When I was in India, my teacher Vishva ji chanted the Gayatri mantra, and other mantras, every morning at puja, which is a beautiful fire purification practice. Vishva encouraged us to chant this particular mantra 108 times at least once every day.
I started this as a practice, using my sandalwood mala beads I purchased for $2.00 from one of the hundreds of vendors in Rishikesh to keep track. I immediately began to love this ritual and noticed how it shifted my perspective in the morning, helped me take more space and I noticed more and more flow in my life.
The Gayatri mantra is one of the most well known and beloved mantras from the East Indian traditions. It is also one of the first mantras I ever encountered, over 10 years ago.
In traditional practice the Gayatri Mantra is addressed to the divine life-giver, ‘Savitur’ (the sun), who represents the source and inspiration of the universe. Most often recited at sunrise and sunset, it is believed by practitioners that reciting the mantra bestows wisdom and enlightenment.
Oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ ॐ भूर्भुवः॒ स्वः ।
tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ तत्स॑वितुर्वरे॑ण्यं ।
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi भ॒र्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑ धीमहि। ।
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त्॥ ।
we pray that the brilliant light of the sun cleanse imperfections, enhance our virtues and focus our intellect on the Divine-righteous path to unfold spiritual potentiality and enlightenment.
One morning, a month after my return from my first trip to India, I started to hear melodies to accompany the age-old sanskrit syllables. The result was this version of the Gayatri mantra which I recorded in India in 2009:
You can purchase the song from my album SOUNDevotion here: http://www.sparrowgrace.com/musicstore/
A couple other beloved versions of the mantras are
by Tina Malia
and by Deva Premal
Enjoy this gorgeous timeless mantra!