भर्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑धीमहि ।
धियो॒ यो नः प्रचो॒दया॑त् ॥
dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayāt
We all know the above as being the Gāyatri mantra. Actually we may know it in it’s varied form, the one that starts with ॐ भूर् भुवः सुवः । You may also have heard it in Anuradha Paudwal’s soothing voice on the T-Series channel, the one that is sung to a nice beat, with music and clapping accompanying it.
Many people wake up to this song, and play it at bhajan-kirtans and get-togethers. But is this the Gāyati Mantra?
Now, listen to this:
मननत् त्रायते इति मंत्र:
Mananat trayate iti mantrahIt means that by repetition (mananat) of which, you overcome or are protected from troubles/cycle of births and deaths (trayate), it is (iti) called Mantra.
man is contemplation and tra is liberation – mantra brings liberation through reflection, and the same happens when one reflects on the sound of the breath.
Pundit Vamadeva Shastri (David Frawley) has written an excellent book on Mantra Yoga, and it’s subtleties. He speaks about the energies of a mantra, that depend on three factors:
Sound – The effect of the mantra relates to the nature of it’s sound, in it’s different vowels and consonants and the particularities of it’s pronunciation. Each sound has a certain quality that reflects the potential meaning that it can serve as a vehicle for. This is the ‘body‘ of the mantra.
Pranic Factor – This effect of the mantra depends on how the sound is made. The same sound can be made with more or less force, intensity, velocity or Prana, which will naturally alter it’s energy, meaning and impact. This is how the mantra is aligned with the breath, and is the ‘Prana‘ or ‘life-force’ of the mantra.
Mental Factor – This effect of the mantra depends upon how we energise it with thought, meaning, intention and emotion. This is the ‘mind and heart‘ of the mantra.
For example, take the AUM mantra. The sound factor relates to the (correct) pronunciation of “A”, “U”, and “M”, and in the correct ratio, without which, this just becomes a collection of mixed sounds. The panic factor takes into consideration the energy of the vibrations felt in the different parts of the body when reciting AUM. The mental factor, that is most important, takes into consideration your focus on intention and the surrender to the meaning of the AUM mantra.
A lot of people sing the Gāyatri mantra, without taking these factors into consideration. A mantra pronounced incorrectly is not a mantra – it remains a sound that is unable to manifest anything useful. Yes, you may still get some lung exercise, but you didn’t come for just that, did you?
Use the guidelines as outlined in this article. Listen to 21 repetitions of the Gāyatri mantra (from the YouTube video above). The guidelines have to be followed, the only difference being that you are listening to the japa, not saying it.
Do this for 7 days at a stretch, same time, same place. Tell me your experience.
See you tomorrow.