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Gayatri (Sanskrit: गायत्री, IAST: gāyatrī) is the feminine form of gāyatra, a Sanskrit word for a song or a hymn. It may refer to: In Hinduism, it is one mantra in particular, attributed to Vishwamitra, and a goddess as its personification, a representation of the Parabrahman The name of a Vedic poetic meter of 24 syllables (three lines of eight syllables each) Any hymn composed in this meter Gayatri Devi the GoddessPart of a series on Hinduism
Originally the personification of the mantra, the goddess Gāyatrī is considered the veda mata, the mother of all Vedas and the consort of the God Brahma and also the personification of the all-pervading Parabrahman, the ultimate unchanging reality that lies behind all phenomena. Gayatri Veda Mata is seen by many Hindus to be not just a Goddess, but a portrayal of Brahman himself, in the feminine form. Essentially, the Goddess is seen to combine all the phenomenal attributes of Brahman, including Past, Present and Future as well as the three realms of existence. Goddess Gāyatrī is also worshipped as the Hindu Trimurti combined as one. In Hindu mythology, there is only one creation who can withstand the brilliance of Aditya and that is Gāyatrī. Some also consider her to be the mother of all Gods and the culmination of Lakshmi, Parvati and Sarasvati.
Gāyatrī is typically portrayed as seated on a red lotus, signifying wealth. She appears in either of these forms: Having five heads with the ten eyes looking in the eight directions plus the earth and sky, and ten arms holding all the weapons of Vishnu, symbolizing all her reincarnations. Accompanied by a white swan, holding a book to portray knowledge in one hand and a cure in the other, as the goddess of Education.
The Gayatri Mantra is a highly revered mantra in Hinduism, second only to the mantra Om. It consists of the prefix :oṃ bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ ॐ भूर्भुवस्वः, a formula taken from the Yajurveda, and the verse 3.62.10 of the Rigveda (which is an example of the Gayatri mantra). Since all the other three Vedas contain much material rearranged from the Rig Veda, the Gayatri mantra is found in all the four Vedas. The deva invoked in this mantra is Savitr, and hence the mantra is also called Sāvitrī.
By many Hindus, the Gayatri is seen as a Divine awakening of the mind and soul, and within it a way to reach the most Supreme form of existence, and the way to Union with Brahman. Understanding, and purely loving the essence of the Gayatri Mantra is seen by many to be one, if not the most powerful ways to attain God.
See Sanskrit for details of pronunciation.
ॐ भूर्भुव: स्वः ।
Ralph T.H. Griffith (1896): (a, b) "May we attain that excellent glory of Savitr the God:" (c) "So may he stimulate our prayers."
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