Did you try the task that I put across yesterday?
I did. Woke up, had a bath, performed basic yog and prānāyāma and then sat down to listen to the Gāyatri japa.
I sat through the complete 108 japas. The beauty of a mantra is that it’s sounds should reach your ears – that is why you chant loudly in the first place. When you chant it, there are additional benefits, but at least if the sounds reach your ears, it’s a good starting point.
I had a great start to the day. The first few minutes of the japa are the hardest, because the mind pulls you in various directions – from work, to films to people, and sometimes towards weird. When it is the last one though, know that you are half asleep:))
It’s ok if that happens. You cannot become a tapasvi in a day. Have patience, the mind will ask you to open your eyes for a quick second, but try not to listen to it. It can be very persuasive though, since it has control of your body as well. But try.
That’s why I said 21 times, which isn’t too much time. But 21 times consciously. Which means, understanding and imbibing every letter of every word in the mantra, 21 times. It isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Did you know that Gāyatri mantra gets its name from the chhandas, or the meter which holds it? Gāyatri chhandas, has three lines in it, with 8 syllables each.
Gāyatri is considered as the most sacred of all meters in Sanskrit grammar. It is praised as the mother of knowledge, “Gāyatri chandasam mata“. One fourth of the entire Rig Veda, is composed in Gāyatri chandas.
If Gāyatri is the meter, then who is Savitr, to whom the mantra seems to be dedicated?
Well, Savitr is an Aditya (born from from Aditi), a deva from the Vedic era. The sun before it rises is called Savitr, and after it rises is called Sūrya.
In the course of time, the meter came to be identified with the mantra itself and the mantra that spoke about Savitr, came to be known as the Gāyatri mantra.
Before uttering a mantra, we start with remembering it’s corresponding sage, meter, divine entity and usage.
अस्य श्री गायत्री मंत्रास्य
asya shri gayatri mantrasya, vishwamitra rshih, gayatri chandah, savita devata, japopanayane viniyogah
Excellent way of copywriting and attribution, if looked at in the modern context:)
For tomorrow, try to repeat the exercise, this time, double it. 42 times. And tell me what you feel. See you tomorrow!