Chapter Two Brahma Gayatri
Identity of Brahma-gayatri
Of the hymns in the Sama Veda, I am the Brhat-sama, and of poetry I am the Gayatri. Of months I am Margasirsa (November-December), and of seasons I am flower-bearing spring.” (BG 10.35)
Vedic literatures explain that that sound vibration which can elevate one from mental concoction is called Gayatri.” (TLC ch. 31)
The Gayatri mantra is also mentioned in first verse of the Srimad-Bhagavatam. Because the Gayatri mantra is especially meant for God realization, it represents the Supreme Lord. The Gayatri is considered to be the sound incarnation of brahman.” (BG 10.35 p.)
All dvijas and brahmanas irrespective of their sectarian denominations chant Brahma-gayatri. Vaisnavas, Advaitins, Dvaitins, Visistadvaitans, Saivites and so on all chant the Brahma-gayatri. Of course, they appreciate the meaning of the mantra differently in accordance with their respective tenets. The scriptures proclaim that Brahma-gayatri is the mother of the Vedas.
Ancient Vedic tradition prescribes chanting Brahma-gayatri as sandhya-vandanam, the proper daily ritual to worship the presiding Deities of the three time junctures. The Brahma-gayatri is called the surya-gayatri or the savitri-gayatri because it refers to Savitur, the sun-god, who controls the three planetary systems (bhur, bhuvah, svah). Although on one level the Brahma-gayatri refers to the sun which is the visible manifestation of Kåñëa’s divine power, it is actually a meditation on Kåñëa, the greatest savitur, the one and only master of the entire cosmic manifestation. Sri Jiva Gosvami and other Gaudiya acaryas have explained that Brahma-gayatri is a meditation on Visnu—the creator, maintainer, and destroyer of the universe, who resides as the worshipable Deity of the sun known as Surya-Narayana.
The Brahma-gayatri is a verse constituted of sounds. These sounds are non-different from the personality of Gayatri Devi, a consort of Lord Visnu. She is also called Laksmi, Sarasvati, Savitri, and Sandhya. The devotee meditating on the Brahma-gayatri is worshiping Gayatri Devi, and calling her from the sun planet into the heart. By this worship the sadhaka receives her mercy and help in approaching Lord Visnu.
Visnu is residing in the sun planet, and also in the heart as the object of meditation in the Gayatri mantra. The Brahma-gayatri removes lust and purifies the mind. Through the mercy of the Lord’s energy the sadhaka is able to penetrate ignorance and realize Visnu. The Brahma-gayatri denotes Visnu as the Supreme Lord, and the individual jivas as the eternal servants of the Lord.
The Brahma-gayatri is non-different from the Lord’s energy; it is the sound embodiment of His potency or sakti. The mantra is a meditation on the Supreme Lord in His functional aspect as the Lord of all energies, and as the creator, maintainer, and destroyer of the universe. The syllable “gaya” means to reveal, and “tri” means the essence of the three Vedas. Gayatri is that verse which reveals the Supreme Lord Visnu.” (HBV)
The sounds of the Brahma-gayatri are non-different from the personality of Gayatri-devi, the divine consort and energy of Lord Visnu. Gayatri-devi is also called Laksmi, Sarasvati, Sandhya, and Savitri. After purification by acamana and dhyana, the chanter calls Gayatri-devi from the sun planet into one’s heart through meditation on the Brahma-gayatri, which is a form of worshiping Gayatri-devi. With her mercy one can approach Visnu. The three daily sandhyas (juncture of night and day, midday, and day and night) are the time representations of Gayatri-devi. Therefore, Gayatri-devi is worshiped by chanting the Brahma-gayatri at these precise times.
Gayatri is so called because it sings (gayati) or illuminates the glories of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, and protects (trayate) the chanter by fixing his mind on the Lord. Although Gayatri Devi is usually referred to as the “mother of the Vedas,” In the Sri Radha-sahasra-nama stotra, Narada Muni says: gäyatré vedamätä ca—“Sri Radha is the Gayatri mantra and the mother of the Vedas.” (Narada-pancaratra)