Gayatri Book

March 11, 2018 | Author: Vaibhav Jadhav | Category: Mantra, Indian Religions, Nondualism, Religious Belief And Doctrine, Spirituality
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Gayatri Book...


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri Mantra The Sound of Divine Light


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri Mantra The Sound of Divine Light



Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri Mantra The Sound of Divine Light © 2002 Atma Institute

A note on transliteration: Many of the words used in this book are Sanskrit, which when transliterated into Roman (or English) letters requires the use of diacritical markings. Thus, Gayatri would actually be written GAyatrI. However, for ease of reading and writing, we have left off the diacritical marks, in most case, with the exception of the words in the Gayatri mantra itself. For exact pronunciation of the Sanskrit of Gayatri, see the pronunciation guide at the end.

The picture on the cover is of Gayatri Devi, the Goddess who personifies the Gayatri Mantra.

For additional information, to be added to our email or postal mailing lists, or to learn about classes or Satsangs with Aja, contact: Atma Institute 10235 NW Cornelius Pass Rd. Portland, OR 97231 (503) 690-9513 2


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

About the Author Aja has been a student, explorer and teacher in the areas of body, mind and consciousness for over twenty years. After intensive study, he was ordained as a Vedic Priest in India in 1975, in the Brahma Madhva Gaudiya Vaishnava sampradaya or lineage - an unbroken line of teachers going back to Lord Krishna. In addition, Aja has received a Doctorate of Naturopathy Degree from the International University in 1984, and in 1990 received the title of Sanskrit Adhyapaka (Teacher of Sanskrit) from the American Sanskrit Institute. Over the years he has extensively researched both Eastern and Western teachings on spirituality, religion and transcendence, personally explored the realms of consciousness and awakening and authored several books on health, spirituality and consciousness. In 1990, through self inquiry, he experienced a permanent shift in his perception of reality, recognizing that Self of Absolute Consciousness from which all arises, and which permeates all things. For additional information or to bring Aja to your area, contact: ATMA Institute 10235 NW Cornelius Pass Rd. Portland, Oregon 97231 (503) 690-9513

Table of Contents


What is Mantra? ............................................ 4 What is Gayatri?............................................ 5 Meaning of Gayatri ....................................... 7 Why Chant Gayatri Mantra? ..................... 10 Who should chant Gayatri? ........................ 12 When to Chant Gayatri and How Much ... 15 How to Chant Gayatri ................................. 19 Gayatri - The All Purpose Mantra ............. 20 Where to chant Gayatri .............................. 22 Quotes on Gayatri........................................ 24 Pronunciation of Sanskrit ........................... 28 Additional Resources ................................... 29 About the Author ......................................... 30


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

What is Mantra? First, we should consider the nature of mantra itself. The word Mantra comes from two roots: Man, referring to the mind or thinking process; and tra, to protect. Thus a mantra is a particular sound vibration or combination of sound vibrations which when repeated or meditated upon, utilizing the thinking process, creates a certain resonance which protects the mind from its incessant ramblings. In other words, through the use of a particular vibratory formula, the mind is brought to one pointedness. If you observe the mind for a moment, you will find that it is constantly moving, pulling us one way or another, and arises as innumerable desires pulling you in every direction according to the whims of the senses. The Bhagavad Gita states: “Above the objects of the senses is the mind; above the mind is the buddhi or intelligence; and above the intelligence is ‘He’, meaning either the individual Self or Supreme Self.” The mind is thus attached to the senses. But through wisdom or intelligence, it can be controlled by use of mantra. Secondly, the very vibrations of these ancient mantras have a particular effect. Everyone knows the difference between sound vibrations. The sweet sound of a symphony has a very different effect from the sound of fingernails on a blackboard. Even a single instrument like the violin can have a very soothing effect or an annoying one, depending upon whose hands hold and


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

ça is pronounced like sh as in the German word sprechen xa is pronounced like the English shut ì is pronounced like sing ï is pronounced like ny jï a is pronounced like gya ------------------------------------------------------------

Additional Resources: Mantra - the Power of Sound by Aja Booklet and 60 minute Tape With mantras in original sanskrit, transliteration, and translation. Covers pronunciation of Sanskrit, invocational mantra, healing mantras, gayatri mantras, mahamrtyunjaya mantra, planetary mantras, and more. $20.00 Postpaid within the United States and Canada (Add $5.00 elsewhere)


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Vowels a like in but ä like in father i like in pin é like in peek u like in put ü like in pool å like in trick è like in tree e like in hay ai like in aisle o like in hope au like in house

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

play it. Similarly, the sounds of speech and particularly mantra have a very powerful effect. Those mantras which have been given for the healing, purification, and enlightenment of humanity have a supremely beneficial effect on all levels of consciousness.

What is Gayatri?

aà nasalized closing of mouth aù a slight breathy echoing of the preceding vowel Consonants Most consonants are pronounced as in English. However, consonants have an aspirated and non aspirated form. The non-aspirated is said with minimal breath, while the aspirated with much breath. ka is pronounced like cup ca is pronounced like chum ta, tha, da, dha, and na are pronounced with the tongue at the teeth while Ta, Tha, Da, Dha and Na are pronounced with the tongue curled slightly back about 1/2 inch from the teeth.


The Sanskrit word Gayatri, like ‘mantra’, comes from two roots: gaya, and tra. Gaya means to sing, and tra or tri (feminine form) is that which protects. So Gayatri means that which protects or saves the singer. Gayatri mantra is the most well known and used mantra of all time. It is known by various names including Savitri (referring to the sun), Vedamata (Mother of the Vedas), and the Guru mantra, as it is traditionally given at the time of initiation. It is also one of the oldest mantras and originally appears in both the Rig Veda and Yajur Veda. Besides being a particular verse, Gayatri is also a meter of 24 syllables in which hundreds of verses may be found, generally to the various manifestations of the Gods and Goddesses. Thus you will find various Shiva Gayatris, Ganesh Gayatris, Lakshmi Gayatris, Vishnu Gayatris, etc. But for our purposes, we will be speaking of the original Gayatri or Savitri Gayatri.


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

A somewhat unique aspect of Gayatri is that it is both a mantra and a prayer. Generally speaking, a mantra may not have inherent meaning, that is, it is a unique combination of sound vibrations which when recited create a particular resonance and thus have particular effects. This is also the case with Gayatri, however, Gayatri is also a prayer, having a meaning which can be understood by the reciter. It is in fact a prayer to the Divine to enlighten us. Thus, Gayatri is both an invocation to, and vibrationally resonates as the Divine Light of the Absolute!

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

is born of the sun. For Jyotish it gives knowledge of the movements of the heavenly bodies ruled by the cosmic sun. — Vama Shashtri (David Frawley)

Pronunciation of Sanskrit



Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

that light releases innumerable souls from the world’s bondage. Gayatri makes man god-loving while freeing him from worldly wants.” — Pandit Madanmohan Malaviya “The great mantra of Gayatri has a unique contribution to make in the impending new age. Its impact on the moral and ethical renaissance of this new scientific-intellectual age will be unequalled, unparalleled and extraordinary.” — Sriram Sharma Acharya

“Gayatri meditation is the highest form of meditation known in the Vedas.” Gayatri is chanted for the attainment of universal consciousness and for the awakening of intuitive powers. (It) removes all the best cure for all ills...destroys karma and blesses us with liberation...brings healing to any sickness, be they physical, mental, emotional or spiritual.” — Sant Keshavadas

The Gayatri mantra is central to Yoga, Vedanta, Ayurveda and Vedic astrology. For Yoga it sets in motion the Divine will toward transformation, stimulating the Kundalini force. For Vedanta it grants Self-knowledge, knowledge of the solar Self. For Ayurveda it gives the power of the cosmic prana that 26

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Meaning of Gayatri So, let’s look at Gayatri mantra itself. The most traditional way of chanting Gayatri is as follows:

` -U-v Ru > Sv> tTsivtuvrR {e y< -gaeR devSy xImih ixyae yae n> àcaedyat! om bh¨r bhuva× sva× tat savitur vareõyaÕ bhargo devasya dhŸmahi dhiyo yo na× pracoday˜t What follows is a very brief description of each word. Sanskrit is such that nearly every word has multiple meanings and a literal translation, although possible, falls far short of the true depth and beauty of the actual meaning. (For exact pronunciation see Sanskrit Pronunciation Guide on page 28.)


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light


God, the primordial sound from which all originates,

bh¨× bhuva× sva× tat savitu×

The earthly plane,

vareõyaÕ bharga× devasya dhŸmahi dhiya× ya× na× pracoday˜t

The heavenly plane, The causal plane, The Absolute. Or “That”, Traditionally ‘Of the Sun’, but also ‘Of God’, the Source of all, Worshippable, The Divine Light; that which is ever expanding, Of God, Of the Divine, Let us meditate upon, Our wisdom, intelligence (buddhi), our meditation, Who, us, Enlightens, enthuses, awakens, quickens

(The Sanskrit words of Gayatri above are shown in their grammatically original forms, not necessarily as they appear in the mantra.)


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

able to attain enlightenment by the power of Gayatri. When that is so, then the worship of Gayatri by the firm and pure minded persons will surely lead them to self knowledge and self-realisation.” — Sage Vashishtha “It is not possible for us to describe the greatness of Gayatri. It is not possible to act in this world beneficently without purity of mind. This purity of mind which brings in enlightenment leading to self-realisation is the result of the inspiration received from Gayatri. The avatara of Gayatri has occurred to aid us in the eradication of evil and to help increase the good.” — Jagadguru Sankaracharya “I tell people that due to the sadhana of Gayatri hard austeries have been rendered unnecessary. The greatest of siddhis can be obtained by the japa of Gayatri. The Gayatri mantra is small but its powers immeasurable.” — Ramakrishna Paramahamsa “Gayatri purifies the mind. Without the purity of mind our life is of no use. Gayatri is the producer of this purity of mind.” — Swami Vidyananda “Of the many invaluable treasures given to us by our rishis, Gayatri is the incomparable one. Gayatri makes mind pure and gives the light of god to the soul and 25

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Quotes on Gayatri “Of the many methods of yoga one of the most potent is the yoga of Gayatri mantra. Mantras have powers to endow one with remarkable abilities. The Gayatri mantra gives the devotees spiritual as well as material benefits.” — Ramana Maharshi “The way honey is the essence of flowers, and butter of milk, in the same manner Gayatri is the essence of all the Vedas. Gayatri when realized is verily the Kamadhenu - the celestial wish-fulfilling cow. Ganga cleanses the sins of this worldly body; Gayatri purifies the soul. The worship of god bereft of Gayatri is like going out to beg food leaving the meals laid out before you. Gayatri is the greatest means of extending your spiritual powers and successful accomplishment of good ends. There is nothing greater than Gayatri for this purpose..” — Veda Vyasa

“Even divinities like Brahma pray to Gayatri because Gayatri makes possible the realization of Brahman. Gayatri removes from you the propensity to evil actions.” — Rishi Bharadwaja

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

The first three words after OM, (i.e. bh¨r bhuva× sva×) are called ‘Mahavyahriti’, and in their most simplistic definition refer to three states of existence: earthly, astral, causal. However, sometimes the mantra is expanded to include a full seven levels of existence: bhur bhuvah svah maha jana tapa satyam, which are sequentially higher and subtler states of existence. The general idea is that the Lord is present in and as, and oversees all states of existence. Thus a general translation for Gayatri as prayer is:

Om, let us meditate upon that Supreme Lord of all existence, the Worshippable Divine Effulgence and Source of all that is, that He may enliven, awaken and enlighten our intelligence. (Although I’ve used the masculine ‘He’, Gayatri mantra itself is deified as a female energy or Shakti. In fact, one of the beauties of Gayatri is that everyone chants it. It belongs to no particular sect or group. Anyone of any spiritual tradition can benefit by chanting it. It is used by followers of Shiva, Vishnu, various tantrik traditions, shaktas, bhaktas, everyone. In fact, since it is non-specific, there would be nothing wrong with Christians, Jews, Muslims, or anyone else taking advantage of it.)

“Even fools, criminals and men with unstable minds are



Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Why Chant Gayatri Mantra? This is perhaps the key question. There are so many possible paths that one may take for both material and spiritual success. Why should one choose to chant any mantra at all and particularly Gayatri mantra? As mentioned before, the mind’s nature is restless and unsteady. Its tendency is to go outward toward the various sense objects, as well as to dwell on innumerable concepts. The Gita says that the mind of the resolute is one-pointed, while the mind of others is many branched. Mantra brings that focus. Gayatri particularly brings that focus. Moreover, Gayatri brings strength and stamina. In this regard there is a story concerning Gayatri mantra: Manu (one of the fathers of mankind) wished to learn all of the Vedas without studying. With this end in mind he began to worship Lord Indra, the king of heaven. Finally, Lord Indra appeared and asked what Manu wanted. Manu explained that he wished to know all the Vedas but without studying them. Indra laughed at his request and told Manu it was impossible. Undaunted, Manu continued and even deepened his austerities until Indra appeared again, stated his request once more, and once more was told it was impossible. The next day, as Manu walked along the beach, he saw a man throwing rocks into the sea. After some time, he asked the man what his purpose was. The


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

and tamas (darkness) characterized by lethargy, darkness, and ignorance. All places are in one or more of these modes. Thus it is easier to perform spiritual practice in some place which is in the mode of goodness (the forest or mountains), than in a place which is full of passion and movement (the downtown of a major city for instance). When you are chanting in a place that is characterized by the modes of passion or ignorance, you’re already fighting those lower qualities. It’s a little like trying to light a fire while someone is dripping (or pouring) water on it. So, the scriptures have said that there is a greater amount of benefit derived by chanting in a particular place. It goes something like this: (The units are sort of an arbitrary unit) At Home Near a river Where cows are taken care of Where Agnihotra is performed Where Sages have achieved j]Ana or siddhi (perfection)

1 unit 2 units 10 units 100 units

100,000 or 10,000,000 units In Temples or Places of God According to the merit of the place In front of God Unlimited When done on Rudraksha Rosary Unlimited


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

by the offering of either a spoonful of pure ghee, or rice (and/or other grains mixed) with ghee. This may be done 108 times (one mala), or can be continued for a specific amount of time - one hour, 4 hours, all day, etc. This is a particularly potent ritual to do on full moon days, new moon days, during eclipses, equinoxes and solstices, or other special astrological and astronomical occurences. It is also an exceptionally beneficial ceremony to do for healing. An added benefit is that the ash from the homa, if collected and kept in a bottle, can be used for healing (rub it on the body while chanting Gayatri; bites from snakes, etc.; to dispel spirits; and on plants and in the garden to improve the soil and strengthen the plants.

man replied that he was trying to fill up the sea. Manu laughed at the man and asked, “Is it possible to fill up the sea by throwing small stones into it?” To which the man replied, “Certainly it is as possible as knowing all the Vedas without reading them!” Manu immediately realized that this was Indra and finally understood that his request was not possible. However, he asked Indra if there was some technique by which he could more easily learn the Vedas. Indra replied, “Yes. If you wish to have the knowledge of the Vedas, then first chant Gayatri mantra. It will wipe away your laziness, give you enthusiasm, sharpen your intellect and make you cheerful all the time. Within a few days you will be a new person, and by its power you will quickly learn the Vedas.”

Where to chant Gayatri

Gayatri mantra is considered the Mother of all the Vedas, and that they are all contained within the Gayatri. The vibrational resonance of Gayatri purifies the chanter in his body, mind, and consciousness. It awakens Divine enthusiasm. Over many millions of lifetimes we have accumulated innumerable samskaras and vasanas or desires and tendencies. Chanting of Gayatri helps to eliminate these accumulated impurities, known as karmas.

Although chanting Gayatri is always beneficial, there are said to be certain times and places where it is more beneficial. Everyone is aware that spiritual aspirants have traditionally gone to forests, hermitages temples, and so forth to perform their practices. This is in large part because these places are already more peaceful or in the mode of goodness (satva). In the Vedic teachings there are three modes or qualities of nature: satva (goodness) characterized by lightness, purity, happiness and wisdom; rajas (passion) characterized by strong desire, movement, expectations, fiery nature, etc.;


In addition, Gayatri is said to give second birth. The first birth is when one is born into the material body. The second birth (dvija), is the spiritual birth by initiation into Gayatri mantra by which one is said to 11

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

be qualified to study the spiritual scriptures and begin the spiritual path in earnest. By chanting the Gayatri mantra, the mind turns toward the Divine. Like a mirror, the mind and intelligence is wiped clean and the Absolute can shine in its purity.

mentioned above (quietly, loudly, etc.). For others, it may also be chanted in the same way, either in the presence of that person, or keeping the person within your awareness as you chant, or by chanting in front of a photo or some possession of theirs.

The Gayatri is also a mantra for all purposes. First and foremost it is a mantra for illuminating and enlightening. But Gayatri is also considered to be of immense benefit for physical healing, protection, material advancement, and wisdom. Indeed, there is no one who would not benefit by the regular chanting of Gayatri mantra with love and faith.

For specific purposes, often the addition of certain bIja or seed mantras are added at the end. For instance: For wealth and general prosperity chant the Gayatri as usual but add at the end the seed mantra for prosperity three times: çréà çréà çréà

Who should chant Gayatri? Overall, everyone should chant Gayatri, as it brings benefit not only to the chanter, but to those around them, and even the environment. Traditionally, in India, the child is given Gayatri initiation when they are at a certain age, depending on their family background, anywhere from the age of 7 years upward, as they begin their education. It should be understood that in the ancient Vedic tradition, education was understood to be both spiritual and material as learning to read, for instance, incorporated reading the scriptures. However, it is never to late to begin chanting Gayatri


For general health, add at the end the phrase: aià oà hüm namaù For diseases relating to kapha or pitta problems add: aià For disease related to vAta problems add: hüm For increased memory and intelligence add: aià For increased sense of peace, add: çaà Gayatri Homa A homa is a particular kind of Vedic fire ceremony, wherein ghee, grains and cow dung are burnt in a special vessel known as a homa kunda. There are a wide variety of mantras used in such homas, but one of the most powerful for spiritual awakening, and especially for the purification of the participants and the environment is Gayatri Homa. This Gayatri Homa is not particularly difficult. Once a small fire has been started using small pieces of cow dung dipped in ghee, then the Gayatri mantra is chanted, followed each time by the word svAhA, accompanied 21

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

going up, from the root chakra up to the crown of the head. This is similar to a kriya yoga technique. Or one could simply focus at the third eye or in the heart and hold the attention there.

One of the biggest questions that arises regarding the chanting of mantra is whether one can chant a mantra without being properly initiated into it. Initiation (or diksha) is when the mantra is given to the candidate by someone who is qualified or an adept in the mantra - generally a spiritual teacher or guru.

If one is chanting for a long period, particularly in the morning, it can be helpful to sometimes speed up or slow down. If one is beginning to feel sleepy, then speed up and chant quickly and more vigously for some time. Also, if one is chanting it mentally and beginning to drift, chant it out loud for some time. However, if one is chanting out loud, and notice that their thoughts are beginning to wander even though chanting, try mentally chanting the mantra, as that tends to take more mental effort and helps to eradicate extraneous thoughts.

Gayatri - The All Purpose Mantra First and foremost, Gayatri is meant to remove karmas, cleanse and purify the mind, and awaken us to our true transcendental nature. However, due to its inherent power it has other benefits as well. Whenever there is a true need, one would do well to turn first to Gayatri mantra as a remedial measure. It can be used for health, awakening, prosperity and all around general well being. For the benefit of oneself, it can be chanted in the ways


Nowadays, particularly in the West, the whole principle of accepting a guru is either misunderstood or looked upon with mistrust. Because of our independent natures (which is what got us in trouble in the first place) we feel that we can do everything ourselves without any help. But in what field of endeavor can one make progress without the help of someone who has been there? Whether one wants to become an artisan, a lawyer, doctor, homemaker, farmer - just about anything - the wisdom of someone deeply experienced in that field is appreciated if not absolutely mandatory. How much more then in an area that is actually beyond the mind’s concepts. The spiritual path is compared to a razor’s edge, because it is a slender path with many obstacles, and one slip can mean disaster. The assistance of a teacher who has tread the path should not be undervalued! In addition, when it comes to mantra, there are several more things to take into consideration. First, is the actual pronunciation. Mantra is a science of sound, and just like anyone can pick up the violin, what sound emanates from that violin is a result of understanding, 13

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

good instruction, and practice. Mispronunciation of mantra can be disastrous. Of course, the most important thing is chanting it with faith and love, which can overcome many mispronciations. However, if one can chant it with faith and love, and pronounce it correctly as well, how much greater the benefit. Secondly, the spiritual teacher comes in a lineage which is invested with spiritual power. It is compared to an electric current. You can plug an appliance into any outlet, but if that outlet is not connected to the electrical current, it won’t do you much good. Through the fact that the teacher has been initiated into that mantra, has practiced it and recognized the Absolute nature of it themselves, they can give not only the words, but the Shakti or energy of the mantra as well. Often the student will give their mala (chanting beads) to the teacher to chant the mantra on, thus energizing them with spiritual shakti as well. There is a story about a king who asks his guru about a particular mantra saying that he has heard about it from another source and should he chant it. The guru says this is fine, but that it lacks potency unless received from the proper source. When the king asks, “How can that be? The mantra is the mantra. Why would it matter where it comes from?” At this point the guru yelled to the king’s guards and ordered them to arrest and imprison the king. The 14

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

How to Chant Gayatri Basically, there are 3 ways to chant Gayatri: loudly, quietly (just under the breath), and mentally. Some sources say that chanting Gayatri as japa (quietly, under the breath) is 10 times more potent than chanting loudly, and that chanting mentally is 1000 times greater than that. However, chanting with faith and devotion is greatest of all, at whatever volume one chants. There is a story of a saint who received a mantra from his guru and was told not to speak it aloud or tell anyone as it would grant liberation. The saint immediately went outside and started yelling the mantra to everyone and telling them to chant it. When the guru angrily came out and insisted on knowing what he was doing, the saint said that since the mantra granted liberation, he wanted everyone to have it. The guru was very pleased by his new disciples deeper understanding. In addition to the volume of chanting, or lack thereof when chanting mentally, one can also direct the mantra, or in other words, chant it in various locations in consciousness. Shantimayi suggests a method called “Descending the Mantra” whereby one starts by chanting it at the tip of the tongue, then in the throat, thirdly at the heart, and finally at the solar plexus, chanting the same number at each place before continuing to the next. Another method is to focus the mantra in the chakras or subtle centers of the body


Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

bringing the consciousness back to the Absolute. There are a few other times at which it is beneficial to chant. Some recommend chanting while showering or bathing. Traditionally, it is not uncommon to see sadhus in India chanting Gayatri while semi-submerged in a river. There are a number of types of baths and water bath is one and mental bath is another. Mental bath is performed by chanting mantras, so if one is bathing with mantra while bathing with water they are purifying themselves both inside and out.

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

king sat stupified, and of course the guards did nothing, just staring at the guru. The guru again yelled at the guards to arrest the king. Now the king became angry and himself yelled at the guards to arrest the guru, which they immediately did. The guru immediately started laughing and said to the king, “My Lord, here is the answer to your question. We both gave the same instruction to the guards, using the same words. However, when I spoke them, they had no potency, whereas when you spoke, they immediately had an effect. The same is true with mantra!”

Before one eats or drinks it is very effective to chant Gayatri mantra several times. Holding the hands either in prayerful mood (with palms together) or on either side of the food, one can chant the mantra while letting the vibrations of the mantra spiritualize the food. In fact, holding a glass of water and chanting Gayatri mantra over it makes it a potent medicine and purifying agent.

So, although one can learn to chant the mantra through books and tapes, one should not overlook the opportunity to receive it from a teacher who has similarly received it in lineage, recognized its shakti and can pass that along.

Finally, if one hasn’t been chanting it the rest of the day anyway, as one retires for the evening it can be especially powerful to recite Gayatri as you take your rest, allowing the vibrations to carry you into sleep.

The simple answer to this question is always and as much as possible. The more one can meditate and chant on Gayatri, the more effect it will have. In fact, some scriptures give various numbers, saying that one mantra will relieve immediate karma; 108 mantras will relieve the sins of the day; 1000 all the sins of the month, and so forth, up to so many will eradicate all the sins of all the accumulated lifetimes.



When to Chant Gayatri and How Much

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

However, with that in mind, there are certain times that are considered more efficacious than others. There are three times of the day that are especially advantageous: early morning (that is right before and around dawn); noon; and the time around sunset. The early morning is especially considered beneficial. This time from about 45 minutes prior to and up to dawn is called Brahma Muhurta, and is considered the most auspicious time for spiritual practice. At this time, everything is quiet, the world is not yet moving, and one can dive deeply into their practice.

Gayatri - The Sound of Divine Light

seeds, rudraksha beads, tulsiwood, rosewood, crystal, etc. Each material has a particular vibration and is often associated with a particular intention, result or just a particular school of thought.

A mala is a rosary of 108 beads plus a 109th bead (which isn’t chanted upon). One begins on one of the beads on either side of the 109th bead (often called a head bead, guru bead, or meru bead) and chants one mantra on each bead until they have completed the circle of 108. Then if one is going to continue, one would turn the beads around and go back. It is considered inauspicious to use the index finger, so the beads are generally rolled between the thumb and middle finger. One can make these beads themselves (often they are knotted between each bead), or one can purchase premade malas of sandalwood, lotus

Chanting Gayatri for one mala (108 times) takes anywhere from about 10 to 30 minutes, depending on the speed. Of course, the idea is not to get them over with, but to deeply meditate on the sound and meaning. However, naturally as one becomes familiar with the mantra, one can chant more quickly, without losing concentration. Often times this becomes an issue if one is wanting to do anusthana or purascharana, which is chanting the mantra a specific number of times. For instance, it is often considered that one achieves siddhi or perfection of the Gayatri by chanting it 125,000 times, or some say one lakh of mantras per syllable in the mantra. A lakh is 100,000. Gayatri has 24 syllables, so it would be 24 x 100,000 or 2,400,000. By chanting the Gayatri 10 malas per day (about 1-1/2 to 3 hours worth), this can be achieved much quicker. Some sources say that if you cant 1000 GAyatrIs daily (10 malas) for 40 days, one becomes radiant. However, in the beginning it is best to start with a number one can handle and gradually work up. So most people can handle doing one mala a day. They should stick to this strictly, and then perhaps add one mala in the evening. Gradually increase to two malas, and so forth. Between those specific times, throughout the day one can chant mentally while doing anything else and



As far as the number of times one chants it, that is up to the practitioner. Obviously, the minimum number is once a day. Some say 10 times per sitting. For most, the minimum is considered to be one mala.

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