Gayatri mantra

Published on Apr 04, 2014

“The gayatri mantra will excite us to be mindful about Srimati Radharani’s lotus feet, to obey her orders.”

“Radha-dasyam, the service of Srimati Radharani, is the ultimate meaning to be extracted from the gayatri mantra.”

The Mantra

om bhur bhuva sva tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo na pracodayat om

om – the seed mantra which contains everything within it; bhur – the physical world; bhuva – the mental world; sva – the intellectual world; tat – that, the three planes of experience; savituh – the soul; varenyam – worshipable, venerable; bhargo – the supersubjective area, the svarupa-sakti; devasya – who is beautiful and playful, Krsna, Reality the Beautiful; dhimahi – come meditate; dhiyah – of meditation, of service; yo – who; na – us; pracodayat – enthuses our capacity;


“Above the three planes of mundane experience, bhu, bhuvah, svah is the soul, savitur, who shows us everything just like the sun. Above the soul is the supersubjective plane which is varenyam, most venerated and worshipable. That worshipable plane of existence is called bhargo, brilliant and illuminating. The supersubjective area, bhargo, is the plane known as the svarupa-sakti which is the internal pleasure potency of deva, Krishna, Reality the Beautiful. That bhargo is His own divine potency Srimati Radharani. Let us meditate upon the lotus feet of Srimati Radharani, whose extended self and essential nature, mahabhava, is the svarupa-sakti, and who enthuses our capacity of devotional service. Let us surrender unto Her divine service.”


The meaning of the brahma gayatri must bring us to the conclusion of Srimad-Bhagavatam. The gayatri mantra and the Srimad-Bhagavatam are one and the same. It is the very gist of the Vedanta-sutra. Srimad-Bhagavatam is the elaborate commentary of gayatri:

artho ‘yam brahma-sutranam bharatartha-vinirnay
gayatri-bhasya-rupo ‘sau vedartha-parivrmhita

“The meaning of the Vedanta-sutra is present in Srimad-Bhagavatam. The full purport of the Mahabharata is also there. The commentary of the brahma-gayatri is also there and fully expanded with all Vedic knowledge.” (Garuda Purana )

The meaning of the gayatri mantra must be in the line of Srimad-Bhagavatam. If we analyze how this is possible, we shall uncover the steps leading the gayatri mantra, to the Srimad-Bhagavatam.

What is the meaning of gayatri ? The word gayatri is a combination of two Sanskrit words: ganat (what is sung) and trayate (gives deliverance). This means, “A kind of song by which we can get our salvation, relief, emancipation. Gayatri is known as veda-mata, the mother of the Veda. If we examine the Vedic conclusion from it’s most condensed aphorism to its most extensive expression, we shall find that it begins with omkara : the Vedic symbol OM. That truth is expressed as the gayatri mantra, then it appears in the form of the Vedas, and then as the Vedanta-sutra. Finally, the Vedic conclusion is given its fullest expression in the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Since the meaning, the purpose of Vedic knowledge progresses in this line, the gayatri mantra must contain within it the meaning of Srimad-Bhagavatam —that is, that the Krsna conception of Godhead is the highest. This must be the meaning of the gayatri mantra, but the problem is how to extract Srimad-Bhagavatam—–the Krsna conception—— from within the womb of gayatri. I heard that Jiva Goswami has given such an interpretation, but I could not find where it is written. I heard that he has given the meaning of gayatri leading to Krsna consciousness. Anyhow, the tendency awakened in me to draw the meaning to the Krsna conception.

The general meaning of gayatri is “that song which grants liberation.” Liberation must have some positive meaning. Liberation means not freedom from the negative side, but positive attainment. This is the definition given in Srimad-Bhagavatam : muktir hitvanyatha rupam svarupena— unless and until we attain the highest possible positive position, real mukti, real salvation, has not been effected. Mere withdrawal from the negative plane cannot be called liberation. Hegal has said that the object of our life is self-determination. We must determine our normal function in the organic whole—not mere emancipation in a positive function in the domain of service. This is considered to be the highest attainment of life. This is the real meaning of gayatri.

The word gayatri comes from two Sanskrit roots: ganat and trayate. Trayate means positive attainment to the final stage (sva-rupena vyavashitih ). And ganat means not mere sound, but musical sound. That musical sound which grants us the highest positive deliverance indicates the sankirtana of Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu and the flute song of Sri Krsna.

By Jadhavacarya Das