The Supreme Significance of the Gayatri Mantra 2- Amritvani

July - Aug 2003

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(Translation of the original discourse in Hindi given on the last day of an anushthan camp at Gayatri Tapobhumi, Mathura in the 1960s; Original Title: "Gayatri Mahamantra Ki Mahatta." Continued from the Previous Issue)

Historic evidences show the greatness of the Gayatri Mantra. All the yogis and the rishis in India have taken the shelter of Gayatri sadhana since the vedic times. They were endowed with supramental powers and were the true winners of immortal glory on every front of life. When Alexander the Great came to conquer India; he had a curiosity to meet the spiritual masters of this land. On his way towards the northwest, he found a Himalayan yogi lying on the ground, blocking the march of his army. Alexander was unable to push this avadhuta (one who has shaken off himself from the worldly attachments and obligations) off the path and asked him to demand whatever he wanted.

The avadhuta calmly asked whether Alexander could shift sunrise (from the East) to the West? If not, the avadhuta continued, "Then don't disturb me; let me enjoy the sunlight from the East". My children, this was the inner strength, the divine courage induced by the Gayatri Mantra by which a mendicant saint could so easily put to shame the conqueror of the world. When the divine force of the Gayatri Mantra fills the heart (the emotional core) of a person it clears all shadows of darkness and illuminates the inner self with divine light. It transforms the personality completely.

What does that lead to? It is this transmutation, which metamorphosed the royal dancer Amrapali into a devoted disciple of Lord Buddha. When Amrapali went to Lord Buddha she prayed and asked whether an impure, debauched and depraved person like her could also get shelter under his divine grace and enlighten her life. The Buddha asked her to devotedly start the sadhana of a specific mantra. Amrapali, who was a luxury-intoxicated beauty queen of her age, a sex trader, followed the instruction with confidence and determination inspired by Gautam Buddha.

This purified her mind and emotions and transformed her into a great disciple of the Buddha. She donated all her wealth and belongings for altruist service through dhamma, renounced all worldly comforts and became a bhikshuni.

She spread the divine message of "Bhuddham Sharanam Gacchami, Sangham Sharanam Gacchami, Dhammam Sharanam Gacchami" amongst millions of people across the globe and was instrumental in uplifting their lives. My children! This is the grace of the divine force of the Gayatri Mantra that transforms an ordinary mortal being into a great, enlightened, angelic saint. The mantra enjoins us as to what should be our devotional sentiments, our prayers through the heart while performing the japa of this mantra.

It says - "Oh Almighty, Omni eminent, Omniscient, Omnipresent God! May Thy supreme radiance be embodied in our souls. May it inspire our intellect towards the enlightened, righteous path". Since the time, this cosmic mantra, the boon of Lord Brahma, was beatified in the Vedic Age, there awakened the dawn of the divine culture on this earth. Those who practiced its devotional japa, and adopted its inspirations in life received immense peace, blissful contentment, moral dignity, selfless love and amicable cooperation in every phase of life. Even today, every one including those deprived of everything, living in the filth of immorality, those shrouded by ignorance, infirmity or the challenges of circumstances rise gracefully out of the clutches of misery with the grace of the Gayatri Mantra.

Indeed many are doing so and marching towards noble and righteous living. Sure, there could be and will be a variation in the time and degree of manifestation of its marvellous effects depending upon our present level of consciousness, but the elevation begins right from the first day. Mantras can't instantly and magically grow trees on palms. However there is nothing illusive or unscientific about their effects; there should be no doubt whatever about this. The spiritual evolution induced by the Gayatri Mantra progresses gradually and steadily - but certainly, with the progress in sadhana. Many live examples of the past and present evince and illustrate this fact.

Madhavacharya was a saint living in Vrandavan. He performed the upasana of Gayatri for twelve years but lost patience thereafter, as he did not get the desired divine benefits. He was quite distressed at that time. He left the sadhana of the Gayatri Mantra and began worshiping Bhairav on the advice of a tantrika. In less than a year’s time he succeeded in the sadhana of Bhairav. The celestial body of Bhairav appeared but stood at his back and asked him to demand what he wanted to be blessed with. Madhavacharya said; "If you are the real Bhairav, please appear before my eyes".

Bhairav said : "I can’t appear in front of you, because the brilliance of Gayatri- Shakti infused in you will burn me". The devotee was surprised and inquired that if Gayatri sadhana was so powerful, why couldn’t he get the desired benefits for such a long time? Then Bhairav explained to him how his Gayatri sadhana up till then had destroyed his sins and burnt out the evils accumulated during his past lives and that it was only after this purification that he would have deserved realization and attainment of the divine boons of the mantra. Now there was no doubt left in Madhava's mind. He restarted the sadhana of the Gayatri Mantra and was soon blessed with divine boons. With the awakening of inner intelligence and acumen, he wrote the "Madhav Nidan", which remains till date, a crucial treatise for the education and expert practice of the Ayurvedic System of Medicine.

The effects of the Gayatri sadhana are indeed miraculous. Once the Indian emperor Akbar called his prime minister Mansingh and told him to look for some extraordinary means to protect the construction of his fort in Prayag, which, despite the best of efforts and all precautionary measures, had mysteriously collapsed eighteen times in the initial stages of construction. Mansingh also was puzzled about this mishap. He went to Prayag and stayed there with bleak the hope of getting some clue from somewhere. One day when he was strolling in the forests by the banks of the holy Ganga, he saw a saintly yogi engrossed in meditation.

Suddenly he noticed a boa around the yogi which was trying to entrap the latter into its fold and gulp him. Amazingly, the dragon-folds of the boa were not able to tighten around the yogi, nor his poisonous breath able to have any effect. He stood stunned for a few minutes. Meanwhile, the yogi opened his eyes and effortlessly threw off the python by the power of his yoga. Mansingh could not believe his own eyes; he had vividly and concretely witnessed the supernatural strength of spirituality. His head was on the feet of the seer. This saint was known as Devmurari Baba. Mansingh narrated the mysterious riddle of the fort before the Baba. He said: "We don't know what kind of a curse it is that the construction of the fort has been ruined eighteen times". The yogi went into deep meditation for some time and then kept a dry flower (manjari) of basil on Mansingh's hand.

He said "Put this beneath the foundation of the fort then there will be no problem". Devmurari Baba was a siddha sadhaka of Gayatri and was renowned and revered for his supramental powers. He used to give a manjari, empowered by his spiritual energy, to everyone who would come to him seeking some help. That used to have miraculous effects. The manjari given to Mansingh also proved the invisible, indefinable, omnipotence of the Gayatri Mantra by providing stout foundation and support to the mighty fort. Friends! The power of mantra is indeed real and immense. That of the Gayatri Mantra is indeed supreme, astonishing and infinite.

The sublime force generated by its japa sadhana can vibrate in the subtle as well as the external world. Nothing remains unattained or unaccomplished after the beatitude of its divine powers. Its immediate benefit of purification and enlightenment of the intellect is the key to spiritual refinement and evolution of personality. Its sadhana can transform an ordinary man or woman into a great saint, yogi or rishi, having angelic potentials. I invite you here and guide you to perform the Anushthana (sadhana) of the Gayatri Mantra so that the untoward tendencies and vices assimilated during your past lives can be erased and you begin to rise towards the sunlit path.

Cleansing of your inner cores is essential so that the new, virtuous tendencies can be cultivated there. You should adopt the japa - sadhadna of Gayatri Mantra as an integral part of your daily life. It is the mantra for the welfare of every being. You should also inspire your friends, acquaintances and family members to perform the japa of this universal mantra and spread this light to the people in your neighbourhood, colony, city and so on. Its collective sadhana can arouse collective consciousness and bestow all-round happiness and progress in the world together with the spiritual upliftment of mankind. The Puranas describe so many instances of global well being through such efforts. It was rare in the ancient times that the Indian land suffered a calamitous famine.

It happened once due to a near total drought across the country. All the ponds and wells dried up. Cattle, birds and even humans began to die of starvation. Panicked savants went to Rishi Gautam for support and relief. Rishi Gautam was a great, accomplished sadhaka of Gayatri those days. He was moved after hearing the agony of the masses; he gave them the akshaya patra (a celestial pot that offers food and water without any limit and is never emptied), which was a boon the divine force of Gayatri had blessed him with. Yes, the siddhas of Gayatri Mantra do have such miraculous powers, but they use them judiciously and only for deserving cases. Don’t be under the delusive impression that, doing the japa, austhana, havan, etc under my guidance during your stay here will magically endow you with extraordinary powers. Nothing can be achieved without developing the necessary abilities and eligibility. It is all the more essential for the invaluable attainment of divine blessings.

Spiritual development can’t begin without purifying the body, the mind, the sentiments, and adopting a moral conduct. The gamut of ascetic disciplines, penance and yoga sadhanas, etc, were devised and practiced by the rishis for this noble purpose. They had accomplished absolute self-refinement and moral elevation through Gayatri Sadhana. They had conquered the ego and desires. They wanted instead to serve for the welfare of all beings. A seed cannot germinate and grow into a fructifying tree without dissolving itself in the soil and water; it is only after breaking and softening that it can absorb the fertilizing substances. Blossoming of divine realization also is not possible without the immersion of the identity of the individual self in the cosmic self.

How could our personality sparkle unless we remove the mist of vices, blemishes and smog of ignorance? The kinds of sadhana courses you are to undergo here from time to time are meant to help you in this essential process of self-refinement. You all know that no crop could grow on barren land; ploughing it is a sheer wastage of effort. The same is true of heartless practice of devotion. If your mind and heart are filled with ego, selfish attachments, jealousy, hatred and similar filth, where and how will the serene sentiments of devotion find place? How would you attain the nectar of devotion of the Gayatri Mantra without paving the way for its descent? The guru, the noble spiritual master, alone can diagnose the inner ailments and help in the cleansing, curing and refinement of the disciple’s life.

Guru means the source of light. There can be no darkness once the light is switched on. You know how Virjanand had elevated his deserving disciple Dayanand, Samarth Guru Ramdas had empowered Shivaji, Ramkrishana had beatified Vivekanand with such remarkable siddhis. My guru had eliminated the darkness within me and enlightened me with the grace of Gayatri Mantra. What riddhis and siddhis I was blessed by its sadhana are all evident before you. I also want to annihilate all darkness from your lives, want to illuminate your inner selves by divine light.

You empty your accumulated vices and weaknesses here and make place to take in something worthy from here, which will make you a better, a stronger person. I am giving you a warm farewell with something of that kind, with a wish that you learn to live for divine values also. Don't live only for bodily comforts and selfish joys; learn to lift yourself above this ordinary level of life. Your awakening, your nobility will gladden me. It will also please God. Don't worry about your personal problems and the pains that you have narrated before me. I will take care to remove your adversities and worries. Go with full confidence and courage. May God bless you in your efforts towards self-improvement and support the progress of your sadhana. || Om Shanti ||

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