The Gayatri Mantra Meaning and Lyrics
The Gayatri mantra meaning is not easy to interpret. It is because it is not a pure mantra, but a mantra AND a prayer combined. As such, there are numerous translations of the Gayatri mantra from the poetic Sanskrit language, leaving thus plenty of room for your own personal interpretation.
If you intend to chant the mantra, it’s important that you understand the actual Gayatri mantra meaning and the words behind the mantra. These words carry tremendous power when chanted correctly and with deepest intent.
If you were chanting the mantra incorrectly – that is with incorrect intonation, or mechanically chanting the Gayatri mantra without understanding the meaning of the words and feeling the emotional depthness of the prayer, you’d miss the most profound effects of this wonderful mantra on your personality.
Translation Of the Word “Gayatri”
A common way of interpreting the word Gayatri is deriving it from two words: GAYA, meaning “vital energies” and TRAYATE, meaning “preserves, protects, grants liberation”. So, the two words “Gayatri Mantra” might be translated as “a prayer of praise that awakens the vital energies and gives liberation and deliverance from ignorance”.
The Gayatri Mantra Meaning
Interpretation of the poetic Sanskrit language is not an easy task. All the classic Hindu texts, such as Hathapradipika, Goragsha Shatakam or Bhagavad Gita have numerous translations with varying quality, very much depending on the personal interpretation of the words. All these versions are based on subjective rather than objective factors, so please keep this in mind when coming across various translations.
There are two versions of the Gayatri Mantra. Both have profound effects on our mind and psyche, but they are slightly different.
1. The Gayatri Mantra Lyrics – Short Version
The shorter form is more common. In this case the Gayatri mantra lyrics and it’s meaning are as follows.
OM BUHR, BHUVA, SWAHA
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YONAHA PRACHODAYAT
“We meditate upon the Divine Light of that adorable Sun of Spiritual Consciousness, which stimulates our power of spiritual perception;
May It open our hearts and enlighten our Intellect.”
The English translation of the Gayatri mantra above comes from I. K. Taimni, a Professor of Chemistry at the Allahabad University in India, and an influential and well-regarded scholar in the fields of yoga and Indian philosophy .
2. The Gayatri Mantra Lyrics – Full Version
The longer version is far more profound, because it allows the energies of the mantra to purify you from grossest physical level to the highest, most refined aspect of you. The longer version of the Gayatri mantra lyrics are as follows:
OM BHUR, OM BHUVAHA, OM SWAHA, OM MAHAHA, OM JANAHA, OM TAPAHA, OM SATYAM
OM TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGO DEVASYA DHEEMAHI
DHIYO YONAHA PRACHODAYAT OM APO JYOTIH RASAMRITAN BRAHMA BHUR BHUVAS SUVAR OM
The Gayatri Mantra Translation – Word by Word
Here is a brief English translation of the Gayatri mantra and explanation of its meaning of word by word:
- Om. The Gayatri mantra chant always starts with OM. It is the initial sound of the universe, a metaphor for the cosmic energy (or the Supreme Being, whichever way you wish to interpret it). It is omnipresent – that is present everywhere in everything and everyone.
- Bhur Bhuva Swaha. They represent the physical realm – earth (Bhur), the subtle astral plane (Bhuva), and the higher, celestial plane, a mental world of thought (Swaha). Loosely said: we invoke in our meditation the One who is our creator and who is the abode of supreme Joy. It also means, we invoke the earthly, physical world, the world of our mind, and the world of our soul.
- Mahaha means emotions. Janaha is creative generation. Tapaha is intuition. Satyam is the absolute from which the true teachings come.
- Tat Savitur Varenyam. Tat denotes the essential essence, or the Supreme Being. Savitur means bright, luminous, inner power of spiritual light, which brings one to Self-realization with the brightness of the Sun; and Varenyam means finest, best, most desirable.
- Bhargo Devasya Deemahi. Bhargo meaning destroyer of obstacles. Devasya meaning divine, resplendent, shining. Dheemahi meaning “We meditate upon”.
- Deeyo Yo Naha, Prachodayaat. Deeyo meaning our understanding of reality, our intellect. Yo meaning He Who, and Naha meaning Our. Finally, Prachodayaat, meaning May He enlighten, direct, inspire, guide.
- Om Apo Jyotih Rasamirtan. I m part of Om, I bathe (Apo) in Om’s light (Jyotih), essence (Raso) of immortality (Amritam) and Brahma (highest power).
- Brahma Bhur Bhuvas Suvar Om. What I am (Bhur), what I sense (Bhuvas) and what I do (Suvar) are all part of Om.
These inspiring words arm you with your own unique inner wisdom of what the Gayatri mantra really means for you. Once you get the Gayatri mantra meaning “under your skin”, perhaps you may want to come up with write your own personal interpretation of this wonderful mantra.