Sunday 5 July 2020

Gayatri Mantra - Word to Word Meaning and Commentary

Introduction to Vedas 

The entire Universe is reverberating. When there is reverberation, there is sound. In other words, the entire cosmos is simply a manifestation of sound energy. The ancient Vedic sages through penance, could download cosmic data directly. They received cosmic truths in the form of sounds which they envisioned. These truths were recited as received, and passed on generations after generations.

Various truths downloaded by various Rishis gave rise to the ocean of Vedas. Veda Vyasa later compiled these Vedas and classified them. These is how the 4 Vedas came to existence. Each of these Vedas had many branches. Each branch had 4 components : 

(1) samhita
(2) brahmana
(3) aranyaka
(4) Upanishad

The Savitri portion of the Gayatri Mantra finds a place in the 3rd Mandala,62th Sukta, and 10th Rik of the Rig Veda Samhita. The Rishi who downloaded it is the revered Sage Vishvamitra.

(1) Om 

OM : 

The primordial sound. The very sound form of the absolute consciousness. Every sound is rooted in the basic syllables of OM - A U M. The only sounds your oral cavity can produce without the alteration of the tongue is A , U and M. All other sounds are just the manipulation of OM using tongue.

This is a reflection of the universe. We are the microcosm to the macrocosm. The very existence is made up of sound frequencies which the expansions of OM ( A, U and M )

(2) Bhuur Bhuvaha svaha 

Bhuuhu : 

Bhuhu refers to materialisation. This is the gross plane. Materialisation refers to the gross form of the absolute reality- the planet, the body, mountains etc

Absolute reality ( God ) condensed after big bang, forming the 5 elements. The subtlest form of the 5 elements, is akasha ( ether ). Ether can be only perceived through sound energy. The Vedas were downloaded in the form of sounds ( mantras ) which vibrate as akasha ( ether ). The Ether element is the cosmic archive which houses all data about the universe.

As per Vedas, ether condensed to form wind ( vayu ). Wind can be experienced through touch and sound. It is a little more gross. Wind then condensed to fire - which can be perceived through touch, sound and form. Fire condenses to water - which can be perceived through touch, sound, form and taste. Finally, water condenses to form earth - which can be perceived with touch, sound, form, taste and smell. This is why earth is synonymous to Bhu - for it represents the most gross plane.

Bhuvaha :

Bhuvaha refers to vibration. It is more subtle than bhuuhu. Vibration is sound energy. Sound is the underlying principle for the hologram of creation to take place. Every sound ( vibration ) has a form. Every sound produces a geometry. This geometry is what we see as the universe. The solar system, the planets, the alignment of the heavenly bodies, the symmetry of our bodies etc is governed by the underlying vibration. Bhuhu is only a hologram projected by the plane of bhuvaha.

Video: Illustration on how sound creates geometry which creates forms we perceive. 
Video courtesy : Youtube: Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds - Part 1 - Akasha

As mentioned earlier, the Vedas themselves were downloaded as sound vibrations; mantras.

Suvaha :

Suvaha refers to radiation. Radiation is like light - pure waveform. Consciousness is wave. It is all pervasive. We can find various forms of shadows in accordance to the size of objects and bodies. Despite these varieties ( in creation,so as to say ) , the underlying principle behind these varieties is a common consciousness - the sunlight. The atma - God is the underlying wave which threads the entire creation. It is the string which joins every individual bead in a bangle.

As we recite bhubhuvassuvaha , we are realising the three fundamental dimensions of the cosmos. All these dimensions are non-different. They are just moving from the grossest to the subtlest.

The same apple you eat becomes gross by forming flesh and faeces. The subtler aspect becomes the mind. The even subtler aspect becomes the life force within which sustains the body.

The Mantra as per the Vedic text begin only from 'tat savitur ..'.This is termed the Savitri. The first 4 words ' Om Bhur Bhuvaha suvaha' are called the vyahrtis.

Image: The shadow is bhuuhu. The geometry of the hand is bhuvaha. The light source which is common to all shadows is suvaha.

Vyahrti + Savitri = Gayatri Mantra

(3) tat savitur vareNyam

tat :

That ! In reference to absolute consciousness / God. We use 'that' because we cannot describe 'that' in any possible word. We can only give a reference point, not definition for it is something to be realised, not intellectually dissected.

sa vituhu :

Sa= with
Vit = treasure of knowledge

Savituhu refers to the treasure-house of the Vedas, the absolute reality. Savita is in reference to Lord Surya. This is why this Gayatri Mantra is part of the Surya Upanishad. He is the presiding deity of Gayatri Mantra.

vareNyam :

Vara means a superlative degree. VareNyam means superior-most.

(4) bhargo devasya dhiimahi

bhargaha :

Comes from two roots - bhaha and gaha. Bhaha means brightness. Gaha means gamanam or going.

So it means 'going towards brightness': The journey towards enlightenment.

devasya : 

Of the deva. Deva comes from the root sound 'div' which means to shine. Deva means, 'one who shines'. It represents any entity which embodies the state of enlightenment or divinity.

dhiimahi :

to meditate upon.

(5) dhiyo yo naha pracodayaat

dhiyaha :

the root sound 'dhi' indicates buddhi. It refers to intellect

( This is also why Tibetan monks meditate upon the syllable 'dhi' by uttering it as a japa, as a means to fertilize their intellect to grasp the higher truths of the cosmos propounded by their scriptures )

yaha :


naha :


pracodayaat :

pra means prakaTita = manifest.
suffix codayaat means 'propel from inside'

So it means to manifest enlightenment - Self realisation that the self is verlily atma / god / absolute consciousness.

Dhiyo yo naha pracodayaat means ' let my intellect be nurtured so that it leads to my enlightenment.


(1) Benefits of Gayatri Mantra Recitation and the correct way to recite it

(2) Exploring Vedic Sounds - linking macrocosm to the microcosm

(3) Origin of the 5 elements and their interrelation as Per Vedas

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