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Gayatri mantra lyrics and meaning

Goddess Gayatri

Gayatri Mantra is a Hymn from the ancient Indian scripture RigVeda (10:16:3), also often repeated in other scriptures like Upanishads, It is attributed to sage Vishwaamitra. It is called Gayatri Mantra or Savitri Mantra because it is directed towards goddess Gayatri, who is not considered a deity or demigod, but the single supreme personality.

Gayatri is recited by a spiritual aspirant to remember the higher purpose of life, it can also be a invocation or prayer to the supreme god to lift our consciousness upwards.

It is usually recited by the people who consider 'knowing the ultimate truth' as the primary purpose of their life.

 

Lyrics (English)

Meaning (summary)

Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ

tát savitúr váreṇyaṃ

bhárgo devásya dhīmahi

dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt

 (O) Supreme one; (who is) the physical, astral (and) causal worlds (himself).

 (you are) the source of all, deserving all worship

 (O) radiant, divine one; (we) meditate (upon you)

Propel our Intellect (towards liberation or freedom)

 

Stanzas with meaning

Meanings of the words

Om, Bhur, Bhuvah, Svah

[Ultimate reality, in which physical, astral and causal worlds exist]

Om: The sacred word, word of creation, first word, word of god; (Equivalent of Holy Ghost in trinity) usually used at the beginning of a hymn; 

Bhur: The physical plane of existence (which is of the nature of 5 elements)

Bhuvah: The astral plane of existence (which is of the nature of subtle elements)

Svah: The causal plane or celestial plane (plane where the existence is as subtle as ideas or notions, from which creation happens).  

Tát savitúr váreṇyaṃ

[That is the supreme reality from which creation happens, and it is the foremost]

Tat: That, God, (Equivalent of son, in the Christian Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost)

Savitúr : Source of all, creation, supreme reality, Divine illumination (of goddess Savitri or Shakti)

Váreṇyaṃ: the foremost, fit to be worshiped, deserving oblations 

Bhárgo devásya dhīmahi

[O divine effulgence we meditate upon you]

Bhárgo: Great spiritual effulgence, Radiant one, one who illumines all

Devásya: Godly, divine reality, of divinity, Virtuous and joyous

Dhīmahi: We meditate on you; Dhee=intellect; Thus Dhimahi means we focus our intellect on you

Dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt

[propel our knowledge of the supreme reality]

Dhíyo: Intellect, intelligence, reasoning and discriminating faculty which is a tool for attaining higher wisdom

Yo: Who, One is who being prayed, You (supreme one) 

Nah: Our (intellect) 

pracodáyāt: Stimulate, Propel towards the higher reality

 

Translations by famous people 

Sir William Jones 1807 Let us adore the supremacy of that divine sun, the god-head who illuminates all, who recreates 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
William Quan Judge 1893 Unveil, O Thou who givest sustenance to the Universe, from whom all proceed, to whom all must return, that face of the True Sun now hidden by a vase of golden light, that we may see the truth and do our whole duty on our journey to thy sacred seat
Sivanath Sastri (Brahmo Samaj) 1911 We meditate on the worshipable power and glory of Him who has created the earth, the nether world and the heavens (i.e. the universe), and who directs our understanding
Swami Vivekananda 1915 We meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe; may He enlighten our minds
S. Radhakrishnan 1953 We meditate on the adorable glory of the radiant sun; may he inspire our intelligence
I. K. Taimni   We meditate upon the Divine Light of that adorable Sun of Spiritual Consciousness, which stimulates our power of spiritual perception; May It open our hearts and enlighten our Intellect.
Swami Srikantananda   O Effulgent, Infinite, Omnipotent, Omniscient and Omnipresent being, bless me with Right Understanding and Clarity of Thinking

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