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18 March 2011 at 16:39
Om bhur bhuvah svah

tat-savitur varenyam

bhargo devasya dhimahi

dhiyo yo nah pracodayat

...This appears in Rig Veda (iii /62/10)....

Gayatri is actually the name for a Sanskrit poetical meter that contains three lines of eight syllables each. There are, therefore, many gayatri mantras, but this particular one is the oldest and most well known of all gayatri mantras.

In Hindu Dharma all Gods and Goddesses have a gayatri mantra associated with them. There is a gayatri for Ganesha, one for Shiva, one for Durga, one for Vishnu, one for Lakshmi, and so on. Most people are unaware of this fact and when Hindu...s talk about the gayatri mantra they mean thee gayatri mantra shown above, which is addressed to Savitri, the sun. The first line: om bhur bhuvah svah that you see above is not actually part of a gayatri mantra. It is a special utterance called vyahriti that has been added to the beginning of this famous gayatri . This vyahriti is important in and of itself

The first part of the gayatri mantra, om bhur bhuvah svah, which I mentioned at the beginning as not part of the mantra, is called vyahriti or the “great utterance.” This mantra is repeated not only in conjunction with the gayatri mantra, b...ut also separately during havans or fire ceremonies. The word om is a auspicious sound made at the beginning of many prayers. The expression bhur bhuvah and svah is technical, but a simple way to think of it is as a “call to creation,” that the light of the sun (the light of God) shines on the earth (bhur), in the sky (bhuvah), and in space (svah), and therefore the implication is, “let that light also shine on me.”

The technical explanation vyahriti has to do with subtle practices of meditational yoga. This earth is simply one of many planes of existence. In fact, above this earth are six higher planes, heavens as it were. Including this earth, there are seven planes up (heavens) and seven planes down, or hells below this earth. The earth is in the middle. If you have ever heard the expression, “he is in seventh heaven” you should understand that this is a reference to the Hindu idea of heavens. The seventh heaven is the highest heaven. The first three of these planes starting with the earth are called bhur, bhuvah and svah. The utterance bhur bhuvah svah, therefore, refers to the first three subtle planes of existence that may be reached in meditation by a yogi.

tat–that (Bhagwan)

savitur–of the sun

varenyam–the best

bhargo (bhargas)–light, illumination


...dhimahi–let us meditate (a verb)

dhiyo (dhiyah)–thought(s)

yo (yah)–which

nah–of us, our

pracodayat–May it push, inspire (a verb)

Gayatri Mantra Meaning

We contemplate the glory of Light illuminating the three worlds: gross, subtle, and causal.


I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination, and divine grace of universal intelligence.

We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds.

Om: The primeval sound

Bhur: the physical world

Bhuvah: the mental world

Suvah: the celestial, spiritual world

Thath: That; God; transcendental Paramatma

Savithur: the Sun, Creator, Preserver

Varenyam: most adorable, enchanting

Bhargo: luster, effulgence

Devasya: resplendent,supreme Lord

Dheemahi: we meditate upon

Dhiyo: the intellect,understanding

Yo: May this light

Nah: our

Prachodayath: enlighten,guide,inspire

What it is

The Gayatri (Vedic prayer to illuminate the intellect) is the universal prayer enshrined in the Vedas (Divine Knowledge), the most ancient scriptures of man. It is addressed to the Immanent and Transcendent Divine, which has been given the name 'Savitha', meaning 'that from which all this is born.' [ 20-6-1977]

Gayatri is Annapurna, the Mother, the sustaining Force that animates all life. So do not neglect it.[ 20-6-1977]

The Gayatri is considered as Vedasara --"the essence of the Vedas." Veda means knowledge, and this prayer fosters and sharpens the knowledge-yielding faculty. As a matter of fact, the four mahavakyas or 'core-declarations' enshrined in the four Vedas are implied in this Gayatri mantra. [20-6-1977]

The Gayatri mantra (Vedic prayer to illuminate the intelligence) is a sacred mantra that demonstrates the unity that underlies manifoldness in creation. It is through the recognition of this unity that we can understand the multiplicity. Clay is one and the same thing, though pots of different shapes and sizes can be made from it. Gold is one, though gold ornaments can be multifarious. The Atma (Divine Self) is one, though the embodied forms in which it resides may be many. Whatever the colour of the cow, the milk is always white. [17-3-1983]

The Gayatri may be considered as having three parts: (1) praise, (2) meditation, and (3) prayer. First the Divine is praised, then It is meditated upon in reverence, and finally an appeal is made to the Divine to awaken and strengthen the intellect, the discriminating faculty of man. [ 20-6-1977]

This mantra is the embodiment of all deities. It is not related to any particular sect, caste, idol, or institution. It is said to embody nine "colours": (1) Om (2) Bhuh (3) Bhuvah (4) Suvah (5) Thath (6) Savithur (powers) (7) Varenyam (8) Bhargah (9) Dhevasya.

"Dheemahi" is related to the meditative aspect. "Dhiyo-yo-nah prachodayaath" relates to the aspect of prayer. The mantra as a whole thus contains three aspects: descriptive, meditational, and prayer. [17-3-1983]

Who is Gayatri? Gayatri is not a goddess.Gayatri is the mother of the Vedas (Gayatri Chandhasam matha) Gayatri, however, has three names: Gayatri, Savitri, and Saraswathi. These three are present in everyone. Gayatri represents the senses; is the master of the senses. Savithri is the master of Prana (Life Force). Many Indians are familiar with the story of Savitri, who brought back to life her dead husband, Sathyavan. Savithri signifies truth. Saraswathi is the presiding deity of speech (vaak). The three represent purity in thought, word, and deed (thrikarana shuddhi). Although Gayatri has three names, all three are in each of us as the senses (Gayatri), the power of speech (Saraswathi), and the life force (Savitri). [23-8-1995]

When one's intelligence and intuition are developed by recitation of the mantra, the activating deity is Gayatri. When the life-forces are protected, the guardian deity is called Savitri. When one's speech is protected, the deity is called Saraswathi. Because of the protective roles of Savitri, Saraswathi, and Gayatri in relation to life, speech, and the intellect, Gayatri is described as "the embodiment of all goddesses (Sarvadhevathaa-swaruupini)". [17-3-1983]

Gayatri pervades everywhere. It consists of three deities, Gayatri, Savitri, and Saraswathi. Of these, the first one is master of the sense, the second is the teacher of truth, and the third is the master of speech. Hence it is a Trinity of the senses, the mind, and speech.[6-5-1995]

Gayatri is said to have five faces and hence is called Panchamukhi. Is there anybody in the world with five faces? No. In the Ramayana, Ravana is said to have ten heads. If really he had ten heads, how would he be able to lie in his bed or move about? This is not the inner meaning of this description. He is said to be ten-headed because he was the master of the four Vedas and the six Sastras.

Likewise, Gayatri is described as five-faced. The five faces are as follows.

1. Om (the Pranava). The Pranava Principle represents the eight different forms of wealth (ashta-aishvarya).

2. Bhur Bhuvas Suvah.

3. The third is: Thath-Savithur-varenyam.

4. Bhargo Dhevasya dheemahi.

5. Dheyo yo hah prachodayaath.

When the Gayatri mantra is understood in this way, it will be realised that all the five aspects of Gayatri are within each of us.

Gayatri represents in these five faces the five pranas (life forces). Gayatri is the protector of the five pranas in man.

"Gayantham thrayathe ithi Gaytri (Because it protects the one who recites it, it is called Gayatri." When Gayatri acts protector of the life-forces, she is known as Savitri. Savitri is known in the puranic story as the devoted wife who brought back to life her husband, Sathyavan. Savitri is the presiding deity of the five pranas. She protects those who lead a life of Truth.

Gayatri has five faces and is the embodiment of all deities --Sarva devatha Swarupam

In the Gayatri Mantra, the unity of body, mind and soul is depicted in the first line,"Bhur-Bhuvah-Suvaha." The next line, "Bhargo Dhevasya Dheemahi", means "Throw away the darkness." "Dheeyo yonah Pracho-dhayaath" means "Let the effulgence... of the Divine dispel the darkness of ignorance." [6-5-1995]

Gayatri means 'that which saves, when repeated'! It is the torch of spiritual wisdom (jnana) [25-2-1965]

This is the prayer addressed to the Sun in the Gayatri mantra

Dheeyo yo nah prachodayaath. (May the Sun illumine our intellects in the same way he sheds his effulgence).

In this way, they came to regard the Gayatri mantra as Veda Matha (the Mother of the Vedas).

This Gayatri mantra is not related to any particular time, place, or person. The following indicates that it relates to the three aspect of Time --past, present, and future:

Bhur Bhuva Suvah

The following says that light dispels darkness --without light, darkness will not go.

Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, Dheeyo yo nah Prachodayaath

The following signifies that the Sun is the dispeller of darkness.

Bhargo devasya

In this manner, the ancients believed that there was a supreme power and looked upon it as God. [21.5-1991]

Stotra (description of the glory), dhyana (meditation), and prarthana (prayer) are all contained in the Gayatri Mantra. When does a prayer become meaningful? It is only when you stabilise your mind and turn it toward God. The basis for this is to meditate, pray, and experience. It is essential to achieve harmony in thought, word, and deed. Gayatri is teaching this great lesson.


The Gayatri mantra has all three elements that figure in the adoration of God: description, meditation, and prayer. The first nine words of the mantra --Om-Bhur-Bhuvas-Suvah-Thath-Savithur-Varenyam-Bhargo-Dhevasya-- represent the attributes of the Divine. [23-8-1995]

Dheemahi pertains to dhyana (meditation).[23-8-1995]

Dheyo yo nah Prachodayath is the prayer to the Lord.[23-8-1995]

The mantra is thus a prayer to God to confer all powers and talents

The Gayatri is considered as Vedasara --"the essence of the Vedas." Veda means knowledge, and this prayer fosters and sharpens the knowledge-yielding faculty. As a matter of fact, the four mahavakyas or 'core-declarations' enshrined in the ...four Vedas are implied in this Gayathri mantra. So the Gayatri mantra has been given to you as a third eye to reveal to you that inner vision by which you may realise Brahman.[ 20-6-1977]

It will protect you from harm wherever you are --traveling, working, or at home. Westerners have investigated the vibrations produced by this mantra and have found that when it is recited with the correct accent as laid down in the Vedas, the atmosphere around becomes visibly illumined. So Brahmaprakasha, the effulgence of the Divine, will descend on you and illumine your intellect and light your path when this mantra is chanted. Also repeat santhi thrice at the end, for that repetition will give santhi or peace to three entities in you --body, mind, and soul.[ 20-6-1977]

Gayatri will protect your body, make your intellect shine and improve your power of speech. That is why Gayatri is considered to be very important for this second stage of your life, which you are entering today.[Editor: This discourse was given in connection with Upanayam, the sacred thread ceremony for boys.] [6-5-1995]

It is essential to recite the Gayatri mantra at least three times during morning, noon, and evening. This will serve to reduce the effects of the wrong acts one does every day. It is like buying goods for cash, instead of getting them on credit. There is no accumulation of karmic (result of action) debt, since each day's karma (action) is atoned for that day itself by reciting the

Gayatri mantra. [17-3-1983]

Brahmaprakasha, the effulgence of the Divine, will descend on you and illumine your intellect and light your path when this mantra is chanted. [20-6-1977]

Gayatri is the reliever of all diseases (Sarva roga nivaarini Gayatri).[23-8-1995]

Gayatri wards off all misery (Sarva dhukha parivarini Gayatri). [23-8-1995]

Gayathri is the fulfiller of all desires (Sarva vancha phalashri Gayatri). [23-8-1995]

Gayatri is the bestower of all that is beneficial. [23-8-1995]

If the mantra is chanted, various kinds of powers will emerge in one. Hence the Gayatri mantra should not be treated casually. [23-8-1995]

The attitude of surrender will grow in us as we recite regularly the Gayatri mantra. [17-3-1983]

Like sunrise after the night, the Gayatri mantra dispels the darkness of ignorance: Dhiyoyonah prachodayaath. The rays of the Gayatri mantra illumine the mind and intelligence and promote knowledge, wisdom and discrimination. [17-3-1983]

This Gayatri has the subtle power of removing evil tendencies and implanting virtuous habits

The Gayatri promotes the acquisition of Daivasakthi (God-power)

This is the Gayatri of Ganesha.

OM Ekadantaya Vidmahe Vakkratundaya Dheemahi, Tanno Danti Prachodayat

This is the Gayatri of Vishnu


OM Narayanaya Vidmahe Vasudevaya Dheemahi, Tanno Vishnuh Prachodayat


This is the Gayatri of Shiva.

OM Tatpurshaya Vidmahe Sahasrakshaya Mahadevaya Dheemahi, Tanno Rudrah Prachodayat

This is the Gayatri of Rama.

OM Dasarathaye Vidnahe Sitavallabhaya Dheemahi, Tanno Ramah Prachodayat

This is the Gayatri of Krishna.

OM Devakinandanaya Vidnahe Vasudevaya Dheemahi, Tannah Krishnah Prachodayat

This is the Gayatri of Durga.

OM Katyayanyai Vidmahe Kanyakumaryai Dheemahi, Tanno Durga Prachodayat

This is the Gayatri of Lakshmi.


OM Mahadevyai Cha Vidmahe Vishnupatnyai Cha Dheemai Tanno Lakshmih Prachodayat

This is the Gayatri of Saraswati.

OM Vagdevyai Cha Vidnahe Kamarajaya Dheemai Tanno Devi Prachodayat

This is the Gayatri of Shakti, Cosmic Power.

OM Sarvasammohinyai Vidmahe Visvajananayai Dheemai Tannah Shaktih Prachodayat

This is the Gayatri of the Guru.


OM Gurudevaya Vidmahe parabrahmane Dheemai Tanno Guru Prachodayat

M Bhaskaraya Vidmahe Mahadyutikaraya Dheemai Tanno Adityah Prachodayat

This is the Gayatri of Surya, the Sun.