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Sri Sathya Sai Service Organisation                  

 

                                         Sai Baba Centre Leicester Central                                                         

 

Centre Activities - Spiritual & Bhajan Activities

          

Ahimsa
Sathya
Dharma
Shanti
Prema

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

THE GAAYATHRI               

 

It has been said that the body is the basis and vehicle for the pursuit of Dharma (right conduct)-and it is by the pursuit of right conduct that Brahman or divine is realised. The Geetha declares that whenever Dharma declines, the advent of an Avathaar (Divine incarnation) occurs. This implies that the object of human existence is to uphold Dharma. As creation is a projection of that Divine Will, the aim of every human being should be to live in harmony with that Will. One's life should be dedicated not to promoting one's selfish interest or to serves the interest of other beings but in the service of the Divine. Whatever is done to anyone, if it is done as an offering to the Divine. Man should consecrate every action by regarding it as an offering to the Divine,

The Second Birth

 

From the moment of physical birth, one is involved in action. This natural state common to all may be described as suudhrathwam (a state in which one is not subject to any discipline). After one receives the Gaayathri initiation, he is born again (he becomes a Dwija, the twice born).

The Gaayathri is described as the mother of all the vedhas. One meaning of gaaayathri is that it is a manthra (sacred formula) which protects or fosters the gayas or jeevis (individualised souls).

 

The Universal Prayer

 

The Gaayathri is a universal prayer -which can be used by men and women of all climes and creeds, for it calls on the supreme intelligence that is immanent in the universe, to arouse, awaken and strengthen human intelligence, so that it may lead one through intense saadhana (spiritual discipline) to success. It does not ask for mercy or pardon, but asks for a clear Buddhi (Intellect), so that the Truth may be reflected therein without distortion.

Buddhic illumination is needed in the field of saadhana when we embark upon the adventure of self-realisation. The light on the Path must come from within. Such a light which is the result of a healthy functioning of the Buddhic faculty can come from within only when the mind is purified by righteous living and yogic discipline.

This light which is essentially of the nature of spiritual perception.

A) enables the aspirant to enter the spiritual path;

B) guides him through the different stages of the long and difficult journey; and


C) protects him against temptations of all kinds and enables him to discover his reality.

The Reality

The reality which underlines everything in the Universe, and which we call God, manifests as the inanimate world and also in the form of innumerable souls (Jeevvaathmas), which are but sparks of the Divine Consciousness (i.e. of God himself).

Thus the essential Reality of the individual is the Atma or Jeevaathma (the individualised soul) which is imperishable and does not die like the body and the mind. The Atma is the real Self, the Soul encased in the five koshas (sheaths) which constitue the physical body of the individual. These five sheaths must be made pure and shining to reveal the splendour of the Atma.

These five sheaths are:

(1)  The outermost sheath, the Annamaya Kosha (food sheath), the material sheath in which one is housed, sustained and fed and is composed of food. This must be purified by good, clean, pure food.

(2) The second sheath is Praanmaya kosha (the vital air

sheath) composed of vitality and vital airs which

must be purified by calm, steady breathing and equanimous temper.

(3) The third sheath is the Manomaya kosha (mind sheath) composed of thoughts. This must be purified by holy thoughts and emotions, and should be untouched by attachment to senses and unaffected by joy and grief.

(4) The fourth sheath is the Vijnaanamaya kosha (the intelligences sheath ) purified by contemplation of the Reality.

(5)  Lastly, the Aanandhmaya kosha (sheath of inner Bliss) is purified by getting into the ecstasy of God realisation.

The encase Atma of each individual (the Jeevaathma struggles to realise its true nature through a long course of evolution, over a series of many lives. When this evolution reaches its consummation, each individual soul realises that he is Divine, Eternal and one with the underlying reality of the Universe (the Paramaathmd).


The Journey of Self Realisation

 

The body of each individual may be compared to a chariot in which is seated the self, its master. The buddhi (intellect) is the Charioteer and the mind its reins. The senses are the horses and their objects are the road along which the chariot moves. The chariot serves the purpose of taking the Master to his destination. A well developed buddhi (intellect), like an able charioteer, controls the senses and the body, and the indwelling Self or the Master reaches his destination- which is the supreme state of Godhead.

The Gaayathri trains and develops the buddhi, the charioteer, to guide the jeevi in its journey. Thus to realise his true nature, each person has to embark on his or her journey of saadhana (spiritual practise) sided by an enlightened intellect.

To put it in another way:

To discover the rice one has to dehusk the paddy, similarly one has to dehusk the delusion, to discover the soul or Atman which is the supreme reality hiding inside the five sheaths of the human personality. An enlightened intellect or buddhi is necessary for this dehusking process.

The above statement could be better understood if we consider the mind as having different levels of expression.

Mind when engaged in good and bad thoughts is known as MANAS. When expressing will power it is known as CHITTHA

 In the ego sense it is known as AHAMKAAR (which literally means(‘I am the doer.')

When it exercises discrimination it is known as BUDDHI (intelligence). Daily repetition of the Gaayathri will develop the buddhi and confer the wisdom, discrimination and detachment necessary to realise one's true Reality.

 

The text of the Manthra is given in Sanskrit below:

AUM

BHUUH BHUVAH SUVAHA

THATA SAVITUR VARENYAM

BHARGO DHEVASYA DHEEMAHI

DHIO YO NAH PRACHODHAYAATH

 

 

Bhagwan Baba tells us that the first nine words of the manthra contain a nine-fold description of the Ultimate Reality, as follows:

(1)  AUM: The symbol of Brahman.

(2)  BHUUH:  The earth, the gross, the physical plane of existence.

(3)  BHUVAH:  The atmosphere, the ether, the subtle, the astral plane.

(4)  SUVAHA:  Heaven, the causal, the celestial plane.

(5)  THATH stands for that. The ultimate reality is simply

referred to as that because it defies description through language.

(6) SAVITUR stands divine saavithri equated with the vivifying power contained within the Sun.

(7) VARENYAM most excellent

(8)  BHARGO radiance, effulgence, illumination

(9) DHEVASYA divine radiance or grace.

 

 

The remaining line constitutes s the prayer:

 

DHEEMAHI    we contemplate or meditate upon

DHIYO         the intellect

YO           who

NAH          our

PRACHODHAYAT Requesting, urging, praying.

 

Bhagwan has put this manthra in simple words and his additional comment is that the prayer is directed to the Divine Mother:" 0 Divine Mother , our hearts are filled with darkness. Please make this darkness distant from us and promote illumination within us."

 

Other interpretation of the Gaayathri are given below

 

"May the Supreme Light that illumines the three worlds,

illumine our intellect also fully, and direct the rays of our

intelligence to the path of virtue."

 

"We meditate upon the Divine Light of that adorable Sun of

spiritual Consciousness. May it illumine our intellect just a

splendorous sunlight dispels our 4m'lwp»»s/'

 

"Earth, sky, heaven. Let us meditate on these and on the most

excellent Light of that adorable Sun. we pray that they may

guide our intellect."