The Gayatri Mantra (ShantiMayi)
Gayatri is the most sacred of all mantras and the core of Vedic literature. Its greatness is seen from its appearance first in the Vedic and thereafter in the Puranic and Tantric literature. The Rishis and Sages living in the forests meditated on this mantra, and their chanting spread its vibrations throughout the cosmos.
Here we see the physical expression (personal form) of Gayatri.
According to sacred texts, Gayatri is Brahma, Gayatri is Vishnu, Gayatri is Shiva, Gayatri is Vedas.
Gayatri later came to be personified as a Goddess--the Veda Mata, the mother of all Vedas.
The Masters of yoga, from time immemorial, have initiated their disciples by whispering this mantra into their ears. It is also known as Gaya, which means to sing (i.e. he who sings gets salvation). It is also called Aghmarsham Mantra (that which washes away all sins).
Om bhur bhuvah svah
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yo nah pracodayat
Meaning of Mantra: Throughout the experience of life That essential nature illuminating existance is the adorable One. May all beings perceive through subtle and meditative intellect the brilliance of enlightened awareness.
Excerpts from ShantiMayi's book (Gayatri Mantra):
"No matter what time of day or night you may chant, there are others chanting the mantra too. Gayatri is an ancient vigil surrounding the planet. The Gayatri Mantra is one of the keynotes for the transformation of consciousness and is an identical vibration to the vital force in nature. The mantra is most effective when chanted in its original Sanskrit.
It is one of the oldest prayers known to humanity, its sentiment is as ancient as light. This prayer appeals to the highest wisdom, to the brilliance of the cosmos; to illumine an understanding of our true nature. The appeal requests that we become subtle and receptive to the divine wisdom that pervades the experience of life and is in essence, our true nature."
My Encounter with ShantiMayi:
Some years ago I was fortunate enough to get a personal email respose from ShantiMayi to a question I posed regarding the necessity for initiation before chanting Gayatri. Her delightful and unexpected response was simple and to the point, she simply said; "Begin my beloved". A few years later I went to see her when she visited my city. The hall was crowded but (once again) I was fortunate to find a seat close to the front. At one point our eyes met and I received a most incredible gift.
The instant her eyes met mine my heart burst with pure bliss. It was like a sparkler bursting into sparkles as soon as it's lit. It literally took my breath away and I sat motionless for what seemed like an eternity. To that point I could never have imagined such a blessing possible.
To chant the Gayatri purifies the chanter
To listen to Gayatri purifies the listener