logo Vatika Shakti Peeth
Gayatri Mantra
Get the Flash Player to see this rotator.

Gayatri Mantra Detailed Word by Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

The Gayatri Mantra consists of twenty-four syllables - three lines of eight syllables each. The first line (Aum Bhur Bhuvah Swah) is considered an invocation, and is not technically a part of the original Gayatri Mantra as it appears in the Upanishads. Gayatri is also referred to as a Vedic poetic meter of 24 syllables or any hymn composed in this meter. Hence, there exists a whole family of Gayatri Mantras, which serve as meditative aids to pray for the blessings of a particular personal God.

Aum Bhoor Bhuwah Swaha,
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasaya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo Naha Prachodayat.

A basic translation can be given as...

Oh God, the Protector, the basis of all life, Who is self-existent, Who is free from all pains and Whose contact frees the soul from all troubles, Who pervades the Universe and sustains all, the Creator and Energizer of the whole Universe, the Giver of happiness, Who is worthy of acceptance, the most excellent, Who is Pure and the Purifier of all, let us embrace that very God, so that He may direct our mental faculties in the right direction.


Prayer is carried out for four main reasons:

* to praise and glorify God;
* to thank God;
* to ask forgiveness from God;
* or to make a request from God.

Having carried out the other three parts (praise of His greatness, thanks for His generosity in Creation and maintaining us through our lives, and forgiveness by demonstrating our awareness of our own impurity, which we have realized is present and must be cleansed through contact with God), this part is now our request from God. Since our soul is the Light of Life within us, and that acts on our body via the medium of the brain, we ask God to make this contact pure and righteous. The soul is of course inherently pure, being itself Divine in nature. The body is under the complete control of the mind. The link is the mind, which is affected not only by the soul, but also the outside world. We ask in these four words that God help us to improve our intellect, and guide it towards what is right.

11. DHI-YO: Sanskrit for "intellect", this is the essence of this part of the Gayatri Mantra. Having firmly set God in our hearts, we now must try to emphasize His presence and influence on our mind and intellect.

Material prosperity holds no true meaning for the person who is truly devoted to God. Pain and suffering are of no consequence to him as, touched by God, he is imbued with God's own Divine Bliss, and all worldly sorrows pale to nothingness in comparison. However, still the individual must live in the world. Thus, it is important that the person's intellect remains focussed on serving God, and that it is able, through the medium of the body, to serve God to the best of its ability.

Physical objects can be obtained very easily, if one is intelligent enough to know how to go about it. Intellect however cannot be obtained, but must be there from the very first. It is by use of this intellect, in fact, that one is able to cultivate all other qualities (building of wealth, "success" in life (in material terms), physical fitness, etc.) Thus, intellect is the key to all else in life, and as such, it is the most important possession. We ask God in the Gayatri Mantra to gift us with the highest intellect, and to help us by showing us the way to use that intellect.

12. YO: Meaning "Who" or "That", Yo signifies yet again that it is not to anyone else that we direct these prayers, but to God alone. Only God is worthy of the highest adoration, only God is perfect and free from all defects. It is That God to Whom we offer these prayers.

13. NAH: Nah means "Ours", and signifies the selflessness of the request we make of God in this part of the Gayatri Mantra. We offer this prayer, and make the request of God, not simply for ourselves, but for the whole of humanity. We seek the uplift of the whole of society. Hindu philosophy has since the beginning recognized the concept of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" - "The whole world is one big family". Thus, we pray not only for ourselves, but for each and every member of that great family, that we may all benefit from the greatness and generosity of the All-loving God.

14. PRA-CHO-DA-YAT: Prachodayat, the final word of the Gayatri Mantra, rounds off the whole mantra, and completes the request we make of God in this final part. This word is a request from God, in which we ask Him for Guidance, and Inspiration. We ask that, by showing us His Divine and Glorious Light (cf. BHARGO), He remove the darkness of Maya from our paths, that we are able to see the way, and in this manner, we ask Him to direct our energies in the right way, guiding us through the chaos of this world, to find sanctuary in the tranquility and peace of God Himself, the root of all Happiness, and the source of true Bliss.