Significance and story behind the Gayatri Mantra

07 April, 2024
Significance and story behind the Gayatri Mantra Significance and story behind the Gayatri Mantra

Gayatri Mantra is a Sanskrit mantra which has now been chanted for thousands of years. Considered to be one of the oldest, it was written during the Vedic period. The mantra is believed to contain knowledge of the universe itself. The Gayatri Mantra helps to ask for guidance and praises the divine light. It is a declaration of gratitude and has the power of transformation and self-realization. Now let us look at the significance and story behind the Gayatri Mantra.

The Mantra

The Mantra itself has 24 syllables and is listed below with its pronunciation in brackets

• Om bhuh, bhuvah, swaha (Aumm Bhoor Bhoo-va Su-va-ha)

• Tat saviturvarenyam (Tat Sa-vee-toor Var-ayn-yam)

• Bhargodevasyadhimahi (Bar-go Day-vas-ya Dhee-ma-hee)

• Dhiyoyo nah prachodayat (Dhee-yo Yo Nah Pra-cho-da-yaat)


The Mantra directly translates to O Divine Mother, may your pure divine light up all the realms of our beings. Help us to dispel any darkness from our hearts and help grant us eternal knowledge.


Throughout every culture, the sun has represented the spiritual light. The word ‘savitur’ refers to the Vedi sun deity known as Savitri. It is the essence of all mantras and is personified as Gyatri which is the power behind the sun and is the mother of the universe. Therefore, whenever we chant the mantras, we are tuning into the frequency of the universe. By doing this we are bringing those frequencies into the earth's realm and within ourselves.

Gayatri Devi is the granter of all knowledge and is referred to as the ‘mother of the Vedas’. She rides upon a swan and has 5 heads and 10 arms. These five faces represent the five elements of the universe. She symbolizes the united strength of the three Goddesses, Lakshmi, Saraswati, and Kali. Protection, wisdom, and strength are her divine powers.


The story of how Gaytri Mantra came into being is one of anger, lust, envy, and forgiveness. The story starts in ancient times when King Vishwamitra with his army visited the Sage Vashista. With the help of a wish-fulfilling cow, he was able to feed their numbers entirely. Open seeing this, King Vishwamitra wanted to take the cow back home with him. But the Sage Vashista refused and thus angered the king. He promised to take austerities and started to meditate till his powers reached that of the Sage’s level.

However, Vishwamitra recognized his shortcomings as he kept failing the ego test. He ended up asking Vashista for forgiveness. Upon this, he experienced spontaneous samadhi and was gifted by the Gods with the words of the Gayatri. King Vishwamitra is one of the authors of the Rig Veda (oldest source of the Gayatri Mantra). This tale teaches us that anyone can reach enlightenment with enough dedication. Therefore, Gayatri Mantra is recommended as an essential practice for people from any walk of life.


By chanting the Gayatri Mantra regularly, not only will you raise your vibration but also accumulate enough spiritual light to raise the energy of those around you. Its sound is pure consciousness and helps to bring us to our true nature. The mantra is a reminder to us that we are born perfect beings and have everything within us to reach our highest potential. Regularly practicing this serves as a reminder that we are blessed by abundance and directly connected with the universe.

If a person does regular meditation practice while using the Gayatri Mantra, it will surely bring peace, joy, happiness, and prosperity. The mantra is also said to heal our physical, mental, and spiritual bodies while increasing concentration. It also serves as a protection against fear, anger, jealousy, greed, hatred, and other negative energies. The ancient Hindu texts claim that chanting the Gayatri Mantra 10 times a day will help reduce our bad karma in this lifetime. While chanting it 108 times a day will dissolve our karma from all previous lifetimes.

How to chant the Mantras?

Even though the mantra can be chanted at any time of the day, it is often advised to chant it early in the morning or before sleeping at night. Make sure you are completely focused on each word as you chant it. Feel the vibration of the sacred words and sounds in your heart and chest. Initially, you might need to keep your eyes open to read the mantra but upon enough practice, you can do it while you have your eyes closed. There are essentially nine steps in chanting the Gayatri mantra.

1. Sit in a place where you are comfortable and have no distractions.

2. Take a few deep breaths while your eyes are closed.

3. Keep your focus on the breath as it leaves your nostrils.

4. Focus on your breath and say it out loud.

5. The second time repeat it with a whisper while you focus on your breath.

6. Third time repeat it quietly in your head.

7. Keep repeating it until you are satisfied.

8. Once you are finished with the mantra, feel its effects on your mind, body, and heart.

9. Keep repeating the mantra daily until you can feel the positive effects of the mantra in your heart.

Essentially, the mantra is a way of showing gratitude to the life-giving Sun and the divine cosmos. It will help to enhance a devotee's heart-centered approach to life. In a way, it is an offering, a way to open ourselves to grace in our lives.

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