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GAYATRIMANTRASHANKARABHAASYAM

THE MEANING OF GAYATRI MANTRA


by

ADI SHAMKARA

COMPLETE GAAYATRI MANTRA:

TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI

DHIYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAAT●

OM BHOOR-BHUVAH SVAHA

TAT-SAVITUR-VARENYAM

BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI

DHIYO YO NAH PRACHODAYAAT●

OM BHOOHU ● OM BHUVAHA ● OM SVAHA ● OM MAHAHA●

OM JANAHA● OM TAPAHA● OM SATYAM●

OM TAT -SAVITUR VARENYAM

BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI


DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODAYAAT●

AAPO JYOTI RASOMRTAM BRAHMA BHOOR BHUVAH

SVAROM●

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GAAYATRI- PRAANAAYAAMA

Holding the breath one should repeat the above mentioned Gaayatri Mantra completely. Thrice at
BRAHMA MUHURTHA. This is called GAAYATRI PRAANAAYAAMA.

The above mentioned Gaayatri Maha Mantra is the essence of all the Vedas. Gaayatri Mantra
reveals the existence of the Supreme Self or PARAMAATMAN in every existing object – living or
non living, as its very essence.

GAAYATRI MANTRA UPAASANA consists of chanting the complete Mantra as given above,
loudly, with perfect phonetic intonations.

If there is not perfect phonetic expression of sound, the Mantra may not have the required effect.
The Mantra is mainly intended for personal usage. Unless one is physically handicapped, the
Mantra is to be chanted by the aspirant himself. Listening to the Mantra in a cassette is of no use.
The Upaasana of Gaayatri Mantra is to be performed with an effort by the Saadhak himself.
Regular Gayatri Praanaayaama Saadhana leads one to self knowledge, bestows liberation and
Siddhis.

OM : OMKAR is also known as PRANAVA. The chanting of OM bestows liberation. Those


who are spiritually inclined should chant the OM in an elongated form, combining it with
Praanaayaama. Others who want to have worldly benefits should chant the OM in an ordinary
way, in a short time. But in Gaayatri Mantra chanting, since the whole passage is to be repeated
in one breath, three times, the Omkar repetition can be short.

TAT : That

SAVITUR : of the Sun

VARENYAM : Supremely Great


BHARGO : The shining one or the lustrous one

DEVASYA : of the God or of the shining form

DHEEMAHI : We will meditate

DHIYO : The Discriminating faculty or the Buddhi or

The Intelligence.

YO : Who

NAHA : of us

PRACHODYAAT : Inspire or provoke

LET US MEDITATE UPON THE SUPREMELY GREAT LUSTURE OF


THAT SUN GOD. LET THAT INSPIRE OUR INTELLIGENCE.

Though the Mantra appears to refer to the Sun, shining above the earth, it is actually intended
towards the Supreme PARABRAHMAN and teaches us the identity of the individual self and the
PARABRAHMAN. PARABRAHMAN is the Sun, the shining one. He shines as our own self. He
is the witness consciousness in us. Self is not a light or ghost but the very thing you call as “I”
and this “I” which everyone knows as himself or herself is PARABRAHMAN.

The SUN, which is PARABRAHMAN, which is your self or your “I” feeling – is the shining one. He
is the very awareness you have. You are aware of objects outside. So the objects exist. Your
body is there because you are aware of it. You are the light by which you see other lights like
Sun, Moon etc. You are the awareness – light. This awareness is called CHIT. This awareness is
PARABRAHMAN. This awareness is YOU.
ADI SHAMKARA SAYS:

GAAYATRI MANTRA is the essence of Vedas. Vedas proclaim the oneness of Jivaatman and
Paramaatman. So Gaayatri Mantra also aims at this oneness only.

The meaning of the Mantra is : He who is the Supreme Sun, He who shines as the self of all
individual should, let him inspire our thinking to understand this great truth.

That PARABRAHMAN is SAVITUR -SUN.

That PARABRAHMAN is DEVA- the shining one. He is the light by which we see other lights.

That PARABRAHMAN is VARENYAM – Greatest, because he is well known to everybody as their


very self, as their “I”.

That PARABRAHMAN is BHARGAHA – The lustrous one, because He destroys the ignorance in
everybody.

We meditate on THAT PARABRAHMAN, who is referred to by the words –SAVITUR, DEVA,


BHARGA , VARENYAM.

Let THAT PARABRAHMAN give us the power to mediate on Him as our own self.

Let THAT PARABRAHMAN inspire our thoughts to comprehend the truth of the oneness of
PARAMAATMAN and JIVAATMAN.

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OM TAT SAT.

These three words form the essence of Vedas.


OM is the common word in this statement and the GAAYATRI MANTRA.

TAT is also a common word in both. In the GAAYATRI MANTRA, the word TAT is given a
detailed explanation.

TAT in GAAYATRI MANTRA refers to SAVITUR, BHARGA, DEVA, VARENYAM.

SAT means the pure existence or the Awareness in you. You are the SAT because of which all
other things like your body, mind etc. exist.

So-

OM TAT SAT means the oneness of PARAMAATMAN and JIVAATMAN.

OM TAT SAT means THAT IS EXISTENCE


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GAAYATRI MANTRA also means:

THAT PARABRAHMAN, THAT LUSTROUS SHINING SUN -EXISTS -AS YOU

TAT TVAM ASI

THAT THOU ART

AHAM BRAHMAASMI

I AM BRAHMAN

Let that Supreme Self inspire our intellects to meditate upon the truth.

I AM THE SUPREME SELF


OM

BHOOHU - EXISTENCE

BHUVAHA - CONSCIOUSNESS

SVAHA - BLISS

MAHAHA - GREAT

JANAHA - CAUSE

TAPAHA - LUSTRE

SATYAM - UNAFFECTED

All these words mentioned in the GAAYATRI MANTRA refer to the PARABRAHMAN.

AAPO or AAPAHA - ALL PERVADING

JYOTEE - SHINING LIGHT

RASO or RASAHA - ESSENCE

AMRITAM - NECTAR

PARABRAHMAN is everything that exists. So He is everywhere. He pervades


everything that exists.

PARABRAHMAN shines as the self of all. He is the “I” in everybody.

PARABRAHMAN is the SELF. He is the ATMAN. He is the Essence of


everything.

PARABRAHMAN is immortal. He is eternal. He is free from Death.

Let us mediate like this, when we chant the complete GAAYATRI MANTRA.


I am the Supreme Parabrahman.
I am the witness of the actions of my body, mind and intellect.
These are the instruments given to me for experiencing the world.
I need no other support for my existence.
I am THAT which is referred to in the GAAYATRI MANTRA, as SAVITUR, BHARGA,
DEVA and VARENYAM.
I am BHOO, BHUVA, SVAHA, MAHA, JANA, TAPA, SATYAM.
I am AAPA, I am JYOTI. I am RASA. I am AMRITAM. I am BRAHMAN.
I am EVERYTHING.
I am SAT-CHID-AANANDA.
I am Existence. I am Awareness. I am Bliss.
I AM THAT ”

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ADI SHAMKARA SAYS:

BRAHMAN is all pervading

BRAHMAN is self shining

BRAHMAN is different from everything

BRAHMAN is the self

BRAHMAN is eternal

BRAHMAN is Existence, consciousness, bliss

BRAHMAN is denoted by the OMKAR

The other name of BRAHMAN is OM

I AM THAT BRAHMAN

I AM THAT BRAHMAN

I AM THAT BRAHMAN

This is the meaning of GAAYATRI MAHA MANTRA, according to ADI SHAMKARA

OM TAT SAT
AUM