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Gayatri Mantra
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Gayatri Mantra Detailed Word by Tat Savitur Varenyam

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.


5. TAT: Literally, this word means "that", being used in Sanskrit to denote the third person. It is also mentioned in the Bhagavad Gita by Sri Krishna Himself, where He implies the selfless nature of the word. Being used in the third person, the word has implicit in it an idea of selflessness. Sri Krishna uses it to imply the selfless nature of charity (charity, or a gift, being used as an analogy for worship, in the form of action, implying that action should be preformed without regard to its fruits, but simply out of devotion and sense of duty, or Dharma). Tat then is used here in the Gayatri Mantra to indicate that the worshipper is referring to [that] God, and that the praise being offered to God in the prayer is purely directed towards Him, without thought of gaining any personal benefit from that praise.

6. SA-VI-TUR: Savita, from which Savitur is derived, is another name of God, this being the reason that the Gayatri Mantra is often known as the Savitri Mantra. The implication of Savita is of God's status as the fountain, the source of all things. It is through His Divine Grace that the Universe exists, and so this word sums up the Mahavyahriti, by describing God's ability to create the Universe and sustain it, as well as, at the right time, bring about its dissolution.

Savita is also indicative of God's gift to mankind. Humans also have, in limited amount, the power, or shakti, of Savita. This shakti acts as an impetus in humans, and brings about the requirement for them to do something. They cannot sit idle, and are constantly searching for something to do. This is what is commonly known as the "creative urge". It is through this shakti that mankind has created art, and it is through this shakti also that scientific advances are made. The gift of Savita also gives creatures the ability of procreation. Hence, Savita can be thought of as meaning Father (or Mother) also.

Finally, it is the power of Savita that enables mankind to distinguish right from wrong, and vice from virtue. Through this ability, we are able to in some part direct our own selves, and thus, Savita imparts to us a certain self-guiding ability. Thus, by using this word in the mantra, we demonstrate that we are making efforts ourselves also, since God will not help us unless we are willing to help ourselves.

7. VA-RE-NY-AM: Varenyam signifies our acceptance of God, and can be translated as meaning "Who is worthy". Ever ready to obtain all the material riches of the world, more often than not, they are a disappointment once they have been achieved. God however is the one who, once realized and achieved, has the ability to truly satisfy. We therefore accept Him as the Highest reality, and it is to Him that we dedicate our efforts.

Varenyam can also be interpreted as signifying one who is eligible. We have chosen Him to be our Leader and our Guide. We place our all into His hands, and accept Him regardless of anything else. We place no conditions on this acceptance, as it is all out of sheer devotion.