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The Gayatri Mantra for Enlightenment

By Roger Gabriel (Raghavanand)

There is no mantra greater than that of the Gayatri, the potential energy emanating
from the entire cosmos. Meditation on the Gayatri mantra burns away all the layers
of impurities covering the mind, accumulated through countless births, and
bestows upon us the vision of supreme consciousness.

All wisdom, knowledge, and the entire Vedas are concealed in the 24 seed
syllables of the Gayatri mantra. They are:
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dheemahi
Dhiyo yonah prachodayaat.

The Vedic scriptures say that the non-dual Om emerged from the supreme
unmanifest Absolute becoming the three letters, A-U-M. From these came the
gross (bhur) and subtle (bhuvah and svah) universes, and from these emerged the
great Gayatri mantra.

From the Gayatri mantra came knowledge of the transcendental nature of the
cosmic being (purusha), and from this arose the entire meaning of the Vedas.
From the Vedas, Brahma created the manifest universe.

The greatest protection we can have in life is that of Jagan Mata, Mother of the
Universe. The repetition of the Gayatri mantra, with devotion and faith, gives the
seeker divine protection and divine consciousness.

Worship of other forms of the Mother Goddess without Gayatri is like worshiping
other mothers and forgetting your own. Just as all rivers merge into the oceans, all
mantras unite in the Gayatri mantra, the essence of all mantras. The Gayatri
mantra itself merges into the great ocean of Omkara, the sound of Om.

Meditation on Gayatri with self-surrender will develop the feeling of constantly living
in the divine state of pure consciousness. When our heart is completely set on
Gayatri, all the actions we perform in the world will be transformed into highly noble
actions dedicated to the divine. All desires are fulfilled. Practice of the Gayatri
mantra enables one to attain complete union with the supreme.
The chanting of this mantra develops nada, a regular subtle vibration in the
nerves of the subtle body. When we chant the Gayatri mantra, the vibrations of
this mantra touch various spiritual centers of our bodies and, as a result, a subtle
energy is awakened in the subtle body. The chanting of the Gayatri mantra
generates a pulsating ringing, and a powerful energy flows from the chakras of the
subtle body.

If we chant the Gayatri mantra in a soft, sweet voice with a tranquil mind, our
wishes, including those that have not been expressed, will all be fulfilled. That is
why Gayatri is hailed as the mother of all mothers. She protects her children from
the negative influences of the rays of the nine planets, removing fear and helping
us to successfully complete any task. Burning away the layers of impurities from
countless births, we gain divine knowledge so no evil powers can affect us. She
also maintains balance among air, fire, and water—the three elements (doshas) in
the body—ensuring good health.

There is nothing more purifying than the Gayatri mantra. Gradually, we come to
realize that the whole universe is the radiance of mother divine. We will see that,
in reality, the entire world is an embodiment of our own souls. When we ascend to
such an elevated state, we will never fall again. We will always be drenched in an
ocean of divine bliss! This alone is the fulfillment of spirituality, and we can attain
this state effortlessly by meditating on the Gayatri mantra.

The following is the standard version of the Gayatri mantra, which is the one
most commonly used:
Bhur Bhuvah Suvah
Om Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

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.
Gayatri Phonetic Pronunciation
Bhoor Bhoo-va Su-va-ha
Om Tat Sa-vee-toor Var-ayn yam
Bar-go Day-vas-ya Dhee-ma-hee
Dhee-yo Yo Nah Pra-cho-da-yaa

It is best to perform some pranayama, the expansion of vital breath, before

beginning the repetition of the Gayatri mantra. The auspicious times to repeat
the Gayatri are just before sunrise, at noon, and just before sunset. Friday is the
most auspicious day to repeat the Gayatri.

While chanting the Gayatri mantra, one should leave a small gap at the end of
each line and between each repetition. The mantra may be chanted aloud or
repeated silently.

The Gayatri Mantra with Kriyas

The following is a longer version of the Gayatri, which activates the lokhas
(heavens) in our awareness and specifically asks for the blessing of enlightenment.
It may be practiced with or without the kriyas (actions). Kriyas are said to connect
us with our atman (soul). The kriyas should be practiced with the right hand only.
Open your hand with the palm upwards.
OM BHUH – Touch the thumb to the base of the ring finger.
OM BHUVAH – Touch the thumb to the base of the little finger.
OM SVAHA – Touch the thumb to the middle of the little finger.
OM MAHAH – Touch the thumb to the tip of the little finger.
OM JANAH – Touch the thumb to the tip of the ring finger.
OM TAPAH – Touch the thumb to the tip of the middle finger.
OM SATYAM – Touch the thumb to the tip of the index finger.

OM TATSAVITUR VARENYAM – Touch the thumb to the middle of the index

finger. BHARGO DEVASYA DHIMAHI – Touch the thumb to the base of the
index finger.

DHIYO YO NAH PRACODAYAT – Touch the thumb to the base of the middle
OM APO JYOTIH – Touch the first three fingers to the right eye.
RASO’MRTAM – Touch the first three fingers to the left eye.

BRAHMA BHUR BHUVAH SVAR OM – Touch the first three fingers to the third

When using the kriyas, it is recommended that you repeat the mantra three times
and then continue repeating either the long or short version of the Gayatri mantra
at least ten more times without the kriyas.

About the Author

Born in Liverpool, England, Roger Gabriel spent his formative years in the United
Kingdom and first learned meditation there in the early 1970s. It instantly became
his passion and he soon trained to be a meditation teacher under Maharishi
Mahesh Yogi.

After moving to the U.S., Roger began studying Ayurveda, the ancient Indian
system of health care. In 1985, while helping to establish centers for Ayurveda
and meditation, he met and became friends with Deepak Chopra. Since then,
Roger has assisted Deepak with numerous training programs, seminars, and
workshops; taught thousands of people on all continents to meditate; and
assisted in training hundreds of people to become teachers of meditation,
Ayurveda, and yoga.

Roger has been blessed to meet and study with great teachers in India and the
West, and he has traveled extensively in India. He incorporates much of what he
has learned in his practices and teaching. In 2006, Roger received his spiritual
name Raghavanand from Shree Satuwa Baba Maharaji of Varanasi, India.

As time permits, he involves himself with charity programs in India and takes like-
minded seekers on tours to some of his favorite pilgrimage sites there. Roger
currently serves as a member of the Chopra Center Certification’s Advisory Board
and is a Chopra Center–certified Master Educator who teaches regularly at the
Center’s workshops, seminars, and teacher training programs. When not traveling,
he lives in Encinitas, California.