Study of Hindu Religion
and Mantras in Hindu Religion
By : Raj Ramamirtham. Houston, Texas
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meaning of the Gayatri Mantra is more a prayer than revealing the essence
of the Vedas. Gayatri mantra is said to be mother of Vedas meaning the mantra
points to the full import of the Vedas. But the meaning does not suggest what
the Vedas have to say except here and there to give the attributes of God and
praying to that God to illumine us.
let us meditate on Gayatri Mantra to find out the true Vedic meaning:
accepted meaning of Gayatri Mantra is as follows:
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:- Pranava - The word that is God
BHUH :- God who is eternal
:- God who is the creator
SVAHA :- God who is Independent
TAT :- That eternal God
SAVITHUR :- That creative principle of
light manifested through Sun
VARENYAM :- That Supreme God propiated
by the highest Gods
BHARGO :- That light that bestows wisdom, bliss
and everlasting life
DHEVASYA :- The light of that effulgent God
DHEEMAHI :- we mediate
DHIYO :- May our intellect
NAHA :- Be directed by that lord
PRACHODAYAT :- Towards Illumination
Rig Veda (III, 62, 10)
rendered the meaning should suggest the following.:
thou my supreme lord, my innermost SELF, mayest thou open my mind and make it
receptive to comprehend the deep meaning of thy word OM and enable me to purify
my mind so as to unlock the door to wisdom! May my consciousness be free to experience
that pure and immaculate awareness, and be able to abide in that absolute SELF.
May all my propensities be erased to make me ready for the holy immersion into
the supreme taintless immutable SELF. OM
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Mantra indicates the knowledge of the essential Oneness of the self in each of
us and self everywhere.
Dhiyo (Dhiyaha --- Intellects)
one who illumines all activities of the subtle body (mind, intellect ego etc)
and remains itself as a mere uninterferring " witness" is the inner
the word sound Prachodayat indicates the Atman. Through the Tat Savitur sentence
the real Brahmin is established. The
supreme Brahman alone is the self, invoking whom the prayer "inspire us"
(Prachodayat) was raised. The self is indicated in the Gayatri Mantra by the term
Sun (savituhu the effulgent light). Here
the word "THAT (TAT) " indicates the Self evident, Self within which
is nothing but self in all, the supreme self. That thou art--- tat thvam asi
term Savituhu (Sun) indicate the One Substratum for all the delusory experiences
of plurality and their illusory play in the field of creation-sustenance-and -
adorable, (varenyam) means, " That which is courted by all" as It is
the nature of Infinite Bliss. Resplendent
(bhargaha) here is indicative of the knowledge, which will destroy avidya and
its associated rajas and tamas. The
Light (devasya) here suggests the ever-present Pure Consciousness illuminating
everything. The terms Sun (Savituhu) and light (Devasya) are used in constructive
meaning " Sun's Light" the consciousness of the self. The
term "Dheemahi" is the Vedic construction for "we meditate"
it is clear that the Gayatri-mantra indicates in its deeper meaning the invocation
of the supreme self, which is the sum, and substance of Vedas and Upanishads.
Therefore the name Veda Mata for Gayatri is justified.
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us look into the meaning of the VYAHRUTIES.
indicates the permanent. The all pervading One that exits at all period of time,
the self is invoked by this term. The
term Bhuwah suggests Pure Consciousness due to the etymology of the term: Bhuwah
comes from "imagines" (bhavayati) suggesting the awareness that illumines
our thoughts. Swah
in its import suggests one own essential reality. The
term Mahah directly suggests the "most glorious" or the "most wosshipful"
which is the Supreme self. Jana
derives from "creates" (janayati) suggests that which is the "One
Cause" for all names and forms, within and without. The
term Tapah means resplendent-splenderous full of brilliancy. The Self as Consciousness
alone the source of all light in the Universe. Satyam
is a state that is beyond the pale of sorrows and pain. Thus
the seven Vyahruties are described as the seven "Worlds" meaning the
field of experiencees
Therefore as we said earlier that Gayatri indicates the Infinite reality. The
self which is the pure Existence, which is the meaning indicated by the Vedic
mantra OM, signifying Brahman, Bhuh etc., all the seven worlds are also comprehended
in OM- meaning and Brahman alone is meant here.
above commentary about the Gayatri Mantra is by Adi Sankara and rediscovered by
Swami Chinnmayananda during his travels in Himalayas in the hands of a Brahmin
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Sanskrit text of Adi Sankara's commentary follows.
- asmakam Dheeyah - Buddhi Prachodayat- prerayet
Sarvabudhi samgnanthah karana
prkashakah sarva sakshi prethyagathma iti uccyathe
Thusya prachodayatu sabdanistasya
Swarupabhutam param brahma tat savitur ityati padayh nirdisyateh
Atra tat subdena prthyagbhutam swatah siddham param bramhma uccayathe
srustistitilayam lakshnasya sarvaprpanjasya dwaitabhavasya adistanam lakshyate
"varenyamiti" sarvaraneyam niradhshayaandarupam
"devasya iti" sarvathyadhothanathmakaakandachitekarasam
savitudevasya ityatra sastayarchi rahoha shirovatu oupacarikaha
sarva dhrisyasya sakshilakshanan
yanme swarupam thath sarvadhristanarupam
nirastasamasthanardharupam swaprkashachitatmakam brahma ityevam
dhimahe - dhiyayeth
evam sathi praytyagatmanaha brahmana saha thatahtmarupamekatvam
thayaa sarvathmakabrahmabhodakosyam gayatrimantraha sampatyate
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nityatvam uchyate - thatha hi sarvavyapi sarvakalikam
atmasvarupam anmatra uchyate
"bhuvha" iti sarva bhavayati prakshyati
vuthpatya chitrupatvam uchyate
"sawriti" srusti sarvaha
"maha iti" mahiyathe pujyata iti vyuthpathya
"jana iti" janyatheethe vyuthpatha sakalakaranatvam
"thapa iti" sarvatejorupam
satrupam thadhu Omkaravachasya brhamayva bhurathayaha
Omkaravachyabrahmatkaaha na thatrayatirikta kichidhasthi
Iti vyahruthayospi sarvathmabrahmabhodhikaha
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us look at the mantra words from another Upanishad :
I praise that Supreme Truth which is Knowledge Absolute, which is to be known
through the Vidya of the Tripura-Tapini-Upanishad.
The Lord assumed
the form of destructive ferociousness and then He covered
Himself all over
the three worlds, Bhuh, Bhuvah and Svah. Then He had that
power of the Adi-Sakti,
i.e., the Adi-Sakti burst out from His heart. This is
The Sakti called the
Maya of Siva and She is understood by the fundamental
syllable 'Hrim'. This
Sakti then covered the whole universe. Since She
Covered the three worlds
or Tripuras, She has been styled as 'Tripura'.
This Tripura Sakti has the following Vidya called Sri Vidya, which can be
Derived from the following Vedic Mantras:
TATSAVITURVARENYAM BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI | DHIYO YO NAH
| PARO RAJASE SÀVADOM |
JÀTAVEDASE SUNAVÀMA SOMAMARÀTÃYATO
NIDAHÀTI VEDAÞ |
SANAÞ PARÙADATI DURGÀÕI
VI÷VÀ NÀVEVA SINDHUÜ DURITÀTYAGNIÞ ||
TRYAÜBAKAM YAJÀMAHE SUGANDHIM PUSTIIVARDHANAM |
BANDHANÀTHMIRTYORMUKTIYA MÀMRITÀT ||
Vidya consisting of one hundred letters is the Supreme Vidya in its entirety.
This is Paramesvari, Tripura Herself. Out of the above Mantras, the first four
stanzas deal with the exposition of the glory of the Para-Brahman. The second
set of stanzas deals with the Mahima of Sakti. The third set deals with the glory
of Siva Himself. In this Vidya, all the worlds, all the Vedas, all the Sastras,
all the Puranas and all the Dharmas have been dealt with and this is the Effulgence
that has come out of the combination of Siva and Sakti.
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we shall comment on the most important and the hidden meanings of these verses.
the great word 'Tat' means Para-Brahman Itself, the Eternity. This is the
symbol used for that Lord who is beyond all definitions and arguments. This Lord
is the embodiment of Supreme Knowledge itself. That is, He wishes to be in the
form of Knowledge Absolute. He alone is the great Lord Siva who is always desired
by sages, Yogins, etc., in Yajnas. Therefore there is the creation of desire.
Thus, this Lord who is beyond the reach of all desires, still desires and is being
desired. He creates the alphabetical list of language. Therefore, the Lord is
called 'Kama' or desire. The letter representing Kama is called 'Ka'. Therefore
the word 'Tat' represents the letter 'Ka'. This is the meaning of the word 'Tat'.
'Savituh' comes from the Sanskrit root-word 'Sunj Praniprasave', which
means the Generator or producer of all beings. He is the great Power. Power means
Sakti. This great Sakti or Devi called Tripura, is embodied in the Mahakundali
(Yantra). Thus, the fire-globe (of the sun,Savituh) should be known by the intelligent.
This Sakti or power of Trikona (triangular figure) bears out the letter called
'E'. Therefore we should learn the word 'E' from the word 'Savituh'.
means that which is fit to be adored and worshipped, which is the imperishable
and the praiseworthy. Therefore, it should be understood that the letter 'E' should
be taken from the word 'Varenyam'. 'Bhargo' and 'Dhimahi' will be
now commented upon. The letter 'Dha' means Dharana or concentration. The Lord
is always concentrated upon by the 'Dhi' or the intellect or Buddhi. 'Bharga'
is the Lord Himself who can be understood only by reaching the fourth stage or
Avastha and this is the Being that pervades all and all. The letter representing
this fourth stage is called 'I' and this is the real meaning of the above-mentioned
words of the Mantra. We shall now talk of the word 'Mahi'. 'Mahi' means
greatness, idleness, strength, stubbornness, and this applies to that element
which possesses all these qualities. That is the earth which is represented by
the letter 'La'. This is the Supreme state. Thus, this Lakara shows the quality
of the earth in its being the embodiment of all oceans, forests, mountains and
the seven islands. Therefore the form of Devi called the earth, is termed 'Mahi'.
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about 'Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat'. Para or the Supreme is the Imperishable
Siva Himself, the Eternal Soul. The underlying meaning here is this: We should
meditate on the immobile form of Lakara or Jyotirlinga or Lord Siva which is the
most supreme thing that ever exists anywhere. Here, there is no desire for any
Dhyana whatsoever. It is beyond all Dhyanas. Therefore, we are requesting the
Lord to direct our minds to be established in that Nirvikalpa State where there
is no thinking at all. This request should not be made through the mouth. It should
be simply thought of in the mind. Then 'Paro Rajase Savadom'. After meditating
on the form of the Supreme Truth, there will come out a big effulgence, pure and
blissful, full of knowledge which is residing inside the heart. This is the essence
of all speech and Knowledge. This is the true Sakti. And this is called the Panchakshara,
since it is the creator of the Pancha Bhutas or the five elements. This should
be understood correctly by the intelligent.
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is the Vidya giving all desires to the devotee. Thus, after understanding in its
true aspect, this Vidya of thirtytwo letters, the devotee Should think of the
letter called 'Ha' which is the form of Siva, who is the Imperishable, pure State.
The letter derived out of the combination of the sun and the moon, that is, the
combination of Siva and Sakti is 'Ha' and it is also named as 'Hamsa'. This is
the seed of Kama. Through this Vidya, we can know the Supreme Lord Siva. This
combination is also understood as being the merging of the Jivatma in the Supreme
Paramatman. Thus 'Ha' means the Eternal Stage or the Final Emancipation. This
is the derivation of the Sri Vidya. One who knows this, attains the form of Rudra.
He bursts open the residence of Vishnu and reaches the Para-Brahman.
we can understand that the Tripura Tapini Upanishad directly points to the Para
Brahman, the Mantra words of the Gayatri.
see meaning of Pranava & Gayathri