The Power of the Gayatri Mantra
In today’s world, where everyone is living a busy and stressful life, it’s common to experience mental and physical exhaustion. More often than not, our mental and physical wellness take the backseat due to lack of time.
Experts and wellness trainers often suggest meditation as a means to combat stress and achieve mindfulness. However, mediation is a tough habit to cultivate and takes effort, patience, and time.
There is one alternative, which doesn’t require you to put in as much effort but reap similar results. It is one of the most common incantations in the Hindu religion and has been a part of religious practices for centuries.
The Gayatri Mantra is a powerful chant and is known to relax the mind instantly. The Gayatri Mantra finds its earliest origins in the Vedas, the most sacred scriptures of India which is believed to have originated around 1800-1500 BCE.
The mantra holds great prominence in the Vedas and is often termed as the mother of all mantras. It is chanted for invoking the deities and is addressed to the sun. Discover more about the benefits of this magical mantra below.
The Gayatri Mantra and its Translations
The English and the original Sanskrit texts are given below:
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
In English, this can be read as:
Bhur Bhuva Svaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo yonah Prachodayat
Every word in the Gayatri Mantra has a profound meaning, which also makes it so effective and intellectually stimulating. The literal translation of the mantra is as follows:
“Oh, creator of the universe.
We meditate upon thy supreme splendor.
May thy radiant power illuminate our intellects, destroy our ignorance, and guide us in the direction of enlightenment by purifying our inner hearts.”
The mantra may also be translated as:
“We meditate on the glory of the Creator;
Who has created the Universe;
Who is worthy of Worship;
Who is the embodiment of Knowledge and Light;
Who is the remover of all Sin and Ignorance;
May He enlighten our Intellect”
A Deep Dive into the Three Parts of Gayatri Mantra
To fully understand and appreciate the beauty and power of the mantra, it would be prudent to divide it into three parts:
Part 1: Praise
The nine words in the first part of the Gaytri Mantra praises the divine powers above. This is also symbolic of showing gratitude towards the omnipresent higher forces for showering their graciousness and goodness upon mankind. As the Gayatri Mantra is addressed to the sun god (Savitr), some explanations also talk about the praise being directed towards the sun.
The sun plays an essential role in the sustenance of life on earth and nearly every creature on earth derives the power to grow and survive from the energy of the sun. Thus, the chant begins by praising the sun for bestowing us with his light in abundance, thus making the earth an ideal place for life to flourish.
Part 2: Meditation
The second part of the Gayatri Mantra talks about the divine being meditated upon by the chanter in gratefulness and reverence. This part helps the person who is chanting experiences a calm like someone who is meditating.
This happens when an individual has deep respect or belief in something which increases the proximity between the seeker and the supreme power to an extent where a person loses a sense of his surroundings and becomes one with the divine. Another explanation talks about a person meditating by focusing on the light of the sun, which also becomes the person’s inner guiding light, thereby opening the way to attain wisdom.
Part 3: Prayer
The third and the last part of the Gayatri Mantra is an appeal made to the divine and this is done to awaken and strengthen our Intellect. Man, while being intelligent, is also one with the most inhibitions leading to discrimination and inequality amongst creatures.
The prayer is aimed towards the almighty to help the chanter get rid of this discriminating faculty (Buddhi) within him and rise above the trivialities of life. This will help achieve the highest intellectual qualities leading to the achievement of enlightenment and imbibe the thought of equality and love towards all those who exist on earth.
How to Chant the Gayatri Mantra
To get the maximum benefits of chanting the Gayatri mantra, one should always ensure the following:
- The place where the mantra is being recited should be calm with minimal distractions.
- The mantra should be chanted in the relaxed state of mind and with soft and lower tones to feel the vibrations created by chanting.
- Try pronouncing the words of the mantra clearly and correctly, and an effort should be made to understand the meaning of each word being spoken.
- Practicing pranayama (the practice aimed at breath control) is recommended before starting the chant. This can be easily done by practicing to breathe through alternate nostrils.
- One should try reciting the mantra while facing the sun’s direction, depending on the time of the day. For e.g., east during morning and west during the evening.
10 Amazing Benefits of Chanting the Gayatri Mantra
1. Improves Concentration and Learning
The pronunciation of the Gayatri Mantra creates positive vibrations. These vibrations help in cleansing and activation of three chakras, namely the third eye chakra, the crown, and the throat chakra.
These three chakras encompass many glands like eyes, sinuses, lower head, thyroid gland, etc. and are directly associated with the brain. When the chakras become enlightened and active due to the effect created by vibrations produced by chanting of the mantra, it leads to an increased concentration and improved learning capabilities.
2. Improves Breathing
As mentioned above, practicing Pranayama before chanting gives better results. This is because of the breathing techniques used in pranayama help in opening the airways.
Deep controlled breaths during chanting allow the lungs to expand, leading to improved respiratory system functioning. It not just enhances the working of lungs but also helps in increased supply of oxygen to other parts of the body resulting in improved overall health.
3. Keeps your Heart Healthy
The controlled breaths taken during the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra help create synchronized breathing. As a matter of fact, chanting the mantra slows down the breathing rate of the person.
The slowing down of the breathing helps create sync while pumping blood to the heart, which also regularises the heartbeat. This also helps in keeping the blood pressure under control. One should aim to make chanting part of the daily routine, which would help in staying healthy
4. Reduces Negativity
Chanting Gayatri Mantra over time stimulates the brain to stay focussed. This helps the person to have better concentration levels and also helps to control the thought process to not allow any negative or bad thoughts.
This helps the person experience a sense of calm and positive vibes, and thereby reduce negative thoughts.
5. Improves Functioning of the Nervous System
Various parts of the body like lips, mouth, tongue, palate, and throat, etc. are used while chanting the Gayatri Mantra.
The pressure created in the process releases different vibrations, which not just stimulates but also strengthens the nerves. It also causes the brain to release neurotransmitters for the stimulus as per the vibrations received. This keeps the nerves healthy and allows them to function better.
6. Helps Reduce Asthma
Breathing remains one of the most critical aspects of chanting the Gayatri Mantra. The controlled deep breaths and holding of breath for short periods while reciting the mantra leads to the strengthening of the lungs.
The regular chanting can also provide relief to asthma patients as they might experience their symptoms lessening in severity.
7. Calms the Mind
Chanting of the Gayatri Mantra is said to create a significant soothing effect on the mind. The first word of the chant “OM” is also known as the sound of the universe.
Chanting ‘Om’ creates vibrations that are said to develop a sense of tranquillity in a person’s mind. Apart from Om, the entire repeated chants of the Gayatri Mantra help a person develop and release happy hormones (like serotonin), which in turn create healing effects on the human mind.
8. Improves Overall Immunity
The effect created by vibrations while chanting stimulates the hypothalamus; which is responsible for the regularising and functioning of various functions in a human body, including maintaining immunity.
This gland is also known to release happy hormones in the body and its stimulation leads to many positive effects on the body. Apart from this, the stimulation and alignment of chakras caused due to chanting also improves the immunity of the body and helps in keeping diseases away.
9. Reduces Stress, Anxiety, and Depression
Stress and anxiety, often causing long-term disorders like depression, have become a part of life these days.
The positive vibes experienced by regular chanting lead to the release of hormones like endorphins and other relaxing hormones, which help in fighting stress, anxiety, and depression
10. Leads to Prosperity and Wisdom
The supreme God is worshipped and depicted as sunlight, which in turn, represents wisdom and enlightenment as per Indian mythology.
It is believed that reciting the Gayatri Mantra brings a lot of prosperity, wealth, and all the other things in abundance, as the chanter is blessed with wisdom.
Gayatri Mantra: Standing the Test of Times
Over the centuries, many wise men and sages have reiterated the benefits and purity of the Gayatri Mantra.
It has been referenced in countless religious texts and is often used at the beginning of rituals and prayers. Here are some excerpts from books and texts talking about the Gayatri Mantra:
Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh (1887-1963)
In his book ‘Sadhana’, Swami Sivananda discussed the Gayatri Mantra from pages 217 to 220. He says, “Of all the Mantras, the Supreme and the most potent power of powers is the great, glorious Gayatri Mantra. It is the life and support of every true Hindu. It is the support of every seeker after Truth who believes in its efficacy, power, and glory, be he of any caste, creed, clime, or sect. It is only one’s faith and purity of heart that really count.”
Further, he explains, “It is wrong to conceive of the notion that the Gayatri Mantra is solely meant for the orthodox Brahmin class. It is universally applicable, for it is nothing but earnest prayer for Light addressed to the Almighty Supreme Spirit. It is verily the sole transcendental Guide-Light to humanity.”
Finally, talking about its purity and healing power, he adds, “Gayatri is the Mother of the Vedas and the destroyer of all sins. There is nothing more purifying on earth than the Gayatri Mantra. The Japa of Gayatri brings the same fruit as the recitation of all the Vedas with the Angas. This single Mantra repeated sincerely and with a clear conscience brings the Supreme Good, which is liberation or emancipation from the wheel of birth and death.”
Sadguru Sant Keshavadas (1934-1997)
Sadguru Sant Keshavadas, the founder of the Temple of Cosmic Religion, was a saint and followed the tradition of Bhakti Yoga, or devotional mysticism. In his book dedicated to the power of the mantra, named ‘Gayatri – The Highest Meditation’, Sadguru says the following on pages 74-78 and 157-159:
“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… The Gayatri Mantra is a cosmic rhythm consisting of 24 syllables, arranged as a triplet of 8 syllables… Gayatri meditation destroys all delusions, energizes prana, bestows longevity, health, brilliance, and illumination.”
The Gayatri Mantra is the key to opening the door of Cosmic Consciousness
“The best times for meditation are in the morning, just before sunrise and in the evening, just before sunset. Sit facing East or North in Padmasana or Siddhasana (or Vajrasana), or in any other easy, comfortable posture. Sit on a mat covered with a woolen blanket and cotton cloth (to insulate your body from the ground). Once you sit in a posture, avoid unnecessary movement of the body. Keep the trunk, head, and neck erect. Be fearless. Sit with a firm determination to realize the Truth.”
The Final Note
The Gayatri Mantra is a powerful chant that can help transform lives for better and it is very easy to incorporate its regular chanting in our daily life.
The mantra is known to be effective if recited regularly and can help an individual get rid of negative thoughts and stress, and fill life with joy and positivity.