We will learn about the magic of the Gayatri Mantra and the importance of mantra in our practice, by learning a new one and enjoying the sensation that comes with singing.
What is a mantra?
‘Mantra is a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated by someone who is praying or meditating, : a word or phrase that is repeated often or that expresses someone’s basic beliefs.’
The Gayatri Mantra (Vedic prayer to illuminate the intellect) is the universal prayer in the Vedas (Book of Divine Knowledge), the most ancient scriptures of man. It is addressed to the Immanent and Transcendent Divine, which has been given the name ‘Savitha’, meaning ‘that from which all this is born.’ It is said to ‘protect you from harm wherever you are –traveling, working, or at home.’ As we know in sanskrit it is not just the meaning of the word that is of importance, but also the vibration that comes from the producing of sound when forming the word. Westerners have investigated the vibrations produced by this mantra and have found that when it is recited with the correct accent as in the Vedas, the atmosphere around becomes visibly illuminated. Brahmaprakasha, ‘the effulgence of the Divine, will descend on you and illumine your intellect and light your path when this mantra is chanted.’
Below is the Gayatri Mantra in sanskrit along with the meaning.
Also to repeat santhi three times at the end, for that mantra will give santhi/peace to three entities that are within you –body, mind, and soul.
‘Recite mantras to cleanse the Soul. Meditations to cleanse the Mind. Baths to cleanse the Body.’
‘Mantras are not small things. Mantras have power. They are the mind vibration in relationship to the Cosmos. The Science of Mantra is based on the knowledge that sound is a form of energy having structure, power, and a definite, predictable effect on the chakras and the human psyche.’
Along with our Mantra practice we will do go deeper into our pranayama practice warming up our lungs and diaphragm for chanting, then slowing moving into a nice gentle routine focused on strengthening our lower back to protect it in some of those bigger asanas, like bridge pose (Seta Bandhasana) activating our communication center and opening up our heart chakra.
I hope to have the opportunity to sing with you this week, and help brighten the light within you.