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Importance of 108

Today we will learn about the various important reasons that have been given for having 108 beads on a mala, as well as a few other points of interest. None of these reasons are being promoted here as more or less true than the others. However, you may notice that 108 appears to be somewhat like a road map of reality in general, and the human in particular.

On word of caution since 108 is mostly related to chanting mantras, regardless of the meaning of 108, it is important that if a mala is used to count mantras, the mantra be remembered with sincerity, devotion, feeling, and full attention.


Harshad number: 108 is a harshad number, which is an integer divisible by the sum of its digits (harshad is from sanskrit, and means “great joy”)


Desires: there are said to be 108 earthly desires in mortals.


Lies: there are said to be 108 lies that humans tell.


Heart chakra: the chakras are the intersections of energy lines, and there are said to be a total of 108 energy lines converging to form the heart chakra. One of them, sushumna leads to the crown chakra, and is said to be the path to self-realization.


Sanskrit alphabet: there are 54 letters in the sanskrit alphabet. Each has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti. 54 times 2 is 108.
Pranayama: if one is able to be so calm in meditation as to have only 108 breaths in a day, enlightenment will come.


Sri yantra: on the sri yantra there are marmas where three lines intersect, and there are 54 such intersections. Each intersections has masculine and feminine, shiva and shakti qualities. 54 times 2 equals 108. Thus, there are 108 points that define the sri yantra as well as the human body.


Delusions: there are said to be 108 human delusions or forms of ignorance.


Marmas: marmas or marmasthan are like energy intersections called chakras, except have fewer energy lines converging to form them. There are said to be 108 marmas in the subtle body.


8 extra beads: in doing a practice of counting the number of repetitions of the mala, 100 are counted as completed. The remaining are said to cover errors or omissions. The 8 are also said to be an offering to god and guru.


Time: some say there are 108 feelings, with 36 related to the past, 36 related to the present, and 36 related to the future.


1, 0, and 8: some say that 1 stands for god or higher truth, 0 stands for emptiness or completeness in spiritual practice, and 8 stands for infinity or eternity.


Sun and earth: the diameter of the sun is 108 times the diameter of the earth. The distance from the sun to the earth is 108 times the diameter of the sun.


Moon and earth: the average distance of the moon from the earth is 108 times the diameter of the moon.


Meditations: some say there are 108 styles of meditation. Paths to god: some suggest that there are 108 paths to god.

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Hinduism: 108 is said to refer to the number of hindu deities. Some say that each of the deities has 108 names.

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Maha Mrityunjay Mantra

The Mahamrityunjaya Mantra reads:
ॐ त्र्यम्बकं यजामहे सुगन्धिं पुष्टिवर्धनम्
उर्वारुकमिव बन्धनान्मृत्योर्मुक्षीय माऽमृतात्

om tryambakaṃ yajāmahe sugandhiṃ puṣṭivardhanam
urvārukamiva bandhanānmṛtyor mukṣīya maamṛtāt

Word-by-word meaning of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra:-

ॐ aum = is a sacred/mystical syllable in Sanatan Dharma or Hindu religions, i.e. Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism. Aum also appears in ancient African religion i.e. Ancient Egyptian Religion (Kemetic). Aum appears in the Ancient Egyptian papyri of Leiden and Demotic). In Ancient Egyptian Religion the sound ‘Aum’ is a Sacred word of power called Hekau.

त्र्यम्बकं tryambakam = the three-eyed one (accusative case),
त्रि + अम्बकम् = tri + ambakam = three + eye

यजामहे yajāmahe = We worship, adore, honour, revere,

सुगन्धिम् sugandhim = sweet smelling, fragrant (accusative case),

पुष्टि puṣṭi = A well-nourished condition, thriving, prosperous, fullness of life,

वर्धनम् vardhanam = One who nourishes, strengthens, causes to increase (in health, wealth, well-being); who gladdens, exhilarates, and restores health; a good gardener,
पुष्टि-वर्धनम् = puṣṭi+vardhanam = पुष्टि: वर्धते अनेन तत् = puṣṭiḥ vardhate anena tat (samas)= The one who nourishes someone else and gives his life fullness.

उर्वारुकमिव urvārukam-iva = like the cucumber or melon (in the accusative case); or like a big peach.
Note: Some people have decomposed the compound urvārukam in this way: ‘urva’ means “vishal” or big and powerful or deadly; ‘arukam’ means ‘disease’. But urva (उर्वा) does not mean ‘vishal’ in Sanskrit; Another possibility would be ūrva (root ऊर्व्), meaning ‘to kill, hurt’, which could bend the translation to ‘please eredicate all disease’ as ūrva is in the imperative mood. Another way: uru: big, large; ārukam (in the accusative case): peach; iva: like.

बन्धनान् bandhanān = “from captivity” {i.e. from the stem of the cucumber} (of the gourd); (the ending is actually long a, then -t, which changes to n/anusvara because of sandhi)
Note: bandhanān means bound down. Thus, read with urvārukam iva, it means ‘I am bound down just like a cucumber (to a vine)’. If you read it with mṛtyormukṣīya it means ‘liberate from the bounds of death’

मृत्योर्मुक्षीय mṛtyormukṣīya = Free, liberate From death
मृत्यु: + मुक्षीय = mṛtyoḥ + mukṣīya= from death + free (Vedic usage)

मा ∫ मृतात् mā ∫ mṛtāt can be translated in a number of different ways:
1) मा + अमृतात् = mā + amṛtāt = not + immortality, nectar
Translation would be: (Free me from death but) not from immortality.
2) मा (माम) + अमृतात् = mā (short form of mām) + amṛtāt = myself + immortality
Translation would be: Give me some life rejuvenating nectar
3) मा (माम) + अमृतात् = mā (short form of mām) + amṛtāt = myself + sure, definitely
Translation would be: Free me from certain death.

The true meaning is as follows:

Tryambakam: The three eyed lord (Shiva) who sees what we can see but who also sees what we can not see. Hence 3 eyed.

Yajamahe: Yajanam is invocation; I invoke

Sugandhim Pushti Vardhanama: Increase my good vasanas (not of material aspects like gold, money,sex, anger, the 6 enemies etc)

Urvarukam iva bandhanaan mrityor mukshiya ma mritaat: When i die my soul should leave the body as easily (without attachment) as the cucumber falls from its plant.

Origin
Secret Mantra, and Rishi Markandeya was the only one in the world who knew this mantra. The Moon was once in trouble, cursed by King Daksha. Rishi Markandeya gave the Mahamritryunjaya Mantra to Sati, Daksha’s daughter, for the Moon. According to another version this is the Bija mantra as revealed to Rishi Kahola that was given by Lord Shiva to sage Sukracharya, who taught it to Rishi Dadhichi, who gave it to King Kshuva, through whom it reached the Shiva Purana.

It is also called the Rudra mantra, referring to the furious aspect of Lord Shiva; the Tryambakam mantra, alluding to Shiva’s three eyes; and it is sometimes known as the Mrita-Sanjivini mantra because it is a component of the “life-restoring” practice given to the primordial sage Sukracharya after he had completed an exhausting period of austerity. Its Devata is Rudra or Lord Shiva in his fiercest and most destructive roopa or aspect. In the Vedas it finds its place in three texts – a) the Rig veda VII.59.12, b) the Yajur Veda III.60, and c) the Atharva Veda XIV.1.17.

Significance
It is said to be beneficial for mental, emotional and physical health and to be a moksha mantra which bestows longevity and immortality.

According to some puranas, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra has been used by many Rishis as well as Sati during the time when Chandra suffered from the curse of Prajapati Daksha. By reciting this mantra, the effect of the curse of Daksha, which could make him die, slowed, and Shiva then took Chandra and placed it upon his head.

This mantra is addressed to Lord Shiva for warding off untimely death. It is also chanted while smearing Vibhuti over various parts of the Body and utilised in Japa or Homa (havan) to get desired results. While its energy protects and guides the initiates a mantra re-links consciousness to its deeper and more abiding nature and repetition of the mantra constitutes Japa, the practice of which develops concentration that leads to a transformation of awareness. Whereas the Gayatri Mantra is meant for purification and spiritual guidance, the Mahamrityunjaya Mantra is meant for healing rejuvenation and nurturance.

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What does Siddhartha mean

सिद्धार्थ – that’s how we write SIDDHARTHA in Hindi/Sanskrit through the Devanagari script. Following is how this powerful name came into existence.


Noun: सिद्धार्थ (siddhā-rtha)

  • “He who has fulfilled the object (of his coming)”
  • Name of the great Buddha from shakya clan (Siddhartha).
  • One of the names for Bhagwan Shiv among his sahastra naam

Adjective सिद्धार्थ (siddhā-rtha)

  • One who has accomplished an aim or object, successful, prosperous
  • Leading to the goal, efficient, efficacious
  • One whose aim or intention is known

” was the original name of Buddha and a name which is formed of two words “Sidh” whose meaning is “perfect” and “Artha” whose meaning is “purpose” both are from the language of Sanskrit and combined they mean “the one who perfects ( sidh ) his purpose ( artha )”.

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“Sidh” whose meaning is that which “achieves” and that which is “perfect” then expands and becomes “Siddha” whose meaning is “perfected” and “supernatural” and this is then seen in “Siddhanta” whose meaning is “the end ( anta ) of perfection ( siddha )”.

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“Sidh” also becomes “Siddhi” whose meaning is “perfection” “skill” and “art” and this is seen in the “Asta Siddhis” which are the “eight ( asta ) perfections ( siddhi )” yogis who can become “larger than a planet” and “smaller than an atom”.

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“Siddha” whose meaning is “perfection” can be seen in this verse from the Gita where “Siddhaye” and “Siddhanam” are translated as “perfection” the Gita spoken over 5000 years ago, long before the appearance of Buddha and the language of Pali.

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“Out of the many thousands among men, one may endeavour for perfection, and of those who have achieved perfection, hardly one knows Me in truth.” Gita 7.3

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“Sidh” expresses that which “binds one ( si ) to the motion ( h ) of light ( d )” as in the “light of the soul” as in the “light of illumination” while its secondary meanings of “beatitude” and “perfection” are an expression of mystical and spiritual states.

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As it journeys to other languages “Sidh” is seen throughout Europe as “Sidus” a word from Latin whose meanings are “star” “group of stars” and “constellation” and “Sidereal” whose meaning is “starry” “astral” and that which belongs to the “constellations”.

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Around the early 17th century Gallileo wrote his “Sidereus Nuncius” whose meaning was the “message from the stars” a message which announced his “clusters ( si ) of light ( d )” all of which move around the satellites of Jupiter thus proving the rotation of planets around the stars.

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“Sidh” expresses the nature of Sanskrit, which expresses the nature of the Vedas, which expresses the nature of the divine, and this can be seen in words such as “Consider” whose meaning is to “observe ( con ) the stars ( sidus )” and also “Desire” which means to “long for ( de ) the stars ( sidus )”.

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These words from the Ancient language of Sanskrit go back in time over 5000 years, long before the 2500 year old date for Panini, long before the 3500 year old date for the stone tablets of Armana, long before the 4000 year old date for the disappearance of Sarasvati, and long before Buddhism and the language of Pali.

Post courtesy: James Robinson Cooper

sivaom zante island ttc greece
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Everyone says they do meditation, but what is this thing called meditation?

Meditation, it’s not sitting in a posture, it is actually trying to concentrate on a particular thing. It could be your guru who you love a lot. Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, for the mind to acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content.

The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. Meditation often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way. Meditation is often used to clear the mind and ease many health concerns, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. It may be done sitting, or in an active way ; for instance, Buddhist monks involve awareness in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training.

Meditation has many benefits as it affects you physiologically, psychologically and also spiritually. It means a person who meditates, not only has a good sharp mind, with a great will power but the person is also physiologically sound with all the bodily functions working in harmony. By quoting spiritually, a person develops a knack of forgiving anyone for the mistakes, a person become enlightened. This level of enlightenment can only be achieved if a person meditates.

A person can do Breath awareness meditation, Mantra meditation. When you inhale breath, try to feel it, and then try to feel the way it exhales from the body. In the whole process of inhaling and exhaling, thoughts will come in the mind. Just acknowledge the thoughts and smile on it and then try to focus again on the breath. It will improve one’s concentration and patience.

Another simple technique is to close your eyes and try to see the image of guru or god. The whole purpose is to concentrate on the image. Random thoughts will definitely bother you but just smile on it. Meditation is something which can be done anytime and anywhere. It is not about closing eyes and sitting. It can be done by opening your eyes. But by closing eyes it becomes easier for the person to concentrate while cutting all the distractions. A relaxed peaceful mind can do wonders and this can only be achieved if we meditate!

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Yoga For Horoscopes

Welcome to mantra and aasana series for horoscopes. In the Olden days yoga was not just practiced by itself but it was practiced under a guru in the ancient system of Gurukul. Here the sadhak or the shishya was not just taught yoga but also Ayurveda, Vedic astrology, vastu shastra along with various other important topics which were related to the human mind, the society, country the universe and such other matters.

We wanted to share the mysticism of mantra, asana, the main element of that horoscope along with the planet having a direct impact on it and the polarity the specific horoscope bends towards…

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How to achieve Yoga

Yoga means union with God. The state of yoga is impossible to attain without the blessings of Lord Shiva. It needs a concentrated and focussed mind. There are some specific spots in the human body concentrating upon which, enables a man to attain the state of yoga-spot between the eyebrows, lower part of the throat, Navel and six inches above it etc.

The state of yoga can never be attained until and unless a person has fully controlled the tendencies of sense organs. It can be achieved with the help of eight means-Yama (Penance), Niyam (discipline), Aasan (Posture), Pranayam (Breath-control), Pratyahar (restraint of passion), Dharan (retention), Dhyan (concentration) and Samadhi (deep meditation). Each of them holds an important position in the path of yoga.

Describing about the methods of performing yoga, in Linga Purana Sutji says – “A person should sit with his legs crossed in Padmasan and try to concentrate his mind by fixing his gaze between his eyebrows. He should keep his spine erect. He should meditate either on the form of Omkar or on the form of lord Shiva. Breath control is an important aspect of yogic exercise. A man should exhale deeply for 32 times and then breathe in deeply. He should then retain his breath as long as possible and visualize lord Shiva within his body. By constant practice he will achieve mastery over this art and a time will come when he will experience divine bliss. This divine bliss can not be experienced unless one has attained a deep state of meditation (Samadhi).”

Obstacles in the Path of Yoga –
A man experiences numerous obstacles in the path of Yoga-laziness, restlessness confusion, a diseased body etc. The main reason for being lazy is a bulky physique and one’s inability to concentrate his mind. Lack of concentration results in restlessness, which is a major obstacle in the path of yoga. If a person in unsure about the results he becomes confused. It is impossible for a person suffering from any disease to concentrate his mind.

All the above mentioned hurdles can be overcome by firm resolution. A man who has successfully overcome all these obstacles might experience other obstacles in the form of siddhis (divine powers). There is a real danger of getting lured by these divine powers. As a result his mind may get distracted from his original goal and he may deviate from his path. The names of these siddhis or divine powers are-Pratibha (having knowledge of past present & future incident), Shravan (being capable of listening to abnormal sounds), Varta (whatever is said becomes true), Darshana (capable of seeing things which can mot be seen by the mortal eyes), Aaswada (being capable of experiencing divine (tastes), Vedana (being capable of relieving other’s pain by a mere touch). If a person successfully overcomes all these allurements then he becomes a siddha- or man of accomplishment and divine powers.!!

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Important things to know before selecting a yoga course

Things are the most important factors to know for anyone before taking up any yoga course…

sivaom yoga teacher training certificate

– How authentic is the teacher?

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This can be seen by reading his/her history, asking about their family/guru lineage, the traditions they follow and then doing your own conclusive research about what’s been shared with you…

– What subject is being taught?

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There are various subjects which have such important relevance. So much so, that without their knowledge you can’t even be considered to be practicing yoga, but there is lack of awareness about them in the west due to the limited knowledge even today. This doesn’t let a person fully grow in yoga, as they aren’t aware of these subjects. These subjects can add depth to your existing yoga and might be very important for not just your own growth but might have a direct impact on the evolution of your students Incase you’re an existing teacher…

– Can this subject be found in the original transcriptions and scripts of yoga or is it a filtered or toned down or a deviated subject given to you? Authenticity of text is important as these are time and character tested methodology. They are accepted as universal truths because they can be applied to anyone, from any region, at any time!

Adding to that, I would also say it’s important that whose commentary is being taught. Try to avoid as less change of wording in the manual as possible, the more hands it has passed the more away from Subject of yoga it became! All texts existed predominantly in Sanskrit, then were translated to Hindi or other local language, then to English, then to your local language and then someone added their own colour to it, in the end it ended up being just the shadow of what existed.

I would like to say the “best teacher and course” is a subjective matter and indeed in this aspect there can’t be a single best! However having said that, we are talking about yoga and when we talk of yoga guiding a person or giving guidelines to person so that they can have access to the best quality of teachings is the most fundamental aspect and we have to be responsible and truthful about!

Even though today it does act as a parameter of quality of a teaching but the past graduates testimonials also doesn’t speak much. For example if I have zero knowledge of yoga and only 1% of authentic knowledge was provided to me, I will consider that as wholesome 100% and write very nicely about the school and the teacher. This is totally misleading and I can vouch that some leading names have do not teach authentically.

Yoga Training Certificate given by the ambassador of india to greece on the Graduation Ceremony of SivaOm Students

Now the question about whether the question of if the teacher is from India, this is directly relevant to the question of which course to take, even today there are many families in India who have been following and practicing yoga for over 1000 generations and this can not be replaced even with a lifetime of studies as many things in yoga come from real life situation experience after applying the wisdom of the books applied generation after generation. However I would also say that many Indians have compromised for the sake of money, this is why it becomes important to check their guru/family lineage.

Let me at this point also talk of moral and ethical issues, as an indian you would never go for yoga alliance for the reason that no American association can verify and certify an indian cultural practice and those who’ve done the certification of the alliances are simply in it for the money, as a matter of fact there is no body which can measure if you have achieved yoga, so measuring or certifying it becomes impossible. Adding to that there is literally only one certification body in the world recognised by any government and that is authorised by the ministry of yoga in India and is not yoga alliance America or even the Indian chapter of yoga alliance…

🧘🏻‍♂️♾🧘🏻‍♀️

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Is it yog or yoga, and it is shiv or shiva ?!

If you go to India or talk to a native Hindu, none of them say yoga, they call it yog, they don’t say shloka but a shlok, they neither call the almighty god shiv but shiv, so then words like yoga – shloka – karma – shiva – Hatha – sutra – Ayurveda – nirvana – dharma – Why do Hindi or Sanskrit words get an extra ‘a’ when translated to English?

It’s because most Westerners know these names through Sanskrit, which usually pronounces the final – a or ah sound at the end. Hindi (in addition to numerous other modern Indian languages descended from Sanskrit) underwent a process in which unstressed short -a- was dropped, particularly when it wouldn’t create too awkward a consonant cluster.

Every word has meaning. In India, we have the tradition of consulting astrology and numerology during a formal ceremony to name a child. It is believed that the child will imbibe the same qualities he is named after. As soon as a word is uttered, it is believed to manifest with a full meaning. The word ‘yog’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’, meaning ‘to join’ or ‘to unite’; joining means to connect with one’s true nature or in the sense of practicing, to unite with god. 

Our mind mostly associates with worldly delusions, but yog teaches us to connect with God. It helps the mind to associate with the Self. As soon as we become involved with the soul, we gain wisdom. The word yog is synonymous with liberation. The word is completely in sync with Indic philosophy and culture. If Indian culture is a flower, then yog is its fragrance. Yog teaches us to live a healthy, joyful and loving life.

Yog improves the functioning of the respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and hormonal systems. It also brings about emotional stability and clarity of thought. Unfortunately, many people in India and the West — though they understand the health benefits of yoga asanas — have failed to understand the spiritual dimensions of yog. They think that yog means only a set of asanas, and therefore, call it yoga. For them, both words mean the same.

Yog includes physical, psychological, and spiritual practices. Yoga is part of yog. It’s like saying ‘Ram’instead of ‘Rama’; or ‘Krishn’ instead of ‘Krishna’. To bring out the essence, one has to use the correct word. Most people don’t see beyond the human body so they do asanas just to tone up their body and make it flexible. Therefore, they make little headway in absorbing the spiritual benefits of yog. Focus on the subtler aspects of yog and see how this Indic spiritual philosophy changes your vision.

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The Guru Of All Mantras – Om Namah Shivay

Om Namah Shivay           ॐ नमः शिवाय

Its translation is “salutations (namas) to Shiv”, preceded by the mystical syllable “Om”. The syllable “ya” at the end of the mantra denotes an offering. Thus the mantra Om Namah Shivay actually means “I offer to Shiv a respectful invocation of His Name”, and not merely “I respectfully invoke His Name”. Om Namah Shivay mantra is sung by devotees in prayers and recited by yogis in meditation. It is associated with qualities of prayer, divine-love, grace, truth, and blissfulness. Om Namah Shivay is a mantra found in the Yajur Veda hymn – Sri Rudram and is regarded as a Maha Mantra from the first chant, that is it does not need to be chanted 1,080,000 times for it to come alive unlike other mantras.

Traditionally, it is accepted to be a powerful healing mantra beneficial for all physical and mental ailments. Soulful recitation of this mantra brings peace to the heart and joy to the [Ātman] or Soul. Sages consider that the recitation of these syllables is sound therapy for the body and nectar for the soul [Ātman]. The nature of the mantra is the calling upon the higher self; it is the calling upon Shiv, the destroyer deity, to aid in the death (destruction of ego) and rebirth achieved during meditation. This goes generally for mantras and chants to different gods, which are different aspects of the higher self.

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Gayatri Mantra – The Most Detailed Meaning Available

The Gayatri mantra is considered one of the most universal of all mantras, it is also considered as one of the top 3 most supreme mantra (Maha Mantra), invoking the universal Brahman as the principle of knowledge and the illumination of the primordial Sun. The mantra is extracted from the 10th verse of Hymn 62 in Book III of the Rig Veda.

ॐ भूर्भुवस्व: | तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यम् | भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि | धियो यो न: प्रचोदयात्
Oṁ Bhūrbhuvaswaha Tatsaviturvarenyam bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥa prachodayāt,


A basic translation can be given as…

Oh parmatma, 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 parmatma, so that He may direct our mental faculties in the right direction. Let us meditate on that excellent glory of the divine Light (Vivifier, Sun). May he stimulate our understandings (knowledge, intellectual illumination).

(A quick note of caution, The Gayatri Mantra, honoring the sun, is from Rig Veda. One must never chant it after sunset. Also, singing it in just any tune as devotional singers are doing nowadays is an absolute no- no. )



The Four Parts of the Gayatri Mantra

Aum Bhur Bhuvah Swah (ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व:)

1. AUM (ॐ)
the Supreme name of parmatma. A full explanation of this has been given in a related article.

BHUR BHUVAH SWAH. These three words collectively are known as the “Mahavyahriti”. They express the nature of parmatma, and demonstrate his inherent qualities.

2. BHUR (भूर्)
Firstly, the word Bhur implies existence. parmatma is self-existent and independent of all. He is eternal and unchanging. Without beginning and without end, parmatma exists as a continuous, permanent, constant entity. Secondly, the word Bhur can also mean the Earth, on which we are born and sustained. parmatma is the provider of all, and it is through His divine will that we our blessed with all that we require to maintain us through our lives. Finally, Bhur signifies Prana, or life (literally, breath). parmatma is That which gives life to all. Whilst He is independent of all, all are dependent on Him. It is parmatma who has given us life, parmatma who maintains us throughout our lives, and parmatma alone who has the ability to take away our life, when He so chooses. The only permanent entity, all others are subject to His own will

3. BHUVAH (भुव:)
Bhuvah describes the absolute Consciousness of parmatma. parmatma is self-Conscious as well as being Conscious of all else, and thus is able to control and govern the Universe. Also, the word Bhuvah relates to God’s relationship with the celestial world. It denotes parmatma greatness – greater than the sky and space, He is boundless and unlimited. Finally, Bhuvah is also indicative of parmatma role as the remover of all pain and sufferings (Apaana). We see pain and sorrow all around us. However, through supplication to parmatma, we can be freed from that pain and hardship. parmatma Himself is devoid of any pain. Though He is Conscious of all, and is thus aware of pain, it does not affect Him. It is our own ignorance that makes us susceptible to the effects of Maya, or illusion, which causes us to feel pain. Through true devotion to parmatma, we can be freed from the clutches of Maya, and thus be rid of pain and sorrow.

4. SWAH (स्व:)
Swah indicates the all-pervading nature of parmatma. He is omnipresent and pervades the entire multi-formed Universe. Without Form Himself, He is able to manifest Himself through the medium of the physical world, and is thus present in each and every physical entity. In this way, parmatma is able to interact with the Universe created by Him, and thus sustain and control it, ensuring its smooth and proper running and function.
Also, Swah symbolizes parmatma bliss. All but God experience pain, suffering and sorrow. Devoid of all such things, parmatma alone is able to experience supreme bliss. Happiness as experienced by humans is temporary, a transient state of mental satisfaction, which soon dissolves back into the mire of worldly troubles. Perfect, and without any form of deficiency, parmatma alone experiences true bliss, permanent and unaffected by worldly pains and woes. One who realizes parmatma is able to join in this bliss, and thus God is able to impart true happiness to those who establish oneness with that Supreme Divinity.

5. TAT (तत् s.1)
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] parmatma, and that the praise being offered to parmatma in the prayer is purely directed towards Him, without thought of gaining any personal benefit from that praise.

6. SA-VI-TUR (सवितुर् s.2-4)
Savita, from which Savitur is derived, is another name of parmatma, this being the reason that the Gayatri Mantra is often known as the Savitri Mantra. The implication of Savita is of parmatma 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 parmatma ability to create the Universe and sustain it, as well as, at the right time, bring about its dissolution.
Savita is also indicative of parmatma 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 parmatma will not help us unless we are willing to help ourselves.

7. VA-RE-NY-AM (वरेण्यं s.5-8)
Varenyam signifies our acceptance of parmatma, 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. parmatma 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.

This triplet is a further description of the attributes and qualities of parmatma – His functional and instrumental qualities, rather than intrinsic qualities – and through those qualities, His relationship to us.

8. BHAR-GO (भर्गो s.1,2)
Bhargo is taken to signify the Glorious Light that is parmatma love and power. It indicates His complete purity – being absolutely pure Himself, God also has the ability to purify those that come into contact with Him. Thus, Bhargo is indicative of parmatma power to purify, and to destroy all sins and afflictions. In the same way as a metal ore placed into a fire will yield the pure metal, by merging with parmatma, by realizing His Divine Form and establishing unity and oneness with Him, we can cleanse ourselves and be made pure by His Grace.
Though the soul, being itself Divine in nature, possesses that Light, it lacks luster, having been made impure by the sins and vices, which are a result of the darkness of Maya. By removing the veil of Maya, and cleansing our soul, parmatma can enable the soul to realize its true, Divine self, and thus purify it.

9. DE-VAS-YA (देवस्य s.3-5)
The word Deva, from which this word is derived, has been translated by different people in many different ways. It is generally thought of as meaning simply “parmatma”. However, its meaning is more complex than that.
Deva, which forms the root of the words “Devata” and “Devi”, means “quality” or “attribute”, and can be thought of as another word for “Guna”. Thus, the various forms of parmatma are given this name, as each of those forms is related to a specific quality and function (for example, Brahma has the quality of Creation, Kamadeva has the quality of love, etc.). Also, Deva is thus used to describe anyone who is considered to possess a special quality.

Since Deva is symbolic of the individual qualities of parmatma, the word demonstrates the inherent oneness of those different Forms, and thus the use of this word can be taken as describing the fundamental unity of parmatma. Thus we see that here, we reaffirm that central belief in the Hindu Dharma that “Ekam sat viprah bahudah vadanti” (Truth, or parmatma, is one, but wise men call Him/It by different names).

Thus, Deva is indicative of the various multifaceted entity that is the absolute Personality of parmatma. It describes in one word all the functions, roles and different attributes of parmatma, and symbolizes therefore his absolutely essential nature – without parmatma, nothing can exist.

10. DHI-MA-HI (धीमहि s.6-8)
Meaning to meditate and focus our mind on parmatma. Meditation on parmatma implies that we remove all other thoughts from our mind, since thoughts of the world render our mind impure, and thus we are unable to conceptualize the absolute purity of parmatma. We must be able to concentrate, and direct our mental energies towards the task in hand – which is communion with parmatma.

 

Goddess Gayatri
DHIYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAT (धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात्)

Prayer is carried out for four main reasons:

to praise and glorify parmatma;
to thank parmatma;
to ask forgiveness from parmatma;
or to make a request from parmatma.
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 parmatma), this part is now our request from parmatma. Since our soul is the Light of Life within us, and that acts on our body via the medium of the brain, we ask parmatma 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 parmatma help us to improve our intellect, and guide it towards what is right.

11. DHI-YO (धीयो s.1,2)
Sanskrit for “intellect”, this is the essence of this part of the Gayatri Mantra. Having firmly set parmatma 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 parmatma, he is imbued with parmatma 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 parmatma, and that it is able, through the medium of the body, to serve parmatma 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 parmatma 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 (यो s.3)
Meaning “Who” or “That”, Yo signifies yet again that it is not to anyone else that we direct these prayers, but to parmatma alone. Only parmatma is worthy of the highest adoration, only parmatma is perfect and free from all defects. It is That parmatma to Whom we offer these prayers.

13. NAH (न: s.4)
Nah means “Ours”, and signifies the selflessness of the request we make of parmatma in this part of the Gayatri Mantra. We offer this prayer, and make the request of parmatma, 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 parmatma.

14. PRA-CHO-DA-YAT (प्रचोदयात् s.5-8)
Prachodayat, the final word of the Gayatri Mantra, rounds off the whole mantra, and completes the request we make of parmatma in this final part. This word is a request from parmatma, 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 parmatma Himself, the root of all Happiness, and the source of true Bliss.


There are numerous benefits of chanting Gayatri mantra. Thus, here are some of the positive effects of chanting Gayatri Mantra. It increases learning power. It increases concentration. It brings prosperity. It gives people eternal power. It is very useful for peace. It is the first step to go to the way of the spiritual road. It is correlated with God. It strengthens the mind and improves the health condition. It improves the rhythmic pattern of breathing. It keeps our hearts healthy. It protects the devotee from all the dangers and guides towards the Divine by intuition. It improves our family life.