Gayatri Mantra

Deep meditation practices of Dharma traditions, absorptions, tranquility, asceticism
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Nicholas
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Gayatri Mantra

Post by Nicholas » Wed Aug 31, 2016 2:36 pm

From the Rig Veda:
Tat Savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi:
Dhiyo yo nah pra chodayat!

That superexcellent splendor of the Divine Sun we meditate upon:
May it arouse (stimulate) our minds!
Wiki gives some other info and other translations:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gayatri_Mantra

It is designed for an impersonal approach, used around sunrise and sunset. Yet, there is also a goddess Gayatri, as the video shows:

phpBB [video]
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AlexMcLeod
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by AlexMcLeod » Wed Aug 31, 2016 3:01 pm

What is your experience with this mantra? The only Hindu mantra I've used were om namah Shiva ya, and the ganapati ganesha mantra.

Off topic, what is the plural of mantra?
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Nicholas
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by Nicholas » Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:51 pm

AlexMcLeod wrote:What is your experience with this mantra? The only Hindu mantra I've used were om namah Shiva ya, and the ganapati ganesha mantra.

Off topic, what is the plural of mantra?
I use it irregularly, at sunset usually. Even then, I do notice sometimes a faint 'brightening' of my mind. Should make it a regular practice.

Technically there is no 's' to make a word plural, but by convention it is often so used. I will check with an expert, it may be something like 'mantrim' but I am not sure.
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by AlexMcLeod » Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:28 pm

Nicholas wrote:I use it irregularly, at sunset usually. Even then, I do notice sometimes a faint 'brightening' of my mind. Should make it a regular practice.
The brightening effect is likely due to clearing away a bit of the mental fog that tends to build up. lt is likely a combination of meditation ability with a strong cleansing mantra in this case.

Thanks for the info.
There is no Emotion, there is Peace;
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There is no Passion, there is Serenity;
There is no Death, there is the Force.

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Lucas Oliveira
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by Lucas Oliveira » Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:22 pm

When I use this mantra, I think of God, the source of everything!

Gayatri Mantra by Suresh Wadkar | Full Mantra with Meaning

phpBB [video]



:namaste:
I participate in this forum using Google Translator. https://translate.google.com.br/

http://www.acessoaoinsight.net/

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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by Nicholas » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:00 am

Alex, my first 'expert' on Sanskrit plurals is slow to respond, so I recalled the Hindu Dharma discussion site and got a clear response:

http://hindudharmaforums.com/showthread ... post128940

The upshot for one specific case is:
in the masculine nominative case (as there can be feminine and neuter also) it would be mantraḥ (singular),
mantrau (dual or 2 mantra’s) and mantrāḥ (plural) for many mantra’s.
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by AlexMcLeod » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:22 am

Thanks Nicholas.

Since this is under jhana, do either of you enter deep meditation states from any mantrah? I'm unsure how to do the symbol over the a from my celluphone.

I have only found a couple to induce a deeper state than my normal meditative state. Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pu Sa, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, and Om Mani Padme Hum, can usually force me into it.

I try to avoid going too deep on a regular basis, because of the excess cleansing symptoms that occur.
There is no Emotion, there is Peace;
There is no Ignorance, there is Knowledge;
There is no Passion, there is Serenity;
There is no Death, there is the Force.

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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by Nicholas » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:13 pm

AlexMcLeod wrote:Thanks Nicholas.

Since this is under jhana, do either of you enter deep meditation states from any mantrah? I'm unsure how to do the symbol over the a from my celluphone.

I have only found a couple to induce a deeper state than my normal meditative state. Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pu Sa, Nam Myoho Renge Kyo, and Om Mani Padme Hum, can usually force me into it.

I try to avoid going too deep on a regular basis, because of the excess cleansing symptoms that occur.
There is also a dot under the 'h' - these are called diacriticals. Both in emails and here, if you hold the letter key down, like 'â' - above it will appear several 'a' with differing diacriticals over the ã, ā, ä - by clicking on the chosen one or typing the number under it, the modified letter will appear. But it seems to work only with diacriticals over the letter. Those letters, like the 'h' which need dots under them this function does not work. Whether this will happen on a cell phone, I do not know.

Deep results probably are very individual, not dependent on the specific mantrah - but I am a poor cultivator, so deeper states are beyond me.
Wholesome virtuous behavior progressively leads to the foremost. -- Buddha

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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by Nicholas » Thu Sep 01, 2016 1:29 pm

Back to the 'plural of mantra' question; ran across this online - which my 'expert' accepts. So I give up... where is Panini when you need him.

http://sanskrit.inria.fr/cgi-bin/sktdec ... ra;g=Neu;r
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by AlexMcLeod » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:47 pm

Nicholas wrote: There is also a dot under the 'h' - these are called diacriticals. Both in emails and here, if you hold the letter key down, like 'â' - above it will appear several 'a' with differing diacriticals over the ã, ā, ä - by clicking on the chosen one or typing the number under it, the modified letter will appear. But it seems to work only with diacriticals over the letter. Those letters, like the 'h' which need dots under them this function does not work. Whether this will happen on a cell phone, I do not know.

Deep results probably are very individual, not dependent on the specific mantrah - but I am a poor cultivator, so deeper states are beyond me.
I've found that different mantra have wildly different effects for me personally, some very not good. Perhaps it would help if you purposefully entered a deeper meditative state before chanting. Because of the nature of my practice, I operate at an energy level at all times, so getting to that level may improve the consistency and amount of benefit from any mantra you chant.

My phone shows the line over the a, but erases it immediately. So much for trying to be grammatically correct. :roll:
There is no Emotion, there is Peace;
There is no Ignorance, there is Knowledge;
There is no Passion, there is Serenity;
There is no Death, there is the Force.

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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by No_Mind » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:17 pm

Nicholas wrote:From the Rig Veda:
Tat Savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi:
Dhiyo yo nah pra chodayat!
Not to nitpick Nicolas but the topmost line is missing

I posted regarding this a while back.

The Gayatri Mantra is a highly revered mantra from the Vedas. Like all Vedic mantras, the Gayatri mantra is considered not to have an author. It was revealed to Rishi Vishvamitra and is a part of Rig Veda. Rig Veda was composed in around 1500 BC. So Gayatri mantra is one of the oldest hymns in existence.

It was also the opening theme song of Battlestar Galactica.

The mantra is --

Om bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ
tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodayāt

"Let us adore the supremacy of that divine sun, the God-head who illuminates all, who creates all, from whom all proceed, to whom all must return, whom we invoke to direct our understandings aright in our progress toward his holy seat" (Translation by Sir William Jones in 1807)

Authentic Indian Sanskrit accent may sound harsh to Westerners so I am sharing a "softer" version by a German, Anke Moehlmann. One may chant it in meditation or in front of an image or in front of Buddha as in this video or just chant it to focus the mind.

phpBB [video]


Gayatri Mantra maybe chanted during the morning or morning and evening (morning means before sunrise). It should be chanted (like all Hindu mantras) in sets of 108 repetitions.

It can be used for japa meditation (bit like Hail Marys I guess).
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by Nicholas » Mon Sep 05, 2016 1:35 pm

The topmost line, while used with three (or seven) words is technically not one of the 'feet' of the Gayatri. Those terms are called Vyahritis.

Yet they are very profound when used wisely with the Gayatri. Study Swami Krishnananda's commentary on the Bṛhadāraṇyaka Upaniṣhad, ch. 5:14. It is online.
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by No_Mind » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:06 pm

That makes it like Lord's Prayer without the "Our Father, Who art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy Name."

Sure you could pray using it but then again you could skip the Your Majesty part and just say "Hey Liz, how ya doin'?" Why not ..

It is the preamble and no mantra has any power unless the Om is uttered. Om is invocation of the Divine and without the invocation what is the need of the mantra.

Om Bhur Bhuva Swaha calls the Supreme who pervades all the worlds (or else why would It listen .. unless called).
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by Nicholas » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:49 pm

I did not write 'do not use them,' I just pointed out, that they are not the mantra per se.
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by AlexMcLeod » Mon Sep 05, 2016 7:55 pm

No_Mind wrote:It is the preamble and no mantra has any power unless the Om is uttered. Om is invocation of the Divine and without the invocation what is the need of the mantra.
There are plenty of mantra that have power without Om in them. They just tend to be way more specific in usage. Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pu Sa. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Or one I started using based on the Nichiren logic: Nam Hannya Shingyo. < not recommended for the faint of heart.
Om Bhur Bhuva Swaha calls the Supreme who pervades all the worlds (or else why would It listen .. unless called).
The following is only my understanding from my personal practice.

I think it's listening all the time. That's not what the Om is for. It makes us more aware of Supreme. That is what gives the mantra the power. It connects us, not the other way round. As Abraham would say, it makes us tuned in, tapped in, turned on.
There is no Emotion, there is Peace;
There is no Ignorance, there is Knowledge;
There is no Passion, there is Serenity;
There is no Death, there is the Force.

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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by No_Mind » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:36 am

AlexMcLeod wrote:
No_Mind wrote:It is the preamble and no mantra has any power unless the Om is uttered. Om is invocation of the Divine and without the invocation what is the need of the mantra.
There are plenty of mantra that have power without Om in them. They just tend to be way more specific in usage. Namo Kuan Shi Yin Pu Sa. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo. Or one I started using based on the Nichiren logic: Nam Hannya Shingyo. < not recommended for the faint of heart.
I used the word mantra to mean Sanskrit mantras. I do not know if Nam Myoho Renge Kyo can really be called mantra because mantra has to be from Vedas and it has to be divinely revealed to one of the ancient sages. Important mantras were revealed only to any one of the seven sages who are regarded as founders of Vedic religion. The Gayatri Mantra goes beyond being an important mantra; it is the most revered mantra.

Colloquially you may refer to Nam Myoho Renge Kyo as a mantra but not actually (it is not from Vedas). And no Hindu mantra (no Hindu anything) is possible without Om in front.
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by Nicholas » Tue Sep 06, 2016 12:58 am

You ought to study more closely No Mind, just because you live in India does not make you wise in all matters Hindu.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rvsan/rv03062.htm

No sure if the mantra first appeared in the Rig Veda, but it is one of the oldest, maybe the oldest. At any rate you will see the Gayatri mantra about halfway down the Romanized version. There is no OM nor the following three Vyahritis. I am no expert myself, but I do try to study carefully.
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by No_Mind » Tue Sep 06, 2016 1:36 am

Nicholas wrote:You ought to study more closely No Mind, just because you live in India does not make you wise in all matters Hindu.

http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/rvsan/rv03062.htm

No sure if the mantra first appeared in the Rig Veda, but it is one of the oldest, maybe the oldest. At any rate you will see the Gayatri mantra about halfway down the Romanized version. There is no OM nor the following three Vyahritis. I am no expert myself, but I do try to study carefully.
How do I put it .. the invocation Om or in this case Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha or Om Bhur, Om Bhuvaha, Om Svaha, Om Mahaha, Om Janaha, Om Tapaha, Om Satyam is in front of the mantra .. in a way just like in UK and elsewhere every time one addresses the judge one has to say My Lord.

I did not say that the body of the mantra was wrongly quoted .. all I said was the first line (the invocation) was missing. And that no mantra is complete without the invocation (there are rare exceptions but Gayatri is not one of them).

Hinduism is by and large a religion not open to interpretations. One has to accept the given (liturgy, rites, rituals and so on) or not accept the religion at all. Someone had thirty centuries ago decided that 24 syllables of the text you quoted with Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha in front of it, is a great mantra -- whether you like it or not you are stuck with that interpretation.

Actually, being in India (and being a Hindu by birth) does make me more informed in matters Hindu whether you like it or not. If you came and stayed here for a decade you would be wiser about it too. Hinduism is not only religion and philosophy but also Hindu culture, traditions .. the whole enchilada .. mythology, folklore, dance forms/genres, music, literature, sculpture .. Hinduism is not only in scriptures and temples but also expressed through no less than eight classical dance forms, stories from Puranas and the two Hindu Epics we read as a child .. and so on ..

You cannot study it from a library full of books and claim any understanding. You have to live the Hindu life to have even the faintest notion of Hinduism .. or at least visit and spend extended periods of time here informing yourself about it.

That is why .. it may seem weird .. Hinduism is the only religion one cannot convert to .. one has to be born a Hindu.
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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by AlexMcLeod » Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:55 am

No_Mind wrote:Colloquially you may refer to Nam Myoho Renge Kyo as a mantra but not actually (it is not from Vedas). And no Hindu mantra (no Hindu anything) is possible without Om in front.
What of the nama mantras? Rama, for instance.
No_Mind wrote:
Nicholas wrote:No sure if the mantra first appeared in the Rig Veda, but it is one of the oldest, maybe the oldest. At any rate you will see the Gayatri mantra about halfway down the Romanized version. There is no OM nor the following three Vyahritis. I am no expert myself, but I do try to study carefully.
How do I put it .. the invocation Om or in this case Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha or Om Bhur, Om Bhuvaha, Om Svaha, Om Mahaha, Om Janaha, Om Tapaha, Om Satyam is in front of the mantra .. in a way just like in UK and elsewhere every time one addresses the judge one has to say My Lord.
Why not just point out that at the time of Rig Veda, Om was to be kept secret. It didn't loosen up until the later Vedas.
That is why .. it may seem weird .. Hinduism is the only religion one cannot convert to .. one has to be born a Hindu.
I'm not sure. There is the possibility of a Hindu guru taking a non-native student. I would always consider a direct student of a master of a tradition to be more qualified to be considered a member of the tradition than a non-initiate born to it.
There is no Emotion, there is Peace;
There is no Ignorance, there is Knowledge;
There is no Passion, there is Serenity;
There is no Death, there is the Force.

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Re: Gayatri Mantra

Post by No_Mind » Tue Sep 06, 2016 3:50 am

AlexMcLeod wrote:
No_Mind wrote:Colloquially you may refer to Nam Myoho Renge Kyo as a mantra but not actually (it is not from Vedas). And no Hindu mantra (no Hindu anything) is possible without Om in front.
What of the nama mantras? Rama, for instance.
Saying Ram, Ram, Ram .. that is nam-jap of Ishta Devta (repeatedly saying the name of chosen deity to center one's mind on the image of the god/avatar/deity). It is not a mantra per-se (but called beej mantra at times .. beej means seed .. beej mantra is the word that sows love for the Divine).

I am using the word mantra in its proper accepted sense -- to mean sacred verses from Vedic texts used for worship. Repeating the name of a deity is a very rudimentary way of doing meditation called japa meditation. It is used regarding Ram and Shiva. I have not heard anyone do it about any other deity like Krishna or Ganesh or Durga and so on. Maybe it exists. It is bare bones concentration practice .. let me explain .. my mother chants Om Namah Shivaya for about an hour daily .. rest of the time to center her mind she repeats Shiva, Shiva, Shiva silently .. it is usually accessory/subsidiary practice and it is not a mantra in the way the word mantra is used. It is repetition of a single word so no other thought can enter the mind.
AlexMcLeod wrote:
No_Mind wrote:
Nicholas wrote:No sure if the mantra first appeared in the Rig Veda, but it is one of the oldest, maybe the oldest. At any rate you will see the Gayatri mantra about halfway down the Romanized version. There is no OM nor the following three Vyahritis. I am no expert myself, but I do try to study carefully.
How do I put it .. the invocation Om or in this case Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha or Om Bhur, Om Bhuvaha, Om Svaha, Om Mahaha, Om Janaha, Om Tapaha, Om Satyam is in front of the mantra .. in a way just like in UK and elsewhere every time one addresses the judge one has to say My Lord.
Why not just point out that at the time of Rig Veda, Om was to be kept secret. It didn't loosen up until the later Vedas.
Why would Om be a secret. The word is used probably a trillion times a day. Any puja has possibly about a hundred Oms inserted into the mantras.

I think you mean the secretive tradition that Gayatri Mantra is only to be taught to brahmins and not to others. They are taught the mantra at age of about 12 in a ceremony called Upanayana (when son of a brahmin is recognised as a brahmin and given a sacred thread .. no one is born a brahmin .. but son of a brahmin is elevated to being a brahmin at age 12).
AlexMcLeod wrote:
No_Mind wrote:
That is why .. it may seem weird .. Hinduism is the only religion one cannot convert to .. one has to be born a Hindu.
I'm not sure.
Someone may perform some rituals (some guru has prescribed) and say I am a Hindu. But that does not make the person a Hindu or acceptable as a Hindu to other Hindus. To begin with there is the problem of caste. If you change to Hinduism what caste are you? Well .. there is no answer to that. Next is the question of Gotra or clan .. what will be your lineage or patrilineality?

Oddly enough a non-native can choose a life of sannyasi. Sannyasis have no caste.
AlexMcLeod wrote:There is the possibility of a Hindu guru taking a non-native student. I would always consider a direct student of a master of a tradition to be more qualified to be considered a member of the tradition than a non-initiate born to it.
Sure enough .. no dispute there .. but that brings up something else .. there is a difference between knowing about Hinduism and being a Hindu. Of course you can become more learned about Hinduism than most Hindus but to do so you have to visit, live here and immerse yourself in the Hindu culture.

An Indologist translates "Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi" into English but does not posit it as a tool of Dhyana (as done in this thread). An Indologist is knowledgeable about Hinduism but does not want to be a Hindu or try out Hindu practices.

Frequently Westerners in Dharmic forums confuse their role .. what do they want to be .. an Indologist/Orientalist or a Hindu/Buddhist?

Buddhism has been imported by Western Buddhists and presented without its cultural baggage .. can a religion survive stripped off its cultural background and history? Secular Buddhists have gone one step ahead and stripped it off Karma and rebirth .. can a religion survive multiple amputations of such kind?

Unlike Budddhism, Hinduism cannot very easily be separated from its roots. Applying Western reductionism to it is pointless .. do not like Om Bhur Bhuvah Svaha .. chop it off from the most important Hindu mantra .. that just cannot happen and witnessing an argument about it is amusing.

From time to time Indian gurus have visited the West and tried to present Hinduism stripped of its roots (usually as some form of meditation or other) but never successfully or with any degree of authenticity.
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