Gayathri is a veda mantra to be recited at sandhya period. Gayathri means "A mantra that protects those who recite it ". 'Tatsaviturvarenyam - Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi- Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat' is the gayathri mantra .
While chanting , it is prefixed by 'om' ( pranava ) and 'bhur bhuvaswah' ( vyahriti )
The meaning of the mantra is ' I meditate on sun with tejas or divine strength of the lord who activates our intellect '. This means ' I meditate on the Supreme lord in the orbit of the sun who activates our intellect.'
Gayathri mantra consists of five sections as under(Gayatri Mantra chanting)
Bhur Bhuva Suvah
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat
Each section should be uttered in one breath. There must be gap between sections.
Gayathri is considered to be mother of all mantras and is said to be equivalent to vedas . It is addressed to " para brahman " residing in the sun. In other words we meditate on para brahman residing in sun through Gayatri . God ( Para Brahman ) is both male and female . The soft and kind qualities are praised as female .Through Gayatri , we invoke soft and kind qualities of Para Brahman .
Gayatri mantra is universal . In other words it is chanted not only by humans but also by Devas. According to Chandayoga Upanishad , meditation through Gayatri at sunrise and sunset helps one to acquire benefits from "Aditya " - namely lustrous and health preserving of the body and mind , light body , high intellect with grasping power , high intuition , memory , improved blood circulation and many other qualities . During chanting , blood pressure comes down .ECG studies indicate improved absorption of cosmic or pranic energy .In the language of pranic or Reiki healers , this means better resistance against ailments . The essential feature of Sandhyavandanam is meditation through Gayatri Mantra.
Gayatri Japam or meditation through Gayatri Mantra has a unique place in vedic tradition.The benefits are immense .It helps one to acquire high personality , high mental quality , etc .
The following episode may be of interest ;
Akbar was ruling India . Birbal was his minister .Akbar and Birbal would often travel incognito to collect first hand information about the various happenings within the country.On one occasion , they noticed a brahmin going begging from house to house .Akbar pointed this out to Birbal .Birbal noticed the beggar and kept quiet. after reaching home he sent word for the brahmin to meet him.
When the brahmin called on Birbal , Birbal said , " Oh ! Brahmin - You collect your daily earnings through begging from me every day . In lieu of begging please chant Gayatri Japam during the three sandhya periods 108 times everyday." The brahmin agreed and after collecting the money from Birbal , started chanting Gayatri Mantra. after a few days , he thought , why not increase the chanting to 1008 times , since he had a lot of time. Very soon , people started giving him charity in the form of food and cash . In this way the brahmin stopped going to Birbal's house for begging . His daily meditation earnt him the power to acquire knowledge , acquire an attractive personality and soon he transformed into a good expounder of knowledge. More and more people started coming to him and he became a well known personality . Birbal also heard about him . One day Birbal visited the brahmin and asked him as to why he had stopped coming to his house . The brahmin profusely thanked Birbal for for putting him on the right path by guiding him at the right time.
One day Birbal mentioned to Akbar that a saintly person had come to town and Akbar promptly invited the person and honoured him.Birbal then asked Akbar whether he remembered this saintly person but akbar could not recollect. Birbal then reminded Akbar about the brahmin beggar episode . Akbar after hearing this exclaimed " Oh ! what a change " . This episode appears in the Akbar Nama and brings out the virtue and greatness of the Gayatri Mantra.
Gayathri Mantra is extolled by one and all . It is a simple and small mantra but with huge benefits .
As today is gayathri japam, in the early morning after your daily routines, sit facing east in a place without any disturbances. The sankalpam for Gayatri is given below. As far as possible please try to chant/recite 1008 counts of Gayatri..
Aachanaman, Two leave Dharba pavithram, additional two leave Dharbam for Aasanam and two leaves to be folded and kept in the Finger Ring. Praanaayaamam.
For Ahobilamutt followers - to begin with:
Yasyaa bhavathu baktha Janaardhahanthu pithruthva manyeshva vichaarya dhoornam, Sthambevathaara damananya labhyam Lakshmi Nrusimham Charanam prabadhye
For all Vadakalai Sect, including Ahobila Mutt followers:
Srimaan Venkatanaathaarya Kavitharkiga kesari
Vedaanthaachaarya varyome sannidathaam sathaahruthi
Gurubhya: Thath Gurubyaschha namo Vakamatheemahe
Vruneemahesa thathraathyoku thambathee jagadaambathree
Swaseshaboodhena maya sweeyai: sarvaparichathai
vithaathum preethamaathmaanam deva: prakramathe swayam.
For Vadakalai & Thenkalai - common:
Sukhlaambaratharam Vishnum sasivarnam chathurbhujam
Prasannavadanam dhyaayeth sarvavigknobashanthaye
Yasyathvradha vakthraathyaa: Paarishadhyaa paraschatham
Vignam niknanthi sathatham Vishvaksenam thamachraye
Hariharonthathsath, Sri Govinda, Govinda Govina, Asyassri bhagavatha:
mahaapurushasya Vishnoraagnjya pravarthamaanasya aadhya Brahmmana:
dhweitheeya paraarthe Srischvedhavaraakakalpe vaivasvatha manvanthre kaliyuge prathame paathe jamputhvIbe bhaarathavarshe bharathakande sakaapthe, merordakshine paarsve:
asmin vardhthamaane vyaavhaarike, prabhaavaathi sashti samvathsaraanaam madhye, Vikrudhi Naama samvathsare, Dakshinaayane, varusha rithou, Simha Maase, Krishna Pakshe, Pradamaayaam subha thithou, saumya vaasara yukthaayaam, Sathabishang Nakshathra yukthaayaam, Athiganda Yoge, bhalava Karane, Evanguna Viseshana vasishtaayaam asyaam Pradhamaayaam subhathithou, Sri Bhagavath Aagnjaa -
Srimann Naarayana Preethiyarththam (For Vadakalai)
Bhagavath Kainkarya Roopam ( for Thenkalai)
Paarvathee paramechwara preethiyartham ( For smaartha / Iyer)
mithyaatheethaprayaschithhartham GayathrI Mahamanthra Japam Karishye. (throw the Dharbam piece (idukkupill) to your left keeping the Pavithram in your Ring finger).
"Aayaathu Varadhadevi aksharam Brahmma sammidham
Gayathreem Chhandasaam maadhedham Brammajushasvava:
Ojosi sahosi Bhalamasi Praajosi Devaanaam thaamanaamaasi vichmasi vichvayus sarvamasi sarvaayurabipoorom Gayatrim Aavaahayaami."
Praadhar dhyaayaami Gayathreem ravimandalamadhyakaam
Rukvedhamuchchaarandheem rakthavarnaam kumaarikaam
Akshamaalaakaraam Brahmma daivadhyaam hamsa vaahanaam...
Saavithreeya rushi:. Viswaaamithra: deveegaayathree Chandha:, savitha Devatha:
Changka Chakradaram devam kreedathi vibooshidam, Sooryamandala madhyastham Dhyaayeth Swarnarusim Harim.
Yo Devas Savidhaasmaakam Diyo Dharmaadhi kochara:
Prerayeth thasya yath bargka: thath varenya mupaasmahe
Then count 108 or 1008 times Gayatri Japam as follows:
" Om Bhur Bhuvassuva:, ThathsavithurvarENiyam, BhargOdevasya Dheemahi, DhiyO YO na: prachodhayaath "
On completion, you should do the Upasthaanam (after reciting the required Thiruvashtaaksharam - Om NamO NaarayaNa" equal to the count of Gayatri Japam)
Uthame sikare Devi Bhoomyaam parvatha Moorthani, BraahmaNebyo hyanujjnanam Kaccha Devi Yadhasukam.
remove the Pavithram and do Achanamam twice.