Gayatri mantra has been bestowed the greatest importance in Vedic dharma. This mantra has also been termed as Savitri and Veda-Mata, the mother of the Vedas. The literal meaning of the mantra is:
God! You are Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Almighty.
You are all Light. You are all Knowledge and Bliss.
You are Destroyer of fear; You are Creator of this Universe,
You are the Greatest of all. We bow and meditate upon your light.
You guide our intellect in the right direction.
The mantra, however, has a great scientific import too, which somehow got lost in the literary tradition. The modern astrophysics and astronomy tell us that our Galaxy called Milky Way or Akash-Ganga contains approximately 100,000 million of stars. Each star is like our sun having its own planet system. We know that the moon moves round the earth and the earth moves round the sun along with the moon. All planets round the sun.
Each of the above bodies revolves round at its own axis as well. Our sun along with its family takes one round of the galactic centre in 22.5 crore years. All galaxies including ours are moving away at a terrific velocity of 20,000 miles per second. And now the alternative scientific meaning of the mantra step-by-step:
Om bhur bhuvah swah:
Bhur the earth, bhuvah the planets (solar family), swah the Galaxy. We observe that when an ordinary fan with a speed of 900 RPM (rotations Per minute) moves, it makes noise. Then, one can imagine, what great noise would be created when the galaxies move with a speed of 20,000 miles per second.
This is what this portion of the mantra explains that the sound produced due to the fast-moving earth, planets and galaxies is Om. The sound was heard during meditation by Rishi Vishvamitra, who mentioned it too their colleagues. All of them, then unanimously decided to call this sound Om the name of God, because this sound is available in all the three periods of time, hence it is set (permanent). Therefore, it was the first ever-revolutionary idea to identify formless God with a specific title (form) called upadhi. Until that time, everybody recognized God as formless and nobody was prepared to accept this new idea. In the Gita also, it is said, “Omiti ekaksharam Brahma”, meaning that the name of the Supreme is Om, which contains only one syllable (8/12). This sound Om heard during samadhi was called by all the seers nada-Brahma a very great noise), but not a noise that is normally beyond a specific amplitude and limits of decibels suited to human hearing. Hence the rishis called this sound Udgith musical sound of the above, i.e., heaven. They also noticed that the infinite mass of galaxies moving with a velocity of 20,000 miles/second was generating a kinetic energy= 1/2MV2 and this was balancing the total energy consumption of the cosmos. Hence they named it Pranavah, which means the body (vapu) or storehouse of energy (prana).
Tat savitur varenyam:
Tat that (God), savitur the sun (star), varenyam worthy of bowing or respect. Once the form of a person along with the name is known to us, we may locate the specific person. Hence the two titles (upadhi) provide the solid ground to identify the formless God, Vishvamitra suggested. He told us that we could know (realize) the unknowable formless God through the known factors, viz., sound Om and light of suns (stars).
A mathematician can solve an equation x2+y2=4; if x=2; then y can be known and so on. An engineer can measure the width of a river even by standing at the riverbank just by drawing a triangle. So was the scientific method suggested by Vishvamitra in the mantra in the next portion as under
Bhargo devasya dheemahi:
Bhargo the light, devasya of the deity, dheemahi we should meditate. The Rishi instructs us to meditate upon the available form (light of suns) to discover the formless Creator (God). Also he wants us to do Japam of the word Om (this is understood in the Mantra) . This is how the sage wants us to proceed, but there is a great problem to realize it, as the human mind is so shaky and restless that without the grace of the Supreme (Brahma) it cannot be controlled. Hence Vishvamitra suggests the way to pray Him as under.
Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat:
Dhiyo (intellect), yo (who), nah (we all), prachodayat (guide to right Direction). O God! Deploy our intellect on the right path.
Full scientific interpretation of the Mantra:
The earth (bhur), the planets (bhuvah), and the galaxies (swah) are moving at a very great velocity, the sound produced is Om, (the name of formless God.) That God (tat), who manifests Himself in the form of light of suns (savitur) is worthy of bowing / respect (varenyam). We all, therefore, should meditate (dheemahi) upon the light (bhargo) of that deity (devasya) and also do chanting of Om. May He (yo) guide in right direction (prachodayat) our (nah) intellect dhiyo
So we notice that the important points hinted in the mantra are:-
1) The total kinetic energy generated by the movement galaxies acts as an umbrella and balances the total energy consumption of the cosmos. Hence it was named as the Pranavah (body of energy). This is equal to 1/2 mv2 (Mass of galaxies x velocity)
2) Realizing the great importance of the syllable OM, the other later date religions adopted this word with a slight change in accent, viz., amen and Ameen.
3) The God could be realized through the saguna (gross), upasana (method), i.e.,
(a) by chanting the name of the supreme as OM and
(b) by meditating upon the light emitted by stars (suns).
Holding the breath one should repeat the above mentioned Gaayatri Mantra completely. Thrice at BRAHMA MUHURTHA. This is called GAAYATRI PRAANAAYAAMA.
The above mentioned Gaayatri Maha Mantra is the essence of all the Vedas. Gaayatri Mantra reveals the existence of the Supreme Self or PARAMAATMAN in every existing object –living or non living, as its very essence.
GAAYATRI MANTRA UPAASANA consists of chanting the complete Mantra as given above, loudly, with perfect phonetic intonations.
If there is not perfect phonetic expression of sound, the Mantra may not have the required effect. The Mantra is mainly intended for personal usage. Unless one is physically handicapped, the Mantra is to be chanted by the aspirant himself. Regular Gayatri Praanaayaama Saadhana leads one to self knowledge, bestows liberation and Siddhis.
ADI SHANKARA SAYS:
GAAYATRI MANTRA is the essence of Vedas. Vedas proclaim the oneness of Jivaatman and Paramaatman. So Gaayatri Mantra also aims at this oneness only.
The meaning of the Mantra is :
He who is the Supreme Sun, He who shines as the self of all individual should, let him inspire our thinking to understand this great truth.
That PARABRAHMAN is SAVITUR -SUN.
That PARABRAHMAN is DEVA- the shining one. He is the light by which we see other lights.
That PARABRAHMAN is VARENYAM – Greatest, because he is well known to everybody as their very self, as their “I”.
That PARABRAHMAN is BHARGAHA – The lustrous one, because He destroys the ignorance in everybody.
We meditate on THAT PARABRAHMAN, who is referred to by the words –SAVITUR, DEVA, BHARGA , VARENYAM.
Let THAT PARABRAHMAN give us the power to mediate on Him as our own self.
Let THAT PARABRAHMAN inspire our thoughts to comprehend the truth of the oneness of PARAMAATMAN and JIVAATMAN.
OM TAT SAT.
These three words form the essence of Vedas.
OM is the common word in this statement and the GAAYATRI MANTRA.
TAT is also a common word in both. In the GAAYATRI MANTRA, the word TAT is given a detailed explanation.
TAT in GAAYATRI MANTRA refers to SAVITUR, BHARGA, DEVA, VARENYAM.
SAT means the pure existence or the Awareness in you. You are the SAT because of which all other things like your body, mind etc. exist.
OM TAT SAT means the oneness of PARAMAATMAN and JIVAATMAN.
OM TAT SAT means THAT IS EXISTENCE
GAAYATRI MANTRA also means:
THAT PARABRAHMAN, THAT LUSTROUS SHINING SUN -EXISTS -AS YOU
TAT TVAM ASI
THAT THOU ART
I AM BRAHMAN
Let that Supreme Self inspire our intellects to meditate upon the truth.
I AM THE SUPREME SELF
BHOOHU – EXISTENCE
BHUVAHA – CONSCIOUSNESS
SVAHA – BLISS
MAHAHA – GREAT
JANAHA – CAUSE
TAPAHA – LUSTRE
SATYAM – UNAFFECTED
All these words mentioned in the GAAYATRI MANTRA refer to the PARABRAHMAN.
AAPO or AAPAHA – ALL PERVADING
JYOTEE – SHINING LIGHT
RASO or RASAHA – ESSENCE
AMRITAM – NECTAR
PARABRAHMAN is everything that exists. So He is everywhere. He
pervades everything that exists.
PARABRAHMAN is the SELF. He is the ATMAN. He is the Essence of
PARABRAHMAN is immortal. He is eternal. He is free from Death.
Let us mediate like this, when we chant the complete GAAYATRI MANTRA.:
“I am the Supreme Parabrahman.
I am the witness of the actions of my body, mind and intellect.
These are the instruments given to me for experiencing the world.
I need no other support for my existence.
I am THAT which is referred to in the GAAYATRI MANTRA, as SAVITUR,
DEVA and VARENYAM.
I am BHOO, BHUVA, SVAHA, MAHA, JANA, TAPA, SATYAM.
I am AAPA, I am JYOTI. I am RASA. I am AMRITAM. I am BRAHMAN.
I am EVERYTHING.
I am SAT-CHID-AANANDA.
I am Existence. I am Awareness. I am Bliss.
I AM THAT ”
ADI SHANKARA SAYS:
BRAHMAN is All pervading
BRAHMAN is Self shining
BRAHMAN is Different from Everything
BRAHMAN is the Self
BRAHMAN is Eternal
BRAHMAN is Existence, Consciousness, Bliss
BRAHMAN is denoted by the OMKAR
The other name of BRAHMAN is OM
I AM THAT BRAHMAN
I AM THAT BRAHMAN
I AM THAT BRAHMAN
This is the meaning of GAAYATRI MAHA MANTRA, according to ADI SHANKARA
OM TAT SAT
Posted in Nature, buddhism, hinduism, religion, spirituality.
Tagged with AANANDA, ALL PERVADING, BHOO, BHUVA, BLISS, BRAHMAN, CAUSE, CONSCIOUSNESS, Creator, dharma, earth, EXISTENCE, GAAYATRI MANTRA, Gayatri, global, God, GREAT, hindu, JANA, Knowledge, LUSTRE, MAHA, mantra, NECTAR, OM TAT SAT, planets, religion, religious, SATYAM, science, spirituality, SVAHA, TAPA, UNAFFECTED, Vedic.
By asman hall – October 13, 2010