There is a Zen story about a poor man walking through the woods reflecting upon his many troubles. He stopped to rest against a tree, a magical tree that would instantly grant the wishes of anyone who came in contact with it. He realised he was thirsty and wished for a drink. Instantly a cup of cool water was in his hand. Shocked, he looked at the water, he decided it was safe and drank it. He then realised he was hungry and wished he had something to eat. A meal appeared before him. “My wishes are being granted,” he thought in disbelief. “Well, then I wish for a beautiful home of my own,” he said out loud. The home appeared in the meadow before him. A huge smile crossed his face as he wished for servants to take care of the house. When they appeared he realised he had somehow been blessed with an incredible power and he wished for a beautiful, loving, intelligent woman to share his good fortune. “Wait a minute, this is ridiculous,” said the man to the woman. “I’m not this lucky. This can’t happen to me.” As he spoke…everything disappeared. He shook his head and said, “I knew it,” then walked away thinking about his many troubles. There is a great truth hidden behind this simple Zen story. Our mind is like this magical tree. “Whatever the mind conceives and believes, it achieves.” Since Vedic times, this universal truth has been understood by our rishis. Recitation of mantras is one of the tools for programming our unconscious minds. But alas, mantras are like the magical tree mentioned in the zen story narrated earlier. Mantras work for those who believe in their power. The Vedas, Upanishads and Samhitas are a rich source of powerful mantras. Out of these mantras, the Gayatri Mantra is known as the “Maha Mantra”. The Gayatri Mantra has been recited over the ages by Indian rishis and it has been accorded the pride of place among all Vedic Mantras. No lesser a Godhead than Sri Krishna says in the Holy Geeta ” Among Mantras I am Gayatri”
The Vedika form of the famous Gayatri mantra is: Om bhur-bhuvah-svah
tat savitur varenyam
bhargo devasya dhimahi
dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
This can be translated: Om. Let us contemplate the spirit of the divine of the earth, the atmosphere and heaven. May that direct our minds. Savitur is the Sun and this mantra is pronounced at the three junctions or twilight’s of the day.
The tantrik compilation Prapanchasaratantra, outlines pujas and meditations on Gayatri in great detail. Here is described how the mantra Om hums in the base or Muladhara chakra, and moves through seven stages to the chakra above the head. (Sahasrara). According to our rishis, Mahavishnu describes Om as consisting of the following. Bhuh is existence, Bhuva is the elements, Svah is the atma of everything, Maha is greatness and light, Tat is Brahman (the absolute), Tapah is all knowledge, Satyam is supremacy and internal wisdom. This tantra connects the three letters of Om (A+U+M) to the seven worlds. (See also Jnanasankalini Tantra).
Tat refers to the first cause of all substance, as fire in the circle of the sun and is supreme Brahman. Savitur is the source of all living beings. Varenyam is the excellent one who receives adoration. Bharga destroys sin, Devasya means it is full of light, while Dhimahi refers to knowledge being golden and always within the sun. Dhiyo means Buddhi, Yo stands for energy (tejas). The mantra is divided into three sections of eight letters and four sections of six letters. A dhyana (meditation) describes Gayatri as having three faces, which are white, red and black. ( morning, afternoon, evening, / visual, auditory, kinesthetic) Yet the tantrik tradition has newer views of the Gayatri. For example, in the Matrikabhedatantra, there is a couplet which says a person who knows the Brahman (the absolute), is a brahmin. In the tantrik tradition, each aspect of devata has her or his own form of the Gayatri and it is often pronounced at the junctions of the day, including midnight.
For example, Tripurasundari Gayatri runs: Tripurasundari vidmahe,
tanno klinne prachodayat.
This means: Let us contemplate Tripurasundari, let us think of Kameshvari, may that sweetness direct.
The Gandharva Tantra uses the 24 different syllables of this mantra in Sanskrit as a visualisation, starting from the base of the spine and moving to the top of the head. The other tantrik Gayatri is a mantra known as Ajapa. This is recited by every living being unconsciously several hundred times a day as she or he breathes. Half are sun breaths and half are moon breaths. It consists of the letters Ha and Sa.
In the morning, Gayatri takes the form of Brahma, In the afternoon of Vishnu and in the evening of Shiva. Thus the recital of the Gayatri Mantra as per the ZeNLP classification of Visuals, Auditories and Kinesthetics are as follows:
- Visuals – to recite in the afternoon followed by Chakra Meditation
- Auditories – to recite in the morning followed by Sound Vibration
- Kinesthetics – to recite in the evening followed by Dynamic Meditation This ZeNLP classification is on the basis of your unconscious mental map. First time readers may refer the October’1998 issue of Zenotes, where these mental maps have been elaborated in detail in the article titled ” What is your Unconscious Mental Map?” Thus, to derive maximum benefits from the recitation of Gayatri Mantra, it is imperative to discover your unconscious mental map and proceed with the recitation. The exact pronunciation of the Gayatri Mantra makes it necessary to begin this Holy recitation under expert guidance. During ZeNLP workshops, this expert guidance is provided, based on the participants unconscious mental map. God is the Life of life, the Light of the world, the Eternal Origin and Support of the creative cycle of the universe. The Sun is the metaphor of Divinity, being the generative support of life on Earth. Vedas are the poetry of God uttered in metalanguage, which is the sound correspondence of the Omniscience and infinite creative joy of Divinity, the power of Infinity, and the glory of Immortality. In the Vedas, Savitur is a symbol of the Divine. On the plane of Eternity, Savitur means God; on the physical plane, it means the Sun; on the psychic plane it means Intelligence; on the biological plane, it means Vitality. The Gayatri Mantra (Yajurveda, 36.3) is the essence of the Vedas. Gayatri indeed is a quintessential reflection of the blazing Omniscience of Divinity captured in 24 syllables. It is a homage to the Sun the Sublime; a symbol of the radiance of the Divine vibrating through the earth, heaven, and the intervening spaces, inspiring life with energy, intelligence and blessed joy. The splendour of Lord Savitur, the creator Sun, is like the galactic explosion of a thousand suns bursting forth on the horizon in the first morning of the Universe – the same as Lord Krishna revealed to Arjuna in the Bhagvad Gita. The Gayatri Mantra moves us to superconscious elevation of the soul with the impact of its beauty, wonder and bliss. It consecrates us into a mood of prayer to participate in the creative epiphany of the Universal Mother. It opens the floodgates of light and beatitude of peace and immortality to a world otherwise shaken by mortality and pain. A martial arts student went to his teacher and said earnestly, “I am devoted to studying your martial system. How long will it take me to master it.” The teacher’s reply was casual, “Ten years.” Impatiently, the student answered, “But I want to master it faster than that. I will work very hard. I will practice everyday, ten or more hours a day if I have to. How long will it take then?” The teacher thought for a moment, “20 years.”
Source: Shri. Murli Menon (President, phenoMenon consultants inc, is the bestselling author of “ZeNLP-the power to succeed” (Sage Publications’2004) and “ZeNLP-the power to relax” (New Dawn Press’2005)