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Gayatri Mantra
by Ralph Miller

Rishi Brahmarshi VishwamitraI was introduced to the Gayatri mantra by my dear friend Laszlo from Budapest, Hungary in 2006.  Laszlo had joined our staff that year for our Heart of the Initiate workshops in Brazil. 

He had explained to me that he first heard about the mantra from a friend of his who described the mantra as the most important Vedic mantra containing all the wisdom of all the books he had ever read.

We found a beautiful recorded version of the Gayatri mantra that was repeated 108 times (23 minutes) and each week that year we sang the mantra as a group with the help of the recorded version.  The Sanskrit words were difficult to pronounce in the beginning but after many repetitions it was fairly easy to learn.

The force of the mantra simply put, is contained both in the words and their meanings as well as the creation of a rhythm that propels your consciousness towards stillness and devotion. Sung together with a group, the energy builds and can produce a mild to strong ecstatic trance state.

According to Vedic tradition the mantra was first given by the revered sage, Rishi Brahmarshi Vishwamitra who is said to be the very first of only 24 Rishis (sages) since antiquity who have fully understood the entire meaning of the mantra.  To understand the meaning of the mantra enables one to understand the power of the mantra!

When we decide to begin a practice of devotion or meditation we often struggle against the fury of our own busy minds, which can be very frustrating.  Simply sitting still in a corner often invites all sorts of mental chatter which is exactly what you don’t want.  The singing of the Gayatri mantra easily propels us past ego and our noisy thoughts and concerns.  Singing the mantra takes your mind out of the equation.  You can then naturally connect to a great peace within!

Sanskrit transliteration: Sounds like:



bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇyaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt

bhurr    boo-vass-va-ha
tats-a-vey-tur    var-a-aye-nee-um
Bhar-go    dey    wass-ya    dee-man-ee
dey-yo-yo-nah    pratch-a-hoo-dai-yat
Sanskrit Gayatri Mantra


om Absolute reality. That which encompasses the three states of waking, dreaming, deep sleep, represented by om, the three levels of gross, subtle, causal, the three levels of conscious, unconscious, subconscious, and the three universal processes of coming, being, and going. Absolute silence beyond the three levels is the silence after om.
bhūr Physical realm or plane; earth.
bhuvaḥ The subtle or astral plane.
svaḥ The higher, celestial plane.
tát That, the essential essence.
savitúr Bright, luminous, sun-like, inner power of spiritual light, which brings one to self-realization.
váreṇyaṃ Finest, best, choicest, fit to be sought.
bhárgo Destroyer of obstacles. Effulgence.
devásya Divine, resplendent, shining.
dhīmahi We meditate.
dhíyo Out being of intelligence, intellect, understanding, mind/heart.
Who, which
naḥ Our
pracodáyāt May enlighten, direct, inspire, guide, impel.

The following is the version of the Gayatri Mantra we use in our workshops. You can listen here. If you would like to purchase the CD or download the mp3, there is a link at the bottom of the article. Peace!

Gayatri Mantra
Music by Peter Keogh & Serge Fiori
Narration (Instructions) by Ghanshyam Singh Birla

Background and Gayatri Mantra Instructions
from the Birla Center

"Located in the heart of Westmount, Quebec, the Palmistry Center was established in 1972 by Ghanshyam Singh Birla established the vedic Palmistry Center in Westmount, Quebec in 1972. Since then, it has evolved to become The Birla Center for Hast Jyotish with offices in Montreal and Chénéville. Its multi-faceted activities include research, education, publications and services in the Vedic arts and sciences.

Ghanshyam is a renowned palmist and author of several books, including Love in the Palm of Your Hand, published by Inner Traditions & Bear Co., and has been translated into many languages.

Hindu texts explain that repetition of selected Sanskrit words results in a person’s life breath (Prana) generating a hot and cold current in the ida (cold) and pingla (hot) subtle nerves of the spine. This Prana is circulated up and down the spine, thereby magnetizing it. With the right pronunciation of the mantra, each syllable of sound sets up a vibratory resonance throughout the spine, awakening each of the chakras, or energy centers of the spine.

During the repetition, it is recommended that one sit facing east, with the spine straight and seated on a woollen blanket (even if it is just spread over a chair: it serves as a subtle insulation against the earth’s gravitational current). It is best if you recite the mantra precisely 108 times, both morning and evening. The result will be renewed physical, emotional and spiritual health.

It should come as no surprise that to this day specific mantras are chanted in India during the preparation of various medicinal compounds used for specific health conditions. The rhythmic, phonetic vibrations created during the course of the recitation generate and enhance the healing properties of the medicines. In fact, India’s system of Ayurvedic medicine has recognized the therapeutic importance of mantras for thousands of years."

Download and Purchase Gayatri Mantra from their website

Gayatri Mantra Mandala