This is in continuation of our earlier posting ‘Gayatri Mantra explained’. After OM and three vyahritis, the famous Gayatri mantra of 24 syllables is placed. It has three padas or lines. The first line of eight bijas is ‘tat-savitur-varenyam’. Tat means that, savitir means the Creator, varenyam means the supreme. The first pada means ‘That Supreme creator’. The second pada or line of 8 bijas is ‘bhargo-devasya-dhimahi’. Bargo means illuminating form, devasya means that belongs to the Brahman, dhimahi means meditate. The second pada means we meditate on the illuminating form that belongs to the Brahman. The third pada or line of 8 bijas is ‘dhiyo-yo-nah-prachodayat’. Dhiyo means the modifications of the mind, yo means that Brahman, nah means ours, prachodayat means inducing. The third line means modification of our mind is induced by that Brahman. As a whole this is the meaning of Gayatri mantra without vyahritis and pranava. “We meditate on that illuminating form of the Supreme Creator, who induces modifications in our mind (mental modifications).” It is to be understood that such mental modifications do not happen if our consciousness is in the same frequency as that of the Brahman.
Mental modifications happen only in the lower planes. Any mantra with gayatri meter will have 24 bijas and this meter is supposed to protect our gross body. The gross body is nourished by the vital force or prana and the first pada of Gayatri mantra represents this vital force. The second pada gives knowledge. Knowledge means, knowledge about the Brahman. This knowledge is gained through Vedas and Upanishads. In the olden days, a disciple is sent to a Guru for learning Vedas at a very young age. As first step towards learning Vedas, the disciple is initiated into Gayatri mantra. The third pada of this mantra refers to Turiya stage, a stage beyond the three stages of sleep, dream and deep sleep.
We have already discussed that knowledge about the Brahman can be realized only in this fourth state. In other words, self-realization can take place only in the state of turiya, the level of super-consciousness or un-consciousness level (frequency of the Brahman). Only when you move away from all types of your consciousness, the Supreme self-illuminating Brahman will be realized. When the mind gets detached from consciousness, unconsciousness level is reached. However, it is extremely difficult to dissociate the mind from consciousness. Gayatri mantra is often said to represent the sun. In fact this is true to a certain extent. Sun fits perfectly the description of the Brahman. Without sun the world cannot function. The energy itself is derived from the sun only. Sun is also self illuminating like the Brahman. The light of the sun alone illuminates other objects, or other objects are known only with the rays of the sun. Since all the qualities of the Brahman perfectly fit the sun, it is referred to as the creator. That is why the word ‘savitur’ in the first pada is said to mean the sun. But it should not be construed that Gayatri mantra is about sun. Sun is one of the creations of Shakthi and it is not the Brahman that we are discussing about.
The main qualities of the Brahman like illumination, creation etc happens only through the light of the sun and we realize that these acts happen because of suns’ energy. The internal self illumination that is several times powerful than the sun when realized within us is called the Brahman or self-realization. Therefore, Gayatri mantra is about the supreme Brahman that we are trying to realize. That is why the mantra itself uses the word ‘meditate’. Only through meditation, modifications of the mind can take place that can ultimately lead to un-conscious state of the mind where the self illuminating Brahman is realized. If Panchadasi mantra of Lalithambigai is recited once, it is equivalent to three recitations of Gayatri mantra. Each line of Panchadasi manta is equivalent to one recitation of Poorna Gyatri mantra. The Gayatri mantra has got several curses from various gods and sages. Before the commencement of recitation of Gayatri mantra, these curses are to be removed. The sage Vishvamitra himself has cursed this verse. There are three mantras that are to be recited three times before the commencement of reciting the mantra proper to remove all such curses. Unless these curses are removed, no one can attain siddhi in this maha mantra.