|Date:26 Jun 1981||Occasion:Upanayanam||Place:Prashanti Nilayam|
The Gaayathri manthra has in it the validity of the Vedas. It contains the essence of Vedic teachings. Each of the four Vedas has a core axiom (Mahaa Vaakya) enclosed in it: Thath Thwam Asi (That thou art), Prajnaanam Brahma (Consciousness is Brahma), Ayam Aathma Brahma (This Self is Brahma) and Aham Brahmaasmi (I am Brahman). When all these are synthesized, the Gaayathri emerges.
Gaayathri is all Gods in One: The triple stranded Yagnopaveetham (Sacrificial Strand of Thread) is to be worn by every one who is initiated into Gaayathri recital, for he has to perform the three sandhya rites when the sun rises and sets, as well as when the Sun is at the zenith. The rites are in adoration of the Trinity---Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva. The purpose of the rites is to invoke the Gods to bless the novitiate to lead a good life at all times (past, present and future), in all places (heaven, earth and nether region). The Gaayathri divinises the five elements; it represents the presiding deities of all the five. Gaayathri is worshipped as a Five-Faced Goddess---Om, being the first, Bhoor-bhuvahssuvah, the second, Thath Savithur Varenyam, the third, Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, the fourth, and Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayaath, the fifth face.
Through meditation on the Gaayathri, one can become aware of the inner motivating principle of the five elements, the five vital airs in the human body and the five sheaths, which encase the Aatma. Just as there are three basic energies that govern man---the physical, the metaphysical and the psychical, the Aadhi-bhowthik, the Aadhi-daivik and the Aadhi-aathmic, Gaayathri has three facets: Gaayathri, Saavithri and Saraswathi. Gaayathri fosters the metaphysical, Saavithri, the physical, and Saraswathi, the psychical. These three karanas or instruments have to be cleansed and sublimated so that man can realize the goal of life. Through the recital of Gaayathri manthra and meditation thereon, this great task can be achieved.