What is a ‘Mantra’? It is revealed by our ancestors: ‘Mananaat Traayatay Iti Mantraha’, which means: ‘Mantra is that which, when we delve deep into, and reflect upon it, protects us’. In this vast creation it is humans alone, and none else, that have the capability of deep thinking and reflection. This special ability is evident from the words: ‘manushya, manuja, maanava’. The founding father of our race is ‘Manu. The meaning of Manu is: One who can ‘manutay’ i.e., think and imagine. There is said to be one more interpretation of the word. It is also meant ‘Mantra’. Thus the meaning of the word Manu, is inclusive of both, ‘the thinking being’, as also ‘Mantra’. There should exist the ability to think and reflect. Then only one can be Manu. Being descendants of Manu, we are designated as ‘manuja’. As we belong to the race of Manu, we are called ‘manushya’ and ‘maanava’. Thus in all of us, in our race, the characteristic of our founding-father, has been bequethed to us. That special ability is ‘mananam’ (reflection). When it is said that humans alone have been bestowed with this capability, what is the basic cause, the source of this capability? Undoubtedly it is the one and only one unique faculty, the ‘mind’ or ‘manas’. The meaning of this also is ‘that which can think and reflect upon’. God has bestowed upon us this great faculty, this precious gift. With this powerful tool, the mind, humans are capable of achieving anything. From the mundane to the celestial, from the material to the spiritual, anything can be accomplished, and rendered amenable to experience. The ultimate objective in the spiritual field, is Deliverance or Liberation. Even to attain that Liberation, this mind alone is the tool. If the mind which is instrumental in the fulfilment of worldly desires, and acquiring material prosperity, if the same mind were to be also the means for spiritual progress, culminating in the attainment of ‘Moaksha’ (Deliverance), we can imagine what a vast range of capabilities the mind has to have, and to what extensive limits the mind can be stretched. That is why the Upanishad-s are stating: “Manasy Veda Maaptavyam Neha Naanasti Kinchana, Manasy Vedam Drashtavyam”. At whatever time it may be, however long it may take, it is only through the mind that one can have the vision of Paramaatma. Also, one has to make that Paramaatma one’s own, through the mind alone. This means that either for comprehension or for experiencing (anubhava), the mind alone is the means, and nothing else. To so assert, the Upanishad itself is the authority. The Supreme goal of Liberation is also achieved through the mind alone. Thus, the value and capability of the human mind, has become evident to us. It is our most precious and priceless asset and device. That is the very reason why the Sastra-s, and our ancestors have all been loudly proclaiming the truth that human birth is the most superior of all births.

Thus we are indeed fortunate that we are blessed with the potent weapon of mind. However, we are not that fully fortunate in the real sense. Because, though we have the marvellous device, we have to critically investigate whether that device is functioning satisfactorily. For example, consider a tape-recorder. We have to verify whether it is actually recording, and performing its functions properly. It is of no use if it does not record. So also is the case with our mind. It is worthwhile only when it can comprehend Truth and deliver the goods. Else it is futile even if we are endowed with it. Unfortunately in a majority of persons, the mind is incapable of such comprehension. Such minds are classified as ‘a-samskruta’ i.e., unrefined. Refinement implies ‘suddhi’ (purity). Such of those unrefined minds are in general dull and insensitive. Actually, they have two characteristics. Either they are dull and cannot easily comprehend, inert and do not function at all, or, even if they function, they do not comprehend Reality ‘as It is’, divert in other directions, and succumb to mistaken notions. The first characteristic is branded as ‘tamo guna’, the quality of darkness and dullness. The second characteristic is designated as ‘rujo guna’, the quality of being passionate and impulsive. Tamo guna is characterised by sluggishness and stupor, whereas Rujoe guna by distraction and diversification. Thus, if the mind closes up, it is of Tamas. If it exhibits exhuberance, it is of Rujo guna. Both these pull us away from achieving the life’s objective, and deflect us from the correct path. Hence, such minds have been branded as ‘unrefined’. We have to purify and refine such minds. Mantra is the tool for such a refinement.

In a natural process we have come into this world in flesh and blood. The humans alone are not exclusive in this respect. The animals, birds and other species have also come similarly. But their lives are being left unrefined. They almost have no mind. Even if there be one, it has no discriminative (viveka) capability, and they mostly live by instinct alone, by ‘Vaasanaa Gnyaana’ as is termed. Living by instinct, whosoever it be, is not a sign of refinement. It does not lead to discrimination. It is only when it acquires discriminative capability, it is said to be refined. Now, that which transforms instinct into discrimination, and then, discrimination into wisdom (the wisdom that would lead to the ultimate objective of Deliverance), such a transformation occurs through Mantra. Then if one were to deeply ponder over and reflect upon the Mantra, it would afford protection. There are such Mantra-s ranging from a single - syllabled one upto a twenty-four syllabled. The single-syllabled one is ‘Om’. The twenty-four syllabled one is ‘Gaayatri’.

Pronounciation Key, (for Sanskrit words)

Vowels: As in Vowels: As in Vowels: As in
a, u run, sun e red, fed ou about,grout
aa, a far, long ee green,feel p pump,rope
ai pain, train i give, fit ph phala,phena
ay lane, fame l lean,love r run,rose
b boy,bump m mother,meet u put,good
bh bhaya,laabha n name, gone y my,dine
d daana, dasa oa,oe
goat, toe y yonder,yak
dh dhana, dheera oo root,poor v,w van,want

Consonants: As in Consonants: As in Consonants: As in
ch chamber,chum j jump,jade sh shut,rush
chh chhandala,chhaaya jh jhankaar s sample,soon
d done,dim k kin,kite t top,teak
dh dhamaru,moodha kh sukha,mukha t tanmaya,taranga
g gone,give ksh biksha,raksha th katha,ratha
gh ghana,ghanta l mahila,kala th paatha saala
gny gnyaana n
h hood,hat s santi,sarada

NB: The letter ‘s’ to indicate plural, at the end of Sanskrit words, preceded by a hyphen (–) to avoid confusion, as being part of the word.


The Gaayatri Mantra so-to-say includes in itself all the Mantra-s from the single-syllabled ‘Om’ upto itself. The essence of all the remaining Mantra-s, is latent in the Gaayatri Mantra. Actually, Gaayatri is the amplification of Om. Then, in between, there are innumerable Mantra-s: Dwaakshari, Panchaakshari (Namassivaaya), Ashtaakshari (Om Namo Narayanaya), Navaakshari, Dwadasaakshari (Om Namo Bhagavatay Vaasudevaya) etc. Apart from these, there are the Panchadasi and the Shoadasi of Mother Goddess. The essence of all these Mantra-s is latent in the Gaayatri Mantra. That is why, if we were to seek shelter in the Gaayatri Mantra, and worship it wholeheartedly, it would bestow on us the fruits and benefits of all the other Mantra-s too. Actually, the benefits are two only. First the ‘Aihika’, the temporal, pertaining to this world. Second is the ‘Aamushmika’, the other-worldly. The former is termed ‘Bhoaga’, and the latter ‘Moaksha’. Mahaa Mantra is the one that bestows both Bhoaga and Moaksha. Bhoaga consists of the Purushaardha-s (life’s objectives) of ‘Artha’ and ‘Kaama’ (wealth and fulfilment of desires), whereas Aamushmika includes the Purushardha-s of Dharma and Moaksha (Religious and Spiritual objectives). Strictly speaking, even Dharma cannot be qualified to be Aamushmika, which thus consists of Moaksha (Liberation) alone. In such a case, the threesome of Dharma, Artha and Kaama, belong to one category (called Tri-varga) and Moaksha a category by itself, termed ‘Apavarga’ i.e., not belonging to any category. It is beyond categorisation. As long as one cherishes worldly desires, they are fulfilled by the Tri-varga category. But if one rises above them and thinks: “Not these desires. If there be anything higher and beyond these, I aspire for that”, then, that comes under Apavarga category. Most of the Mantra-s bestow only Tri-varga benefits, and not of Apa-varga. But Gaayatri Mantra is the one that blesses us with not only Tri-varga boons but also of Apa-varga as well. That is the reason why it is said:

“Na Gaayatriyaah Paroe Mantrah

Na Maatuhu Para Daivatam”.

which means ‘There is no other Mantra superior to Gaayatri, and, no other Goddess other than the Mother’. Gaayatri is Mother itself. By Maata is meant that which protects and safeguards us. Gaayatri surely protects us as a mother would. It was Manu who said:

“Japyet Anyam Navaa Japyet

Japye Naivatu Sumsiddhyet

Brahmano Naatra Samsayaha”.

‘You may or may not recite another Mantra (other than Gaayatri). Beyond doubt, one who is a Brahmin thus undergoes purification, and attains liberation’.
There is another saying: “Maitroe Brahmana Uchyatay”. A Brahmin is called ‘Maitra’. Maitra is one who possesses the knowledge relating to ‘Mitra’. Mitra (a friend and well-wisher) of the entire Universe, is the Sun-God who is also called ‘Savita Devata’. That Savita Itself is the Adhi-Devata (Presiding Deity) of the Gaayatri Mantra. In this connection it is to be noted that every Mantra has the following eight-fold characteristics: 1. A specific Deity 2. A Particular Rishi (Sage) 3. A characteristic Metre 4. A Sakti (power) 5. A Beeja (seed) 6. A keelaka (secret) 7. A kavacha (Armor), and 8. A Siddhi (Fulfilment). For Gaayatri Mantra, the Deity is Savita the Sun-God. The Rishi is Sage Viswamitra. When Savita became a Mitra, then, in order to have a vision of that Mitra, there is a need for another Mitra. A Mitra alone can comprehend another Mitra. Here, Viswamitra alone could visualize the Savita who is a Mitra for the whole universe. That Deity has manifested Itself in the form of a Mantra, the Gaayatri. The meter of that Mantra is also Gaayatri. We should know that the real nature (Swaroopa) of a Mantra would always be latent. The more we delve deep into it and reflect, the more it reveals itself. As long as we do not reflect, it would not become evident, though it is very much there itself. Unless it becomes evident, it cannot enter our realm of experience. Hence its Swaroopa has to be made manifest by someone, sometime or other. That person who has first done so, is called ‘Rishi’ for the Mantra. He does not create, but visualizes it. He comprehends and reveals that which has already been created, but lying dormant. As a matter of fact, if someone else creates it, it becomes impermanent.

Another aspect is, if anything has to remain eternal, it should be capable of self-existing i.e., on its own. Hence, the reason how Gaayatri as a Mantra acquired the power to protect us as we reflect upon it, is that it was already self-existent. It was in the same form as the Maharshi visualized it, which he did in an ‘anaahata’ (inaudible) form. It was comprehended in an unmanifest state. He alone knew what it was. The unmanifest Paramaatma does not reveal Himself to all but to some great (Realized) Souls. If it were to be ‘Saguna’ (with name and form), it would have been within the reach of all. Otherwise, the Divinity would be within the reach of only such of those endowed with subtle and sharp intellect that is capable of visualizing It. For those who are not endowed with such razor-sharp intellect, It would be ever eluding them. That is why in Kathopanishad it was stated:

“Goodhoatmaa Na Prakaasatay”

‘This Aatma Tattwa is, in general, latent and imperceptible, and hence not becoming evident’.

“Drisyatay Twatwagryaa Buddhyaa Sookshmayaa”

‘Whosoever can render his intellect razor-sharp, and can visualize, to such an one alone It reveals Itself’. Thus such an one only can visualize what many others cannot. That is how Sage Viswamitra alone had a vision of this (Gaayatri) Mantra, and none else. That is why it is said that one cannot have ‘darsan’ (vision) of Rudra (a Deity) without attaining Rudra Swaroopa oneself.

“Arudroa Rudram Archayet”

Similarly, “Brahma Veda Brahmaiva Bhavati”. ‘Only if you attain Brahma Swaroopa, can you experience Brahmaanubhava’. Thus both Upaasana and Gnyaana state the same thing. The basic concept is one and the same. One has to grow to that level to comprehend and experience it.

Gaayatri is such a Mahaa (great) Mantra that sharpens one’s intellect to the needed extent. This Mantra is the very Swaroopa of Paramatma. When Paramatma is the very Swaroopa of this Mantra, then, the result and utility of this Mantra is Liberation itself.

Gaayatri is one of the seven ‘Chhandus-s’ (Metres) i.e., metric format of a Sloaka. Chhandus, Mantra, Sloaka, all these mean the same. Rig Veda is all in the format of Mantra i.e., Sloaka. As in poetry, Chhandus also has four lines. Whereas Rig Veda is in the format of Sloaka-s, the other three Veda-s are not. Yajurveda closely follows and leans on Rig Veda. Actually, the other three Veda-s depend upon Rig Veda. Yajurveda is all in prose form, and is a commentary or explanation of the Mantra-s of the Rig Veda, and has nothing new of its own. After clearly explaining the meaning of the Rigveda Mantra-s, it also indicates the ritualistic process for propitiating those Deities. ‘Yajas’ means ‘Yajanam’ or the process of performing ‘yagnya’ (ritualistic Sacrifice).

The third i.e., Saama Veda renders a musical setting to those very Mantra-s. The fourth is Atharva Veda. ‘Atharva’ means ‘Agni’ (Fire). There are invocations concerning it. Hence, strictly speaking, all the four Veda-s are actually one. From this fact came the name ‘Eka Vedi’. Later came the names: ‘Dwivedi’, ‘Trivedi’ and ‘Chaturvedi’. The word ‘Veda’ means ‘Visualizing’. ‘Vid’ means ‘seeing’. First ‘seeing’, then ‘knowing’.

Every Mantra has a metre (a structural form). This Gaayatri Mantra has four lines. But out of these four, what we generally recite, is only the first three of them. They are:

“Om Tat Savitur Varenyam

Bhargoe Devasya Dheemahi

Dhiyo Yoanaha Prachoadayaat”

The fourth line is concealed. That is said to be ‘ajapa’ (not to be recited), whereas the first three are ‘sajapa’ (to be recited). It is ordained that the fourth line can be recited only by ‘Sanyasins’ i.e., ascetics or monks.

The fourth line is:“Paroe Rajasi Saavodoam”

The four lines of the Mantra contain thirty-two ‘akshara’ (letters). This the first three lines (sajapa portion) contain twenty four letters, and hence called ‘chatur vimsati akshara’. This is the metric format of the Gaayatri Mantra. The meaning of the Mantra is concealed in this ‘chhandus’. It is ‘chhandus because it is covering up the meaning (aachhaadanam) of the Mantra. It is like safeguarding a treasure. Safeguarding is needed so that it does not fall into undeserving hands.

In this context, there is a story. Once upon a time, a Maharshi (sage) was in deep meditation (yoga ‘nidra’), when he felt someone talking to him. He opened his eyes, and lo! he beheld the very Goddess of Learning (Saraswati). He offered his humble salutations. Then the Goddess addressed him thus: “Oh my son, I have come to caution you about one thing. I am like a treasure which needs to be protected. Safeguard this so that it may not fall into the hands of those who are undeserving and unauthorized to receive this. I shall then bless you with strength and auspiciousness”.

We now have to comprehend and grasp the meaning of the Mantra which is lying concealed. But before that, a bit of discussion regarding three categories of aspirants, depending on their intellectual equipment. A ‘mundaadhikaari’ (dull-witted) aspirant is one who has no intention at all to somehow strive and grasp the meaning. Now, if such an intention be there for one, but is not being able to do so on his own, then, if he approaches a Preceptor and strives with dedication and devotion, to get the secret unravelled, such a person is designated as ‘madhyamaadhikaari’ (middle category). However, if one can mostly comprehend on his own with study and reflection, and singular perseverance, such an one can fully imbibe the meaning of the Mantra; such a person is hailed as an ‘Uttamaadhikari’. What is customary is, for the Mundaadhikari-s the external (obvious) meaning alone of the Mantra is rendered with which itself they would be content, and plunge into ritualism. That is what is now being done in Sandhyaa Vandanam (a daily ritual at dawn, noon and dusk). At time of thread-ceremony, during ‘Brahmoapadesa’, the Priest (or the father) whispers the Mantra into the boy’s ear, and the boy blindly recites it daily during Sandhyaa Vandanam. The Gaayatri Mantra is recited mechanically, as a formality. The Mundaadhikari just stops at that. The simple outward meaning of the Mantra would suffice for such an one.

Now, if one wishes to grow to the level of Madhyamaadhikari, and desires to grasp a deeper meaning, with inputs of concentration and reflection, then, such an one deserves to be told not only the external meaning but also its deeper import. Of course, there are different levels of inner meanings too.

Now comes a still higher level aspirant. The person who questions “what is the actual ‘Paramaartha’ (the sublime core meaning)?”, is the ‘Uttamaadhikari’ (the most superior of all aspirants). When it is said that Gaayatri is a Maha (great) Mantra, and is the very Swaroopa of Paramaatma, then, the Mantra when deeply reflected upon, leads to Liberation itself. In that case, such an Uttamadhikari deserves to be told the Mantra’s Paramaardha itself. Thus, there exists the responsibility of rendering the meaning of the Mantra, in three tiers, for the above three categories of aspirants. We have to put forth first the outward obvious meaning, then the inner deeper interpretation, and finally the subtle innermost explanation (the Paramaartha). The first is called ‘Adhi Bhoutika’ (the physical external meaning). The second ‘Adhyatmika’ (the subjective interpretation). Finally the ‘Adhi Dyvika’ (pertaining to the Supreme concept). That is why Gaayatri Mantra has not only a Vedic aspect, but also a ‘Taantric’ (ritualistic) angle. Its scope is vast. It has an expansive nature.

There are in the Name List of ‘Ammavaru’ (Mother Deity), names like ‘Gaayatri, Vyaahritihi, and Sandhya. Gaayatri, Vyaahritihi, and Sandhya’. Gaayatri means that which descends singing, and ‘traa’ protects us. It is said ‘Gaayatee Traayatay Iti Gaayatri’ (Chhandogya Upanishad). That which sings, is ‘Gaayati’. That which protects, is ‘Traayati’. Hence, that which descends singing, and protects us (Gaanam + Traanam)is Gaayatri. It has descended down from ‘Chidagni Kunda’ (the Fire-pit of Universal Consciousness) which implies Gnyaana Sakti which is an embodiment of the Siva Tattva. It is immobile and well-established in Itself. It is a mere ‘Prakaasa’, a mere awareness of ‘I’. It is not ‘this’, i.e., this world. But, a desire sprouted in It to view a Universe. Then, it transformed Itself into ‘Ichchhaa Sakti’ (the Propeller of Desire). In this process, It has moved, drifted as ‘Kameswari’ Deity. Having drifted, It has descended in the form of ‘Kriya’ (Activity) which implies ‘Life’. Thus the aspect of Activity in us is ‘Praana’ (Life-force), whereas the faculty of ‘Gnyaana’ is ‘Mind’. In the form of Activity, It has descended as ‘Siva Dooti’ (Messenger of Siva). That is the ‘Avaroahana’ or Descent of the Supreme’. As It descended, It totally pervaded the entire Universe in ‘Vykhari Roopa’, i.e., in the Manifest Form, and became Universal Life. It became manifest in the form of the Sun that emits radiance. That radiance entered our bodies. Having diffused into the whole universe (Brahmaanda), It entered our bodies of flesh and blood (Pindaanda). Thus It become ‘Praana Daa’ (Giver of Life). Having become ‘Praana Roopini’ (the Aspect of Life Force), It bestowed on us the ever-vibrant Energy. That is the ‘Kriya Sakti’, the Impeller of Activity, which also is but derived from the same Divine Source. It has stealthily entered our bodies, making a sound that is not obviously heard. Our heart-beat is that ‘Naada’ (sound). The mind thinks. That is vibration. From the ‘Bindu (Dot) emerged the Sound. From the Sound came the ‘Kala’ (Art-form) the gross body. Thus again, we have to transform this art-form into the Sound, then, the Sound into the Dot (i.e., the reverse process), and finally experience the Dot as our very ‘Real Nature’ (Swaroopa). That itself is the ‘Aparoakshanubhooti, the Experience of Direct Perception or Self-Realization. The aim and purpose of the Mother-Deity is to explain to us the above entire process. That is the very reason why she has condescended to come down as Gaayatri. As ‘Sandhya’ (the Deity to be invoked at dawn or dusk) she is bidding us to perform the right meditation. Then alone will be revealed to us the secret of ‘Sandhi’ (Union) between the Jeeva and Brahman, i.e., the individual and the Divine Consciousness (the Universal Principle). For this ‘Union’, the Presiding Deity is ‘Ammavaaru’ (Mother Goddess). This ‘Union’ implies the merger of this ‘Ganapati’ (individual soul) with ‘Eeswara’ (Universal Soul). For this to be effected, the means is the Mantra, i.e., the vibration of Sound which should lead us to Its inner meaning and true significance. This meaning is concealed in the Sound alone, which Itself is ‘Chhandassu’. The entire Universe itself is nothing but that sound, that Vibration, the ‘Vykharee Roopa’ (the Manifest Form). That which ‘tells’ is the Sound. That which is told is the Word (the ‘meaning’). The Sound tells about ‘Tattwa’ (the Principle). That is why we have to reflect intensely to seek the ‘meaning’ from the ‘sound’. That is Its Real Nature. That is the reason why the Mother Deity became the ‘Vimarsini’ (One who deeply reflects and critically investigates). The ‘Swaroopa’ (Intrinsic Nature) of Eeswara, is ‘Prakaasa’ (Radiance). As one goes on reflecting, the meaning goes on becoming evident, or expressing itself. Thus, the Real Natures of Siva and Sakti, are nothing but Awareness and Reflection. This Gayatri Mantra is the Mother Goddess, being the Agency that analyses and reflects upon. Hence if you analyse this Mantra, It reveals to you the inner meaning that is concealed in It. If you were to reflect and analyse at the physical level, then, the mere external meaning alone becomes evident. If you reflect at a subtler level, the inner meaning also reveals itself. But if you were to reflect at the spiritual level, then, the very ‘Paramaardha’ (the Supreme ‘Core’ Meaning) is comprehended. Then, there would be no further need of any more analysis or reflection. Then, this investigating Sound also merges with the Supreme Consciousness. The reflecting intellect also becomes one with that Universal Principle. Then this Ganesha merges with the Parameswara. This is what is implied when it is said that the utility value of Gaayatri Mantra is ‘Saayujya’ (Liberation). Thus, whether from ritualistic point of view, or from spiritual point of view, the Gaayatri Mantra accomplishes Its purpose. That is the very reason why in the ‘Sahasra Naama’ (Thousand names of Mother Deity), the name of Gaayatri is referred to as ‘Dwija Brinda’ ‘Nishevitaa’ ‘Chhandassaara’, ‘Mahaa Mantra’ etc.

Gaayatri Mantra is three-faceted, i.e., three-dimensioned. These three can be conceived as various trios. One such is ‘Srishti, Sthiti and Laya’, i.e., ‘Creation, Sustenance and Dissolution’. Another is ‘Tripura’, the three dimensions which could be the three ‘guna-s (qualities), or, could be ‘Avasthatraya’, the three states of ‘waking, dream and deep-sleep’. Also could be the three states of the body viz, ‘the gross, the subtle and the casual’. It could mean any of such trios.

Gaayatri Mantra has ‘Shatkukshihi’ (six ‘kukshi-s’, meaning ‘bellies or cavities’). They are: 1. ‘Waak’ (speech), 2. ‘Prithvi’ (earth representing the five primal elements). 3. ‘Bhoota’ (all beings), 4. ‘Sareera’ (the gross physical body). 5. ‘Hridaya’ (the heart, not the physical biological organ, but the ‘lotus-seat’ of emotions and consciousness), and 6. ‘Praana’ (life-force). Three of them are external, and three internal. Gaayatri is seated in all the above six. Here, both the macro (the vast mammoth universe), and the micro (the individual being) are included. When it is said that this Mantra pervades all the above six ‘Kukshi-s’, it implies that one should not view it as a mere Mantra for recitation, but as a Deity (Devata).

‘Pancha Seersha’: The Deity is also, in another sense, five faceted. This is applicable to both the Male and Female Deities. The five facets are: 1. Sadyoajaata 2. Aghoara 3. Vaamama 4. Eesaana, and 5. Sutpurusha. These indicate or signify the ‘Pancha Bhoota-s’ i.e., earth, water, fire, wind and sky.

Thus it is clear that the Gaayatri Mantra has permeated the animate as well as the inanimate species of the universe. Hence It is able to bestow Liberation on us, and make us realize our True Swaroopa.

3. Adhi Bhoutika

(external)Meaning (Baahyartha)

Now, we have to understand the meaning of this Mantra at three levels as mentioned earlier. But before the analysis, let us see the format (wording) of this Mantra in full:

“Om Bhoo Om Bhuvaha Om Suvaha

Om MahahaOm Janaha

Om Tapaha Om Satyam”

This is the first component of this Mantra. This part is called ‘Vyaahriti’ and is the facial component of the Mantra.

Next is the core Mantra (Mantra Garbha), the part that is essentially the ‘Japa Mantra’, the portion to be recited and meditated upon:

“Tut Savitur Varenyam

Bhargoe Devasya Dheemahi

Dhiyoe yoanaha Prachoadayaat”

This is the real central theme, the chief component of the Gaayatri Mantra.

Apart from the facial and the core parts, there is the conclusive part. This is called the ‘Siroe Mantra’:

“Om Aapoajyoati Rasoamritam

Brahma Bhoorbhu Vassuvaroam”

It is to be noted that the Mantra begins and ends with the sacred syllable ‘Om’. Now arises the query: what is this ‘Om’? Actually, the entire Gaayatri Mantra lies concealed in the seed syllable ‘Om’. The Maharshi (Seer) has compressed and squeezed the entire content of the Gaayatri Mantra into the ‘Omkaara’. It is only to elaborate this that the ‘Vyaahrit-s’ became necessary.

“Visayshayna Aakruyatay Mantraartham Iti Vyaahritihi”

‘That which elaborately brings out the meaning of the Mantra, is ‘Vyaahriti’. Here in the Gaayatri Mantra, there are seven Vyaahriti-s. The external forms of these seven Vyaahriti s, are the seven ‘Loaka-s’ (worlds): ‘Bhoo Loak, Bhuvar Loak, Suvar Loak, Mahar Loak --- Satya Loak’. The word ‘Loak’ also means ‘aaloak’, which means ‘seeing’. If you desire to comprehend the real Nature of the Mantra, that viewing process is called ‘Loaka’. Thus here, ‘Loaka’ does not mean the way we normally understand it as ‘world’. Actually, even this world itself should reveal to us the Real Truth, the true nature of this universe. That is the implication in the use of the word ‘Loaka’. As we live in this world, it seems to be silently and constantly questioning us: “Have you seen and known my Real Nature?”. We have to thus reflect. The Himalayam mountains, the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, the lakes and rivers, the forests and plains ---, all these in their silent language seem to be asking us: “What are you thinking? From where, do you think, I have come? Who am I? Who created me? Have you ever peeped into my Real Nature? Have you every analysed and investigated me?”. As you go on reflecting, delving deeper and deeper into this, you will more and more get closer to its True Nature, its Real ‘Tattva’ (Principle). That is why it has been termed as Loaka. The real truth of the Loaka comes out only when you comprehend the secret concealed in it. Otherwise, you will ever be just pinned down to this world, as you are now, As all these Vyaahriti-s are mere manifestations of that One Truth, which is their Real Nature, we have to know the Nature of that Truth.

To amplify on this aspect, ‘Bhoo’ means ‘earth’. ‘Bhuvas’ is ‘water’. ‘Suvas’ is ‘tejus or effulgence’. ‘Mahas’ is ‘vaayu’ (wind). ‘Janus’ is that which is first-born i.e., sky. Thus, the first five of the Vyaahriti-s are indication of the five primal elements (pancha bhoota-s). The sixth Vyaahriti is ‘Tapas, meaning ‘reflection’ upon the Truth (Satyam). That ‘thought’ itself is Mother Deity. That is the ‘Sankalpa Sakti’, the Power of thought, of desire. She is beyond the Pancha-bhoota-s. Hence called ‘Pancha praytasanaseena’. Hence became ‘Tapas’. Presiding over all is the ‘Chidagni-kunda’ (The Eternal Fire-pit of Consciousness). That is ‘Satya Loaka’ (not the normally understood abode of Brahma). These are the Sapta (seven) Vyaatriti-s.

In the beginning was ‘Satya’. In that Satya a ‘sankalpa’ (desire) sprouted. That is ‘Satya Sankalpa’. From that Sankalpa followed in succession: “Aakaasa Sambhoota, Aakaasaat Vaayuhu, Vaayuvyaagnihi, Agnay Aapaha, Aapaha Prithvi.” --- coming down to this earth. From the Satya Sankalpa emerged the sky; from the sky the wind; from the wind the fire; from the fire the water; from the water finally emerged the earth. On this earth we have established ourselves, and fallen into this ‘Cauldron of Samsaara’. Hence it is incumbent on us that we should again rise up, march ahead, and, with perseverance and determination, cross all the above seven stages, and reach the ultimate goal of Liberation. Towards this objective, ‘OM’is beckoning us.

Now, an analysis of this Om. It consists of three alphabets A, U and M. ‘A’ is symbolic of this outer (physical) world. ‘U’ stands for Jeeva, the individual Soul (Self). ‘M’ is indicative of the Supreme Principle i.e., That which is the cause and basis for the above two. To put it differently, they represent ‘Creation, Sustenance, and Dissolution’ (Srishti, Sthiti, and Laya). Because, to utter ‘A’ we open our mouth, and, for uttering ‘M’ we close the mouth. The former is symbolic of creation, and, the latter that of dissolution. In between is the sound ‘U’. ‘A’ is symbolic of opening our mouth to utter any sound. As we utter ‘Um’ we close our mouth. This is the gist of ‘A,U,M’. From the state of closure, comes the state of opening. Hence, there is ‘Soaham’ which means ‘Saha’ Itself became ‘Aham’. This ‘Saha’ is beyond the ‘M’ of Om. Hence, ‘Bindu’ (Dot) is beyond ‘Naada’ (Sound). Beyond ‘Bindu’ is the ‘Swaroopa’ (Real Identity). That is why it is said that ‘Santi Ateeta Kala’ (Peace is beyond art-form). ‘Santi’ is Mother Deity Herself. Beyond and Higher is Paramaatma, the Supreme. As the Supreme began to manifest, there appeared the three: Bindu (Dot), Naada (Sound), and, Kala, (Art-form or Expression). Thus ‘A,U,M’ of Om, are none else but Bindu, Naada and Kala. What they are telling us is that we should know there is something beyond them, the One that is dimensionless. Having indicated It, they just remained silent. They seem to whisper ‘We tell you no more’.

“Nissabdam Brahmamuchyatay”

i.e., ‘Silence implies Brahmam’. Hence better proceed in Its pursuit. This means it enables you to cross over the ‘Bhuvar Loaka’ and the ‘Suwar Loaka’. Then the responsibility subsequently rests on us to cross the stages of ‘Vaayu’ (wind), ‘Aakaasa’ (sky or ether), Sakti (energy), and ‘Sankalpa’ (desire), and attain the ‘Nirvikalpa’ (Unchanging) state of ‘Saayujya’ (Deliverance). This is what the seven ‘Vyaahriti-s’ caution us that all that is described above is concealed in ‘OM’. Hence the instruction is that we have to meditate upon ‘OM’. In the sound of the bells is the echo of ‘OM’. The waves of ‘OM’ spread out in ever-widening circles, in all the directions, akin to the propogation of vibrations. So much so, the entire creation is global in form. From the atom to the sky, everything is circular and spherical. This is termed as ‘Vyaahriti’. Who is causing this daily cyclic process? It is ‘Tut’ (‘That’). Implicitly referring, we say ‘That’. But explicitly when we point it out, we have to say ‘Aye Tut’. That ‘Tut’ is nothing else but that Savita (Sun). Savita indicates that which delivers (causes birth of) or creates. It is the globe of Sun that is rendering to us the threesome of ‘Bhoo, Bhuvaha and Suvas’. Suvas means ‘illumination’ (Tejus). Bhuvaha or Bhuvas signifies ‘Jala’ (Water) which also is the product of Sun. Because, it is only when the Tejus (illumination) from the Sun ‘melts’, that water is formed. The third is the ‘Bhoo Loaka’ (Earth). That is ‘Anna’ (Food) which comes from Jala (Water). This earth is formed or caused from the Tejus (Fire) and Jala (Water). From this earth alone are derived herbs and cereals. The animals consume them in an uncooked form, whereas the humans cook them and eat. Our food (Anna) is available from earth alone, which is why it is called ‘Annapoorna’, and by other names like ‘Ratnagarbha’, ‘Vasundhara’, ‘Bhoo Devi’, ‘Bhoo Maata’, ‘Dharitri’ etc. Thus ‘Bhoo, Bhuvaha, Suvaha’ mean Anna (Food), Aap (Water) and Tejus (Fire or Illumination). All creation is surcharged with this radiance which originates from the Sun. Hence it is called Savita, on which depends our entire life. It entered our inside. The gross physical body is the ‘Annamaya Koasa’. This is but the materialistic earthly stuff. The inner ‘Praanamaya (Life - force) Koasa’ is Jala (Water). The further inner Koasa-s of ‘Manoamaya’ and ‘Vignyaanamaya’, are Tejus. The Sun within you is in the form of this Tejus. That is how Jeeva came to be known as ‘Tyjasa’. This little ‘Tejus’ has to be circumscribed by that ‘Mammoth Tejus’. This little Tejus cannot function without the Mammoth Tejus. Hence that Savituhu is ‘Devasya’ (Divine). The meaning of ‘Deva’ is: ‘Divyateeti Devaha’. ‘That which shines is Deva’. That is animate. In contrast, that which does not shine (express itself), is ‘jada’ or inanimate. However, whichever inanimate thing you observe in this universe, it would be in reality both animate as well as inanimate. But our looks fall on its external form only (and hence its inanimate nature) but not on the ‘Devata’ (Godliness) that is permeating it, and latent in it. That Devata in it, is its ‘Sakti’, its ‘Inner Soul’ that is controlling it. There is no element or material whatsoever in the universe that is devoid of Sakti (Devata). The physical globe of the Sun, is the ‘Bhoota’. The Sun-God is the Devata. Ganges river is the Bhoota. Goddess Ganga is the Devata. The ocean is the Bhoota; Ocean-God (Samudra) is its Devata. When we say ‘Savitaa Devaha’ (Sun-God), it is not the physical body of Sun that we are invoking, but the great animate Sakti that is latent in it. That is why Mother Deity is invoked as ‘Prasavitri, ‘Gaayatri’ and ‘Saraswati. These names mean: At the time of sun-rise , it is ‘Savitri’. During the course of the day, the name is ‘Gayatri’, as it is the protecting Deity. At dusk, it is called ‘Saraswati’. By ‘Sar’ is meant ‘receding’. The implications are: The Deity is said to have come for your sake. It waited for you to respond. With no response, It takes leave of you. Having risen from ‘Chidagnikunda’ (Fire-pit of Cosmic Consciousness), and then manifesting Itself in the sustenance stage, It continues to ever render Its vision, hoping that you would comprehend the inner meaning and purpose of the Manifest Form. But, when you confess your inability, It bids you goodbye. That is what is implied in the Sun rising at dawn, shining throughout the day, and then sinking into oblivion after dusk. That Sun is ‘Devasya’ (Divine). From that Sun-God emanated the rays that reached us. For us, the Sun Itself is the repositary of ;the Supreme Consciousness. From It, the Mother Deity that emerged, is the embodiment of Illumination (Tejus). That is the ‘Prasavitri’ which appeared at dawn as golden sunshine. That is the ‘Sandhya’ Deity to which we have to offer our salutations at dawn, the ‘Sandhya’ (junction) of night and day. Transition from ‘Tamoe guna’ (sloth and stupor) to ‘Rujoe guna’ (dynamic activity) has complexion of red. Hence the reddish hue in the sky. It is all symbolic. If we meditate on the Deity, It would lead us towards ‘Sutva guna’ (Soothfastness). If you were to plead inability to do so, invoke again at least at dusk. Again then, appears the red horizon. If you still were to fail, It sinks and passes into oblivion. Again It appears at dawn. Being infintely merciful, the Deity comes again and again to remind and uplift you.

That Divine Luminiscense of the Deity is ‘Varenyam’ (Excellent). Hence it is ‘Varaneeyam’ (worth aspiring for ) as interpreted by Swami Vidyaaranya. We aspire for something which is superior and pre-eminent, outstanding and superb. The thing is, even in the bright Sun-shine there are three ‘guna-s’ (qualities). There is the ‘tamasic’ nature that lulls us to sleep. There is also the quality that spurs us to activity and dynamism (Rujusic nature), propelling us to dive deep into worldly activities. Also is there the nature that uplifts and enlightens us, if we meditate upon It with single-pointed concentration. Hence we have to be selective, and aspire for such a luminiscence that is superior, and leads us to Deliverance. Such a ‘Tejus’ we must ‘dheemahi’ i.e., ‘meditate upon’. Swami Vidyaranya interpreted this a bit differently. He gave the meaning as ‘nija dheemahi’ (fill up the mind with It.). Constantly meditating upon that Tejus, is itself ‘filling our mind with It’. If this be done, then, the fruit of labor is ‘Dhee Yoe Yoanaha Prachoadayaat’: ‘Naha’ = mine, ‘Dheeyaha’ = mind and intellect, ‘Prachoadayaat’ = propel, inspire to proceed. In order that our intellects be properly guided, our duty is to devotedly recite the Mantra. Only when we comprehend Its value and worth, does It uplift us.

As soon as we come into the waking state, our intellect begins to function. Unless our intellect operates, we cannot achieve anything in this world, or aspire for the next. Our worldly deliberations entirely depend upon three of our equipments: 1.Mind 2.Organ of speech 3.Gross body. This trinity of thought, word and deed do not function on their own, all by themselves. Do not we see that the mind does not function on its own during deep-sleep (‘sushupti’), or while in coma, or in an unconscious state? For the mind to function, a Higher Power has to operate. That enables the mind to act. It propels the mind. Again, from the moment we are up from bed, till again we go to bed, we indulge in physical activities, whatever they be, good or bad. We must shun the ‘bad’, for which we must seek only the superior or the pre-eminent type of ‘Tejus’. Such luminiscence alone takes you on the right path. That is the ‘Prachoadanam’ during the course of the day. Again, at the time of sunset, if you meditate on It and later go to sleep, It again takes you on the right path. Even then, it is ‘Prachoadanam’. Hence, as the daily routine is being decided and influenced by the sunlight, one has to offer salutation to the Sun-God. There is a ‘Soorya Upasthaana Mantra’ in this connection. By saying ‘Tut’ it is implied that the far away body of the Sun is blessing us, having become ‘Savita’. That is a ‘Deva’ (Deity), and hence transmitting to us the Divine Light. That is ‘Varenya Bhargaha’, rays of the Sun which are desirable and pre-eminent, and one should be able to benefit by them. Then, as they pervade Bhoo, Bhuvaha and Suvaha, the inferior ‘guna’ of Tamas recedes, as a consequence of the worship of the Sun-God.

The above is the obvious external meaning of the Gaayatri Mantra. Even this is good enough, because our life is so dependent on Sun. We are blessed with His radiance externally and internally. The warmth in our body is caused by Him. Then, by interaction with earth and water, He is making available to us food, and is nurturing us. That is why Sun is also called ‘Pooshaa’ (One that nurtures and causes growth). Also, the name ‘Vrishabhaha’ has come from ‘Varsha’ (Rain). ‘Savita’ has come from Sun’s radiance. Being the primal cause and protector of our ‘Pancha Koasa-s’ (the five sheaths, beginning with Annamaya and ending with Aanandamaya), Sun is in every way nurturing, safeguarding and protecting us. Offering our Salutations to, and meditating upon that Sun-God, is the quintessence of the Gaayatri Mantra.

Now, the elaboration of the ‘Siroe bhaaga’ (concluding part) would complete the obvious, external meaning of the Mantra in the full sense. Siroe Bhaaga:

“Om Tadaapaha”: That Itself transformed into water. It is said ‘Aapoe Narayana’ i.e., water itself is Narayana. Narayana is one who utilises water for transport. ‘Naara’ also means ‘All pervading’. That is the manifestation of this creation itself. It became earth as one of the primal elements.

‘Jyoati = Waterbr
‘Rasa’ = The Radiance that is the essence of Light.
‘Amritam’= That is the Source of the Radiance.

That which survives even if all else do not. It is the ‘Praana Sakti’ (Life-Energy) which is ‘Vaayu’ (Air)

‘Brahma’ = That which has made a ‘Brihmanam’ of all the above, i.e., enfolded and engulfed all the above.

‘Aapaha, Jyoati, Rasa, Amritam, Brahma’, these are all symbolic words. These have been explained as above in dealing with the obvious (explicit) meaning. But when dealing with them at the other two higher levels viz ‘Antaraartha’ (inner meaning) and ‘Paramaartha’ (higher spiritual exposition), the meanings entirely change. That will be revealed later. The full Siroe Bhaaga Mantra is: “Aapoe Jyoati Rasoamritam Brahma Bhoorbhuvassuvaroam”.

Meaning: This Aapaha, Jyoati, Rasa, Amritam, Brahma– all these are the same as the ‘Bhoo, Bhuvaha, Suvaha’, as dealt with in the earlier ‘Vyaahriti-s’. All these together are nothing but ‘Om’. It can be noted that the initial Vyaahriti-s, the Mantra Garbha (Core Mantra), as also the Siroe-Bhaaga, i.e., this entire Gaayatri Mantra, begins with Om, and ends with Om.

This Gaayatri Mantra relates the Swaroopa (Inherent Nature) of that ‘Chit Sakti’ (Power of Consciousness) which is synonymous with that ‘Bhagavati, Adhi Devata and Paraa Sakti’. That is elaborated in the three parts of the Mantra. If we reflect upon the Vyaahriti part as the facial component, the Mantra proper as the core, and the last component as ‘Siroe bhaaga’, then, we have seen at the physical plane, the explicit meaning (Baahyaartha or Vaakyaartha) that extolled the absence of any difference between the heavenly body of the Sun, and the Supreme Consciousness (Chit-Sakti).

4. Adhyatmika
(inner)Meaning (Antaraartha)

For this same Gaayatri Mantra, we have to delve deep, and dig out the Inner meaning of the Mantra. We have to so orient our reflection that it gets linked to our inner being, our inner faculties, rather than external entities.

‘Savitaa Devataa’: By Savita we normally mean Sun, viewing externally. The Sun is making available to us the most essential needs of light, heat, water and food. No doubt, it is the Sun who is dispensing the above. But, if we think deeper, we would realize that it is not the mere physical entity that is the real cause, but the In-dwelling Supreme Power operating through it. In the earlier interpretation (considering the explicit meaning), we have seen the meaning of the words ‘Bhoota’ and ‘Deva’. The mere physical entity of the body of Sun, is ‘Bhoota’. The In dwelling Deity i.e., the Conscious Power (Chit-Sakti) that is totally pervading the entire material body and radiating, is ‘Deva’, operating through the medium (Upaadhi) of Bhoota which is inanimate. This is the explicit (outer) meaning. But on further deeper reflection, we would arrive at the ‘Antaraartha’ (inner meaning) of Savita as our own ‘Intellect’. Our physical body has no capability of glowing or emitting radiance. It is inanimate. Even our ‘Praana’ (Life-force) has no ‘awareness’ of itself. It is not in its nature. There is movement no doubt, but has no understanding capacity, no comprehension. Eye can see a form. Ear can hear a sound. This is awareness indeed, but not by itself, on its own. It is the ‘Buddhi’ (Intellect) that is transmitting or supplying the awareness. That alone which has self awareness as its very nature, that indeed is ‘Devata’ (Divine Entity). Thus at the Self (Individual) level, that Deva is our Intellect itself. Again, the Intellect itself is not going out. But, certain things are transmitted by it. They are the ‘Dhiyaha’ (thought vibrations called ‘vritti-s emanating from it). Intellect is one, but the Vrittis that are generated, are innumerable. Hence, as far as ‘Deva’ is concerned, it is the self-illuminating Intellect, having awareness as its very nature. But when we say ‘Dhiyaha’ they are the thought-waves propagating from the Intellect. Thus, Savita is here interpreted as the Agency that sends out thought waves. By Savita is meant a ‘Transmitter’ here, so to say. Why we are calling our Intellect as Savita is, that the Sun-God is dispersing His rays to the universe, analogous to the propogation of thought-waves. Here, the Sun-God (of the previous interpretation) is the Intellect. This is the Source. From this emanate the thought-waves. Thus the ‘Chidagnikunda’ is our own Intellect, and hence synonymous with Savita. Any of our thoughts whatsoever, is generated in our mind, and governed by Intellect. It has awareness, and illumines, and hence ‘Deva’. Thus, ‘Savitur Devasya’ implies (refers to) Intellect that has the illuminating nature.

On further reflection, we would see that within us are contained the trio of Sun, Moon and Fire. Mind is the moon. Intellect is Sun. The Jeeva’s (Individual’s) ego (ahankara) is the Firre. Hence came the terminology ‘Mano-Buddhi-Ahankara’. These are individualistic (adhyatmik). The five basic elements, Prithvi, Aapas, Tejoe, Vaayu and Aakaas, these are ‘aadibhoutik’, the physical external entities. These five and the earlier three, when combined, are designated as ‘Ashta Moorti-s’ (eight manifestations). Of the trio of ‘Manoe Buddhi Ahankaara’, (called ‘Tretaagni-s’), out of the ego-principle, has come the mind, the Moon-principle. The Sun-principle is the Intellect which is self illuminating.

The nature of mind is fickleness. It has ‘sankalpa’ and ‘vikalpa’, i.e., unitary thought, as well as diversified thoughts. Those correspond to the fortnights of full-moon and new-moon (in case of Moon). Unitary thought, with singleness of purpose, has the quality of being conducive to growth and development. In contrast, diversified and scattered thoughts lead to degeneration, resulting in ‘Tamoe guna’, the quality of dullness and stupor.

Apart from the earlier ‘Tretaagni-s’ of Mind, Intellect and Ego, the threesome of Sun, Moon and Fire, are also termed as ‘Tretaagni-s’. There is yet another ‘Trataagni’, in common parlance, the trio of ‘Gaarhapatya, Aahwaneeya’ and Dakshinaagni’. The symbolism here is: ‘Aahwaneeya’ is said to be ‘mind’, as all responses come and fall into it. ‘Dakshinaagni’ is none other than ‘intellect’. Daakshinya implies capability and competence. ‘Gaarhapatya represents ‘ego’, the Lord and Master of the body, the performer of the ‘Yagnya’ (Sacrificial ritual) of life. Ahankaara (ego) means the idea of ‘I’. That is the ‘fire of awareness’.

Eeswara and the Mother Deity (Ammavaaru) each is said to be three-eyed. The former is referred to as ‘Trinetra’, and the latter as ‘Trinayana’ or ‘Triambaka’. Those three eyes are none else but Sun, Moon and Fire (Agni). They correspond to Intellect, Mind and Ego in our body. Hence the Chief Principle is the Intellect. That is Sun. That is Deva. That has projected the thoughts. These comprise of three types: Satwik, Rujusik and Tamasik. Everything, external as well as internal, is governed by these three ‘guna-s’ (qualities). The thoughts that emanate from the mind are also thus categorized. Thoughts of tamasik type arouse Kaama, Kroadha, Loabha (lust, wrath, avarice) etc., at the instinctive level. Logical and consistent thoughts come up (Rujusik type) at the rational level. Soothfast, refined (Saatwik) thoughts emanate at the intuitive level. Now, among these, we should aspire for ‘Varenyam Bhargaha’, i.e., superior quality emanations. Those alone we must ‘dheemahi’ (meditate upon or fill our minds with) i.e., keep and preserve only the pre-eminent and desirable ones. Whatever are undesirable and futile, we should ‘prachoadayaat (totally discard). Those are of the Rujusik and Tamasik type. Tamasik thoughts cover up and hide our True Nature. Rujusik ones whip up activities, and make us fall head over ears into the cauldron of this Samsaara. The former is contraction, and the latter distraction. These two indeed are indications of Mother Deity’s ‘avaroahana’ (descent). Hence it is our bounden responsibility to avoid these two. But, to escape from their clutches, we have to investigate and arrive at some method, some way of solving the problem. However, there is only one method of solution. That is the quality of ‘Saatwikam’ (soothfastness, being gentle, mild and good, with a noble bearing). It has the capability of illumining and revealing the path. It is pure and unpolluted, unlike the other qualities of ‘Rujus’ (passionately active), and ‘Tamas’ (steeped in darkness and dullness). Thus if these two ‘guna-s’ are eradicated, then, purification occurs. That leads to ‘Sutwa’. What indicates its presence is ‘Bhargaha’ (Radiance). It is said: “Sutwam Nirmalatwaat Prakaasakam”. ‘The Saatwik intellect has the quality of brightly shining’. We must strive for such a Saatwik intellect (dheemahi). That indeed is ‘varenyam’ (superior and desirable to possess). We must fill our minds with it (nija dheemahi). It is said:

“Yadbhaavas tud bhavati”

‘We live and conduct ourselves in correspondence with our thoughts and ideas’. If our minds are filled with ‘tamasik’ thoughts, we behave and act accordingly. If we nurture ‘rujusik’ qualities, we act accordingly. The fruits of such actions will also be conforming to them. Hence, if we aspire to cross the Purushaardha-s of Artha, Kaama and even Dharma, then indeed, the saadhana is directed towards the Moaksha Purushaardha. The inner meaning (Antaraardha, the second category being presently dealt with) of the Mantra, addresses itself to ‘Dharma’ whereas the ‘Paramaartha’ (the higher supreme meaning) heralds you to the Moaksha Purushaartha. The human has to preserve humaneness. The ‘Saatwik’ nature has to be further refined. To achieve that, is needed “Bhargoe Devasya Dheemahi” i.e., we have to perceive the utterly pure and desirable radiance. Consequently, mind has to be saturated with the ‘Saatwik’ nature. Then, “Dhiyoe Yoanaha Prachoadayaat”. We should exterminate and root out all ‘tamasik’ and ‘rujusik’ thoughts. In the beginning, we were susceptible to these three ‘guna-s’. That is the implication of ‘Bhoor Bhuvas Suvaha’. ‘Bhoo’ indicates ‘earth’, and symbolizes the ‘tamasik guna’. ‘Bhuvaha’ means water; it has the property of mobility, and is indication of ‘Rujoe Guna’. ‘Suvas’ implies ‘light’ and ‘radiance’, and is the characteristic of ‘Sutwa Guna’. Thus ‘Bhoorbhuvassuvaha’ symbolize Tamas, Rujus and Sutwa’. They entered our intellect and began generating thoughts. Gaayatri Mantra is exhorting us to pick up and hold on to the Saatwik thoughts, after discarding those of the other two types.

This entire universe is constituted by the five primal elements (earth, water, fire etc.) These entered our bodies and transformed them into the five Koasa-s (sheaths). The ‘Annamaya Koasa’ is ‘aapaha’ (water). ‘Praanamaya Koasa’ is ‘Jyoati’. ‘Manoe-maya Koasa’ is ‘Rasa’. ‘Vignyaana-maya ‘Koasa’ is ‘Amrita’. Finally, the ‘Aananda-maya Koasa’ is Brahmam. These five Koasa-s would get purified. Then, as and when the Sutwa guna is purified, Saatwik tejus (lustre) fills the mind, and pervades all the five koasa-s. Then, our Avastaa-traya (wakefulness, dream and deep-sleep states) would be filled with Saatwik quality. Then would arise the opportunity for our lives to entirely tread on the Saatwik path. The achievement of Dharma Purushaartha, consequent of the predominance of Satwa guna, results in not only the enjoyment of material happiness and prosperity in this world, but also, after death, taste heavenly bliss. Also would it lead to a betThis entire universe is constituted by the five primal elements (earth, water, fire etc.) These entered our bodies and transformed them into the five Koasa-s (sheaths). The ‘Annamaya Koasa’ is ‘aapaha’ (water). ‘Praanamaya Koasa’ is ‘Jyoati’. ‘Manoe-maya Koasa’ is ‘Rasa’. ‘Vignyaana-maya ‘Koasa’ is ‘Amrita’. Finally, the ‘Aananda-maya Koasa’ is Brahmam. These five Koasa-s would get purified. Then, as and when the Sutwa guna is purified, Saatwik tejus (lustre) fills the mind, and pervades all the five koasa-s. Then, our Avastaa-traya (wakefulness, dream and deep-sleep states) would be filled with Saatwik quality. Then would arise the opportunity for our lives to entirely tread on the Saatwik path. The achievement of Dharma Purushaartha, consequent of the predominance of Satwa guna, results in not only the enjoyment of material happiness and prosperity in this world, but also, after death, taste heavenly bliss. Also would it lead to a better life on re-birth, with better thoughts and ideas, resulting in better deeds and their fruits. These are all stages on the way to Wisdom. It is said in Geeta:

‘Satwaat Sanjaayatay Gnyaanam’. ‘Out of Sutwam is born Wisdom (Gnyaana)’.

There are three things which we have to purify. First is the body, the gross physical entity. Second is the ‘Praana, the Life force. Third is the subtle entity, the mind. The purification of all these three is essential. Only then, Sutwam gets purified, and Gnyaana becomes available. Through that Wisdom alone, we can comprehend and grasp the Brahma Tattwa, sometime or other. ty) that would release us from adverse influences, and take us in the reverse direction, i.e., proceed from ‘Aapaha’ to ‘Jyoati’, then to ‘Rasa’ and on to ‘Amrita’, and finally to Brahmam. Thus it would bestow on us the strength to cross over the five Koasa-s. This is the ‘inner meaning’ of the Gaayatri Mantra, as revealed at the ‘Adhyatmik’ (Individual) level.

5. Adhi Dyvika (Supreme)

Meaning (Paramaartha)

Now, over and above all, at a higher level, there remains to be known the ‘Paramaartha’ (Supreme meaning) of the Gaayatri Mantra. That indeed is the real meaning. That is what one has to reflect upon and grasp the real Purushaartha (life’s objective). As the earlier ones also come under the category of ‘Purushaartha-s’, this may be specially designated as ‘Parama Purushaartha’ (Supreme objective of Life). The prefix ‘Parama’ is pertinent. Strictly speaking, there is only one ‘Purushaartha’ worth striving for, and that is ‘Moaksha’ (Liberation). The other three Purushaarta-s do not enable us to attain life’s supreme objective. In case of the Dharma Purushaartha, no doubt one may strive to gain entry into Heaven. But ‘Ksheenay Punyeh Marthya Loakay’. As soon as the ‘Punya’ (fruit of virtue) is exhausted, one has to slide down into the human world. Hence it is not that much worth striving for. Our entire anxiety should be how to get out of this ‘samsaara saagara’, and break the shackles that are now binding us. We are like the Abhimanyu of Maha Bharata, entangled in the strategic ‘Padma Vyooha’ (a confusing configuration of routes from which it is difficult to exit). We have to become Arjuna who knows the way out. Not only become Arjuna, but also like him have Lord Krishna as the charioteer of your life-chariot. He alone is the Sun at the physical level (Adhi Bhoutika), as also the Intellect at the Individual level (Aadhyaatmika). As a matter of fact, Intellect also is not self illuminating, as mentioned earlier. There is a Higher Agency that imparts the illumination to it. The Sun’s brightness and illumination that was referred to, is just the physical radiance. Though we say casually ‘Sun shines’, actually even that capacity has to be supplied by a Higher Divine Agency. That alone supplies illumination to the Sun at the physical level, and, supplies Conscious Awareness to the Intellect at the individual level. That supplying Agency alone is Self-illuminating. That shine alone is Subjective, whereas the Sun, as also the Intellect, are objective to us. They are being comprehended by our Awareness (Gnyaana). That is the ‘Saakshi’ (Witnessing Awareness), the Glow of Cosmic Consciousness (Chit Prakaasa), the Dynamic Lustre (Chaitanya Prakaasa), and the Self-Illuminating (Swayam Prakaasa). As long as It is keeping the Awareness to Itself, It is termed ‘Tut’, meaning ‘That’. The Paramaatma whom we are imaging to be somewhere far away, is that ‘Tut’. The Sun as well as the Intellect are the ‘Ay Tut’, sprung from that ‘Tut’. We are constantly perceiving and showing these entities of Sun and Intellect as ‘this, this’. They are close to us, so close that they have distanced that ‘Tut’. Actually, ‘We’ are that Tut, which is our Real Nature. We have distanced our very Nature, our ‘Swaroopa’ Itself. Hence It became ‘Tut’, as though far away beyond our comprehension. However, though you have distanced yourself from It, It has not done so. That is Its Merciful Grace, so to say. At the human level, is it not true that, though the off-spring sometimes distance themselves from their parents, yet the parents however feel their closeness to them, with nothing but love for them, however they be? Similarly, that ‘Tut’ also, having realized that this individual, akin to the offspring, has forgotten the true nature of ‘Tut’ since so many births, and never thought of realizing It, has out of sheer compassion, transformed It self into ‘Savita’, which means that which creates. Thus began the creation of the three ‘guna-s’ (qualities), and through these, the creation, sustenance and the dissolution process. Then, the Loaka-s (worlds) of ‘Bhoor Bhuwas Suvaha’. The purpose of this creation is to provide a means to help us in realizing, sometime or other, that all ‘this’ is nothing but that ‘Tut’. Without such a support we cannot lift ourselves up, or march ahead. It is as if that from that higher level It threw down a rope to us to rise up. This benevolent act to help us is in stages. First It changes into an idea, a thought. Till then, thought was absent. With the intention of helping us, the thought sprouted. That became ‘tapas’. Thus ‘Satyam’ (Truth) transformed Itself into ‘Tapas’. Then the Tapas became ‘Janas’. It should come down nearer to us. It has to descend just as an ‘Avatar’ (Incarnation). Hence It created itself, and not creating something else. Because, when it is said ‘Aykamayvaa Adviteeyam Brahma’ (Brahma is One alone without a second), where is the scope for another entity at all? It transformed Itself into the sentient and the insentient causes (both the Nimitta and Upadana Kaarana), like the potter as also the mud, to be molded into the pot. It evolved Itself as the Sky. Even in that form, It was not visible to us, though it provided a good opportunity. Hence that ‘Tut’ developed movement, becoming ‘Vaayu’ (Wind). Even then, though we could feel the touch, we could not visualize It. Hence It became ‘Tejus’ (Suvas), and appeared as Sun, and declared ‘I Myself am that Savita’. Even then, though physically the Savita form was visible, its Inner Deva was not comprehensible. The shine and radiance was only at the physical plane. Then that ‘Tut’ entered your very Self. It entered as Intellect, and became Vignyaana maya Koasa. However, for that Vignyaan to function, ‘life’ is needed. Hence It became ‘Bhuvas’ which at individual level, became the ‘Praana’ (Life-Force). The Praana-maya Koasa is indicative of water (Bhuvas). The five Koasa-s have to correspond with the Panch-Bhoota-s (five primal elements). Intellect would not function unless there exists Praana. Both these are however subtle. They hence need a gross covering sheath. Hence It transformed Itself into Anna-maya Koasa, which is ‘Bhoo’. The Supreme Consciousness, the Dynamic Energy is manifesting Itself through all the above transformations, being behind all these. The evidence for this is ‘Devasya Savituhu’. Whichever Divine Principle or Awareness is present in your Intellect, ‘That’ is ‘Varenyam Bhargaha’ (the pre-eminent radiance) that is within you, if you can comprehend, It is pervading your outside as well. It is the Substratum, the Core and Essence of everything. We are merely viewing whatever is being super-imposed on that Substratum. We are viewing the illusory world only, but not the ‘Varenyam Bhargaha’, the underlying Basic Reality. There are so many ‘Bhargaha’ (Rays) which are not ‘varenyam’ (superb and desirable), and we are constantly exposed to them. They are the ‘Dhiyaha’. Internally referred to as ‘Naamam’ (names, and more aptly ‘ideas’), and externally as ‘Roopa’ (forms, and more aptly ‘things’). The mutual deliberations between these two, constitute the ‘Kriya’ (activities). Thus that ‘Tejus’ Itself is manifesting as Naama-Roopa-kriya. That is ‘Dhiyaha’. Here, ‘Dhiyaha’ does not mean ‘thoughts’. “Dheeyatay Asmin Varenyam Bhargaha Iti Dheehi”, meaning: ‘That which is the ‘container’, is Dheehi’. Now what has been contained in what, during creation? In Naama-Roopa-Kriya container lies the Divine Consciousness. That alone has seated Itself in all these. It pervades all external forms and things (Roopa) and internally all the ‘naama-s’ i.e., thoughts. That which utters is the ‘Naama’, and, that which is told, is the ‘roopa’. In us what utters is the thought. Then, external things (roopa) are perceived. Hence, the uttering and the uttered, as also the sound and its meaning, all these are but Siva and Sakti alone. Sakti is uttering. That is ‘Vimarsa’ (reflection or critical thinking). Then that ‘form’ is appearing. That is ‘Prakaasa’ (becoming evident). As we more and more utter or express, the more would be the reflection. As more and more awareness occurs, the more It shines. If It is expressed in Its entirity, it is ‘Varenyam Bhargaha’. It conveys to us in such a huge measure. It is already All-Pervading as Substratum of everything. It is the ‘Sut and Chit’ which is Omnipresent, Unchanging, Attributeless and the Universalized Existence (Sut Saamaanya). We say that every thing ‘exists’. We say that everything is ‘appearing’. That ‘mere’ ‘existence’ and ‘appearance’ alone, is the ‘real bhargus’ which is the creation of that ‘Savita’. This implies that as long as It is as ‘Sut’, It is Brahmam, and formless. But when it transforms into a form (becomes ‘Saguna’), It is ‘Savita’. That is Eeswara. From that Eeswara alone, all creation took place. That is the ‘Bhargaha’, ‘Tejus’ (Lustre). From that Tejus sprouted ‘Dhiyaha’. Then, diversity burst forth. That crated our main problem. If Tejus were to have remained as Tejus, there could have been a posibility of comprehending It. But, It transformed, resulting in ‘naama-roopa-kriya’. With this, externally we are seeing ‘forms’. Internally we are obsessed with ‘thoughts’. Both these ‘forms’ as well as ‘thoughts’ are countless. These two, with their mutual deliberations, have forgotten the ‘Reality’. However, Reality has not forgotten them. It has pervaded all these, and ever remained as their ‘In-dweller’ and ‘Inner controller’ (Antaryami).

This world is appearing to you with all attributes, i.e., family, community, wealth, assets etc. All the thoughts in your mind, of various hues, such as happiness, sorrow, fear, enthusiasm, attachment, hatred etc., - these are all ‘Chid-visesha-s’ (Awareness with attributes). All these are but the waves of the one and only One Ocean of Gnyaana. Your Gnyaana is Universal (Saamaanya), as long as not contaminated with thoughts, and be a mere Awareness of ‘I am’. That Awareness of ‘I’ alone, is ‘ Saamaanya Gnyaana’ (Universalized Wisdom). That is ‘Nirvikalpa’ (Unchanging) ‘Chit-Saamanya’. That is the ‘Real Bhurgus’. However, if all the external paraphernelia - family, society, wealth and assets etc - all these are vaguely and hazily viewed in a general matter-of-fact manner, then, that is ‘Sut Samanya’ (Universalized Existence). Similarly, in your mind, view it as a mere ‘I am’, without being disturbed by thoughts. Then, with the sole thought of ‘I am’, it is ‘Chit’. There outside, viewing everything as ‘mere Existence’, it is ‘Sut’. If these Sut and Chit were to be viewed without any attributes whatsoever (visesha-s), then, that is ‘Varenyam (superior and superb) Bhurgus’. In this Universe created by that Savita, that Varenyam Bhurgus is existing as the Substratum of everything. This however has been covered up and concealed by Naama and Roopa (Ideas and Things). These alone are Rujus and Tamas. Rujus is naama, and, Tamas is roopa. The objects before us are forms.They are Tamas. The thoughts that are viewing them are animate, and they are Rujus. Our lives consist of these two alone. Thoughts and ideas inside, and, things and forms outside. And the mutual deliberations. What else are there in this Samsaara? These are ‘Dhiyaha’. As long as these exist, though the Varenyam Bhurgaha are very much there inside, It is not becoming evident, not able to manifest. Hence, all these Dhiyaha have to be expelled (Prachoadayaat). Then the concealing layers would be ripped off, to view the Inner All-pervading Universal Existence-Consciousness. That is the pristine Sut and Chit. That ‘Sut Samanya’ is like the gold permeating every speck of all gold ornaments. Presently we are ignorant of It and holding on to Its attributes (ornaments). These ‘Dhiyaha’ have distanced us from Tut. Hence to realize our True Nature that is Tut Itself, we have to dissolve fully these Dhiyaha in the Varenya Bhurgus, and this in turn merged in Savita. That Savita be identified as Tut. Thus we have to retract. That is termed ‘Pratyak’. We are now extroverts, our vision being ever outwards. It is said of Mother Deity: ‘Bahir Mukha Durlabha’. It is impossible to realize the True Reality if we ever keep looking outwards. Hence, we must strive to dissolve all visesha-s (qualities, attributes and particulars) into ‘Samanya’, i.e., Universalized Existence, and All-pervasive Awareness. Visualizing Saamaanya implies unifying outlook, whereas leaning towards visesha-s, leads to diversity and distraction. Hence all Dhiyaha be ‘prachoadayaat’ i.e., pulverized and dissolved eliminating them altogether. The word ‘Prachoadan’ in Sanskrit has different meanings. Apart from ‘dissolution’, it also means ‘throwing off’. But this ‘throwing elsewhere’ becomes ‘Dvaita’. In the Advaitik concept, this dissolution into ‘Samanya’ is akin to merger of darkness into the Light. Darkness itself becomes Light; it is not pushed elsewhere.

Descending from the Highest, Tut became Savita. Savita yielded the Bhurgus. That created the thought-waves and plunged us into them. This was rendered possible because of our being steeped in ignorance. Now, we are awakened at the dawn of wisdom. We pleaded Dheemahi. This meant we wished to retract from Dhiyaha, and crave for that desirable Bhurgus, in our quest and enquiry. “Adhaatoe Brahma Jignyaasa”. That leads to the ultimate goal of Tut, after crossing all the intermediate stages. All this is denoted by the word ‘Prachoadayaat’ here.

Then the Siroe Mantra in the light of the current interpretation:

‘Aapoe Jyoati Rasoamritam Brahma’.

These here are not the external five primal elements, or the internal Pancha Koasa-s, as was interpreted earlier. Here they have to be viewed from a different angle.

‘Aapaha’: All that is being perceived is Brahma Swaroopa (True Nature of Supreme). But It has transformed Itself into these elements of ether, wind, fire, water and earth. It is this that led to all problems. Hence we have to reverse the process, and merge the concept of earth into water, water into Tejus, Tejus into wind, Wind into the sky, and finally merge the sky with Universal Consciousness. To enable this, the procedure is as follows:

‘Aapas’ implies sensual activities which are very diverse. This has to be transformed into ‘Jyoati’ i.e., mental activity. All the sensual propensities have to be merged into the mind. We are thus slowly retracting. Then, we have to imagine this Jyoati turning into the nature of ‘Rasa’, symbolizing steadfast Intellect. Next we have to merge this into ‘Amrita’, meaning the Unmanifest and Immortal ‘Maya Sakti (Divine Illusory Agency). We should not stop at that, lest the Maya again pulls us out, as is presently happening in our ‘sushupti’ (deep sleep) state, wherein we slide into a blissful unawareness, sleep soundly on the lap of ‘Yoga Maya’, which however again takes us back into the wakeful state. Here ‘pralaya’ (dissolution) is like the deep-sleep state. Everything ends up and dissolves at time of ‘pralaya’. Still, we cannot be sure of its discontinuance. Because, it would be in a latent state in the form of ‘Vaasana-s’ (subdued desires, inner latencies) that lie concealed in the unmanifest state, but have to be experienced. In order to avoid this, or escape from it, birth itself should cease to exist. For this to happen, there should be no ‘Karma’ (activity). To enable this, all the ‘vasana-s’ should be flushed out. This is possible only when the ‘casual body’ perishes, i.e., ignorance. This can occur only when ‘Brahma Gnyaana’ (Awareness of the Supreme) dawns. For attaining this, we have to ‘Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi’. We have to invoke ‘Varenyam Bhargaha’ which leads to Brahma Gnyaana. That alone can save you from getting stuck at ‘Amrita’ which should merge with Brahman, and not let you revert or slip back. That is why in the Mrityunjaya Mantra it is said:

“Mrityoar muksheeya maa Amritaat” Let you not be reverting back from the state of Amrita. After attaining that state, you should not identify yourself with that state, but, with the help of the Brahmic Thought, experience the Bliss of ‘Aham Brahmasmi’ i.e., Oneness with the Brahmam. If you were to identify yourself with Maaya, it would again delude you. You have to go beyond Maaya. Bhagavad Geeta also stresses this. We have to take refuge in the Supreme for this. That is implied in the terms ‘Dheemahi’ and ‘Varenya Bhargaha’ in the Mantra. We must realize Brahmam, and not merely have ‘Vritti Gnyaana’ (awareness of thought). Only when we dispense with all wordly thoughts which should be merged into the basic fundamental Brahmic Thought, then alone, we are led to the Realization of Brahmam. In this context, there is a Mantra:

“Agnirmeh Vaachisritaha

Vaak Hridayeh Hridayam Mayi

Aham Amritay Amritam Brahmani”

‘Agnirmeh Vaachisritaha’ : All the external Pancha Bhoota s should merge into my sensual thoughts, This implies that all the external manifestatious of ‘Sabda, Sparsa, Roopa, Rasa, Gandha’ (sound, touch, form, taste and smell) should become the faculties of ‘Tvak Chakshu Soatra Jivha Ghraana’ i.e., skin, eyes, ears, tongue and nose.

‘Vaak Hridayeh’ : All these sensual deliberations should retract into mental activity, as it happens in the dream.

‘Hridayam Mayi’ = Mind should then merge with the Ego. That Ego alone is Jeeva, the Owner of the body. This Ego is derived from Maya Sakti alone.

‘Aham Amritay’ : The Ego should dissolve back into the Maya Sakti.

‘Amritam Brahmani’ : The Maya Sakti i.e., Amritam, should be absorbed into the Brahmam. Then, you yourself are Brahmam. This is the substance of the above Mantra.

We have to interpret ‘OM’ as ‘Soahum’. That Soahum alone became ‘Hamsa’ (Swan). It came and perched upon this world. Again, this Hamsa has to realize that Soahum (I am That), and fly back. The Life-Force (Praana) alone is the Hamsa. Hence, before this Praana departs, we have to reflect on all this process. Then alone this Praana can get merged into Gnyaana. Praana is the Mother Deity, and Gnyaana the Supreme Father. Hence we have to duly meditate upon Gaayatri.


“Muktaa Vidruma Hema Neela

Dhavala Chchhayair Mukhai Stree Kshanai

yukta Mindu Nibaddha Ratna Makutaam

Tattwaartha Varnaatmikaam

Gaayatreem Varadaa Bhayaankusa Kasaa

Subhram Kapaalam Gadaam

Sankham Chakramatharavinda Yugalam

Hastair Vahanteem Bhajeh”.

This Dhyaana Sloka is describing the Swaroopa (Inherent Nature) and Characteristics of the Presiding Deity Gaayatri. That Supreme Consciousness Itself is appearing as the Deity of Gaayatri. This ‘Devata’ (Deity) is the ‘Roopam’ (Form), whereas ‘That’ is an extremely subtle ‘Sakti’ (Power, Energy). ‘This’ is a medium. ‘That’ is ‘Chaitanya’ (Consciousness). That consciousness alone is revealing Itself to us as a medium endowed with ‘Naama’ and ‘Roopa’. However, it does not mean we have to be content with this medium, and stop at this level. The message is that, through this medium, we have to realize ‘That’ and attain Salvation. Hence, meditating upon this Mantra implies that we are in effect meditating upon ‘That’, and seeking to realize It. This sloaka describes how this Deity of Gaayatri is appearing to us.

Gaayatri Deity has five faces (Pancha Mukhee). The five faces are:

Mukta = Pearl. Having pearl-like complexion.

Vidruma = Coral. Coral-like complexion

Hema = Gold. Golden lustre

Neela = Black stone. Dark complexion

Dhavala = Diamond. Pure white dazzling complexion.

The above are the complexions of the five faces of the Pancha-Mukhee Gaayatri. These five colors are symbolic of the following:

The five faces are:

Sadyoajaata, Aghoara, Vaayana, Eesaana and Sutpurusha. The same significance here as of the five countenances of Eeswara.

Dhawala = Aapaha (Water)

Neela = Black (Earth)

Vidruma = Tejus (Fire)

Hema = Vaayu (Wind)

Mukta = Ether (Sky).

This Hema (Wind) is in between Vidruma (Tejus) and Mukta (Sky), i.e., between the red and the pearl hues, and hence acquired the golden hue.

Thus, the colors of Mukta, Hema, Vidruma, Dhawala and Neela, are symbolic of the Pancha-Bhoota-s, the five Primal elements of creation: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Sky.

Tree Kshanaihi : Three Eyes. They are Moon, Sun and Fire. These are the three eyes, in cases of both the Mother and Father Deities. These indicate as follows:

Moon is mind,. Sun is intellect. Fire stands for the Ego principle (Ahankaara). Thus these three signify ‘Mano-Buddhi - Ahankaara’. Thus, external Pancha-Bhoota-s and the individual internal Mano-Buddhi-Ahankaara. Totalling in all eight, constitute the Ashta Moorti-s. The Swaroopa (Intrinsic Nature) of Gaayatri is Ashta Moorti as stated in: “Ashta Moorti Ajaa Jytri”.

We have to conceive of, and meditate upon, these Ashta Moorti-s as follows: They have to come to us in the regular natural course. We have to put them in the reverse gear, and attempt to merge them. Unless all these forms are dissolved, we cannot grasp the Niraakaara (Formless) Tattva. These forms have come to us, only to indicate to, and direct us to, the Formless Principle. These are mere eight-fold forms of Paramaatma. We should not get stuck wth and hold on to them.

“Naa Anyat Kinchana Vidyatay Vimrusataam Yasmaat Parasmaat Vibhoe”

This is to bid us to reflect upon and deeply think over. Upon deep reflection nothing would be remaining. None of these Ashta-Moorti-s would remain. Then, it is not Dakshina Moorti but Dakshina Amoorti. It should be ‘Moorti-less’. Presently Gaayatri is being perceived in the Ashta-Moorti form.

The meaning of ‘Tri-Kshanai’ is not only Sun, Moon and Fire, but also ‘Tejoe, Aap and Anna’. Or even the guna-s ‘Satwam, Rujus and Tamas’. It also could mean ‘Ichcha, Kriya and Gnyaana’ (desire, activity and Wisdom). It could mean any of the above trios. However, Gaayatri is said to be comprising of the above eight forms. They are Her manifestations. Her True Nature has to be ascertained and understood through investigation of and reflection upon these manifestations.

‘Indu Nibaddha Ratna Makutaam’ : A bejewelled crown rendered lustrous by the moonlight. That bejewelled crown is Moon itself. That lustre of the Moon is the ‘Shoadasi’ (Sixteen phased). Again, to comprehend that Tattwa, you have to invoke It. Moon symbolizes mind which has sixteen phases like the Moon. Fifteen of them disappear with the New Moon. The Moon gets merged with (concealed by) the Sun. Only one phase would still be left. That one is called ‘Dhruva Kala’. That alone is Eternal. That is the Brahmik Thought. That also lies in the mind itself. All those ephemeral phases have covered It up, and concealed the Eternal Brahma Awareness. Again with this very mind, through ‘mananam’ (deep reflection), if one can comprehend It, It would enable one to realize Paramaatman. This is the significance of the ‘Dhruva Kala’. This is in the Deity’s possession.

‘Tattvaardha Varnaatmikaam’ : These explain the meaning of that Tattva (Principle). The twenty-four letters of the Gaayatri Mantra, are symbolic of the twenty-four Tattva-s which are:

“Mahaa Bhootaani Ahamkaaroe
Buddhi Avyakta Mayvacha
Indriani Dasa Aykamcha
Panchachendriya Goacharaaha”

(Bhagavad Geeta 13-6)

The entire creation is made up of these twenty-four constituents. The twenty-fifth is ‘Purusha’. There is none higher than Purusha. That is borne out by intense reflection. Then alone we can grasp the Purusha Tattva within oneself. One has to invoke through Gaayatri Mantra which helps in one’s quest for Truth. How this is to be done, is described below.

‘Hastaihi Vahantee’ = She holds eight weapons in her eight hands. Those weapons are:

‘Subhram Kapaalam’ = A clean skull

‘Gadaam’ = Mace

‘Sankham’ = Conch

‘Chakram’ = Wheel

‘Aravinda Yugalam = Pair of lotuses

‘Ankusam = Spear

Kasa = Whip.

The above are the eight weapons. In this way, the Deity is eight-shouldered, and holds eight weapons, in her eight Hands. But, of what use are they for us? Of course, there is no need for Her to achieve anything. For, She is the embodiment of Fulfilment (Siddhi). It is for us alone to persevere and achieve. But without Her Mercy and Blessings, the weapons would not be made available to us. Her Grace and Benignity are essential. For that, of course, one must be deserving it. If one so deserves, then:

‘Varadaa Abhaya’ = Bestows boons,
and renders protection and security.

The boon is Dharma. The assurance of protection is Moaksha. These are bestowed by Her ‘Varada Hasta’ and ‘Abhaya Hasta’.
Now, Some explanation regarding the eight weapons mentioned earlier:

‘Kapaalam’ (skull) implies ‘Praana’ (Life-Force).

‘Gadaa (Mace) symbolizes ‘Speech’.

‘Sankham’ (conch) stands for ‘Sroatra’ (hearing faculty).

‘Chakram’ (Wheel) signifies ‘mind’.

‘Aravinda yugala’ refer to the ‘two eyes’.

With the help of all these alone, we have to, sometime or other, comprehend the ‘Tattva’. Whether we seek Dharma or Brahma, these equipments are indispensible.

Our sensual equipments are all in Her Hands. She alone can activate them. Trust that Universal Power which is the Source and Support for your small limited power. Hence, if you wish to transform your tiny intellect into that gigantic Universal Intellect, then, medidate ever upon that Divine Power which you are perceiving in the form of Gaayatri, that is All-pervasive in the Universal Form. The mode of worship is indicated below:

‘Varenyam Bhargaha’: Is It not ‘That’ which has permeated this entire Universe in the Form of ‘Sut-chit’ (Existence Consciousness)? Hence, you have to worship the Deity in that ‘Universalized Existence - Consciousness’ (Sut-Chit-Saamaanya) Form. At all times, whatever you are doing, whatever you are hearing, whatever you are seeing, your vision should be ever on that Supreme Deity, the Substratum of all Existence. Then, whatever we see, as we reflect upon It, It transforms into a Divine Lustre, into which would merge all the external forms, and, the Nirakara (Formless) Supreme Power shows Itself in the form of Aatman. Ultimately It reveals Itself. Comes within the orbit of our experience. Though till now you are so habituated to see only the gross, even then, that Supreme Power would bestow on you the capability of viewing subtler things. The only requirement is, if at all times, you keep worshipping, concentrating and meditating upon It, your vision would certainly be refined from gross to the subtle. Even that subtle vision, after further effort, would turn supreme, and appear as your own formless True Self. Hence the only way is to continually meditate upon the Gaayatri Mantra, in the right way. ‘Samyak Dhyaanaha Sandhya’. To It we are physically offering our Salutations. That is ‘Sandhya Vandanam’. It is said that even Eeswara, as He was offering ‘Sandhyaa Vandanam’, then, Sandhya also, in response, offered salutations to Eeswara. As we reflect on and visualize Siva and Sakti becoming One, it is an indication of the Union between the individual Jeeva and the Supreme Soul (Jeeva-Brahmaikya). This Jeeva alone is Sakti. That Godhead is Siva. Hence, this limited intellect of the individual, which is in the form of Sakti, as it invokes and seeks protection from that Universal Intellect in the form of Siva, then, we would be meditating upon the real Meaning of Omkara. That is ‘Soaham’. Hence, having begun with Omkara, we are ending also again with Omkara. When we recited “Om Bhoo, Om Bhuvaha, Om Suvaha, Om Mahaha, Om Janaha, Om Tapaha , Om, Satyam”, then itself, Omkara changed into the five Primal Elements (Pancha Bhoota-s). It has descended (‘Avaroahana’). Then, “Om Tut Savitur Varenyam” changed that ‘Tut’ into Savita (Sun). Even then, the ‘Varenya Bhurgus’ (the desirable preeminent radiance) has not disappeared. It changed into ‘Dheeyaha’ (thoughts) of worldly nature. Even then, at the core, as Substratum, the ‘Varenya Bhurgus’ continues to exist. Hence, we again meditate upon It with devotion. Then “Om Tut Aapaha, Aapaha Jyoatihi, Jyoatihi Rasam, Rasaha Amritam, Amritam Brahma” occurs. This is ‘Aaroahana’ (Ascent) sequence. It culminates in Brahma, and we can reach the Supreme state of ‘Aham Brahmaasmi’ (I am that Brahmam). Because it is the ‘Gaayatri Mantra that has given us this opportunity, and enabled us to reach that stage of Supreme Fulfilment, hence, we first meditate upon It at the physical level (Adhi Bhoutika), conceiving It in the form of Sun, and then reflect upon It at the Jeeva’s level (Aadhyaatmika), as an embodiment of our Intellect, and finally visualize It at the Summit Level (Adhi Daivika) as the Supreme Effulgence, which has bestowed some of Itself, as the basic Source, upon the earlier connotations of the Sun and the Intellect. Then, that Effulgence Itself, having transformed into ‘Aatma Swaroopa’ (True Nature of Individual Self), sometime or other, would bless us with the life’s ultimate objective of Moaksha (Deliverance, Salvation). This is indicative of the ‘Jeeva Brahmaikyam’ (Union of the Individual and Supreme Souls), and the fulfilment of the assertion ‘Aham Brahmaasmi’. That is the reason why the sages of yore proclaimed the Gaayatri Mantra as verily ‘Paramaatma Swaroopa’ (The very Nature of the Supreme Consciousness), and Its objective ‘Saayujyeh Viniyoagaha’ (The utility is Liberation itself).


Samno Mitraha Sam Varunaha

Samno Bhavatu Aryama

Samno Indroe Brihaspatihi

Samno Vishnur Urukramaha

Namoe Brahmaneh Namaste Vaayoe

Twameva Pratyaksham Brahmasi

Twameva Pratyaksham Brahma Vadishyaami

Ritam Vadishyaami Satyam Vadishyaami

Tun Maam Avatu Tut Vaktaaram Avatu

Avatu Maam Avatu Tut Vaktaaram.

Om Santihi Santihi Santihi.