We are aware of the great spiritual miracle that occurs every morning, making it crystal clear that we must make obeisance to the Sun God daily. In fact the famous Gayatri Mantra, chanted by most children, people and residents the world over, solely glorifies Lord Sun. Therefore in the new millennium, amidst the renowned Yoga-Guru, Swami Ramdevji's camps, the Gayatri Mantra is an excellent medium to focus the mindset .
As you are well aware that the Gayatri Mantra is chanted as:
AUM BHOOR BHUWAH SWAHA,
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASAYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODAYAT
The excerpt means:
Aum = Brahma ;
bhoor = embodiment of vital spiritual energy (pran) ;
bhuwah = destroyer of sufferings ;
swaha = embodiment of happiness ;
tat = that ;
savitur = bright like sun ;
varenyam = best choicest ;
bhargo = destroyer of sins ;
devasya = divine ;
dheemahi = may imbibe ;
dhiyo = intellect ;
yo = who ;
naha = our ;
prachodayat = may inspire!
Oh God! Thou art the Giver of Life,
Remover of pain and sorrow,
The Bestower of happiness,
Oh! Creator of the Universe,
May we receive thy supreme sin-destroying light,
May Thou guide our intellect in the right direction.
Its meaning clarifies, "May the Almighty God illuminate our intellect, leading us along the righteous path". Thus the mantra is an invocation to the ‘giver of light and life’ - the sun or savitur, one of the two Divine eyes of God ( verse 13, chapter 40 of Xth canto, Srimad Bhagavatam ) The significance of Gayatri Mantra is also illustrated in verse 41 of Xth canto, Srimad Bhagavatam or Lord Krishna’s is an ideal household too! It is not surprising that in chapter ten of the ‘Bhagwad Gita’, when Lord Krishna describes His Glories to Arjuna , He certifies in verse 35:
"Among the Vedic hymns, I am Gayatri Chhanda " ... Chapter X of GITAJI has 45 verses
And as we chant the Gayatri Mantra along with OM, precisely 10 verses earlier in the same Chapter, the Lord informs Arjuna:
"Among words, I am the sacred syllable OM ..." (Verse 25)
PS: Devotees of Ganesha also do Japa of the Ganesha Gayatri Mantra as follows:
Tat purushaaya vidmahe
Tanno dhanti prachodayaat.
This is of great significance in the Hindu pantheon. Lord Ganesha enjoys a very unusual and unique position amongst Hindu deities; He is to be worshipped and revered first. If this regime is not followed, other rituals and worship are not fruitful. Such a boon was granted to Lord Ganesha by the Supreme Lord. Accordingly let us make obeisance to His holy feet for success, wealth and wisdom. His blessings are unique since money without discretion often leads to disaster but Lord Ganesha makes wealth enjoyable. Without the Grace of Sri Ganesha and His support nothing whatsoever can be achieved. No action can be undertaken without His blessings.
To chant the Gayatri Mantra, purity of body, mind, intellect and a proper Guru's guidance is imperative: Verse 29, chapter 45, Xth canto of Srimad Bhagavatam. Lives of many Great Saints also testify this undeniable truth; Affectionate Saint : Sri Manohar Baba .
In fact, Rishis selected words of the Gayatri Mantra and positioned them in such a manner that they were not only meaningful but also created specific power of righteous wisdom by reciting them. The ideal time schedule for chanting the mantra is three times a day - at dawn, mid-day, and dusk. These time slots are known as the three sandhyas - morning, mid-day and evening. The maximum benefit of the hymn is attained by chanting it 108 times. However, one may recite it 3, 9, or 18 times over, when short of time. The syllables of the mantra are said to positively affect all the chakras or energy centres in the human body - hence, proper pronunciation and enunciation are extremely important.
Though millions of students and adults recite the Gayatri Mantra the world over, few people can do so correctly in ‘Kaliyuga.’ Kripaluji Maharaj of Vrindavan does the needful with full Vedic rhythm and accuracy.
And according to Vedic injunction, "sampradaya-vihina ye mantras te nisphala matah"; or unless one is initiated to the incantation by a bona fide spiritual master, coming in disciplinary succession, the mantra is not effective or does not give the desired result.
The Gayatri mantra, in particular, is meant for spiritually trained individuals who are perfectly positioned in the mode of goodness. Unlike the Hare Krishna Maha-Mantra, there are certain rules and standards to be adhered to in chanting the Gayatri Mantra. A specific time schedule ascertaining its recitation and certain circumstances in which it should not be uttered. When sung by a duly qualified and trained Brahmin, endowed with purity, one can attain success in chanting the Gayatri Mantra which has the power to immediately transport one to the transcendental realm. When the spiritual master observes that the disciple has attained the spiritual advancement required for chanting the Gayatri Mantra, he awards Brahminic initiation to the disciple.
On the contrary there are no such rules in reciting the 'Hare Krishna' Maha Mantra. By the yuga-dharma of the age and mercy of Lord Chaitanya it can be sung by anyone, at any time and in any circumstances without specific qualifications. This is indeed our principal sadhana, and simply by chanting the Maha-Mantra to perfection, one can attain spiritual bliss. Reciting the Gayatri Mantra and worshiping deities offer further purification and impetus for the devotee to swiftly achieve perfection in chanting the 'Hare Krishna' Maha Mantra:
Hare Ram Hare Ram, Ram Ram Hare Hare;
Hare Krishan Hare Krishan, Krishan Krishan Hare Hare