References to the Gayatri Mantra in Scriptures

ॐ भूर्भुव: स्व: तत्सवितुर्वरेन्यं । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि, धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात् ।।

The Upanisads (sacred texts) of Hinduism contain several references to the Gayatri Mantra.

Chandogya Upanisad 3.12.1-6 (Qualities of Gayatri)

Chandogya Upanisad 3.16.1

Man, truly, is the sacrifice. His (first) twenty-four years are the morning libation, for the metre Gayatri is made up of twenty-four syllables, and the morning libation is related to the Gayatri metre. With this the Vasus are connected. The Pranas indeed are the Vasus, for they make all this stable.

Chandogya Upanisad 4.17.1-6 (Origin of Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah)

Brahadaranyaka Upanisad 5.14.4 (Gayatri as the Protector)

The Gayatri Mantra is based on truth. For truth is based on strength. Strength is breath, and is based on breath. So, Gayatri protects (tra) the wealth (gaya) (the breath!) of those who speak it with earnestness and devotion. When one recites Gayatri on behalf of someone, it protects that person's breath too!

Brahadaranyaka Upanisad 5.14.5 (Four 'foots' of the Gayatri)

This verse talks about the unbounded wealth contained within the four 'foots' of the Gayatri Mantra. Top of Page

Gayatri Mantra - Long Form and Pranayama

The complete form (or long form) of the Gayatri Mantra contains an invocation to the seven spheres, followed by the traditional 24-syllable mantra that is most commonly chanted (Details of each syllable can be found in the Gayatri by Words article). The final part of the mantra is an invocation to the Goddess of light to illuminate our path as we move towards higher consciousness.

gayatri mantra praanayama in sanskrit
ॐभू: ॐभुव: ॐस्व: ॐमह: ॐजन: ॐतप: ॐसत्यम, ॐतत्सवितुर्वरेन्यं, भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि, धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात् ।।

AUM bhUH, AUM bhuvaH, AUM svaH, AUM mahaH
AUM janaH, AUM tapaH, AUM satyam
AUM tatsaviturvarenyM bhargo devasya dhImahi
dhIyo yo nH prachodayAt.h.
AUM Apo jyotiH rasomRRitaM
brahma bhUR bhuvaH svar AUM..

Gayatri Mantra Pranayama Detailed Meaning

AUM, the primordial sound, resides in all elements of the universe. It permeates the earth (-bhUH), water (-bhuvaH), fire (-svaH), air (-mahaH), ether (-janaH), intelligence (-tapaH) and consciousness (-satyam). We pay homage to Gayatri, the one who shines like the sun (tat savitur), the one who destroys all our sins through her everlasting and effulgent light. Dear Goddess Gayatri, please illuminate our path towards our higher consciousness and lead us to our true purpose in life. Please shine your light (-jyotiH) in our path so we may partake of the everlasting nectar (rasomRRitaM) of brahman while chanting the primordial sound, AUM!

Listen to the Gayatri Mantra Praanayama (mp3 extract, 30sec, 220K)
Gayatri album art
The Gayatri Mantra CD by Pandit Jasraaj and Rattan Mohan Sharma includes a 40+ minute rendition of repeated chants of the Gayatri Mantra. It is perfect to play in the background for your meditations. (USA visitors can buy the album - 6 tracks including 108-times chant of Gayatri by clicking the image on the right)
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