How To: The Gayatri Mantra

A friend on my Facebook page mentioned that she has trouble learning chants like the Gayatri Mantra because the videos of them go so quickly.

I knew this was something I could help with! The Gayatri Manta is one of the nine Vedic prayers that I was taught as a child. I’ve been chanting this prayer pretty much from the moment I could form words! (I was very lucky that my parents are Sanskrit scholars).

This is the whole thing…

ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः ।तत्स॑वितुर्वरे॑ण्यं ।भ॒र्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि। ।धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त्॥ ।

So here is a video where I am singing the Gayatri first at a normal/slowish pace, and then again very slowly.





 

 

Here is the transliteration of the Sanskrit words:

 Aum Bhur Bhuva Svah

Tat Savitur Varenyam

Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi

Dhiyo Yo Na Prachodayat

Most Vedic prayers end with Shanti, Shanti, Shanti (peace, peace, peace), but this one traditionally does not.

At the end of Svah there is a mark that looks like a colon : and that mark is “a breath of air.” My “breath of air” is pretty pronounced. It is sometimes done more subtly!

And some translations:

On the absolute reality and its planes,
On that finest spiritual light,
We meditate, as remover of obstacles
That it may inspire and enlighten us.

Swamiji.com

We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme,

who is inside the heart of the earth,

inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of Heaven.

May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.

EnlightenedBeings.com

 

“May we attain that excellent glory of Savitar the god:

So may he stimulate our prayers.”

Wikipedia

***

The Gayatri Mantra is considered extremely important; one of the most revered prayers. It is recommended to chant it several times every morning to purify one’s self.

This website has some great information about chanting the Gayatri: http://www.swamij.com/gayatri.htm

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  • Emily.E.N

    What were the other eight Vedic prayers you learned as a child? (And I think it’s fascinating that your parents taught those to you.) I know, I’m going way back in the archives today…I was having a bit of a dilemma and decided to read several of your posts under the “Cultural Issues” tab and just kind of got lost in the blog :p