I have been chanting the Gayatri mantra for the last few weeks.
Om Bhur Bhuvaha Swaha
Om Tatsavitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayat Om
It is quite long but well worth the time.
When I chant it, I get a feeling of universality and peace I’ve not experienced before in my mantra activities. A specialist in Eastern antiquities I met last week told me that it is a prayer to the Sun and that made sense to me. In another ‘find’, I came across a reference to this mantra in a rendition of a Vedic myth (about Varaha, incidentally), saying that it is a meditation on the ‘impersonal nature of existence’.
While chanting it today, it struck me that the Sun is indeed impersonal with its gifts. It doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done, when the Sun shines its light bathes us all. As Tess Durbyfield said in Thomas Hardy’s novel:
“….the sun do shine on the just and the unjust alike…”
As I understand it, this mantra is not just a form of worship but an object of worship in itself. I find this interesting in that it incorporates a sense of the multiple nature of being – the thing in itself and the fact of the existence of the thing. Things exist in their own right, and exist as objects in our conscious experience. Somehow, this mantra embodies that totality of being.
Light is not partial, not selective, not judgemental – it doesn’t choose who to bless with itself and who to punish by withholding itself. It just is what it is, the gift of life, for all.
Chanting Sanskrit mantras has opened a whole new world of experience for me and helped me in every area of my life. After more than two years of daily practice, I still can’t quite believe how lucky I am to have discovered them and to be alive at a time when communications technology makes so much available to so many. It’s all laid out for you…
Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha