ॐ असतो मा सद्गमय।तमसो मा ज्योतिर्गमय।मृत्योर्मामृतं गमय ॥
ॐ शान्ति शान्ति शान्तिः ॥
asato mā sadgamaya, tamaso mā jyotirgamaya, mṛtyormāmṛtaṃ gamaya
We have all heard this mantra and have had a quick glimpse of it’s meaning – lead us from ignorance to knowledge, from darkness to light, from death to immortality.
This mantra echoes the Gāyatri mantra…both are about illumination of the self. A prayer and an urge to look within, to look beyond.
We had a few details on the origins of the Gāyatri, but going into more detail, while interesting, will lead towards the wrong path.
We seek to experience, not to know theory. That this is an important mantra, the most important, is understood by us. Now, let us attempt to stitch this into our daily lives, one step at a time.
A point to note – one cannot (and should not) engage in practicing the mantra and it’s associated gestures, without proper mantra-deeksha from a guru. Yes, there are gestures associated with the mantra as well, but I left them out here since it is not recommended to sel-practice the mantra. There are energies associated with serious japa, that can only be handled under the guidance of a realized guru (not just any happy, or sad guru).
Listening to the mantra – not as a song, or a bhajan, but as a part of meditation. You can use the YouTube link that I had given you in an earlier post. Also follow the instructions as per the post. If you can listen to 108 repetitions, great, if not, then start with a multiple of eight. However, follow this for 21 days at a stretch, so that you form a habit of listening to it in the morning. Always end with Śavāsana.
Meditate on it’s meaning – this is the tougher part, since it requires you to focus. And as you will experience, the mind quickly jumps topics and before you know it, you would be filling out your annual appraisal that is due tomorrow. Hence the recommendation to begin with lesser repetitions, so that you have lesser time overall. Same 21-day cycle (after completing Step 1). Always end with Śavāsana.
Start from a good day – October 28th seems feasible, given that there is Guru Pushya Yog on that day. Wish you the best!