Gayatri Mantra is a very popular devotional chant. It is very meaningful and is said to be very powerful. The lyrics have a soothing effect.
It is believed that Rigveda Samhita is the oldest work of Hinduism. The Rigveda Samhita is divided into ten sections (known as mandalas) and each section has several poems (called suktas). Each poem is further made up of verses. Perhaps the most famous verse from the Rigveda is the savita gayatri mantra.
The Gayatri mantra is a 6,000-year-old verse recited by millions of Hindus every day all over the world. This mantra – Rigveda Samhita 3.62.10 – was composed by sage Vishwamitra. He composed most of the poems in the third section of the Rigveda.
Significance Of Gayatri Mantra
This verse is called the Gayatri mantra possibly because it is composed in the poetic meter called Gayatri. A verse written in this poetic meter should have three lines and each line must have eight syllables. It is interesting to note that the etymology of the word Gayatri is gayantam trayate iti gayatri, “Gayatri is that which protects the person who recites it.”
Gayatri mantra is a prayer to the Supreme, which stimulates our mind and empowers us. Just like the sun wakes us up every morning, we pray that the Supreme light wakes up our intellect. It is indeed a prayer for internal strength.
om bhur bhuvah swah
tat saviturvareṇyam |
bhargo devasya dhimahi |
dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayat ||
The Meaning Of Gayatri Mantra Word By Word
In Sanskrit, every word has several meanings. So it’s important for us to understand the context in which a certain word is used. Let us take a look at what each word in this mantra means:
bhur: The physical plane of existence (which is of the nature of 5 elements)
bhuvah: The astral plane of existence (which is of the nature of subtle elements)
swah: The causal plane or celestial plane (plane where the existence is as subtle as ideas or notions, from which creation happens).
tat = that
savituh = the sun; literalley “one who permits”, “one who stimulates”, “one who vivifies”
varenyam = best, excellent, worthy of the highest respect
bhargah = light, lustre, radiance
devasya = of god, of the lord, of the deity
dhīmahi = (we) meditate, contemplate
dhiyah = intellect, wisdom, mind, consciousness
yah = the one who, he who
nah = to us, for us
prachodayat = (one who) inspires, motivates, stimulates, empowers
Simple English Translation Of Gayatri Mantra
Oh God, the Protector, the basis of all life, Who is self-existent, Who is free from all pains and Whose contact frees the soul from all troubles, Who pervades the Universe and sustains all, the Creator and Energizer of the whole Universe, the Giver of happiness, Who is worthy of acceptance, the most excellent, Who is Pure and the Purifier of all, let us embrace that very God, so that He may direct our mental faculties in the right direction.