The Gayatri Mantra


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The Purification Mantra
ॐ अपवित्रः पवित्रो िा सिािा स्ाां गतोऽवप िा। यः स्मरत्पे ण्ु डरीकाक्षां स बाह्याभ्यन्तरः शवु ः॥
om apavitrah pavitro vā sarvā-­‐vasthāṁ gato'pi vā | yah smaret-­‐pund arīkāksaṁ sa bāhyābhyantarah śhuchih ||
May we, whether pure or impure, in all situations and circumstances, achieve both inner and outer purity by remembering the divine name of the lotus-­‐eyed all-­‐pervading Divinity.
The Gayatri Mantra
Found in the Rig Veda (3.62.10), the gayatri mantra takes its name in part because it is written in the gayatri meter (twenty-­‐four syllables divided into three lines of eight syllables each). But gayatri also means “she who protects the singer” (from gai—“to sing,” and trai—“to protect”). Thus, gayatri is a name for the Divine Mother, she who protects her children and leads them toward self-­‐realization. The gayatri mantra reads:
Tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
When the mantra is recited in meditation, however, an additional line is added at the beginning. This line contains the sound Om, followed by three short sounds called the maha vyahritis (the “great utterances”: bhur, bhuvah, and svah). Thus the complete mantra as it is used in meditation is:
Om bhur, bhuvah, svah tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
Om. In each of the three planes of existence, we recall within ourselves and meditate upon that wondrous Spirit of the Divine Solar Being; may he guide our inner vision.
Gayatri is a prayer as well as a mantra. As a mantra, it is a set of sounds used by meditators to realize a higher state of consciousness—a state symbolized by the sun. As a prayer it petitions God for guidance. “Direct my mind,” it asks. The gayatri as a prayer is a petition to tat (that) which is the infinite light of pure consciousness.
~ as explained by Rolf Sovik, President and Spiritual Director of the Himalayan Institute.

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The Gayatri Mantra