Today’s topic is the Gayatri Mantra. I am sure most of you would have heard of the Gayatri Mantra. It is the most important mantra from the Rig Veda; so much so that the particular meter in which the mantra is chanted is known as the Gayatri meter. You will find it in the Rig Veda and the Brahma Rishi to whom the mantra was revealed is none other than the great Vishwamitra.
The first line of the mantra goes like this:
Om bhur bhuvah svah
Om as you know is the pranava, it’s that which gives life to the mantra, that which gives prana–pranava. The meaning of Om–actually there are many meanings for Om–apart from the effect of its sound on one’s own system and also on the world that surrounds us is as follows.
Om is made of the syllables ‘aa‘,’oo‘ and ‘im‘, ‘m‘.
‘Aa‘ stands for creation because it is the simplest word that even a child can pronounce, it’s the simplest sound. ‘aa‘–it’s the beginning of creation or ‘Brahma’. ‘Oo’ is the middle sound, coming from the middle of the tongue, which represents the preservation of that which is created, ‘Vishnu’.
And, ‘im‘, the ‘m‘, the end sound, represents Maheshwara, the destroyer. I would say the regenerator instead of destroyer because you cannot make anything new until the old is gone. ‘M‘ also represents destruction because when you chant ‘m’ in Om, the mouth is closed. If you have to make a new sound, you have to start once again.