GAYATRI MANTRA THE ESSENCE OF ALL MANTRAS

GAYATRI MANTRA THE ESSENCE OF ALL MANTRAS :

Among all the millions of mantras written down and stored in far Eastern archives, the Gayatri mantra is universally consid cred the essence of all mantras. The Sanskrit words contain the essential vibration of the upper luminous spheres of light, and all. spiritual powers and potencies are within. According to Vedic cosmology, there are seven luminous spheres ofp light. Each successive sphere or realm is much more spiritually advanced and sublime than the previous one. In striking resemblance to Paradise in Dante’s The Divine Comedy, these luminous spheres are progressively attainable through human spiritual development until, finally, we merge with God. We may then return to Earth only if God wishes or needs us to perform some service in the grand scheme of things.

These various realms of light are the abode of saints and sages, prophets and rishis, angels and archangels, and the Great Saviors among humanity who have come from time to time. Although more than one way exists to attain these various realms, a way common to all is the venerable Gayatri mantra.

The Gayatri mantra is simply meditation on spiritual light. While other mantras are great for their purposes, this one is specifically for the purpose of enlightening the mind and intellect. For pure spiritual potency, the accumulation of the highest spiritual light, and attainment of enlightenment, there is nothing to compare with the Gayatri mantra.

Whether practiced by Hindus or Buddhists of diverse kinds, the Gayatri mantra is recognized as supreme in bestowing enlightenment.

According to Vedic teachings, each of the seven luminous spheres has one single vibration, which is an encapsulated vibration of the entire realm. It is a summary of the sphere in the form of a single word. When we intone the vibration of that sphere, we bring the vibration into ourselves. A connection is then created between us and that realm. At first, the connection is tenuous and faint. But over time, through sustained spiritual practice, the connection becomes so powerful that one can maintain the vibration of these realms even while inhabiting physical form during the activities of daily life. In Sanskrit this state is sometimes called sahaja samadhi, or  “the natural enlightened state.”

Various Far Eastern religious writings contain references to the seven spheres as well. The Buddhist bodhisattvas have detailed the realms and qualities of light: “the clear light,”  “the first bright light,” and so forth. The Hindu yogis of the Siddha Path (the Path of the Perfected Beings) also guardedly refer to them. Paramahansa Muktananda, world-renowned teacher of the Siddha Path, even wrote about his ‘journeys” in his autobiography. Jesus taught, “In my Father’s house are many mansions.” Through whatever door we may enter. access to the realms of light is part of our spiritual destiny on Earth, both individually and as a species. We have the words of the Great Ones as testimony.

Our Earth is the lowest location among the seven luminous spheres of light. The vibrational sound for the Earth plane is Bhuh. In some spiritual texts you will find references to the Earth plane as Bhuh Loka. It should be noted that there are also seven lower, nether (dark) spheres as well (“as above, so below”). Naturally, many beings from the lower spheres attempt to reach the first sphere of light, just as we are trying to reach the higher realms. When beings from the lower spheres manage to make it here to Earth, havoc ensues. The Vedic scriptures provide detailed explanations of the interworking between the inhabitants of the realms of light and darkness, but in everyday thought it is the ongoing struggle between good and evil.

The Gayatri mantra uses sound to invoke the vibration of each of the seven luminous layers of the universe specifically into the Earth plane. Furthermore, through repetition of this mantra these vibrations of pure light are invoked directly into us. Prolonged use of the Gayatri mantra will eventually accumulate so much spiritual light in the physical body that it resists decay, even after death.

When the great yogi Paramahansa Yogananda passed from earthly life in 1952, his body was placed in an open coffin where he lay plainly visible for mourners and passersby for twenty-eight days without any observable decay whatsoever. Finally, a small spot of decay appeared on his nose and the coffin was sealed. The event was recorded and reported by Time magazine.

Yogananda’s organization, the Self-Realization Fellowship, teaches a specific technique for spiritual development. The Gayatri mantra is not that technique. However, Yogananda practiced the Gayatri mantra in his youth, as all Brahmins do. Indeed, in the very earliest editions of Autobiography of a Yogi, there is a photograph of him performing  a Gayatri fire ‘ceremony for a few assembled students, devotees, and friends. This photo was removed from the book long ago, but those of you who happen to have a very early edition will find it there.

One day in 1984, when I was shopping in Hollywood, California. chanced upon the SRF gift store. There I met Sister Sita, a sweet, elderly woman who joined the organization as a young girl and became an SRF renunciate while Yogananda was still in the body. On that day, and others which followed, she told me that Yogananda used to perform Gayatri fire ceremonies for the benefit of his students in the early days.

I have practiced the Gayatri mantra since 1974 and I consider it one of the foundations for my spiritual practice. I cannot recommend it highly enough. The prana becomes energized. The light in the aura becomes brighter and brighter. A beneficial energy comes through you that is helpful to everyone. Attunement to the masters who have gone before who have also practiced this mantra grows. An ineffable quiet begins to permeate the mind. I will cease my praise, but not before I tell of two small incidents that taught me its value very early in my practice.

I had been practicing the mantra for only a few short weeks, certainly not long enough to develop any spiritual proficiency. On a trip to Philadelphia from Washington, D.C., I stayed at an urban ashram of spintuai people who also practiced this mantra. The first night after dinner, the director of the household was preparing to wash the dinner dishes and she passed by me very closely on her way to the sink. As she passed, I”heard” silent words Coming from the base of her spine. I heard Om Bhuh … Om Bhuh…Om Bhuvaha… Om Bhuvaha…., over and over again. This surreal experience went on for about two minutes, then she was called out of the room and the experience was over. It was exceedingly strange. After reflecting upon it, I concluded that I was “hearing” her spiritual discipline. That brief moment is still vividly in my mind all these years later.

Another, more telling incident happened while I was serving as a priest-in-residence for a small Far Eastern—based center in Washington, D.C. During my tenure there, I practiced the Gayatri mantra intensely. My minimum number of repetitions was one thousand a day Most days I would do more. One day after I had been practicing for three or four years, a visitor rang the bell. This was not an unusual occurrence, but the person ringing the bell was not usual. It was a young Buddhist monk from the Buddhist Vihara (public center) up the street. He was no more than thirty-five years old and had a flashing and infectious grin.

Following spiritual protocol and common courtesy, I invited him in and offered him a cup of tea. I put the water on to boil while I took him on a tour of the small quarters we occupied. After a few minutes, he looked at me intently and remarked, “I see you also do the mystic formula.” I said I had no idea what he was talking about. He smiled and began to chant the Gayatri mantra. When my eyebrows went up about a foot, he laughed in a friendly fashion. After a cup of tea and pleasant conversation during which he clearly indicated to me that we shared a common spiritual practice, he went his way.

People with advanced spiritual sight can discern the various qualities of spiritual light invoked by certain mantras. By “seeing” the kind of light in my aura, the young monk was able to tell what mantra I was ding.

Gayatri Mantra: Long and Short Forms :

There are two renditions of the Cayatri mantra. They are referred to simply as the long form and the short form.Om Bhuh, Om Bhuvaha, Om Swaha.Om Maha, Om Janaha, Om Tapaha, Om Satyam. Om Tat Savitur VarenyamBhargo Devasya DhimahiDhiyo Yonaha Prachodayat(OM  BOO OM BOO-VAH-HA OM SWAH-HAOM MAH-HA OM JAH-NAH-HA OM TAH-PAH-HAOM-SAHT-YAHM OM TAHT SAH-VEE-TOOR VAHR-EHN-YUMBHAHR-GO DEH-VAHS- YAH DEE-MAH-HEEDEE-YOH YOHN-AH-HA PRAH-CHOH-DAH-YAFIT)“0 Self-effulgent Light that has given birth to all the lokas [spheres of consciousness], who is worthy of worship and appears through the orbit of the Sun, illumine our intellect.”Here is a list of the spiritual planes represented (encapsulated) in the Gayatri mantra.There are several useful things to observe ‘dhow the structure of the mantra. First, notice that the syllable Om is used as a prefix to all of the mystical words that represent the realms. There is good reason for this. While on Earth, we work with our conscious  attention forcused through the will. Our will is expressed in our daily decisions and behavior. The biospiritual location of our will is centered, at the brow center, a point that is between the eyebrows and raised a few centimeters. In normal waking life, our eyes are very close to this center of will. When we close our eyes to meditate, this is the place where our gaze should be focused. The seed spiritual sound for this place is Om. If we are engaged in a spiritual discipline to bring the spiritual essence of the various realms of light into the physical world, we need to do this with consciousness and will. This is accomplished by using Om as a prefix to the sounds of those individual realms of light. This also means that we enjoy interaction with all the realms through self-awareness and intentional activity.When we reach the phrase that begins BhargoDevasya, we are performing a spiritual invocation that includes every being who has ever become enlightened or who has used this particular mantra. We are entreating, the consciously manifesting forces of the universe to assist us in our cause of achieving enlightenment. There are stages of enlightenment that are represented by the individual realms. Now we are asking for help in attaining the supreme goal of the species.Om Bhuh, Bhuvaha, SwahaOm Tat Savitur VarenyamBhargo Devasya DhimahiDhiyo Yonaha Prachodayat( OM BOO BOO-VAH HAH SWAH-HAOM TAHT SAH-VEE-TOOR VAHR-EHN-YUMBHAHR-GO DEH-VAHS-YAH DEE –MAH-HEEDEE-YOH YOHN-AH-HA PRAH-CHOH-DAH-YAHT)“O Self-effulgent Light that has given birth to all the lakas [spheres of consciousness], who is worthy of worship and appears through the orbit of the Sun, illumine our intellect.”For reasons I do not understands the short form of the mantra is much more commonly practiced in the Far East than the long form. I have repeatedly asked Eastern spiritual teachers why this is so, but have never received a satisfactory answer.Which Form Is Best to Use?When I was initiated into the practice of the Gayatri mantra, the form I was given was the long form. I did not even know that a short form existed. For that reason, I did not ask my initiator what the difference was between the two. Never having received much of an answer from any Other teacher, I can recommend the long form based only upon my experience with it.Earlier I spoke of the benefits of this mantra. I will add a bit more here. I have shared this mantra with a handful of earnest seekers over the years. Without exception they reported back to me that new levels of peace descended into their minds after just a few days of practice. Some reported that they began to fathom things about their lives which had eluded their previous understanding. They universally expressed gratitude for receiving the mantra, viewing it as a true spiritual gift. I can only add to those expressions my own gratitude to Brahma-rishi Vasistha, Brahma-rishi Vishwamitra, and my spiritual initiator, without whose collective beneficence I would not have written this work.Finally, each of us who attains higher levels of spiritual develop-ment while living on Earth performs a service for the planet and her inhabitants. Humanity has a destiny shepherded by the Great Ones. We individually may choose to share in the work toward that destiny. As such choices are made, it becomes easier for humanity as a whole to advance. As such choices are made over the centuries, one day all of Will reach a spiritual critical mass and be changed forever. The Gayatri mantra plays an important God-given role in the uplifting of the entire species. So whether your goals are personal or altruistic, this mantra can be of great benefits.

Here is a list of the spiritual planes represented (encapsulated) in the Gayatri mantra. :

Mantra Meaning
Om Bhuh (first chakra) Earth plane
Om Bhuvaha (second chakra) Atmospheric plane
Om Bhuvaha (second chakra) Atmospheric plane
Om Bhuvaha (second chakra) Atmospheric plane
Om Swaha (third chakra) Solar region
Om Maha (fourth chakra) First spiritual region beyond the Sun: heart vibration
Om Janaha (fifth chakra) Second spiritual region beyond the Sun: power of the divine spiritual Word
Om Tapahu (sixth chakra) Third spiritual region beyond the Sun : sphere spiritual understanding while still identified with existence as an individual being
Om Satyam (Seventh Chakra) Abode of suoreme Truth : absorption into the Supreme
Om Tat Saritur Varenyam That realm of Truth which is beyond human comprehension
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi

Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayat

In that place where all the celestials of all the spheres have received enlightenment, kindly enlighten our intellect

There are several useful things to observe about the structure of the mantra. First, notice that the syllable Om is used as a prefix to all of the mystical words that represent the realms. There is good reason for this. While on Earth, we work with our conscious attention focused through the will. Our will is expressed in our daily decisions and behavior. The biospiritual location of our will is centered, at the brow center, a point that is between the eyebrows and raised a few centimeters. In normal waking life, our eyes are very close to this center of will. When we close our eyes to meditate, this is the place where our gaze should be focused. The seed spiritual sound for this place is Om.
If we are engaged in a spiritual discipline to bring the spiritual essence of the various realms of light into the physical world, we need to do this with consciousness and will. This is accomplished by using Om as a prefix to the sounds of those individual realms of light. This also means that we enjoy interaction with all the realms through self-awareness and intentional activity.
When we reach the phrase that begins Bhargo Devasya, we are performing a spiritual invocation that includes every being who has ever become enlightened or who has used this particular mantra. We are entreating, the consciously manifesting forces of the universe to assist us in our cause of achieving enlightenment. There are stages of enlightenment that are represented by the individual realms. Now we are asking for help in attaining the supreme goal of the species.
Om Bhuh, Bhuvaha, Swaha
Om Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayat
( OM BOO BOO-VAH HAH SWAH-HA
OM TAHT SAH-VEE-TOOR VAHR-EHN-YUM
BHAHR-GO DEH-VAHS-YAH DEE –MAH-HEE
DEE-YOH YOHN-AH-HA PRAH-CHOH-DAH-YAHT)
“O Self-effulgent Light that has given birth to all the lokas [spheres of consciousness], who is worthy of worship and appears through the orbit of the Sun, illumine our intellect.”
For reasons I do not understand, the short form of the mantra is much more commonly practiced in the Far East than the long form. I have repeatedly asked Eastern spiritual teachers why this is so, but have never received a satisfactory answer.
Which Form Is Best to Use?
When I was initiated into the practice of the Gayatri mantra, the form I was given was the long form. I did not even know that a short form existed. For that reason, I did not ask my initiator what the difference was between the two. Never having received much of an answer from any other teacher, I can recommend the long form based only upon my experience with it.
Earlier I spoke of the benefits of this mantra. I will add a bit more here. I have shared this mantra with a handful of earnest seekers over the years. Without exception they reported back to me that new levels of peace descended into their minds after just a few days of practice. Some reported that they began to fathom things about their lives which had eluded their previous understanding. They universally expressed gratitude for receiving the mantra, viewing it as a true spiritual gift. I can only add to those expressions my own gratitude to Brahma-rishi Vasistha, Brahma-rishi Vishwamitra, and my spiritual initiator, without whose collective beneficence I would not have written this work.
Finally, each of us who attains higher levels of spiritual development while living on Earth performs a service for the planet and her inhabitants. Humanity has a destiny shepherded by the Great Ones. We individually may choose to share in the work toward that destiny. As such choices are made, it becomes easier for humanity as a whole to advance. As such choices are made over the centuries, one day all of humanity will reach a spiritual critical mass and be changed forever. The Gayatri mantra plays an important God-given role in the uplifting of the entire species. So whether your goals are personal or altruistic, this mantra can be of great benefit.

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