by Gwen Burdick
Om Bhur Bhuvah Svah
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
Translation: With loving reverence we bow to the inner Light, the supreme wisdom in all the world. May this Divine Light guide and illuminate our intelligence.
The Gayatri mantra, the most ancient of the mantras found in the Rig Veda, is considered to be the mother of the Vedas. The sound “gai” in Sanskrit means sing and “trai” means protect. Gayatri therefore translates to “she who protects the singer.” The practice of the Gayatri mantra allowed the Rishis, or seers, to receive the revelation of all other mantras. The first line is comprised of what is known as the Great Utterances. Bhur indicates earth or matter, Bhuvah indicates sky or energy, and Svah indicates heaven or mind.
The practice of the Gayatri mantra helps us become strong by overcoming our own inner weaknesses. It stills mental chatter and clears away karmic impurities. It purifies the ego and sharpens the intellect. Connecting us to the teacher within, we receive inner guidance and inspiration. As the inner being which flows directly from Source is illuminated, the deep unconscious is purified. Gradually and with sustained effort and patience, the effect pervades all aspects of our personality.
Gayatri is the mantra for the common man. Exact pronunciation is less important than intention. The sages tell us that the practice of the Gayatri mantra allows for immense and everlasting transformation. No one among us will not benefit.