Gayatri (गायत्री)

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Gayatri Devi (Sanskrit ) is an aspect of Devi Saraswati, Lakshmi and Parvati, all three in one form, a form of Adi Shakti. Gayatri meaning 'Gaya' to sing and 'tri' referring to the three Goddess, is the source of Brahma's power.

Having five heads (Mukta, Vidruma, Hema, Neela, Dhavala) with the ten eyes looking in eight directions plus the earth and sky, and ten arms holding all the weapons of Lord Shiva, Lord Vishnu and Lord Brahma. Accompanied by a white swan, holding a book to portray knowledge in one hand and a cure in the other, as the Goddess of education.

Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri mantra is one of the most well known Vedic hymns consisting of twenty-four syllables, chanted by all sects of Hindu people. The persons or children are initiated into brahmacharya by the sacred thread ceremony and during the initiation they are given this mantra by the father or guru performing the ritual at the appropriate muhurtam. This hymn is addressed to god Surya (sun) as the supreme generative force. Gayatri mantra was given to the world by Viswamitra rishi. All sects of Hindus accept the importance of this hymn.

One translation of this hymn is: "We meditate on that glorious light of the divine Surya (Sun), may he, the lord of light, illuminate our minds". It is purported that repeating this hymn leads to salvation (moksha); that one who desires to attain heaven should recite it a thousand times each day; and that a person, who daily repeats the Gayatri hymn 3000 times for one month, shall be freed from guilt, however great. Recitation of this mantra causes purification and illuminates the mind.

Gayatri - Consort of Brahma

Gayatri later came to be personified as a goddess. She is shown having five heads and is usually seated within a lotus. She is seen as a consort of Brahma.

According to the myth, one day Brahma was to perform his sacrifices to gods. But to do so it was important for Brahma to be married. His consort's presence was indispensable to complete the ceremonies. Brahma asked the priest to fetch him any woman and wed him to her at the spot. Nearby was found a very lovely girl mostly seen near the Mt. Kailash Manasarovar region during that time . In reality, she was no other person than this Vedic hymn of Gayatri incarnated in the shape of that beautiful girl. Brahma immediately married that girl and kept her as his wife .

The five heads of Gayatri represent the four Vedas of ancient Indians, and the remaining one represents the Almighty Lord himself. In her ten hands she holds all the symbols of Lord Vishnu including mace, lotus, axe, conch, sudarshan chakra, lotus, etc. One of the sacred texts explicitly reads, 'The Gayatri is Brahma, the Gayatri is Vishnu, the Gayatri is Shiva, the Gayatri is Vedas".

Gayatri Chandas

Gayatri chandas is a vaidika chandas consisting of 24 letters. Gayatri mantra and many other vedic mantras are constructed in Gayatri chandas.

References

  1. Sacinandana Swami: The Gayatri Book., Vasati Verlag, 2005, ISBN 978-3-937238-05-0
  2. "Gayatri Sahasranam", Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Devi Mandir (ISBN 1-877795-57-7)
  3. Sadguru Sant Keshavadas (2006) [1978]. Gayatri: The Highest Meditation. Dehli: Motilal Bandarsidass Publishers PVT. LTD. pp. 148 pages. ISBN 81-208-0697-2.