Should the Gayatri Mantra be chanted at dawn, dusk or mid-day? Which are the three Sandhyas or can it be chanted at any time?
Well, it’s good to chant any mantra. Not only the Gayatri, but any mantra at these three times because during the three Sandhyas, the naadis or the pathways through which the prana acts in the human body are in a very sensitive and impressionable state. So any mantra chanted during such a time, has a great influence on the Pranic energies.
But, that does not mean that Gayatri should not be or can’t be chanted at other times. I think you can chant them even during other times provided, as I said earlier, the place is clean, and you are clean.
Will the Gayatri Mantra be more effective if given by the Guru to the disciple?
Not only the Gayatri Mantra, any mantra becomes more effective, if given by the right Guru to the right disciple.
I’ll explain. By right Guru, I mean, a person who himself or herself has practiced the mantra and attained perfection in that mantra or has an experience of what comes out of chanting the particular mantra for a long period of time. If such a teacher gives the mantra to the right student–when I say the right student, I mean one who, with humility, wants to understand sincerely how to chant it–then it becomes more effective.
Not only that, when a Guru gives a mantra to a disciple–right guru to the right disciple–it’s not just the sound of the mantra that is given, but the energy of the teacher who has experienced the fulfillment of the mantra is also passed onto the disciple to some extent.
Moreover, it’s a universal mantra–what is night for us is day in some other part of the world. It’s only that at night we cannot see the sun. The sun has not gone anywhere, its right there.
Since the Gayatri Mantra is dedicated to the sun, is it proper to chant it at night-time?
It’s true that the Gayatri Mantra is dedicated to the sun, but there are two suns here. One–it is the physical sun that you see outside, which appears during the day and disappears during the night. So the mantra, when it is addressed to the sun, is chanted when it is visible to us.
Now, the visible sun is only a manifestation of the inner sun or the sun that is the spark of the divine, the Supreme Brahman that resides within us. That sun does not set either during the day or during the night. It stays, forever shining forth and illumining the human heart.
Therefore, since the mantra is addressed to both the suns, outer and inner, it can also be chanted at night.
Moreover, it’s a universal mantra–what is night for us is day in some other part of the world. It’s only that at night we cannot see the sun. The sun has not gone anywhere, its right there. It has moved to the other side of the earth–they have day and we have night and vice versa. So, you can chant the mantra at any time.