01. Gayatri

Sambandha-Abhidheya-Prayojana in Gäyatré

The chart bellow shows how these three aspects of Gauòéya Vaiñëava siddhänta are harmoniously presented and contained in different sections of the Gäyatri-mantras – Brahma, Guru, Gaura, Käma and the Gopäla-mantra:


For a mantra to be categorized as a Gäyatré-mantra it must have the words vidmahe, dhimahi, and pracodayat which represent the three concepts of sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana respectively. ‘The Sanskrit word vidmahe means to know, attain, understand, surrender to, or to realize. It refers to the first stage (sambandha) wherein one understands or acknowledges his original relationship with the Supreme Lord. In the Guru-Gäyatré, for example, vidmahe means to know or realize one’s relationship as the eternal servant of his spiritual master. In the Brahma-Gäyatré the word varenyam takes the place of vidmahe. Although Gopäla-mantra is not a Gäyatré, the concepts of sambandha, abhidheya, and prayojana are represented by the words Kåñëäya, Govindäya, and Gopijanavallabhäya, which manifest their unlimited mercy to sincere sädhakas as the Deities of Madan-mohana, Govindaji, and Gopinätha. ‘Abhidheya, the stage of serving and worshiping the Lord in order to attain Kåñëa-prema, is represented by the word dhémahi, which means to hold, obtain, meditate, to think over, or contemplate for the purpose of gaining knowledge. Dhémahi means, “Now I understand or have some knowledge about my eternal relationship with Kåñëa (Guru or Gaura), so let me surrender fully and meditate deeply upon

Him. By this meditation I will advance in bhakti and attain the perfect goal of Kåñëa-prema.’” In the Guru-Gäyatré, for example, the sädhaka meditates on his guru as Kåñëanandaya, which means “one who fills the Lord with bliss by his service.” ‘In the beginning stage of meditating on Guru-Gäyatré, a sädhaka may see that his guru is pleasing Kåñëa only by his outer service of preaching, writing, and spreading Kåñëa consciousness. Progressing in meditation, a surrendered sädhaka may realize a deeper meaning of his gurudeva as Kåñëänandäya. On the perfectional level one will see gurudeva in his manjaré-svarüpa pleasing Rädhä and Kåñëa during Their nikuïja-lélä:

nikuïja-yüno rati-keli-siddhyai yä yälibhir yuktir apekñaëéyä taträti-däkñyäd ati-vallabhasya vande guroù çré-caraëäravindam Prayojana (goal, result) is the third and final stage of Kåñëa-prema denoted by the word pracodayat, which means to enthuse, drive, inspire, impel, or force one to do the right thing. Because of the awakening of attraction, attachment, and love, a devotee is spontaneously and forcefully drawn to Kåñëa.

Brahma-Gäyatré and Çrémad-Bhägavatam

The Vedas state that originally the pranava oà-kara or Oà expanded into the Gäyatré-mantra. Then the Gäyatré-mantra expanded into the Catuù-çloké of the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, and these four verses expanded into the form of the full Çrémad-Bhägavatam…In the Sandarbhas,  Çréla Jéva Gosvämé explains how the Çrémad-Bhägavatam is an explanation of the Gäyatré-mantra, beginning from its first verse to its ending verses like 12.13.19 which both end with the phrase satyaà paraà dhémahi. The word dhémahi is plural which signifies that the Çrémad-Bhägavatam is meant for everyone. It is not limited like the Vedas that are only accessible to the dvijas. Vyäsadeva clearly defines the Brahma-Gäyatré in the opening verse of the Çrémad-Bhägavatam. Throughout the rest of the book Vyäsadeva reveals that Gäyatré is a meditation on Kåñëa, the Supreme Personality of Godhead and Çrématé Rädhika, His eternal consort. ‘Both the Gäyatré-mantra and the Çrémad-Bhägavatam, which is based on the Gäyatré, explain love of God as the highest principle of religion.

The Lotus Feet of Çrématé Rädhäräëé:

Ultimate meaning of the Brahma-Gäyatré

…The following explanation of the Brahma-Gäyatré perfectly summarizes all the conceptions presented thus far. Indeed, it is one of the most extraordinary elucidations ever given in the history of Gaudiya Vaiñëavism. Repeated study and meditation upon this entry will place one in the golden effulgence of Çré Rädhä’s divine lotus feet. ‘Bhür represents the sensual, physical world, Bhür-loka, where we are—the world of our experience. Bhuvaù represents the subtle mental sphere, the mental world of acceptance and rejection—”I like this, I don’t like that”. Svaù (Svargaloka) is the plane of intelligence where reason and discrimination dictate decisions. Hence, these three words of the Brahma-Gäyatré mantra represent the three planes of material existence: physical, mental, and intellectual. Bhür is the gross physical world of the body and senses; bhuvaù is the mental world; svaù is the intellectual world. Tat summarizes and reduces these three planes of experience to one entity “that.” The word tat means that, and it indicates that which is shown by the savitur, sun, or the individual soul. ‘Savitur means the sun or that which illuminates or reveals. The three planes of material existence are shown to us by the sun, but more precisely by The Lord. It is not actually the sun that enables us to see gross things; rather we see and perceive with the help of the Supersoul. The center of existence for an individual living entity is not the sun, but the Supersoul that illuminates the Universe and the body with consciousness and perception. For it is He who gives light to this world, and provides understanding of our enviroment. Without The Lord there is no perception. Although generally the word savitur means “sun,” it can only refer to the Supersoul, which like the sun shows us everything. ‘The word vareëyaà means worshipable, venerable, and it indicates the area of The Lord which is to be worshiped by the soul. For the Gaudiya Vaiñëavas this worshipable form of the Lord savitur- vareëyaà, who not only revealed the ultimate reality of Rädhä-Kåñëa and the service to Them, but also brought the most rare gift of pure love is Lord Gauranga, The Golden avatar. ‘In general, the word bhargo means light. Bhargo is svarüpa- çakti—a higher more powerful light that can reveal the soul it’s original position and service. Kåñëa’s svarüpa-çakti, personal internal energy, is a combination of His samvit-çakti, (cognition potency) and hlädiné- çakti, (bliss potency). ‘Bhargo can also be substituted with the world bhänu which means sun or “who shows us by light.” Rädhäräëé is also known as Våñabhanunandini, the daughter of King Våña “Bhänu” who, like Her father, was a devout worshiper of the sun god. Çrématé Rädhäräëé is the very essence of Kåñëa’s svarüpa-çakti. Just as rays of light extend from the sun, the whole internal potency is an extension of Mahäbhäva Çrématé Rädhika . She has developed Herself into such a beautiful area of brilliance, of internal energy, and thereby She serves Her beloved Lord. Therefore the word ‘bhargo’ indicates Her. ‘Who does this bhargo, svarüpa-çakti, or personal internal energy, belong to? It belongs to deva (devasya) which means “who is beautiful and playful.” The word devasya then signifies Çré Kåñëa, the personified perfection of beauty and pastimes combined. ‘The word dhémahi means “meditate.” Dhi is derived from the word buddhi, which means that which we cultivate with the help of our intelligence. But here, dhi points to that venerable intelligence which descends into this plane to help us cultivate devotional service. Therefore, dhémahi does not mean abstract meditation, but it indicates the loving service of Rädhä and Kåñëa in Vrndavana. ‘With thoughts like these and implicit faith in the spiritual efficacy of the Brahma-Gäyatré the worshiper should approach the Lord with this “prayer of prayers.” Only then will the heart be truly attuned to receive the divine wisdom. The blissful thoughts thus aroused will permeate through the heart and enable one to know The Lord and love Him. ‘In summary, the flute song of Çré Kåñëa, expressed as the Brahma- Gäyatré, is engaging us in the service of Våñabhanunandini, Çré Rädhä. The Gäyatré-mantra will incite us and inspire us to surrender to  Çrématé Rädhika, accept Her order, and engage in Her eternal loving service. In other words, the divine service of the lotus feet of Çrématé Rädhäräëé is the ultimate meaning of the Brahma-Gäyatré.

H.H.Mahänidhi Svämé

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