My fondest memory of the Gayatri Mantra is from Bali. On my way to the airport my taxi driver asked me to bring him some water from the Ganga if I ever come back to Bali. He has so much devotion and all he wanted was the water from Ma Ganga. When I got in the car he began to play a tape recording of the Gayatri Mantra, the same one I have at home that I play in the mornings as I rise. We sang it together the whole way to the airport. Looking out the window, feeling blessed tears ran down my face as we sang with love, faith and firm devotion.


Summary of the Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri Mantra (the mother of the vedas), the foremost mantra in hinduism and hindu beliefs, inspires wisdom. Its meaning is that “May the Almighty God illuminate our intellect to lead us along the righteous path”. The mantra is also a prayer to the “giver of light and life” – the sun (savitur). Goddes Gayatri is closely linked to Saraswati (goddess of education) and Lakshmi (goddess of wealth).

Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life,
Remover of pain and sorrow,
The Bestower of happiness,
Oh! Creator of the Universe,
May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light,
May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.

Word for Word Meaning of the Gayatri Mantra

Aum = Brahma ;
bhoor = embodiment of vital spiritual energy(pran) ;
bhuwah = destroyer of sufferings ;
swaha = embodiment of happiness ;
tat = that ;
savitur = bright like sun ;
varenyam = best choicest ;
bhargo = destroyer of sins ;
devasya = divine ;
dheemahi = may imbibe ;
dhiyo = intellect ;
yo = who ;
naha = our ;
prachodayat = may inspire!

Origin, Benefits and Chanting of the Gayatri Mantra

Rishis selected the words of the Gayatri Mantra and arranged them so that they not only convey meaning but also create specific power of righteous wisdom through their utterance. The ideal times for chanting the mantra are three times a day – at dawn, mid-day, and at dusk. These times are known as the three sandhyas – morning, mid-day and evening. The maximum benefit of chanting the mantra is said to be obtained by chanting it 108 times. However, one may chant it for 3, 9, or 18 times when pressed for time. The syllables of the mantra are said to positively affect all the chakras or energy centres in the human body – hence, proper pronounciation and enunciation is vital.