanam is performed correctly following the Scriptures and with due devotion, it
is quite possible that at least one in a thousand or one in a million may attain the state of Self
enlightenment, revealing the yet undiscovered mysteries of Science. He may be another
Newton or Einstein. Who knows? It may be YOU.

1.Deivathin Kural, Part ii Compilation of Paramacharyal’s discourses by Ra. Ganapathy,
publishd by Vanathi Pathippagam.
2. Vivekachoodamani, Adisankara’s, Discourses by Swami Chinmayananda, published by
Central Chinmaya Mission Trust.
3. Bhagawat Geeta, Commentary by Swami Chhidbhavananda.
4.Bhagawat Geeta, commentary by Swami Chinmayananda.
5.Gayatri by L.K.Taimni, Theosophical Society Publishing House (1974), Adyar, Chennai.
6.The Glory of Gayathri by Devudu,Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan (2004), English Translation by
Nanjunda Sastri.
7.Sandhyavandanam, Discourses by Mahasannidhanam of Sringeri Sarada Peetam (1981).
8. Sandhyavandanam, Giri Trading Agency.
9. Upanayanam by ANNA, Ramakrishna Mutt.​
And a host of other periodical and other references.
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