Gayatri Siddh Peeth
Shree Raam - Gayatri Dhaam
Kharesar Dhaam, Kanpur, UP, India

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Gayatri Mantra and Sandhyaa
By Sushma Gupta
[Taken from "US Brahmins" Group, Mar 5, 2011]

It is said that if for three generations people do not perform Gayatri Jap (Chanting) properly, even the so-called priestly class, will get downgraded. Even if somebody has to leave his home for work early and cannot perform it daily, he should do it 1008 times at least on Sundays and other holidays. "Sahastra Paramaa Devee shat madhyaa dashaavara", says the Taitteerya Aranyak of Yajur Ved. It means chanting Gayatri 1008 times gives the best result, chanting 108 times gives mediocre results while chanting ten times Gayatri gives the lowest results.

Tri-Kaal Sandhyaa Gayatri Jap

It is also said that one should chant Gayatri at three Sandhyaa periods - in early morning, noon and evening twilight . Chanting during these three Sandhyaa Kaal are stated to confer on us tranquility and peace. It is also said that whatever may be the emergency, at least 10 Gayatri should be chanted in these time periods. This should not be interpreted to mean that it is sufficient to chant only 10 Gayatri even when we have all the time for doing Gayatri Japam, rather we should always try to do maximum, if we can.

In the morning Gayatri is to be meditated as Brahm Roopinee riding on her swan Vaahan. So during this time, the attributes of Saraswatee predominate and influence the effect. Saradwatee grants wisdom to the aspirant. In midday she appears as Shiv Roopinee on her bull Vaahan. So during this time the attributes of Durgaa predominate and influence the effect. Durgaa removes distress of the aspirant. In the evening she appears as Vishnu Roopinee on her Garud Vaahan. During this time the attributes of Lakshmee predominate in her and influence the effect. Lakshmee grants wealth and prosperity to the aspirant. Again, Gayatri is also meditated as Savitri at noon and Saraswatee in the evening.

According to another explanation - it is said that even Time also has attributes or Gun - Sattwa, Raj and Tamo Gun. What do we mean by Time having Sattwa Gun? All these three attributes have 24 hours to go by in a day. Each of these three Gun takes up 8 hours by itself, Sattwa Gun has 8 hours, Rajas Gun has 8 hours and Tamas has 8 hours. What are these 8 hours of Saatwik time? When you designate the period from 4 am to 8 am the intervening 4 hours are Saatwik. In like manner, the time between 4 pm and 8 pm is also Saatwik. These two stretches of 4 hours apiece are Saatwik hours. The time from 8 am to 4 pm is Raajasik. It is during this time that all life forms keep doing whatever has to be done by them. Then we have the time from 8 pm to 4 am during the night. This is the Taamasik time. That it is indeed Taamasik we know from our experience. The chief quality that is associated with this time is sleep. Sleep is being equated to Taamasik in this analysis. It is during the Saatwik time viz., from 4 am and from 4 pm to 8 pm that we should undertake our sacred and noble duties - like chanting, meditating, worshipping etc.

This Gayatri Mantra has to be taken up for chanting at any time during the period of from 4 am to 8 am, and then at any time between 4 pm and 8 pm, it is absolutely necessary that you chant this Gayatri Mantra either in the early hours of the morning or in the evening hours. During the mid-day also it can be taken up for chanting, but for certain purposes.

When you look upon it as a Saadhanaa, it is only the morning and evening hours which are sacred for chanting. You should chant this Manthra at least three times in the morning hours and three times in the evening time.

When a Braahman boy undergoes Upanayan (investiture of sacred thread), his Aachaarya tells him to perform Sandhyaa Vandan and Gayatri Jaap thee times a day. In the morning 108 Gayatri are to be performed, 32 at noon and 64 in the evening.

They must not eat unclean food, go to unclean places and must atone for lapses in ritual observances and in maintaining ritual purity. Henceforth they must take every care to see that their body is kept chaste and fit for it to absorb Mantrik power. Even in times of misfortune the Gayatri must be muttered at least ten times at dawn, midday and dusk, because these are the hours of tranquility. One must take up the Gayatri Jap as Vrat (vow).

Gayatri Jap and "Arghya" (offering libation) are the two most important rites of Sandhyaa Vandan. The other parts of this rites are "Ang" (limbs). The least a sick or weak person must do us to offer Arghya and mutter the Gayatri ten times. "Oh only these two are important aren't they? So that's all we do, offer Arghya and mutter the Gayatri ten times a day."

If this be our attitude, in due course, we are likely to give up even these that are vital to Sandhyaa Vandan. A learned man remarked in jest about the people who perform Arghya and mutter Gayatri only ten times thus applying to themselves the rule meant for the weak and the unfortunate, "They will always remain weak and be victims of some calamity or other". Sandhyaa Vandan must be performed properly during right hours. During the Mahaabhaarat war, when water was not readily available, the warriors offered Arghya at the right time with dust as substitute. Arghya must be offered before sunrise, at noon, and at sunset.

Only by the intense repetition of Gayatri shall we be able to master all the Vaidik Mantra. This Jap of Gayatri and Arghya must be performed everyday without fail. Even if a man is very sick to do Sandhyaa Vandan, people must pour the water with which Sandhyaa Vandan has been performed into his mouth. Gayatri is essential to the self and its Jap must not be given up at any time. It is more essential to your inner being than medicine is to your body. Sandhyaa Vandan must be performed without fail everyday. Gayatri Jap can be done by all of us without much effort and without spending any money. All that you require is water. Sandhyaa Vandan is indeed an easy means to ensure your well being. So long as there is life in you, you must perform it.

Gayatri must be worshiped as a mother. The Lord appears in many forms to bestow his grace and compassion on his devotees Mother loves us more than anybody else. We know no fear before her and talk to her freely. Of all the forms in which Bhagavaan manifests himself that form in which he is revealed as mother is most liked by us. The Ved proclaim Gayatri to be such a mother.

This Mantra is to be repeated only by men. Women benefit from the men performing the Jap. Similarly when the three Varn practice Gayatri Jap all other people enjoy the benefit flowing from it. We may cease to perform a rite if the fruits yielded by it are enjoyed exclusively by us, but we should not do so if others are also benefited by it. Those entitled to Gayatri Mantra are to regard themselves as trustees who have to mutter it on behalf of others like women and the fourth Varn who are not entitled to it. If they fail in their duty of trustees, it means they are committing an irremediable offence.

The Mantra are numerous. Before we start chanting any of them, we say why we are doing so, mention the "fruit" that will yield. The benefit we derive from the Gayatri Mantra is the cleansing of the mind (Chitta Shuddhi) . Even other Mantras have this ultimate purpose, but Chitta Shuddhi is the direct result of Gayatri Jap. Even in these days it is not difficult to perform Sandhyaa Vandan both at dawn and dusk. Office goers and other workers may not be at home during midday. They may perform the Madhyahnikaa (the midday Vandanaa) 2 hours 24 minutes after sunrise that is called "Sangav Kaal".

We must never miss the daily Sandhyaa unless we find it absolutely impossible to perform. When we fall ill, in our helplessness we ask others for water, in the same way, we must ask our relative or friend to perform Sandhyaa on our behalf.

Gayatri is said to contain the efficacy and energy of all the Ved Mantra. In fact, they say that Gayatri gives strength to all Ved Mantra. If Gayatri is not chanted, other Mantra lose their strength. Gayatri is an invaluable aid to liberation. Gayatri Mantra is uttered while offering Arghya (devotional offering of water) to Sun God three times a day. In the morning Arghya is to be offered before sunrise, in mid-day when the Sun's position is exactly above one's head and in the evening before sunset.

Just as medicine is necessary for curing fever,  Gayatri is also essential medicine for curing disease of bondage for the Aatmaa. Gayatri should not be abandoned under any circumstance. This is more important than medicine.


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This site is created and maintained by  Sushma Gupta
Created on Oct 14, 2000 and Updated on Tuesday, August 27, 2013
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