The Gayatri mantra is one of the oldest of the divine hymns. It consists of fourteen syllables, each of which holds an important meaning.
Gayatri Mantra in English - "OM Bhur Bhuvah Suvah; Tat Savitur Varenyam; Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi; Dhiyo yo nah prachodhayat".
Gayatri Mantra in Sanskrit - "ओं भूर्भुव: स्व: तत्सवितुर्वरेन्यं । भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धीयो यो न: प्रचोदयात् ।।".
Gayatri Mantra in Tamil - "ஓம் பூர் புவஹ்ஸ்வஹ் தத் சவிதூர் வரேண்யம் பார்கோ தேவஸ்ய தீமஹி தியோ யோ நஹ் ப்ரசோதயாத்".
Meaning of the Mantra - "We meditate on the glory of the Creator who has created the universe, who is fit to be worshipped, who is the embodiment of knowledge and light, who is the remover of all sins and ignorance. May He enlighten our intellect!".
The Gayatri Mantra is the greatest prayer (mantra) which incorporates all the ideas of the OM-symbolism. It is a prayer to the Supreme infinite Divine Reality for the enlightenment of the intelligence (Dhi) of all human beings to enable them to realize the Supreme Truth. It is also known as the Saavitri-Mantra, since it addressed to the Divine Person in the Sun, (Savitaa) who is considered as the visible symbolic representation of the Supreme Divinity. For, He destroys darkness and promotes life, and He is also identified with the Inner Self of Man.
The Gayatri Mantra is the most universal, non-personal, holy prayer which can be used by any person belonging to any country, irrespective of race, religion, or gender. If one is a human being with intelligence - that is qualification enough for repeating this Prayer-mantra.
Gayatri Mantra with Sandhya Upaasanaa, to be chanted with faith and enthusiasm thrice a day at dawn, noon and dusk. This is called 'Trikala sandhya' because it is a mantra that purifies all the karma done by a person during the day i.e. Karmendriyas (Karma means action and Indriyas are the senses). You can chant it when having a bath, before eating food and so on. The Gayatri mantra can be repeated at any time by one who practices it regularly and with devotion. It is an important part of the Upanayanam(Hindu sacred thread ceremony).
Gayatri Japa is observed on the day after the Aavani Avittam (Upakarma) or Raksha Bandhan (July-August).
While chanting the Gayathri Mantra, every word should be clear as crystal. Don't mumble it or rush through it.
Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. Gayatri Mantra has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra.
Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra.
Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly. The pause should be as given below and with understanding that it represents the five pranas: