Guess How Many Benefits The Gayatri Mantra Brings?

Thirty-Three!  And I am not making it up as you can see below. If I followed James' excellent writing advise and removed the last paragraph I could have used it for one of my 32 unusual series. Then again, his rules also include removing the first paragraph. Man!

Fascinated by the Indian bookstores last month in Mysore, I found this one (right) while browsing the shelf of Sapna.

All teachers on the lineage of Krishnamacharya (grand-father of all of our current yogas) devote pages and praises to the Gayatri Mantra.

For example:  Sirvatsa Ramaswami includes the chant as part of the pranayama practice ritual. Pattabhi Jois  (as Sharath told us candidly in conference) would sing it one hundred and eight times a day.  B.K.S. Iyengar recommends it for japa, or mantra singing, to help with concentration.

Within the tiny book itself I was delighted to find that  that Swami Sivananda had this to say about it:

"Gayatri is the Mother of the Vedas and the destroyer of sins. There is nothing more purifying on the earth, as well as in the heaven than the Gayatri. The Japa of Gayatri brings the same fruit as the recitation of all the four Vedas together..."

I am almost tempted to add THAT as a benefit.  If singing this mantra is the equivalent of singing all of the Vedas, then that goes in my book as a plus plus.

Here is Ramaswami teaching it in chant-and-repeat form and with correct pronunciation. It is a sound file. Thanks Grimmly.

The benefits as listed in the book are:
  1. Vitality
  2. Light
  3. Toleration
  4. Strength
  5. Speech
  6. Mind
  7. Riches
  8. Righteousness
  9. Brahmin
  10. Kshatri
  11. Polity
  12. King
  13. Dutiful Subjects
  14. Reputation 
  15. divine Effulgence
  16. Material objects
  17. Age
  18. Countenance
  19. Name
  20. Fame
  21. Breath
  22. Apan
  23. Eyes
  24. Ears
  25. Milk
  26. Juices
  27. Food grains
  28. Season
  29. Essence
  30. Desired object
  31. Nourishment
  32. Attendants
  33. Cattle
Wish I knew what Apan and Kshatri meant...

I like this YouTube version the best. It sort of hypnotizes me into chanting.

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11 comments:

  1. Very interesting, Claudia. I've noticed that different people chant it at different rhythms and using different tunes: there are probably at least 10 different versions on Youtube alone. Do you know whether it matters how fast one chants or what kind of tune one adopts in chanting it?

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  2. Nobel, that is a really good question. Apparently yes, it matters. A LOT. I learned it in Thailand wit the C from the Challakere Brothers (which I was lucky to finally find at the Ramakrishna store in Myosre) and it goes pretty similar to how Ramaswami sings it. Also, this one on the internet is the version I found the closest to them, that is why I posted it.

    I watched some Youtube videos that completely deviate from the original and I would not go there... I prefer to stay as close to what is "supposedly", at least in my research, closest to the true form.

    If you are interested, next time I am in mysore I can get you a copy of the CD by the Challakere Brothers. They have been singing these mantras for years and years.

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  3. 34. If you chant the Gayatri Mantra during your 5 mile walk, it is virtually impossible to rehatch old feuds in your head, or worry about who thinks what about you.

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  4. That is a very good 34 sereneflavor... oh yes!

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  5. just search for all world gayatri pariwar (awgp.org) you can find very useful info about Gayatri and Gayatri mantra

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  6. Interesting link anonymous, thank you

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  7. THanks for the info, Claudia. Although I personally prefer the lighter, more dance-like rhythms and tunes that some younger, more popular singers adopt (at least that's what I think they are)...

    Yes, that would be really nice, if you can get me a CD the next time you are in Mysore. If I haven't already made it there, that is :-)

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  8. Will do, unless you get there first, of course :-)

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  9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_caste_system

    This link tells you what Kshatri means

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  10. Kshastri... a warrior? Kshastriya is the warrior caste.

    Apan... relating to apana... the body's ability to get rid of waste product. One kriya which I do regularly is to clean my tongue, it makes me gag, but this is said to raise apana. Prana moves downwards and apana moves upwards, or something like that!

    Yogi Tobye :)

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  11. Thanks Tobye. also quite enjoy the tongue cleaning kriya did not know that though...

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