Oṃ bhur bhuvaḥ swaha
Tat savitur vareṇyaṃ
Bhargo devasya dhimahi
Dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayat
Rig Veda (Mandala 3.62.10)
In India, the Gayatri mantra is considered as one of the most sacred. In the Vedas, this mantra is dedicated to the Sun God, representing the source of all vital energy.
origin of the sacred mantra
It is called “Gayatri” mantra, because the goddess Gayatri (also known as Sarasvati, wife of Brahma), is also qualified as the Mother of the Vedas – Rig, Yajur, Saama and Atharva. Basically, the word “Gayatri” originates from the Sanskrit sentence “Gayantam Triyate iti”, a mantra that protects believers from any delicate situation that may cause their loss.It is also noted that the Gayatri mantra is composed of 3 main verses, each containing 8 syllables. The mantra is thus based on a meter comprising 24 syllables in total, and this meter in particular (tripadhi) is called the Gayatri Meter.
Mantra and significance
Om and the Vyahriti
The mantra is first preceded by the formula “Om bhur bhuvah swaha”. This sentence could be translated as: “O Supreme Energy, whether by your presence on Earth (the body), in the Atmosphere (the spirit) or in the Hereafter (the soul) …”
This clinging formula is thus composed of the “Om”, called the “pranava mantra”, that is to say the supreme mantra or the vital vibration, because the “Prana” in Hinduism is the vital energy, that possesses every living being. When a person dies, it is said that the “Prana” has left.
Then the formula “bhur bhuvah swaha”, is composed of three “Vyahriti”, which symbolize the three main worlds (lokas) or essences (sukras, rasas), articulated around us. Several interpretations exist, but it will be remembered that these three vyahriti are the essence of the Vedas: bhur comes from Rig-Veda, bhuvah from Yajur-Veda, and Swaha from Saama-Veda.
As a whole, this mantra is an invocation to the Pure Consciousness of the Self in order to reach full bliss in our heart.
The rest of the text could be translated as follows:
Tat savitur vareṇyaṃ
You, who enlighten us with your Light, we adore you,
bhargo devasya dhimahi
Grant us the strength to protect us from evil by your Divine Grace
dhiyo yo naḥ prachodayat
Who can guide us on the path of wisdom?