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GAYATHRI MANTRA

Om Bhur Bhuva Suvah
Tat Savithur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayat

Meaning: We meditate on that most adorable, most desirable and most enchanting luster (effulgence) of our supreme Lord, who is our creator, inspirer and source of eternal Joy. May this light inspire and illumine our intellect (and dispel the darkness).

Word Meaning: Aum: The primeval sound (from which all sounds emerge); Dheemahi: We meditate upon; Varenyam: the most adorable, most desirable or most enchanting; Bhargo: luster or effulgence; Tat: of that; Devasya: supreme (Lord); Savitur: from whom all creations emerge (also means the Sun God who is our life source); Bhur: who is our inspirer; Bhuvah: who is our creator; Suvaha: who is the abode of supreme joy; [Bhur, Bhuvah and Suvaha are also considered to mean three lokaas or worlds namely Heaven, earth and lower worlds]. Yo: May this light; Prachodayaat: inspire/illumine; Naha: our; Dhiyo: intellect (activities of the intellect)]

Power of Gayathri

Source: Dharma Vahini Chapter VI

All that is visible shines as Gayathri, for Vaak is Gayathri and all objects or Bhuthas are Vaak, indicated by Vaak and subsumed in Vaak. Vaak is speech or sound. It is Vaak that describes them, it is Vaak that declares them and it is Vaak that denotes them. All objects are also of the world or Prithvi. Nothing can go beyond it. This world is the body of man; he cannot leap out of his body. There is the Prana that sustains him; breath or the Prana is inside the Hridaya or "Heart". And, the Prana cannot move outside and beyond the Hridaya.

The Gayathri has four feet and six categories. The categories are: Vaak, Bhutha, Prithvi, Sariram, Prana and Hridaya - Speech, Objects, World, Body, Breath, and Heart. The Purusha that is extolled by this Gayathri is indeed exalted, sacred, and glorious. All this objective multiplicity, as has been said, is but a fraction of his body. The number and nature, the measure and meaning of the objects or Bhuthas are beyond understanding; yet all this is but a quarter of His Magnificence. The other three quarters are His Effulgent immortal Form.

It is impossible to grasp the mystery of that splendor filled Form. This Purusha indicated by the Gayathri is indeed referred to as Brahmam. He is the Aakaasa, beyond the comprehension of man; He is spoken of as, "Bahir dhapurushaakaasah." This is the mark of the waking stage; that Purusha is the Aakaasa, inside the personality of man. He is "Antah Purushaakaasah". That is the mark of the "dream stage". He is the Aakaasa inside the Hridaya of man. He fills it and fulfils it; that is the "deep sleep stage". Whoever knows this Truth attains Fullness and Brahmam. That is to say, he who knows the Three Avasthas of wakefulness, dream and deep sleep (Jagrath, Swapna and Sushupthi) is himself Brahmam. How ridiculous is it that man, known as Purusha, bearing the name of this Atmaswarupa should become the repository of egoism and consequent impurity, busy in the unholy pursuit of injustice! How calamitous! At least for being known even today as a "Purusha", man should try to practice the path that will endow him with an atom of that Glory.

Then, what to speak of Purushadharma? How can Purushas who have not cared to earn even the infinitesimal glory of the Primal Purusha be expected to practice Purusha Dharma? Not even the most diligent search will now reveal a fraction of it! As the ancient Rishi said:

Samdhyaa Heeno Suchirnithyamanathas Sarva Karmasu
Yad Anyath Kuruthe Karmo No Thasya Phala Bhaag Bhaveth

That is to say, when the twice born gives up the Sandhya worship, he falls into perdition; so say all the Smrithis. Those who neglect the Sandhya worship have no right for other type of ritual. It is because the sages of ancient times performed the Sandhya worship for many years that they acquired long life, fame, glory, wisdom and the splendor of Divinity; this is mentioned by Manu also. Therefore from whatever point of view we consider, no Brahmin can deserve that status if he does not meditate on the Gayathri.

Of course what Brahmin means in this context is the man who has realized the Brahmathathva and who has purified himself by the practice of the Brahmopasana, the ceaseless contemplation of the Brahmam. This has nothing to do with caste and even religion. But, those who have inherited the name Brahmin have a special responsibility in adhering to the Sandhya worship and the Gayathri.

What exactly is Sandhya? Sam means well and dhya is derived from dhyan and so Sandhya refers to the proper Dhyana or intense meditation on the Lord. It means concentration on the Godhead. To fix the mind on God, the activities have to be controlled. For, success in that process of control one should overcome the handicaps of the Gunas, the Satwa, the Rajas and the Tamas. When these faces of natural impulse predominate and try to direct along their channels, one must pray to God to negate their pull. That is the first duty of the man who strives towards God. It is the rule of nature, that the morning is the period of Satwic quality, the "noon" of Rajasic nature and the "evening" hour of dusk of Tamasic nature. At dawn, the mind is awakened from the comfort of sleep liberated from agitations and depressions and so, the mind is calm and clear. At that time, in that mental condition, the Dhyana of the Lord is very fruitful, as everyone knows. This is the reason why the Praathah-Sandhya is prescribed. But ignorant of the significance, men continue doing the ritual in a blind mechanical way, simply because the ancients have laid down the rule. The second duty of man is to perform the Sandhya-worship, after realizing the inner and deeper meaning of the same.

As day progresses, man is infused with the Rajo guna, the active effortful nature, and he enters the field of daily work and toll. Before he takes his noonday food, he is directed to meditate on the Lord again and to dedicate the work as well as the fruit derived through it, to the Lord Himself. He can start eating only after this act of devotion and grateful remembrance. This is the meaning of the Maadhyahnikam, the Noontime worship. By observing this ritual, Rajo guna is kept in check and it is overpowered by Satwa nature. This is the third duty of all men.

Then, man is possessed by a third nature; the Tamas; when evening descends, he hurries home and eats his fill and sleep overpowers him. But, there is one duty still awaiting him. To eat and sleep is the fate of idlers and drones. When the worst of the gunas, the Tamas, threatens to rule, man must make a special effort to escape its coils by resorting to prayer, in the company of those who extol the Lord, reading about the glory of God, the cultivation of good virtues, and purposeful nursing of good rules of conduct. This is the evening Sandhya-vandanam, which is prescribed.

Therefore, the mind that emerges from the vacancy of sleep has to be properly trained and counseled; it must be made to feel that the bliss of Dhyana and the joy of being unaware of the outer world are much grander and more lasting than the comfort one gets by means of the daily dose of physical sleep. This bliss, this joy can be felt and realized by all; discrimination will bring this home to you. This is the fourth duty of man.

The man who, so long as he has life in him, observes the thrice a day Sandhya, is indeed of the highest type: he is ever glorious; he attains all that he desires. Above all, he is liberated, even while alive; he is jeevanmuktha.

Care must be taken to see that the Sandhya is not taken as a routine ritual, one among many laid down for observance. This is to be carried out, aware of the significance, dwelling on the inner meaning. One should clearly grasp the sense of the Gayathri Mantra. It is necessary to feel the identity between that Effulgent Being, the Atma Swarupa, mentioned therein and oneself. It is only those who are ignorant of its meaning that will neglect the Gayathri.

Manu lays special stress on just this: why he has declared the Gayathri is the very life-breath of the Brahmin. It is not his declaration only; it is the Truth. What is more efficient for spiritual uplift than Dhyana on the Effulgence that illumines and feeds the Intellect of Man? What is more vitally fruitful than the prayer, which pleads for saving the mind from sin-ward tendencies?

For man, there is no better armor than the cultivation of virtues. Manu states that the Brahmin will not lose his status-so long as he holds on to the Gayathri and is inspired by its meaning; he says that, if he is too weak to pursue the study of the Vedas, he must at least recite the Gayathri and adhere to it, till the very end. The Smriti too says that there is no treasure richer than the Gayathri.

Soul-force can.accomplish all thc tasks of the world; and since--the Gayathri: confers inner strength to foster that force, it has to be cultivated with care at the right moment, without neglect. For the growth and development of the body pure Satwic food is very necessary, is it not? So also, the effulgence of the Sun has to be drawn, to reinforce the inner effulgence of man in the form of Bhaavana, or creative imagination.

When soul-force waxes, the senses too are activated and directed along fruitful lines. When it wanes, the senses fail and fail you. So, if the solar energy is drawn at that very juncture, it will be as seeds planted in season, the harvest is assured. Can darkness hide and confuse when the sun has risen and bathed the earth in splendor? Can sorrow prevail, when we have infused ourselves with that effulgence? How can we be devoid of strength, the strength derived from the very fountainhead of Brahman? The technique of this process has been laid down by the ancients, for the benefit of all aspirants. Learn and practice it; by your own experience, you will be able to witness the Truth of their path.

Of what purpose is the Upanayana sacrament? Which is the Mantra that you are initiated into that day? Why has that Mantra alone to be taught then? Why are other mystic formulae not given equal prominence? Reflect on these matters and then you will find that the Gayathri is the Monarch of Mantras. You will also find the rituals shining with a new meaning, the rituals and restrictions full of purpose; the deeds and activities of the ancients will seem worthwhile. If you do not try to know the significance, you will interpret them as your fancy leads and land yourselves in tricks and stratagems, to escape the obligations of life. You will be caught in injustice and negation, Anyaya and Adharma.

Well, what is the real meaning of the word Gayathri? Does any one try to know it today? The word is taken to mean either a Goddess or a formula. Gayathri is that which protects (Thra) the Gaya-s, or Pranas or the Indriyas, beginning with Vaak. Besides, it is said, "Gaayantham thraayathe yasmaad gayathri, thena thathyathe." That is to say that which saves those who sing it, or revere it and repeat it or meditate on it is called Gayathri. It is this sacred Mantra that transformed a Rajarishi like Vishwamitra into Brahmarshi. The Vedamatha, the mother that is the Veda, will confer all boons on all those who worship Her. That Goddess is described in glorious terms in Brahmanas and in the Dharmasuthras: if you understand these clearly, you can realize it, unaided.

Dharma imbued with such deep mysteries, is today rationalized and interpreted willfully in various paltry senses, that is the reason why the decline of Dharma has come about. So, it is imperative to revive Sanathana Dharma and the principles of interpretation natural to the Atmic Truth, which is the basis of Dharma. Otherwise, the meaning will be changed out of all recognition and the whims of individuals will prevail. Every act will be stamped as Dharma whatever its nature!

Upanayanam

Date: 16 May 1964- Occasion: Upanayanam - Place: Prashanti Nilayam

Today is Sankara Jayanti - the day commemorating the advent of Shankaracharya who came to restore Dharma; it is also the day on which Brahmopadesam was given here for the boys sitting on this dais, who have come from Bengal, Bombay, Hyderabad and Bangalore. The Sankara Jayanti Day was chosen by Me for their initiation into the Higher Adhyatmic Life, for Sankara is an inspiration even today for millions of Sadhakas all over the world, who seek to know the Reality of the Universe and its fundamental Unity. They had this lucky chance of getting initiated here in My Presence by Me, as a result of their own good fortune.

The ceremony of Brahmopadesam is Upanayanam, because the word means, "taking near", taking the young aspirant near Brahman, that is to say, introducing him to Brahmajijnasa, the path of Brahma. It is one of the Samskaras, that is, rites which reconstruct the personality, re-form the mind, purify it and re-build it. It makes the person receiving it a Dwija, a twice-born! The boy is born first into the world; now, he is born into the Sadhaka world. He becomes a Brahma-chari, a person who walks towards Brahmam. So, it is a very significant day in the lives of these people, a day they must long remember with joy and thankfulness. It is the day when their hearts were turned towards God; and they should try not to run away from God, hereafter; that is a great responsibility.

The initiation was done by the Upadesam of the Gayathri manthram. The manthram is a universal prayer that can be used by men of all climes and creeds, for, it calls upon the Glorious Power that pervades the Sun and the three words to arouse, awaken and strengthen the Intelligence, so that it may lead to intense Sadhana and Sadhana may lead to success.

Every little moment or incident results in sound; only, you may not be able to hear, because the range of your ear is limited. The falling of an eyelid over the eye makes a sound, the dropping of dew on a petal makes a sound. Any little agitation disturbing the calm is bound to produce sound. The sound caused by the primal movement that resulted in the enveloping of Brahman by self evolved Maya is the Pranavasabda or Om. The Gayathri is the elaboration of that Pranava and so, it is now held so venerable and valuable that initiation into Adhyatmic life is achieved by its contemplation.

The sound of a Mantra is as valuable as its meaning. Even a poisonous cobra is quietened by music; Naadam, sound, has that allaying property. The child in the cradle stops wailing as soon as the lullaby is sung; it may not carry any meaning; it may be a nonsensical rhyme or just a jungle, but, it quietens, soothes the nerves and induces sleep. In the case of the Gayathri, the meaning too is easy and profound. It does not ask for mercy or pardon; it asks for a clear intellect, so that the Truth may be reflected therein, correctly, without any disfigurement.

The Brahmachari has vowed himself into a life of Sadhana. Now, what are the requisites for Sadhana? First, Faith--that can stand the ridicule of the ignorant, the caviling by the worldly, the laughter of the low minded. When someone ridicules, you should argue like this within yourself: Is he ridiculing my body? Well, he is doing what I myself would wish to do; for, I too want to escape out of this attachment to this body. Is he ridiculing the Atma? Well, he is doing the impossible, for, the Atma is beyond the reach of words or thought; it is unaffected by praise or blame. Say to yourself, "My Atmathathwa is Nischala, it is Nirmala," and carry on. Second: Do not worry about ups and downs, loss or gain, joy or grief. You are yourself the maker of the ups and downs. If you but care, it can all be one smooth level. You label something as loss and something else as gain. You crave for a thing and when you get it, you call it joy; when you don't, you call it grief. Cut the craving off, and there will be no more swinging from joy to grief. Third: Reason out and get convinced of the truth, Sarvam Brahmamayam.

You know there are 5 elements or Bhuthas, which constitute by their permutations and combinations, the world called Pra-Pancham, the "Five-constituted." Prithvi or the Earth-element has 5 qualities, the maximum and so, it is the grossest. It has its own special characteristic of Gandha as well as the characteristic of the other four, namely, Sparsa, Rasa, Rupa and Sabda. The next one, Jala, the Water-element has only four, its own special one Rasa-and Sparsa, Rupa, and Sabda. So it is subtler than the Earth-element. Agni is subtler still, because apart from its special characteristic of Rupa, it has only two others, Sabda and Sparsa. Vayu, the Air-element has Sparsa as its special quality and one more quality, Sabda. Finally, the lightest and subtlest of all the five, Akasa-the Sky-element, has only one characteristic, its own, namely Sabda. Now, God is subtler than even Akasa and so He is all-pervading, even more than ether or anything more pervasive than that. His nature is beyond all human vocabulary, beyond all human mathematics. Have this conviction well stabilized in your Buddhi.

Fourth: Be steady in Sadhana, and never hesitate once you have decided on it. When the bus is moving on, the dust will be floating behind as a cloud; it is only when it stops with a jerk that the dust will envelop the faces of the passengers. So, keep moving, keep, steadily engaged in Sadhana. Then, the cloudy dust of the objective world will not cover your face.

Shankaracharya came for the work of Dharmasthapana, but, he did not wage a war against the narrow sectarians or the wild theologians who opposed him or the critics who condemn him as a pseudo-Buddhist. He won them over by argument, persuasion, and preaching. He spoke softly, but with conviction. He gave his opponents fair chances to present their cases to the best of their ability and sometimes he even helped them to clarify their own points of view. Through Bodha alone can Dharma be saved in the modern Kali age. That is why I am engaged in Bhoda, in this task of re-constructing through Upadesa.

When you scatter seeds on the surface of the soil, they do not germinate. You have to keep them inside the soil. So too, Bodha if it is scattered on the surface it will not germinate, grow into the tree of knowledge and yield the fruit of wisdom. Plant it in the heart, water the plant with Prema, manure it with Faith and Courage, keep off pests with the insecticides of Bhajana and Sathsanga, so that you can benefit in the end. You have not yet got started in Sadhana; still, you demand Shanthi; you demand Grace. How is it ever possible? Start! Then, everything will be added unto you.

God gives you whatever you pray for; so, take care. Ask for the right things. There was a man who had four wives; he happened to go to Bombay on some work connected with his business. From there, he wrote to all of them that he was prepared to bring home whatever each of them wanted. So, they all wrote to him giving a list of the things they wanted. The first wife asked for some nice tonics for her health, and rugs and woolen clothing, to be of service whenever she fell ill. The second wife wanted some saris of the latest style, choli pieces, jewelry of the Bombay type and such other sundry decorative stuff. The third asked him to select for her some religious books, the Jnaneswari, abhangs, Bhakthivijaya etc. available in Bombay book-shops, as well as pictures of Pandarinath, Bhavani, Sai Baba etc. The fourth wife had no list at all; she simply wrote, "If you return soon and safe, that is enough for me". She got nothing but his love. The others got big packets containing whatever they had written for. So, think well, discriminate clearly, before you ask, before you pray.

I know how systematic you are all in eating and drinking. You take pretty good care of the body. I do not condemn it; I only want that you should take equally good care of the needs of the spirit also. Take a dose of Dhyanam and Japam as the morning breakfast, Puja and Archana as Lunch at noon, some Sathsanga or Sath-chinthana or Sath-granthaparayana or Namalikhitha as afternoon tea and snacks, an hour of Bhajana as Dinner and a small ten-minute Manana as the cup of milk before going to bed, that dietary is enough to keep your inner being happy and healthy. That is My advice to you today.

Recruits for My Army

Date: 25 Feb 1965 - Occasion: Upanayanam - Place: Prashanti Nilayam

The Samskara of Upanayanam is beneficial not only to the boys who were initiated, but, for every one of you, who witnessed it and drew inspiration from it, The learned Pandit from Delhi spoke to you now of the meaning of this Samskara; it has made all these lads, "twice born" "dwithiyam mounjibandhanaath" he said. The belt of munja grass has given them that status, he said. The Upanayanam or the ceremony of leading the lad to the teacher and the recital by the initiate of the Gayathri mantra, which prays for clear Intelligence, are the first steps towards the ultimate Realization of the Reality. Pundit Ramasaran explained how the Gayathri is the essence of the Rig Yajur and Sama Vedas and how the traditional conception of the Gayathri Devatha embodies an harmonious blending of the Five Gods, Vishnu, Surya, Maheshwari, Ganapathi and Iswara, representing the Five Elements, and how prayer to Gayathri confers the material and spiritual needs of man.

Every man is burdened with one body and four births! He is born a Sudra; for, as a child he has no sense of cleanliness or definite ideas of right and wrong. By the rite of initiation into spiritual life, that is to say, when he is taken as a pupil by a guru, who takes up the responsibility of leading him to the Goal of Human Life, he becomes Dwija, twice-born, entering into the second chapter of his human career. When he has finished the spiritual disciplines and studied the scriptures, he becomes a Vipra; at last, when as a result of those practices and experiences, he visualizes Brahmam as immanent in all, he is a Brahmana. A Vipra attains Brahmajnanam and becomes a Brahmana. This is therefore the first step, but, the most, important step, in the process of self-realization.

The parents endow you with the material body the Deha; the Guru points out to you the Dweller within the Body, the Dehi. So, he is entitled to be honored as a God, says the Vedas. Mathru Devo-bhava: Pithruu Devo Bhava; Aachaarya Devo Bhava. To make gold more amenable to the operations attendant on ornament making, it is alloyed by the addition of a little silver or copper; so too in order to manifest the multiple variety of Nature, the Brahmathathwam is converted into an alloy, with the addition of a little egoism or Mamakaaram; the Guru teaches you to regain the pure unalloyed Brahmam by the processes of Sravanam Mananam and Nididhyasa in the crucible of the intellect. The Jivathathwam and the Brahmathathwam are then clearly understood as facets of the same entity.

The aim of all human effort is to achieve this One, Ekam that lies behind all this plurality. Without achieving it, man can have no peace, within or without; no amount of repetition of the Santhi manthra is capable of granting him that. The Guru reveals to the disciple the invisible current that activates the many seemingly distinct instruments, like the bulb, the mike, the fan, the refrigerator, the tape-recorder, the stove, etc. He deserves your gratitude. He is like the stranger who entered the cottage of a poor man and announced that underneath the floor of that hovel, there lies hidden a precious treasure, which he can take and own, by a few minutes of digging! The sage Vishwamitra devised the Gayathri mantra as a fine drug for the spiritual aspirant; he is also to be revered, for the drug awakens your Buddhi and confers upon you Viveka, Vichakshana and Vairagyam--the three distinguishing marks of humans, elevating them far above other animals.

Samskara involves double actions: removing dirt and applying paint, when the word is used with reference to a house. This Gayathri has the subtle power of removing evil tendencies and implanting virtuous habits, and so, the Upanayanam is a unique Samskara. Man is Divine; he has the Lord dwelling in his heart, but yet he is bound, miserable, limited, weak, agitated. Why? He is ignorant of his reality. He imagines himself weak, limited, bound and he is so shaped by the mind, which is the source of that imagination. How then can you be freed? How are you to overcome this Bhrama or delusion? If you desire to overtake a train, you must speed in a car or board a plane. No vehicle slower than the train will help. So too, if you intend to overcome the delusion you must establish yourself in God; the Bhrama of Manavasakthi can be overcome only by the attainment of Daivisakthi. The Gayathri promotes the acquisition of Daivisakthi.

Gayathri means 'that which saves, when repeated'! It is the torch of Jnana, given into the hands of these lads venturing into the regions of intellectual inquiry and sensory restrictions. As paddy is treated to a process of pestling and winnowing and cleaning in order to get rice, that can be cooked and eaten, these boys have to de-husk the individual, discover the Atma hiding inside the five sheaths, of Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya. The Sandhyavandana rite they are enjoined to do, three times a day, from this very day, is part of this process of de-husking. Time must be found, time can be found, provided they have the will and they get encouragement from the elders. Supplying the calories for the spirit is as necessary a process for happy living as supplying calories for the body; breakfast, lunch and dinner, Prathahsandhyaa, Maadhyaanhika and Saayamsandhyaa--all six are equally essential. You miss any one of the six at your peril.

Dear boys, you have today got the Gayathri, the milk from the four teats called four Vedas of the udder of the cow that is Godhead; it has in it the sustenance that will make you shine with spiritual health. You must now carefully use it for your good; do not spill it or spoil; boil it, make curds out of it, churn it and get the butter that is immanent in it. It will become curds by means of your contemplation on the Lord, Bhagavath-chinthana; with the churning-rod of discipline, collect the butter of Ananda. You were initiated in this holy Presence, remember, the Presence that so many thousands covet; so, you have a special responsibility to fulfill your Brahmacharya, the path that leads to Brahmajnana. The body is fundamentally unclean, but, yet it craves to achieve both cleanliness and Godliness, because, its nature is Purity and Holiness.

Inner cleanliness should be your first aim. Which do you cleanse more in a drinking vessel? The interior or the exterior? You may have fine vegetables, excellent tamarind juice, chilies, salt, dal; the cook may be a master of the art; the oven may be the perfect type; but, if the copper vessel, is not tinned, the 'Saambaar' will be turned into dangerous stuff, that cannot be eaten. It will act as poison to those that eat it. Sathkarma (virtuous deeds) Sadaachaara (beneficial habits) these act to protect the Saambaar from contact with copper. For you the Gayathri and the Sandhya rites three times a day will act as the 'tin' for the Hridayapaathra, the heart-vessel, where emotions impulses and instincts are cooking. The discipline of Sandhya will tame all instincts even as the mahout's good subdues the might of the elephant and trains it to perform tricks in the circus ring. Do not fail to make the best of this chance.

As many as 450 boys have had this chance today. Some persons at Prashanthi Nilayam felt that, this being the examination season for schoolboys, many may not be able to come and get initiated in this sacred presence; but, see how, on account of strikes and consequent disturbances, schools were closed, examinations were postponed and almost all who had written about their desire to come are here before Me! This is another reminder of the efficacy of unseen merit; the rain fails on barren land and all the seeds hidden underneath the land sprout, making a green carpet to cover the area! No one knew, except Myself, that there were these seeds, of earned merit awaiting the showers of Grace in the heritage of these boys.

For the revival of Sanathana Dharma these boys will be efficient instruments. They will replenish the glory of Bharathavarsha. They are today recruited into My army. I am achieving the re-establishment of Dharma, the restoration of the Vedas, and it is with that in view that I am initiating in My Presence every year boys from all parts of India. This Samskara is fast losing its significance; the recital of the Gayathri and, the performance of the Sandhya rite are both being neglected; so, they have to be restored to their pristine glory. This is an important step. Until you see the Akshara, the unchanging, you must practice the Kshara, the changing, which helps you to transcend it. When once you are able to pronounce 'cat,' you can give up reading the word 'c-a-t'. The Gayathri will help you to reach the Akshara; practice it, three times a day, in the Sandhya rite. The Deha-maatha (the Mother who bore the body), the Lokamaatha (the Mother who sustains the Universe) and the Gayathri-maatha (the Mother who saves you from Bondage and Ignorance) all three, deserve your devotion and worship.

The Basic Hypocrisy

Date: 26 Apr 1965 - Occasion: Upanayanam - Place: Prashanti Nilayam

This day as well as yesterday, Pundits spoke to you about Sanathana Dharma and its greatness. I too shall speak only about that, for, there is nothing more important than that Dharma for material and spiritual happiness. Sanathana Dharma calls on you to revere the Achaarya, for he is seeking to save you from disaster, the flood of birth and death into which you are slipping, through ignorance. Eetha or Swimming you have to learn to escape from the swollen river; Geetha or the Lord's Teaching you have to learn to escape from the swirling torrent of birth death. The Guru points out the Guri (Goal) to you; he reveals the Atmathathwam. A man struggling in a bog cannot be saved by another who is also caught in its slime. Only one standing on firm ground can pull him out. So the Guru must have a secure footing, above and beyond the slush of Samsara. The Rishis or Sages struggled with themselves and elevated themselves into the purer regions of thought, to discover their own truth. They felt the thrill of that discovery and sang of the freedom they gained. These songs serve as signposts and all who derive benefit therefrom have to acknowledge the debt. How to repay the Rishi-rna, the debt of the Rishis ? By study, by reflection on what they have sung of their liberation, by practicing the Sadhana they adopted, by proving them right out of your own experience.

There are also three other Rnas, or debts, mentioned in the scriptures--Pithr-rna, Maathr-rna and Deva-rna, the debt of the father, of the mother and of the Gods. Once there was a great sage named Uddalaka, famous for his scholarship. He had a son, Swethakethu and a daughter Sujatha. Among his disciples was Kahodaka a young man who was well behaved, virtuous, devoted to the teacher and earnest in his studies. But, he could not keep pace with the other bright lads and so became the target for taunts. The Guru loved him all the more on account of this. Sympathy with his lot grew into Grace; Grace resulted in the Guru offering his own daughter in marriage to Kahodaka! While Sujatha was enceinte, Kahodaka recited the Vedas as laid down in the disciplinary rules, but within hearing of the child growing in the womb. It heard the recitation but, since it was already aware of the correct pronunciation of every syllable, whenever Kahodaka spelt a syllable wrong, it squirmed in distress. So, when the baby was born, it had eight bends, crooked in eight places, in fact! Naturally, he was named eight bends or Ashtavakra.

When Ashtavakra was still in the womb, Sujatha had persuaded her husband to seek some monetary help from King Janaka to relieve their dire poverty and when Kahodaka went to Mithila, in the midst of a big Yaga which the king was celebrating, he had to stay on till it finished; later, he was forced by circumstances to join a competitive disputation with a celebrated scholar called Vaandena, and accept the terms laid down by the challenger, namely whoever gets defeated in argument was to be thrown into the sea.

Meanwhile, Ashtavakra, in spite of his physical deformity, became an erudite Pundit full of intricate scholarship, even while in his teens. Both Sujatha and Swethakethu kept his fatherís fate from the lad for many years, but, one day, some one as one who was ignorant of his fatherís fate taunted him and the sad tale was revealed to the son. Immediately, he proceeded to Mithila and sought entrance into the audience-hall of King Janaka. The guards laughed when he wanted them to report to the King that a Vedic scholar eager for disputation with the court pundits had come. They slighted him for his tender age but he said that age was no criterion. At last, he pleaded that his deformity, at least, entitled him to hospitality and sympathy.

Janaka was struck by the boy's persistence and courage; he ordered that he should be admitted and arranged the disputation the boy sought! If I start telling you the absurd questions that the court pundits teased him with and the replies with which Ashtavakra sparred them with, it will take so much time that perhaps we will have to sit beyond Sivarathri even! Janaka tried his best to dissuade him; he told him that he was too young to risk death in the sea. But, Ashtavakra argued that Atmavidya does not take account the Dehathathwam, the physical principle of the body. Vaandeena entered the fray with the deformed lad resplendent with spiritual scholarship; to the great astonishment of all, the boy gained the upper hand; the aged pundit squirmed under the questions; he failed; he had to be thrown into the sea; the deformed son of Kahodaka had triumphed over the victor who had consigned his father to the waves. The mother was delighted that her son had discharged the debt, and retrieved the honor of the line.

The father must encourage the son by example more than precept. Prahlada told his father that only the parent, who directs his progeny to God deserves obedience and respect. All others are, so far the sons are concerned, human ogres like Hiranyakasipu. There are some parents who are sorry that their sons are coming to Puttaparthy and who dread that they would start doing Puja or Japam or Naamasmarana, and give up the habits of smoking or drinking or gambling, which they have learnt from their fathers! Such do not know the value of Satsang, for peace and happiness. They fail to equip their children or themselves with armor against the blows of fate or fortune. The Gayathri mantra develops the Dhee sakthi or power of discrimination and, so its consequence will be the giving up of evil company, and the seeking of kindred souls. If Satsang is not available, you can keep company with your own higher impulses and noble thoughts. Dive deep into your own divinity. The crocodile is happy and unharmed; it is undefeatable, in the depths of the lake or river. Once it sprawls on land, it becomes the plaything of man, an easy target for death. The depths; They are your refuge; the source of your strength. Do not stray into the shallows or the sands. You know that the Garuda bird feeds on snakes. Well, once the Garuda went to Kailasa Mount to pay respects to Siva, who wears snakes on His head, arms, wrists, neck, waist and ankles. When the snakes saw Garuda, they were unafraid; they even dared put out their forked tongues at Garuda and challenged it to come near them. That was the extent of the courage lent to them by the place where they had established themselves, So, establish yourselves in the Atma; no worry or grief or pride can harm you then.

Several types of Prema were spoken about today, but, all types are based on the 'I' feeling; it is like a drama in a film story, a plot within a plot. You must feel that all this is just a passing show, that you are the central figure, the only figure, the entire figure. Thathwam asi; that thou art. That is this. The external world is fundamental) One, is really Brahmam, appearing as many. Thwam is you, yourself. And, what does the experience of all the sages tell them? What is the profound discovery embodied in the wisdom of the Vedas? Thath is thwam, thwam is Thath; there is no second, there is only One.

If you act or feel or talk contrary to your nature you demean yourself; you deny your reality. The Brahmathathwam is Vimalam, Achalam, Pure, Unshakable; be pure and unshakable. It is thrigunarahitham, devoid of qualities (dull active or balanced); it is pure consciousness. The storms of feeling, or the fog of dullness and sloth too must not agitate you. Play your role, as a puppet does; the unseen Director unfolds the drama, which He has willed. Once it happened that a village drama, Harischandra, was put on boards, with Harischandra and his son, Lohithaksha selected from one of the two rival fractions and Chandramathi being acted by a man from the other! Lohithaksha fell dead, bitten by a cobra, as required by the drama and Chandramathi the mother had to wail. Everyone expected the actor to do that very realistically; but, since the boy belonged to the rival party, Chandramathi refused to weep! This led to a minor riot; the 'puppets' had deluded themselves into attachment. They had failed to remember that they were acting 'roles'. This is the basic hypocrisy; claiming to be a character in the play, but, not speaking the lines, exhibiting emotions, going through the movements and not making the role a success. Many pundits claim to be exponents of the Vedas and Sastras, but, it is not what they teach that tells, but how they live. Many sing the glory of the Lord, but, few live in His constant Presence and in the constant awareness of that glory that fills the Universe. Udipi Krishna, they sing--but they don't make their hearts Udipi, so that Krishna may come and be installed therein.

There are certain special hours when you have to perform Sandhya and repeat Gayathri. This is very good discipline. Just before the Sun rises, the morning rite has to be gone through. Jonnalagadda Sathyanarayanamurthy described very poetically the calmness, the color, the eloquent silence of those hours the waking birds and flowers, the earth that thrills to the touch of dew--that is the time when you too should acclaim the rising Sun with the Gayathri. Yesterday, one speaker described the Gayathri as equal to Rama Nama, today another Sastry said it was the elaboration of Krishna Nama and the Bhagavatha; I ask you to fix your mind on any name of the Lord, that brings up into your consciousness the Glory and the Grace of the Lord. Also, train, your hands to do acts that serve the Lord that is shining in every being. All men are He; He shaves as the barber, He makes pots as the potter; He starches and irons clothes as the Dhobi. He prompts, He inspires, He devises, He fulfils. You take a sheet of paper on which My Form is printed, as Myself; you revere It; you fall to the ground before It in reverence; why cannot you then revere all human beings, believing that I am in each of them, in an even clearer Form?

The Gayathri is a prayer for the development of your Intellect, so that you might reach this Vision. So let Me advise the elders who are here, this. You have brought your sons or grandsons or wards for Upanayanam and Gayathri-upadesam here to My presence. You are happy at their fortune; but, they will repeat the Mantra only if you too repeat it, sincerely. And it is good for you also. Repent therefore, that you have given up taking that priceless drug; start from today, the Sandhyavandanam. Learn it from your son or grandson, keeping aside your sense of superiority. When you have the royal road to reach the Goal, why scramble through thorny jungle tracks? Do the Sandhya as prescribed, and you will find a calm descending inside you, a calm that will not be shaken by any storm. You need not flee to a Himalayan valley; you can make your heart that Valley, by the discipline of the Sandhya.

The Universal Prayer
(Gayathri)

Date: 20 Jun 1977 - Occasion: Upanayanam - Place: Brindavan

The Gayathri is the universal prayer enshrined in the vedas, the most ancient scriptures of man. It is addressed to the Immanent and Transcendent Divine which has been given the name 'Savitha', meaning 'that from which all this is born'. The Gayathri may be considered as having three parts --(i) praise, (ii) meditation, (iii) prayer. First the Divine is praised, then it is meditated upon in reverence, and finally an appeal is made to the Divine to awaken and strengthen the intellect, the discriminating faculty of man.

The Gayathri is considered as the essence of the Vedas. Veda means knowledge, and this prayer fosters and sharpens the knowledge-yielding faculty. As a matter of fact, the four core-declarations enshrined in the four Vedas are implied in this Gayathri mantra (chant).

The Gayathri is usually repeated at dawn, noon, and dusk. But since God is beyond time, it is a result of our limitations that we talk of dawn and dusk. When we move away from the sun, it is dusk; when we move into the light of the sun, it is dawn. So you need not be bound by the three points of time to recite the prayer. It can be repeated always and everywhere, only one must ensure that the mind is pure. I would advise you young people to recite the Gayathri when you take your bath. Do not sing cheap and defiling film songs; recite the Gayathri. When you bathe, the body is being cleansed; let your mind and intellect also be cleansed. Make it a point to repeat it when you bathe as well as before every meal, when you wake from sleep, and when you go to bed. And also repeat 'shanthi' thrice at the end, for that repetition will give shanthi or peace to three entities in you -- body, mind and soul.

Every human being has four birthdays. The first is when he emerges from his mother's womb and, being neither holy nor unholy, craves only for food and shelter; the second is when he begins his spiritual study to lead him from darkness to light; the third is when he has gained wisdom, having mastered the disciplines propounded by the sages for achieving self-realization; the fourth and last is when he realizes his true identity and merges with Brahman.

The sacred thread (yajnopavitham) is a symbol of purity, which is necessary if you wish to participate in the ritual of living. Life is a continuous series of sacrifices of the lower for the sake of the higher, of the tiny in favor of the vast. Upanayana, the word which has been given to this ceremony of initiation, means the conferment of another eye. Your two eyes cannot reveal to you the magnificence and the majesty of the realm of the spirit. They are focused towards the objective world and its transient attractions. So the Gayathri mantra has been given to you as a third eye to reveal to you that inner vision by which you may realize Brahman.

Gayathri is a treasure you must guard throughout your lives. If you have not caught the sounds of the mantra correctly now, learn it from your parents or from your family priest. Perhaps they may not know the Gayathri themselves, or they might have forgotten it through culpable neglect. Then I would ask them to learn it from you.

Never give up the Gayathri; you may give up or ignore any other mantra, but you should recite the Gayathri at least a few times a day. It will protect you from harm wherever you are traveling, working, or at home. Westerners have investigated the vibrations produced by this mantra and have found that when it is recited with the correct accent as laid down in the Vedas, the atmosphere around becomes visibly illumined. So the effulgence of Brahma will descend on you and illumine your intellect and light your path when this mantra is chanted. Gayathri is the mother, the force that animates all life. So do not neglect it.

Elders and priests, the custodians of this mantra, have given it the go-by. But you, as inheritors and guardians of the great culture of this country, have a great responsibility in preserving it and demonstrating its efficacy and worth.

The Gayathri

Date: 26 Jun 1981 - Occasion: Upanayanam - Place: Prashanti Nilayam

The Gayathri mantra has in it the validity of the Vedas. It contains the essence of Vedic teachings. Each of the four Vedas has a core axiom (Mahaa Vaakya) enclosed in it: Thath Thwam Asi (That thou art), Prajnaanam Brahma (Consciousness is Brahma), Ayam Aathma Brahma (This Self is Brahma) and Aham Brahmaasmi (I am Brahman). When all these are synthesized, the Gayathri emerges.

Gayathri is all Gods in One: The triple stranded Yagnopaveetham (Sacrificial Strand of Thread) is to be worn by every one who is initiated into Gayathri recital, for he has to perform the three Sandhya rites when the sun rises and sets, as well as when the Sun is at the zenith. The rites are in adoration of the Trinity---Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The purpose of the rites is to invoke the Gods to bless the novitiate to lead a good life at all times (past, present and future), in all places (heaven, earth and nether region). The Gayathri divinises the five elements; it represents the presiding deities of all the five. Gayathri is worshipped as a Five-Faced Goddess---Om, being the first, Bhoor-bhuvahssuvah, the second, Thath Savithur Varenyam, the third, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, the fourth, and Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayaath, the fifth face.

Through meditation on the Gayathri, one can become aware of the inner motivating principle of the five elements, the five vital airs in the human body and the five sheaths, which encase the Atma. Just as there are three basic energies that govern man---the physical, the metaphysical and the psychical, the Aadhi-bhowthik, the Aadhi-daivik and the Aadhi-aathmic, Gayathri has three facets: Gayathri, Savitri and Saraswathi. Gayathri fosters the metaphysical, Savitri, the physical, and Saraswathi, the psychical. These three karanas or instruments have to be cleansed and sublimated so that man can realize the goal of life. Through the recital of Gayathri mantra and meditation thereon, this great task can be achieved.

The Gayathri Path to God

Date: 17 Mar 1983 - Occasion: Upanayanam - Place: Prashanti Nilayam

Out of action arises the bondage of delusion;
From delusion grows a perverted mind;
Mental perversion leads to perverse deeds;
Such deeds again result in rebirth.

Young embodiments of the Divine! The grand mansion of Hindu thought has been raised on the four walls of karma, janma, dharma and Brahman (action, birth, righteous action, and Supreme Self or God). These four are interdependent. No one can escape the consequences of one's action, whether good or bad. No action goes in vain. Karma (action) is the primary cause of one's birth.

The jeevi is born in karma,
He grows through karma,
He ceases in karma.
Karma is the cause
Of happiness and misery.

It has been well said,  "The body indeed, is the basis for the pursuit of dharma" (Shareeramaadhyam khaIu dharma saadhanam). It is by the pursuit of dharma that Brahman is realized. The Geetha has declared that whenever dharma declines the advent of the Avathar (Divine incarnation) occurs. This implies that the object of human existence is to uphold dharma. As creation is a projection of the Divine Will the aim of every human being should be to live in harmony with that Will. One's life should be dedicated not for promoting one's selfish interests or to serve the interests of other fellow-beings but in the service of the Divine. Whatever is done to anyone, if it is done as an offering to the Divine, it will reach the Divine. Man should consecrate every action by regarding it as an offering to the Divine.

Gayathri initiation gives one the Second Birth

From the moment of issuing from the mother's womb, one is involved in action. This natural state is common to all and may be described as Shuudhrathwam (the state of the Shuudhra, that is, one who is not subject to any regimen). After one receives the Gayathri initiation, he is born again and becomes a Dwija (the twice-born). The Gayathri is described as "Chhandhasaam Maathah'--the mother of all the Vedas (ancient sacred scriptures). One meaning of Gaayathree is that it is a mantra (sacred formula) which protects or fosters the "Gayaas" or jeevis (individual beings).

You must note that today you have all got a second birth by receiving the Gayathri mantra (Vedic prayer to illuminate the intelligence). By observing the disciplines of the Brahmachari (celibate) stage, you will qualify yourselves for the study of the Vedas. When one begins to study the Vedas he is known as "Vipra" (Braahmana). This is a third birth, as it were. At this stage, by the study and understanding of the Vedas and living up to their precepts, one gets the opportunity to understand Brahman (Supreme Being). Once the Brahman principle is understood, one merges in Brahman. It is only when there is awareness of Brahman can one claim to be a real Brahman. It is not birth alone, but the realization of Brahman, which confers real Braahmanathwa (Braahmana-hood) on a person.

Gayathri mantra is the embodiment of all deities

The Gayathri mantra has to be recited three times a day--in the morning at sunrise, at noon, and at sunset. These are called "Sandhyaa Kaa!am"--the time of coming together of night and day, of morning and evening, and of day and night. Time, like man, has three qualities: Satwa, Rajas and Tamas (poised, passion and inertia). The day is divided into three parts. The four hours between 4 and 8 a.m. in the morning and between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in the evening have the Satwa (equanimous) quality. The eight hours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. are Rajasic (Passionate). The eight hours between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m., which are mainly used, for sleep, are Tamasic (inaction). The eight hours of the day (from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) are employed by all beings, including animals and birds, in the discharge of their day to day duties and are regarded as Rajasic (active pursuit).

When the four Satwic hours of the morning (4 a.m. to 8 a.m.) are used for engaging oneself in good actions like worship, virtuous deeds, keeping good company, one is sure to raise, himself from the human to the Divine level. It is during the Satwic period (from 4 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.) the Gayathri mantra should be recited. This mantra is the embodiment of all deities. It is not related to any particular sect, caste or idol or institution. It is said to embody nine "colours": (1) Om (2) Bhuh (3) Bhuvah (4) Suvah (5) Thath (6) Savithur or powers (7) Varenyam (8) Bhargah (9) Dhevasya. "Dheemahi" is related to the meditative aspect. "Dhiyo-yo-nah prachodayaath" relates to the aspect of prayer. The manthra as a whole thus contains three aspects descriptive, meditation and prayer.

Discover the Unity that underlies the Diversity

On the basis of differences in behavior, the antahkarana (inner-psyche) has been accorded four names. When it is concerned with thoughts, it is called manas (mind). When it is restless and wavering it is called chiththa (consciousness). When it is concerned with enquiry and understanding, it is called Buddhi (intellect). When it is associated with the sense of "mine" (possessiveness), it is called ahamkaara (egoism). Why are four different names and attributes given to one and the same entity (the Antahkarana)? The mind is pre-occupied with distinctions and differences. The Buddhi is concerned with oneness and reveals the Unity that underlies the diversity. All our efforts must be directed towards discovering the Unity that underlies the diversity rather than seeking to divide the One into the many.

The Gayathri mantra (Vedic prayer to illuminate the intelligence) is a sacred mantra, which demonstrates the unity that underlies manifoldness in creation. It is through the recognition of this unity that we can understand the multiplicity. Clay is one and the same thing, though pots of different shapes and sizes can be made from it. Gold is one, though gold ornaments can be multifarious. The Atma (Divine Self) is one, though the embodied forms in which it resides may be many. Whatever the color of the cow, the milk is white always.

There is no object in the world, which does not have a form and a name. The Cosmos is made up of things with forms and names. While the forms are subject to constant change, the names remain unchanged. The form may change and even completely disappear but the name remains. Once we know the name, we can recognize what or whom it represents. In a large gathering, it will not be easy to trace a person merely from the description of his features. But when his name is called, he immediately responds and can be identified. Likewise, through the name of the Lord, the form of the Lord can be visualized.

Five faces - Three deities

Gayathri is described as having five faces. The first is "Om". The second is "Bhurbhuvassuvah". The third is: "Thathsavithur Varenyam". The fourth is "Bhargo Dhevasya Dheemahi". The fifth is: "Dhiyo-yo nah Prachodhayaath". Gayathri represents in these five faces the five Praanas (life forces). Gayathri is the protector of the five Pranas in man. Gaayantham thraayathe ithi Gayathri - "Because it protects the one who recites it, it is called Gayathri." When Gaayathree acts as protector of the life-forces, she is known as Savitri. Savitri is known in the Puranik story as the devoted wife who brought back to life her husband, Sathyavaan. Savitri is the presiding deity of the five pranas. She protects those who lead a life of Truth. This is the inner meaning.

When one's intelligence and intuition are developed by the recitation of the mantra, the activating deity is Gayathri. When the life forces are protected, the guardian deity is called Savitri. When one's speech is protected, the deity is called Saraswathi. Because of the protective roles of Savitri, Saraswathi and Gayathri, in relation to life, speech and the intellect, Gayathri is described as "Sarvadhevathaa-swaruupini", the embodiment of all goddesses.

It is essential to recite the Gayathri mantra at least three times during morning, noon and evening. This will serve to reduce the effects of the wrong acts one does every day. It is like buying goods for cash, instead of getting them on credit. There is no accumulation of karmic (result of action) debt, as each day's karma (action) is atoned for that day itself by reciting the Gayathri Mantra.

Redemptive Power of the Gayathri mantra

The plea that one cannot find time for reciting the Gayathri thrice a day is specious and untenable. People waste so much of their time in worthless activities that they can easily find a few moments for reciting the Gayathri when they wake up from bed and before they go to sleep, if only they have the will. The Gayathri can be recited even when one is taking his bath. It will mean also offering ablutions to the goddess. At noon, if the Gayathri is recited before taking one's meal, the food will get sanctified and become an offering to the deity.

The Brahmachaaris (celibates/religious students) should realize the redemptive power of the Gayathri mantra. Through the Brahmopadesam (initiation into sacred knowledge), the young boys have had a second birth. It is only when they have achieved the purposes of this second birth will they be qualified to enter on the sacred third stage of "viprathvam" (Braahmana-hood), which leads to the realization of Brahman.

"One who is aware of Brahman, becomes one with Brahman" is the Vedic saying. To recognize the Brahman principle, one has to understand one's own true nature. There is a story to illustrate how one can see whether he is qualified to realize Brahman. An unmarried girl acquires the right to a half-share in a man's property after she is married to him and he ties the mangalasuuthra (the auspicious marriage thread) round her neck. It is this sacred thread that confers the fight on her. Likewise, one remains remote from God as long as one has not acquired the thread of "surrender to the Divine" (Sharanaagathi thathwa). The moment one wears the suthra (thread) of Sharanaagathi (total surrender), one acquires the right to a half share in the energy and authority of the Divine. We must strive earnestly to pursue the path of submission to the Divine Will and offering everything to the Divine.

The attitude of surrender will grow in us as we recite regularly the Gayathri mantra. This is the reason why boys are initiated into the mantra at an early age. There is also another reason for this early initiation. Boys, who have been indolent or dull before getting the Brahmopadhesam have been able to develop their intelligence and be more diligent in their studies after they have received the Gayathri mantra. This is a matter of proven experience. Like sunrise after the night, the Gayathri mantra dispels the darkness of ignorance: "Dhiyo-yo-nah prachodayaath" The rays of the Gayathri mantra illumine the mind and intelligence and promote knowledge, wisdom and discrimination.

I bless the young vatus (boys who have been initiated) so that from today they recite the Gayathri regularly, lead exemplary lives and grow into good, god-fearing, educated and enlightened citizens of Bharath.

Gayathri Mantra is the royal road to Divinity

Young people should realize the connection between food and the state of one's mind. For much of the demoniac qualities prevalent among men today, the primary cause is the food they consume. One will develop good qualities if one takes Satwic food, which is wholesome and moderate in quantity. It should not involve causing pain to others. And all that is eaten should be regarded as an offering to God. This is the inner significance of the Sandhayaa Vandhana mantras. When uttering the different names of Vishnu - Keshava, Narayana, etc.--one should bear in mind the meaning of each name. Narayana, for instance, means that He is the Lord of the Five Elements. If the name is recited, bearing in mind what it signifies, the full benefit of reciting the manthra will be got.

The Gayathri mantra is the royal road to Divinity. There is no fixed time or regulation for reciting it. Nevertheless, the young Brahmachaaris (celibates) would do well to recite it during the morning Sandhya and evening Sandhya (worship during dawn and twilight hours) to derive the greatest benefit. However because the Divine is beyond time and space, any time, any place is appropriate for repeating God's name. The Bhagavatha declares: "Sarvadhaa, sarvathra, sarvakaaleshu Harichintanam'". "Contemplate on God always, at all places and at all times." You must learn to think of God in whatever you see whatever you do and whatever you touch. You must realize that you are playing temporary roles on the cosmic stage. You must get back to your true Divine Selves when the play is over. By regularly reciting the Gayathri, you must purify your lives and be an example to the world in righteous living. This is my benediction for you.

Unique Potency of Gayathri Mantra

Date: 23 Aug 1995 - Occasion: Upanayanam Ė Place: Prashanti Nilayam

Man today spends his life fully preoccupied with worldly concerns. Owing to attachment to the body, he forgets his true nature, is immersed in the affairs of the world and involves himself in misery. He regards the body as permanent and makes bodily comforts his goal in life. These are the things, which every individual experiences, in daily life.

If anybody accosts a person and asks him, "Who are you"?, out of his identification with the body he gives his name in reply. In answer to further questions he introduces himself as a doctor, a farmer, or student or the like. When the enquiry goes further, he identifies himself with his nationality as an American, an Indian, a Pakistani, or so on. When you examine these answers deeply, you will find that none of them gives the truth. He got his name from his parents. It did not belong to him at birth. His identification with one or other of his professions is not true because he is not the profession.

Body, Jiva and Atma

What, then, is the truth about him? "I am the Atma. That is my true Self." That is the truth. But people identify themselves with their names, professions and nationality and do not base their lives on the Atma. No driver of a car identifies himself with the car. Likewise, the body is a car and the Atma is the driver. Forgetting one's true role as a driver, one is identifying one's self with the body, which is only a vehicle.

The Gayathri Mantra emphatically brings out this truth. Dehabudhyaath Daasoham - In the context of the body, I am an instrument, a servant. Jivabudhyaath Thadamsah - In the context of the Jiva, the individual soul, I am a spark of That (the Divine). Aatmabudhyaath Thvamevaaham - In terms of the Atma I am you. When one views one's self from the Atmic standpoint, one is identical with the Divine. I am you and you are me.

Three-storied mansion

Every man has thus three aspects. Our life itself is a three-storied mansion. The Brahmacharya (celibate) stage is the foundation of this mansion. After that, the stage of Grihastha (householder) is the first floor. Then you have the Vanaprastha (retirement from the life of a householder) stage as the second floor. Finally, there's the stage of the Sanyasa (renunciant) , constituting the third floor. Thus, Brahmacharya is the foundation for the other three stages of life. The safety and security of the other three floors depend on the strength of the foundation, (viz., Brahmacharya). Hence, Brahmacharya is the basic foundation.

But, unfortunately people have forgot this vital fact. They feel happy on seeing the super structure. But the whole edifice may collapse at any time if the foundation is weak. When you feel happy at the sight of a tree and its flowers and fruits, you must be concerned about its roots. The unseen foundation is the basis for the visible mansion. The invisible roots are the basis for the visible tree. Likewise, the invisible vital force (Prana) is the basis for the visible body. Prana has no form, while the body has a form. There is, however, the Atmic principle, which confers all the potencies for the life force (Prana). It is because of the power imparted by the Atma that the life force is able to activate the body. The body inherently is inert. It is made up of different kinds of material substances.

Three potencies in man

The first line in the Gayathri Mantra is Om Bhurbhuvassuvah. This mantra is assumed to refer to three worlds: the earth, the middle world and heaven (or Swarga, the land of the gods). Bhu refers to the body. It is made up of the five elements (Pancha Bhuthas). These five elements constitute nature (Prakriti). There is an intimate relationship between the body and nature. The same five elements that are in nature are also in the body. Bhuvah is the life force that animates the body (Prana Shakti). Even if the life force exists, without Jnana (Awareness) the body will be of no use. It is on this account that the Vedas declared: Prajnaanam Brahma (Constant Integrated Awareness is Brahmam). It is by the presence of Prajnaana that the life force is able to animate the body. The body represents inert matter. The life force operates in the body as a vibration. This vibration derives its power from Prajnaana, which finds expression in radiation.

Therefore, the body, the life force and the Prajnaana are all within man. The entire cosmos is present in miniature within man. lt is because of these three constituents that we are able to see the cosmos and experience many other things. Every potency is within us. The external is a reflection of the inner being.

It follows from this that true humanness (maanavathvam) is divinity itself (Daivathvam). Hence, the Vedas declared that the divine appears in human form. Every human being is inherently divine, but owing to his attachment to the body he considers himself a mere man.

How did the life force animate this human body? Whence has this life force come? It is from the Atma Shakti (the power of the Self). Making use of this power of the Self, the life force carries out all activities.

Triple aspects of Gayathri

Who is Gayathri? Gayathri is not a Goddess. Gayathri is the mother of the Vedas (Gayathri Chandasaam maathaa). Gaayantham thraayathe ithi Gaayathri. Gayathri is that which redeems the chanter of the mantra. Gayathri is present wherever the mantra is chanted.

Gayathri, however, has three names: Gayathri, Savitri, Saraswathi. These three are present in everyone. Gayathri represents the senses. It is the master of the senses. Savitri is the master of the life force (Praana). Many Bharatiyas are familiar with the story of Savitri who brought back to life her dead husband, Sathyavaan. Savitri signifies truth. Saraswathi is the presiding deity of speech (Vaak). The three represent purity in thought, word and deed (Thrikarana Suddhi). Although Gayathri has three names, all the three are in each of us as the senses (Gayathri), the power of speech (Saraswathi) and the life force, (Savitri).

Gayathri is said to have five face and hence is called Panchamukhi. Is there anybody in the world with five faces? No. In the Ramayana, Ravana is said to have ten heads. If really he had ten heads, how would he be able to lie in his bed or move about? This is not the inner meaning of this description. He is said to be ten headed because he was the master of the four Vedas and the six Sastras. Likewise, Gayathri is described as five faced. The five faces are: Om (the Pranava) is the first face. The Pranava principle represents the eight different forms of wealth (Ashta Aiswarya). The second face is: Bhurbhuvas-suvaha. The third is: Thath-Savitur-varenyam. The fourth is: Bhargo Devasya dheemahi. Dheeyo yo nah prachodayaath is the fifth face. When the Gayathri mantra is understood in this way, it will be realised that all the five aspects of Gayathri are within each of us.

Power of Gayathri mantra

The Gayathri mantra has all the three elements which figure in the adoration of God : description, meditation and prayer. The first nine words of the mantra represent the attributes of the divine, Om Bhur-Bhuvas-Suvah Thath Savitur Varenyam Bhargo Devasya. Dheemahi pertains to dhyaana (meditation). Dheeyo yo nah Prachodayaath is the prayer to the Lord. The mantra is thus a prayer to God to confer all powers and talents.

Sarvaroganivaarini Gayathri: Gayathri is the reliever of all diseases. Sarvaduhkha parivaarini Gayathri: Gayathri wards off all misery. Sarvavaancha phalasri Gayathri: Gayathri is the fulfiller of all desires. Gayathri is the bestower of all that is beneficial. If the mantra is chanted, various kinds of powers will emerge in one.

Hence the Gayathri mantra should not be treated casually. In our respiration process the sound of Gayathri is imbedded. That sound is a reminder of our true form. In the breathing process, there is inhalation and exhalation. In the Yoga Sastra inhalation is termed Poorakam and the exhalation is called Rechakam. Holding the breath is called Kumbhakam. When air is inhaled, the sound that is produced is So-o-o. When it is exhaled the sound is Ham-m-m. So-ham, So-ham (Bhagawan demonstrated how this happens while breathing in and out). So is That. Ham is I. I am That. I am Divine. Every breath proclaims this. The Vedas declared the same thing in the pronouncements: Thath Thvam Asi (That thou art), Aham Brahmaasmi (I am Brahman), Ayam Atma Brahma (This Atma is Brahman).

Don't imagine God is somewhere remote from you. He is within you . You are God. People want to see God. Sathyam Jnaanam Anantham Brahma say the scriptures. Truth is God. Wisdom is God. Both these are present everywhere. They transcend the categories of time and place. Truth is that which is valid at all times past, present an future. That truth is Gayathri.

Gayathri is thus the indweller in the heart (Hridaya). Hridaya contains the word Daya meaning compassion. There is compassion in every heart. But to what extent is it shown in real life? Very little. All the while only anger, jealousy, pride and hatred are displayed. These evil qualities are not natural to man. They are opposed to human nature.

It has been declared that one who bases himself entirely on the mind is a demon. One who bases himself on body is an animal. One who follows Atma (the Self) is divinely endowed. One who relies on the body, the mind and Atma is a human being. Humanness is the combination of the body, mind and Atma. Man should strive to ascend to the divine and not descend to the demonic or animal nature.

Parent's duty

From today onwards parents should teach their children stories with morals. You all know in what a chaotic condition the world is today. Disorder and violence are rampant everywhere. Peace and security are not to be found anywhere. Where is peace to be found? It is within us. Security is also within us. How is insecurity to be removed and security secured? It is by giving up desires. In the language of the ancient Bharatiyas this was termed Vairagya (giving up attachment). This does not mean giving up home and family and retiring into the forest. It is reduction of wants. As a householder limit your desires to the needs of the family. As a student, stick to your studies. As a professional, adhere to the duties of your profession. Do not indulge in excesses of any kind.

In the practice of the Gayathri mantra, one should realise that everything is within one and thereby develop confidence in the Self. Man today is racked by numerous troubles because he has no confidence in the Self. The aspirant on the spiritual path is he bound to face the troubles caused by the six enemies - lust, anger, greed, infatuation, pride and envy. He has to he overcome them.

Call to students

Students! On an auspicious occasion like this, you should consider how you can lead an ideal life. Through faith in God you have to sanctify the body. Without the body, you cannot experience the mind and the intellect. To achieve your ideals, the body is the instrument. It should be kept in proper condition. While the body is a instrument, the user of the instrument is the Self. All sense organs function because of the Atma. The Atma is the witness to everything. It is also known as conscience. The conscience derives its sanction from the divine. It is a fragment of the divine.

Every human being is a spark of the divine, as declared in the Gita. The human being is essentially divine, but tends to forget his divine origin. The Gayathri mantra is enough to protect the person who chants it, because Gayathri embodies all the divine potencies. It is an essential requisite for the young because it ensures a bright and auspicious future for them. The young students are the citizens and leaders of tomorrow. Hence, they should develop pure and noble thoughts. The parents also should foster such a development.

Nearness to God

The Upanayanam ceremony is over. The Gayathri mantra has been imparted to you. You are wearing the sacred thread with three strands tied in one knot. The three strands represent Brahma, Vishnu and Maheshwara. They also represent the past, the present and the future. Upanayanam means being near to God. Nearness to God will enable you to get rid of your bad qualities and acquire virtues.

Students! The Vedas have emphasised three duties: Esteem the mother as God, the father as God and the preceptor as God. Bear this injunction in mind. Gratitude to your parents is your foremost duty. This is the lesson taught by Sri Rama.

Love your parents and remember God. When you please your parents and make them happy, your entire life will be filled with happiness.

Chant the Gayathri as often as possible. If you chant it while you take a bath, your bath gets sanctified. Likewise chant it before taking your food. The food becomes an offering to the divine. Develop heartfelt devotion to God.

Significance of Gayatri Mantra

Date: 10 Feb 2000 - Occasion: Mass Upanayanam - Place: Prashanti Nilayam

This is the most auspicious occasion of your life. Human life can be compared to a four-storied mansion. The four stories are: Brahmacharya (celibacy), Grihastha (householder), Vaanaprastha (recluse) and Sanyasa (renunciate). Today you are laying the foundation for the mansion of your life. The safety and security of the mansion is assured once you make the foundation strong and sturdy.

Man is born four times in his life. He is born for the first time when he emerges from his mother's womb. He becomes a Dwija (born for the second time) when he is initiated into the Gayatri Mantra. He becomes a Vipra through the study of Vedas and ultimately becomes a Brahmana when he recognizes the principle of Brahman. One should be a Brahmin not merely by virtue of birth, but by virtue of action too. For this, chanting of Gayatri Mantra is very essential.

Man is the embodiment of all Gods. In fact, the gross form of the food that man consumes refers to the principle of Brahma. On this basis, it is said, "Annam Brahma, Raso Vishnu" (food is Brahma and the essence is Vishnu). The subtle form of the food denotes the principle of Vishnu. The subtlest form symbolizes the principle of Easwara. The gross form of the food strengthens the body. The subtle form of the food strengthens the mind and the subtlest form of food purifies the speech. Therefore, food plays a vital role in strengthening and purifying the body, mind and speech.

Gayatri is Sarvadevata Swarupini and Sarvamantra Swarupini (embodiment of all Gods and goddesses and all Mantras). It is said, Gayatri Chaandasaam Matha, meaning Gayatri is the mother of the Vedas. There is no need to chant any other Mantra if you chant the Gayatri Mantra. Gayatri has three names: Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi. Gayantham Trayate ithi Gayatri, it protects the one who recites it. Gayatri is the master of the senses. Savitri is the master of the life principle. When Gayatri acts as the protector of life forces, she is known as Savitri You might have heard the story of Savitri, a woman of chastity, who brought her dead husband, Sathyavaan, back to life with the power of her prayer. Savitri protects those who lead a life of Sathya (truth). This is the inner meaning. Saraswathi is the presiding deity of speech. Man has to earn the grace of Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi to sanctify his life.

First and foremost, man has to purify his speech. Only then will his life be safe and secured. If you slip and fall, the injury can be repaired, but the slip of the tongue is irreparable. It will make your life miserable. So, you should have control over your speech. Excessive talk will lead to untruth and unpleasantness. That is why the ancient saints and seers used to observe silence. You can uphold truth and attain fame only by talking less. Limited talk will confer happiness. Excessive talk will put you to grave dangers.

Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswathi are latent in everybody. Bhur, Bhuvah and Suvah in the Gayatri Mantra refer to body (materialization), life force (vibration) and soul (radiation). Bhur means Bhuloka (the earth), which is nothing but the combination of materials. This denotes the human body, which is also a combination of materials. Bhuvaha refers to the life force, which makes the body move. Suvaha refer to Prajnana Shakti, which sustains the life force. This Prajnana Shakti is known as the Constant Integrated Awareness. This is also termed as radiation. All the three, viz., materialization, vibration and radiation are present in man. I tell you often, you are not one, but three - the one you think you are (physical level), the one others think you are (mental level) and the one you really are (Atmic level).

Human life is the combination of body, mind and the Atma. Body is the basis for attaining wisdom. So, it should not be misused. One has to purify one's body and mind by undertaking sacred actions. The principle of Atma is always pure and unsullied. It is said, Janthunaam Narajanma Durlabham (human life is the rarest of all). Sareera Maadhyam Khalu Dharma Sadhanam (it is by the body can one undertake righteous actions). Do not underestimate the potentialities of human body. In fact, human body is the basis for attaining the goal of life. Work for the redemption of your life by chanting the Mantras and undertaking sacred activities.

One need not make any special effort to acquire the human qualities, viz., Sathya, Dharma, Santhi, Prema and Ahimsa. They are with you right from your birth. But you have forgotten them, as you have not put them into practice. Instead of giving 'tons' of speeches, it is better that you practice at least an 'ounce' of what you have learnt. Today humanness is on the decline because man does not practice human values. Man is developing Aasalu (desires), forgetting Aadarsaalu (ideals). Attachment to the body is on the rise, whereas attachment to the spirit is on the decline. No doubt, attachment to the body is essential, but only when it comes to performing actions.

You should give up Dehaabhimaanarn (attachment to the body) and cultivate Deshaabhimaanam (attachment to the motherland). After Ravana was annihilated, Lakshmana prayed to Rama to reign over Lanka too. He said, "Brother, it is not proper on our part to disturb our brother Bharata, who is ruling over Ayodhya. Moreover, the kingdom of Lanka is more affluent and more beautiful than Ayodhya. So, it is my humble prayer that you should become the king of Lanka." Vibhishana too fell at the feet of Rama, saying, "Swami, I surrender myself, my wealth and the kingdom at your Lotus Feet." But Rama was not carried away by the affluence of Lanka. He said, "Janani Janma Bhoomischa Swargadapi Gareeyasi," the mother and the motherland are greater than even the heaven.

Himachala forms the boundary on the northern side of India. 'Hima' means ice. It is white in color and melts easily. Whiteness symbolizes purity. 'Achala' means that which is steady. Your Hridaya (heart) also should be like Himachala, pure and steady. It should melt with compassion. Hri + Daya = Hridaya. Daya means compassion. God resides in your heart only when it is pure, steady and full of compassion. But today human heart has lost purity and steadiness due to limitless desires. Life is a long journey and your desires are the luggage. "Less luggage more comfort make travel a pleasure." The journey of life will become enjoyable only when you reduce the luggage of desires. The lesser the desires are, the happier you will be. The Gayatri Mantra teaches that you should offer everything to God. Sarva Karma Bhagavad Preetyartham (perform all your actions to please God). Only then you will be free from all difficulties and misery.

The Vedas declare: "Mathru Devo Bhava, Pithru Devo Bhava" (revere the mother and the father as God). I keep telling the students very often that their blood, food, head and Dudalu (money) are all the gifts of the mother. So, first and foremost, one should show gratitude to the mother. You should never forget your mother who gave you birth after carrying you in her womb for nine months and brought you up providing all care and comfort, unmindful of her own physical strain. The mother always has your well being uppermost in her mind in whatever she says or does. You may be highly educated and your mother may be an illiterate, but still you should have utmost regard for her. You should consider the teachings of your mother as the Veda itself.

Gayatri is the embodiment of the mother-principle. You should chant the Gayatri everyday, morning, afternoon and evening. These are referred to as Praathah Sandhya, Maadhyahna Sandhya and Saayam Sandhya. When you show your back to the sun, your shadow will be ahead of you. It will fall behind you only when you stand facing the sun. Similarly, Maya (illusion), which is like your shadow, will overtake you when you turn your mind away from God. It can be overcome only when you turn your mind towards God.

Due to the impact of Kali Age and the advancement of modern education, man's intellect is getting perverted. There is no point in acquiring education bereft of character. Worldly education, which corresponds to mere bookish knowledge, can never help you to lead a divine life. No doubt, worldly education is essential, but along with worldly education, one should have spiritual education too. "Aadhyaatma Vidya Vidyaanaam,'' spiritual education is the true education. "Nadinaam Saagaro Gathihi," all the rivers ultimately merge in the ocean. There can be no river without the ocean. Worldly education corresponds to rivers and rivulets. Spiritual education can be compared to a mighty ocean. So, of all the forms of education, spiritual education is the highest and the noblest. Today even the highly educated parents are acting without any sense of discrimination. They discourage their children from worshipping God and participating in Bhajans. They tell them that they would have ample time to think of God after retirement. This is a grave mistake. "Start early, drive slowly, reach safely." One can remember God in the old age only when one thinks of Him right from one's childhood.

This is the right age to contemplate on God. This is the golden age, a very sacred age. Do not misuse it. Some parents want their children to go abroad immediately after the completion of their graduation. What is there in foreign countries that is not available in Bharat?. In fact, that which is not present in Bharat is not present anywhere else in the world. Most of the students who go abroad to pursue higher studies develop perverted minds and lose their character. I have seen Myself many who went abroad, but few of them returned to Bharat with good character. People send their children abroad because they want them to become Dhanavantulu (wealthy), but not Gunavantulu (virtuous). Money may provide all the comforts and conveniences, but can it confer mental peace? No. Only spirituality can grant peace of mind.

Today people are crazy to go to foreign countries, whereas the foreigners themselves are coming to Bharat in search of peace of mind. They have all the material comforts, but lack peace of mind. They have money, but no character. Excessive money gives rise to arrogance, which in turn leads to all wicked qualities. So, one should not go abroad in search of wealth. One should remain in Bharat if one wants to cultivate noble character. Take Swami's own example. Thousands of devotees have been praying to Me to visit their respective countries. But till today I have not entertained the thought of going abroad. What is the reason? Bharat is the center of all Dharmas. It is the land of sacred rituals and sacrifice. Here is a small example: The train has an engine in the front and many compartments attached to it. You will find coal, fire and the driver only in the engine, but not in any of the compartments. Bharat can be compared to the engine. In Bharat alone you find the sacred fire of Yajnas and Yagas. The other countries are like different compartments attached to the engine of Bharat. Some 'compartments' may fall aside, what is the reason? They do not have proper link with the engine. The culture of Bharat is highly sacred. The Bharatiyas should remain in their motherland, practice and propagate its sacred culture.

Gayatri is known as Panchamukhi, meaning she has five faces. What are they? Aum is the first face; "Bhur Bhuvah Suvaha" is the second; "Tat Savitur Varenyam" is the third; "Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi" is the fourth; "Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat" is the fifth. The Gayatri has three parts: 1.Praise, 2.Meditation, and 3.Prayer. First, the Divine is praised, then it is meditated upon in reverence and lastly, an appeal is made to the Divine to dispel the darkness of ignorance and to awaken and strengthen the intellect. "Dheemahi" is related to the meditative aspect. "Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat" relates to the aspect of prayer. Chanting of the Gayatri Mantra purifies the mind and confers devotion, detachment and wisdom. Young men must necessarily chant the Gayatri Mantra. Today we find people getting initiated into the Gayatri Mantra in the advanced stages of their youth. Intellect will blossom and shine forth in all its splendor only after initiation into the Gayatri Mantra. That is why it is essential that Upanayanam be done at the age of eight. One who is initiated into the Gayatri Mantra at an early age will become highly intelligent. Chanting of the Gayatri Mantra will sanctify man's life.

It is because man does not think of God with devotion and sincerity that fear and restlessness have become the order of the day. Chanting of Divine Name alone can make one fearless. God is referred to as Hiranyagarbha. Hiranya means gold. Only when you place this 'gold' in your heart, can you get the jewels of Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi and Prema. Once God is installed in your heart, only divine feelings will originate from it. When sweet pudding is poured into a vessel with a number of holes, what comes out of the holes will also be sweet pudding. Likewise, when you fill your heart with Divinity, all your actions will become divine. But man lacks faith in Divinity. He has Swasa (breath), but no Viswasa (faith). Such a life is useless.

Youth should work for the progress of the country. They should always help the fellow-beings. Sage Vyasa gave the essence of 18 Puranas thus: Paropakarah Punyaya Paapaya Parapeedanam (helping others is meritorious, harming others is sin). So, Help ever, Hurt never. This is the true devotion and surrender. Devotion does not mean offering worship or doing Bhajans. They are all external activities. All these are futile if there is no inner purity.

Love is God. God is love, so live in love. Love your parents. Serve them, obey their command and satisfy them. They have immense love for you. But, sometimes, they may try to put you on the wrong path unknowingly. In such a case, explain to them, what is right and what is wrong and convince them. If they want you to go abroad to earn more money, tell them that character is important, not money. If you explain to them in a proper way, there will certainly be a transformation in them.

If you chant the Gayatri Mantra wholeheartedly, you will never face difficulties or misery in life. Chant the Divine name incessantly. You know the story of Prahlada. His father Hiranyakasipu commanded him to stop chanting the name of Lord Narayana. Prahlada would never argue with his father. He would smilingly listen to all that his father had to say, but ultimately would l follow the dictates of his conscience. He was trampled upon by huge elephants, bitten by poisonous snakes, pushed down from mountain cliffs, thrown into deep sea; but never did he give up chanting of Lord's name. As a result, the elephants, the poisonous snakes, the mountain cliffs and the mighty oceans, transformed into Lord Narayana Himself. The Lord came to his rescue whenever he was put to danger. Likewise, if you have divine feelings in your heart, God will protect you, wherever you are. You should have unwavering faith in Him and chant His name with love.

Do not give scope to the evil qualities of anger, greed and jealousy. They are like gateways of hell. Ravana was highly educated and powerful. But he ruined his entire clan and kingdom, as he became a victim of Kama (desire). Hiranyakasipu symbolized anger and ultimately ruined himself. Duryodhana was greed personified and he too suffered the same fate as that of Ravana and Hiranyakasipu. You may have immense knowledge, wealth and valor, but you are bound to suffer if you become a slave to anger, desire and greed. Do not take pride in your wealth, physical strength and education. Develop the strength of love. Love can transform even a foe into a friend. Only through love can your life be redeemed.

Some people may argue it is foolish to believe in the existence of God whom you cannot see. But, in fact, you are seeing God all the time, because the entire universe is the form of God. Right from microcosm to macrocosm, all forms are His. The Vedas declare: Easwara Sarva Bhuthanaam (He is present in all beings). You are unable to see Him because you see the nature from the physical point of view. Give up the worldly feeling and see the nature with divine feelings. Then God will certainly manifest before you. Just as fragrance is present in the flower, Divinity is latent in you. Flower can be seen by the naked eye, but can anyone visualize its fragrance? Mother loves the child. She has a form, but her love has no form. That love is God.

Gayatri Mantra is highly sacred. As the Sastrigaru pointed out, Gayatri Mantra contains the essence of all the Mantras of all Gods and Goddesses. Just as single thread runs through all the flowers in a garland, the same divine power exists in all the god forms. Understand this unity in diversity. One who has understood this unity will never be put to suffering. Develop faith in God. Do not get carried away by what others say. Follow the dictates of your conscience. If you have the strong desire to see God, contemplate on Him with unflinching faith. Then you can certainly see Him. Never doubt His existence. He exists for those who believe in His existence and does not exist for those who deny His existence. He acts according to your feelings. So, develop faith in Him. Chanting the Gayatri Mantra for three times in a day, i.e., morning, afternoon and evening, is not enough. You should chant this Mantra incessantly. Why should you stipulate a particular time period for chanting His name who is beyond time?

Sarvada Sarvakaleshu Sarvathra Harichinthanam, chant His name at all places, at all times and under all circumstances.

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