Hidden Treasures of the East
Exploring the true meaning of yoga’s gifts to the West
The Gayatri Mantra
Originating from the East, the Gayatri mantra has become a universal mantra, chanted to awaken the heart, mind, body and soul. It seeks to preserve and protect our vital energies ultimately leading us to truth, love and compassion.
Om Bhur Bhuvah Svah Tat Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat O Divine Energy, I am filled with darkness. Please lead me to the light of self-realisation
• Om — The universal sound that sustains life
• Bhur — The embodiment of vital spiritual energy
• Bhuvah — The life force
• Svah — The soul and spiritual realm
• Tat — That (referring to the divine energy)
• Savitur — The source of all life
• Vaernyam —Adore
• Bhargo — The divine light
• Devasya — The divine energy
• Dheemahi — Meditate
• Dhiyo — The intellect
• Yo — May this light
• Nah — Our
• Prachodayat — Inspire me
History and meaning
The mantra is known in the East to be the ‘Mother (or Essence) of the Vedas’, the sacred texts. It was chanted for centuries before it was first recorded in the Rig Veda about 2,500 to 3,500 years ago.
For seekers, the mantra is a hymn to ‘Savitur’, the sun god. The mantra is an expression of gratitude to the life-giving sun and the Divine, its purpose was first to be an offering of gratitude to the sun and then to seek wisdom and enlightenment by meditating on its form and embodying the illumination the sun gifts to all beings.
Benefits of chanting the mantra
The Gayatri mantra can be worn as a mantra bar as well as being chanted.
There are numerous common benefits amongst chanting mantras, yet each syllable carries a distinct seed (bija) sound that vibrates when chanted. The Gayatri Mantra shares the following benefits:
Calms and strengthens the mind: Chanting helps stimulate the brain and the functioning of the vagus nerve, a common form of treatment for depression and epilepsy. The vibrations help to stimulate the pineal gland, releasing endorphins and other relaxing hormones, calming the mind.
Stimulates the chakras: Chanting helps stimulate the chakras (the extrasensory energy centres). The vibration first activates the third eye, throat and crown chakras. These three chakras help improve concentration as they directly relate to the brain and pineal gland (crown chakra), eyes, sinuses, lower head, the pituitary gland (third eye chakra) and thyroid gland (throat chakra). Activated by the vibrations, the glands are stimulated as the chakras align for the functioning of the entire body.
Increased immunity: The pressure on tongue, lips, vocal cord, palate and the connecting regions in the brain creates a resonance in and around the head and functioning of the nervous system. These vibrations stimulate the hypothalamus (responsible for the release and functioning of immunity, amongst others). Regular chanting helps keep stress at bay.
Improves breathing: During chanting, the breath regulates to slower deeper controlled breaths oxygenating the entire body and regularising the heartbeat. The increased circulation helps to rid toxins from the skin.
When the Gayatri Mantra is chanted, we open to grace and enter into a great river of devotion through the distinct sound of the syllables as they vibrate through each and every cell in the body.
Written by Sonal Thakrar (kleem.co.uk)
“There are numerous common
benefits amongst chanting
mantras, yet each syllable carries
a distinct seed (bija) sound that
vibrates when chanted.”
First published in November 2009, OM Yoga magazine has become the most popular yoga title in the UK. Available from all major supermarkets, independents and newsstands across the UK. Also available on all digital platforms.