Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sri Aurobindo's Gayatri Mantra


Sri Aurobindo’s Gayatri Mantra

Sri Aurobindo’s Gayatri Mantra : Om Tat Savitur Varam Rupam, Jyoti Parasya Dhimahi Yannah Satyena Dipayet.   [Tat = That, Savitur = Sun-god who is the Creator, Varam = most auspicious, Rupam = form, Jyotih = Light, Parasya = of the Lord (since para = Transcendental),Dhimahi = meditate on (since Dhi = Intellect), Yannah = by which, Satyena = Truth, Dipayet = illumine (dipa = light) ]
Note: According to M.P.Pandit, the original Gayatri Mantra was intended for illumining the intellect, while Sri Aurobindo’s modification of the Gayatri Mantra is intended for supramentalization of the entire being.  

(Refer to M.P. Pandit’s book Sri Aurobindo and his Yoga, Page 107)

            *                                     *
Q. : When does the Mantra succeed ?
Ans. : The japa is usually successful only on one of two conditions – if it is repeated with a sense of its significance, a dwelling of something in the mind on the nature, power, beauty, attraction of the Godhead it signifies and is to bring into the consciousness, – that is the mental way; or if it comes up from the heart or rings in it with a certain sense or feeling of bhakti making it alive, – that is the emotional way. Either the mind or the vital has to give it support or sustenance. But if it makes the mind dry and the vital restless, it must be missing that support and sustenance. There is, of course, a third way, the reliance on the power of the mantra or name in itself; but then one has to go on till that power has sufficiently impressed its vibration on the inner being to make it at a given moment suddenly open to the Presence or the Touch. But if there is a struggling or insistence for the result, then this effect which needs a quiet receptivity in the mind is impeded. That is why I insisted so much on mental quietude and not on too much straining or effort, to give time to allow the psychic and the mind to develop the necessary condition of receptivity – a receptivity as natural as when one receives an inspiration for poetry and music.
                                                                   Sri Aurobindo
[SABCL, Vol. 23, Letters on Yoga, Sadhana through Meditation, Page 745]

Mantra in Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri :
As when the mantra sinks in Yoga’s ear,
Its message enters stirring the blind brain
And keeps in the dim ignorant cells its sound
The hearer understands a form of words
And, musing on the index thought it holds,
He strives to read it with the labouring mind,
But finds bright hints, not the embodied truth:
Then, falling silent in himself to know
He meets the deeper listening of his soul:
The Word repeats itself in rhythmic strains:
Thought, vision, feeling, sense, the body’s self
Are seized unulterably and he endures
An ecstasy and an immortal change;
He feels a Wideness and becomes a Power,
All knowledge rushes on him like a sea:
Transmuted by the white spiritual ray
He walks in naked heavens of joy and calm,
Sees the God-face and hears transcendent speech.

[Sri Aurobindo, CWSA, Vol. 33-34, Savitri, Book IV,

Canto 3, p. 375]

Satprem : I would very much like to have a 'true mantra.'
Mother : I have a whole stock of mantras; they have all come spontaneously, never from the head. They sprang forth spontaneously, as the Veda is said to have sprung forth.
I don't know when it began - a very long time ago, before I came here, although some of them came while I was here. But in my case, they were always very short. For example, when Sri Aurobindo was here in his body, at any moment, in any difficulty, for anything, it always came like this: 'My Lord!' - simply and spontaneously - 'My Lord!' And instantly, the contact was established. But since He left, it has stopped. I can no longer say it, for it would be like saying 'My Lord, My Lord!' to myself.
I had a mantra in French before coming to Pondicherry. It was Dieu de bonté et de miséricorde ... [God of kindness and mercy], but what it means is usually not understood - it is an entire program, a universal program. I have been repeating this mantra since the beginning of the century; it was the mantra of ascension, of realization. At present, it no longer comes in the same way, it comes rather as a memory. But it was deliberate, you see; I always said Dieu de bonté et de miséricorde, because even then I understood that everything is the Divine and the Divine is in all things and that it is only we who make a distinction between what is or what is not the Divine.
My experience is that, individually, we are in relationship with that aspect of the Divine which is not necessarily the most in conformity with our natures, but which is the most essential for our development or the most necessary for our action. For me, it was always a question of action because, personally, individually, each aspiration for personal development had its own form, its own spontaneous expression, so I did not use any formula. But as soon as there was the least little difficulty in action, it sprang forth. Only long afterwards did I notice that it was formulated in a certain way - I would utter it without even knowing what the words were. But it came like this: Dieu de bonté et de miséricorde. It was as if I wanted to eliminate from action all aspects that were not this one. And it lasted for ... I don't know, more than twenty or twenty-five years of my life. It came spontaneously.
Just recently one day, the contact became entirely physical, the whole body was in great exaltation, and I noticed that other lines were spontaneously being added to this Dieu de bonte et de misericorde, and I noted them down. It was a springing forth of states of consciousness - not words.
Seigneur, Dieu de bonte et de misericorde
Seigneur, Dieu d'unite souveraine
Seigneur, Dieu de beaute et d'harmonie
Seigneur, Dieu de puissance et de realisation
Seigneur, Dieu d'amour et de compassion
Seigneur, Dieu du silence et de la contemplation
Seigneur, Dieu de lumiere et de connaissance
Seigneur, Dieu de vie et d'immortalite
Seigneur, Dieu de jeunesse et de progres
 Seigneur, Dieu d'abondance et de plenitude
Seigneur, Dieu de force et de sante.

Lord, God of kindness and mercy
 Lord, God of sovereign oneness
Lord, God of beauty and harmony
 Lord, God of power and realization
 Lord, God of silence and contemplation
 Lord, God of light and knowledge
Lord, God of life and immortality
 Lord, God of youth and progress
 Lord, God of abundance and plenitude
Lord, God of strength and health.

The words came afterwards, as if they had been superimposed upon the states of consciousness, grafted onto them. Some of the associations seem unexpected, but they were the exact expression of the states of consciousness in their order of unfolding. They came one after another, as if the contact was trying to become more complete. And the last was like a triumph. As soon as I finished writing (in writing, all this becomes rather flat), the impetus within was still alive and it gave me the sense of an all-conquering Truth. And the last mantra sprang forth:

Seigneur, Dieu de la Verite victorieuse!

Lord, God of victorious Truth!

Like a triumph. But I didn't write that one down because I did not want to spoil my impression.
Of course, these things should not be published. We can file them in this Agenda of the Supramental Manifestation for later on. Later on, when the Victory is won, we shall say, 'If you want to see the curve ... '
But what is going to come now? I constantly hear the Sanskrit mantra:
It is there, all around me; it takes hold of all the cells and at once they spring forth in an ascension. And Narada's mantra, too:
Narayana, Narayana ...
(it is actually a Command which means: now you shall do as I wish), but it doesn't come from the heart.
What will it be?
It will simply spring forth in a flash, all of a sudden, and it will be very powerful. Only power can do something. Love vanishes like water running through sand: people remain beatific ... and nothing moves! No, power is needed - like Shiva, stirring, churning ...
When I have this mantra, instead of saying hello, good-bye, I shall say that. When I say hello, good-bye, it means 'Hello: the Presence is here, the Light is here.' 'Good-bye: I am not going away, I am staying here.'
But when I have this mantra, I believe something will happen.
For the moment, of all the formulas or mantras, the one that acts most directly on this body, that seizes all the cells and immediately does this (vibrating motion) is the Sanskrit mantra: OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH.
As soon as I sit for meditation, as soon as I have a quiet minute to concentrate, it always begins with this mantra, and there is a response in the body, in the cells of the body: they all start vibrating.
1.The first syllable of NAMO is pronounced with a short 'a,' as in nahmo. The final word is pronounced BHA-GAH-VA-TEH.
This is how it happened: Y had just returned, and he brought back a trunk full of things which he then proceeded to show me, and his excitement made tight, tight little waves in the atmosphere, making my head ache; it made ... anyway, it was unpleasant. When I left, just after that had happened, I sat down and went like this (gesture of sweeping out) to make it stop, and immediately the mantra began.
It rose up from here (Mother indicates the solar plexus), like this: Om Namo Bhagavateh OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH. It was formidable. For the entire quarter of an hour that the meditation lasted, everything was filled with Light! In the deeper tones it was of golden bronze (at the throat level it was almost red) and in the higher tones it was a kind of opaline white light: OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH, OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH, OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH.
The other day (I was in my bathroom upstairs), it came; it took hold of the entire body. It rose up in the same way, and all the cells were trembling. And with such a power! So I stopped everything, all movement, and I let the thing grow. The vibration went on expanding, ever widening, as the sound itself was expanding, expanding, and all the cells of the body were seized with an intensity of aspiration ... as if the entire body were swelling - it became overwhelming. I felt that it would all burst.
I understood those who withdraw from everything to live that totally.
And it has such a transformative power! I felt that if it continued, something would happen, something like a change in the equilibrium of the body's cells.
Unfortunately, I was unable to continue, because ... I don't have the time; it was just before the balcony darshan and I was going to be late. Something told me, 'That is for people who have nothing to do.' Then I said, 'I belong to my work,' and I slowly withdrew. I put on the brakes, and the action was cut short. But what remains is that whenever I repeat this mantra ... everything starts vibrating.
So each one must find something that acts on himself, individually. I am only speaking of the action on the physical plane, because mentally, vitally, in all the inner parts of the being, the aspiration is always, always spontaneous. I am referring only to the physical plane.
The physical seems to be more open to something that is repetitious - for example, the music we play on Sundays, which has three series of combined mantras. The first is that of Chandi, addressed to the universal Mother:
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu matrirupena sansthita
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu shaktirupena sansthita
Ya devi sarvabhuteshu shantirupena sansthita
Namastasyai namastasyai namastasyai namo namah

The second is addressed to Sri Aurobindo (and I believe they have put my name at the end). It incorporates the mantra I was speaking of:
Om namo namah shrimirambikayai
 Om namo bhagavateh shriaravindaya
 Om namo namah shrimirambikayai.

And the third is addressed to Sri Aurobindo: 'Thou art my refuge.'
Shriaravindah sharanam mama.

Each time this music is played, it produces exactly the same effect upon the body. It is strange, as if all the cells were dilating, with a feeling that the body is growing larger ... It becomes all dilated, as if swollen with light - with force, a lot of force. And this music seems to form spirals, like luminous ribbons of incense smoke, white (not transparent, literally white) and they rise up and up. I always see the same thing; it begins in the form of a vase, then swells like an amphora and converges higher up to blossom forth like a flower.
So for these mantras, everything depends upon what you want to do with them. I am in favor of a short mantra, especially if you want to make both numerous and spontaneous repetitions - one or two words, three at most. Because you must be able to use them in all cases, when an accident is about to happen, for example. It has to spring up without thinking, without calling: it should issue forth from the being spontaneously, like a reflex, exactly like a reflex. Then the mantra has its full force.
For me, on the days when I have no special preoccupations or difficulties (days I could call normal, when I am normal), everything I do, all the movements of this body, all, all the words I utter, all the gestures I make, are accompanied and upheld by or lined, as it were, with this mantra:

all, all the time, all the time, all the time.
That is the normal state. It creates an atmosphere of an intensity almost more material than the subtle physical; it's like ... almost like the phosphorescent radiations from a medium. And it has a great action, a very great action: it can prevent an accident. And it accompanies you all the time, all the time.
But it is up to you to know what you want to do with it.
Satprem : To sustain the aspiration - to remember. We so easily lapse into forgetfulness. To create a kind of automatism.
Mother : You have no mantras that have come to you, that give you a more living feeling? ... Are their mantras long?
Satprem : Yes, they are long. And he (1) has not given me any mantra of the Mother, so ... They exist, but he has not given me any ... I don't know, they don't have much effect on me. It is
 something very mental.
Mother :That's why it should spring forth from you.
This one, this mantra, OM NAMO BHAGAVATEH, came to me after some time, for I felt ... well, I saw that I needed to have a mantra of my own, that is, a mantra consonant with what this body has to do in the world. And it was just then that it came.(2) It was truly an answer to a need that had made itself felt. So if you feel the need - not there, not in your head, but here (Mother points to the center of her heart), it will come. One day, either you will hear the words, or they will spring forth from your heart ... And when that happens, you must hold onto it.
References: 1. The tantric Swami.
2. The different mantras or prayers that came to Mother and which She grouped under the heading Prayers of the Consciousness of the Cells, are included as an addendum to the Agenda of 1959.

(Mother's Agenda , volume 1 , pp. 192-97 ,  16th September 1958)
(Mother's Agenda, Volume 6 , Page 29, 19th Feb. 1965)

                                                       The Mantra

I have also come to realize that for this sadhana of the body, the mantra is essential. Sri Aurobindo gave none; he said that one should be able to do all the work without having to resort to external means. Had he reached the point where we are now, he would have seen that the purely psychological method is inadequate and that a japa is necessary, because only japa has a direct action on the body. So I had to find the method all alone, to find my mantra by myself. But now that things are ready, I have done ten years of work in a few months. That is the difficulty, it requires time...
And I repeat my mantra constantly - when I am awake and even when I sleep. I say it even when I am getting dressed, when I eat, when I work, when I speak with others; it is there, just behind in the background, all the time, all the time.
(Mother's Agenda, Volume 1 , Page 301, 19th  May 1959)

          *                                         *

                      Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya

          Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya (About this sound listen ) (in devanagari: ॐ नमो भगवते वासुदेवाय) is a Hindu mantra.                    

‘Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya’
is a mantra 
of Krishna, or Vishnu. This twelve-

syllable mantra
 is known as a Mukti (liberation) 
mantra and a spiritual formula for

attaining freedom.
 This can be chanted like Gayatri 
Mantra. This is the principal mantra

of the Vedic scripture 
"Srimad Bhagavatam". This 
mantra can also be found in Vishnu

. Some people chant this as a Kirtan or 
Bhajan, as well.

Meaning :

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya means "Om, I bow to Lord Vasudeva or Lord


Importance :

Om Namo Bhagavate Vasudevaya means "prostration to Krishna" or "surrender to

Krishna." Krishna himself asked his devotees to completely surrender to him:
सर्वधर्मान्परित्यज्य मामेकं शरणं व्रज ।
अहं त्वां सर्वपापेभ्यो मोक्षयिष्यामि मा शुचः ॥१८- ६६॥
Translation : Relinquishing everything else and all ideas of righteousness surrender unto me (Krishna) exclusively.
I (Krishna) will deliver you from all sins (sinful reactions), do not despair. [Gita 18/66]
Krishna also proclaimed "Everybody should recite "Om Namo Bhagavate

mantra daily whenever possible so that I will stand by them. I respond to

the call of the heart immediately and invariably. See me in your duties. I am committed

to those who are committed to their duties. Believe in putting faith in me and make me

your own".

Link :

*                                        *

But I wasn't speaking to you with words ... Everything I see at night has a special color and a special vibration. It's strange, but it looks sketched ... When I said that to you, for example, there was a kind of patch,(1) a white patch, as I recall - white, exactly like a piece of white paper - a patch with a pink border around it, then this same blue light I keep telling you about - deep blue - encircling the rest, as it were. And beyond that, it was swarming - a swarming of black and dark gray vibrations ... in a terrible agitation. When I saw this, I said to you, 'You must repeat your mantra once in my presence so that I may see if there is anything I can do about this swarming.' And then - I don't know why - you objected, and this objection was red, like a tongue of fire lashing out from the white, like this (Mother draws an arabesque). So I said, 'No, don't worry, it doesn't matter, I won't disturb a thing!'(2) (Mother laughs mischievously)
All this took place in a realm which is constantly active, everywhere; it is like a permanent mental transcription of everything that physically takes place ... They aren't actually thoughts;
References : 1. Original English.
2. Traditionally, one's mantra is never to be repeated before anyone except the guru.
(Mother's Agenda, Volume 1, Page 443, 22nd Oct. 1960)

                *                                        *                                      
And in the morning, oh! ... All mornings are difficult. It's odd: life as a whole goes by with almost dizzying speed - weeks and months go by like that - and mornings, about three hours every morning, last like a century! Each minute is won at the cost of an effort. It is the time of the work in the body, for the body, and not just one body: for instance, all the vibrations from sick people, all those problems of life come from everywhere. And for those three hours, there is tension, struggle, acute seeking for what should be done or for the attitude to be taken.... It's at that time that I have tested the power of the mantra. For those three hours, I repeat my mantra automatically, without stopping; and every time the difficulty increases, a kind of Power comes into those words and acts on Matter. And that's how I know: without the mantra, that work couldn't be done. But that's why I say it has to be YOUR mantra, not something you received from whomever - the mantra that arose spontaneously from your deeper being (gesture to the heart), from your inner guide. That's what holds out. When you don't know, when you don't understand, when you don't want to let the mind intervene and you are ... THAT is there; the mantra is there; and it helps you to get through. It helps to get through. It saves the situation at critical moments, it's a considerable support, considerable.
For those three hours (three or three and a half hours), it's constant, constant, without stop. So then the words well up (gesture from the heart). And when the situation becomes critical, when that disorder, that disintegration seem to be gaining in power, it's as if the mantra were becoming swollen with force, and ... it restores order.
And that wasn't just once, or for a month, or a year: it has been like that for years, and it goes on increasing.
But it's hard work.
(Mother's Agenda, Volume 5, pp. 204-205, 23rd Sept.1964)

*                                    *
Nobody can give you the true mantra. It's not something that is given: it's something that wells up from within. It must spring from within all of a sudden, spontaneously, like a profound, intense need of your being - then it has power, because it's not something that comes from outside, it's your very own cry.
I saw, in my case, that my mantra has the power of immortality; whatever happens, if it is uttered, it's the Supreme that has the upper hand, it's no longer the lower law. And the words are irrelevant, they may not have any meaning - to someone else, my mantra is meaningless, but to me it's full, packed with meaning. And effective, because it's my cry, the intense aspiration of my whole being.

A mantra given by a guru is only the power to realize the experience of the discoverer of the mantra. The power is automatically there, because the sound contains the experience. I saw that once in Paris, at a time when I knew nothing of India, absolutely nothing, only the usual nonsense. I didn't even know what a mantra was. I had gone to a lecture given by some fellow who was supposed to have practiced "yoga" for a year in the Himalayas and recounted his experience (none too interesting, either). All at once, in the course of his lecture, he uttered the sound OM. And I saw the entire room suddenly fill with light, a golden, vibrating light.... I was probably the only one to notice it. I said to myself, "Well!" Then I didn't give it any more thought, I forgot about the story. But as it happened, the experience recurred in two or three different countries, with different people, and every time there was the sound OM, I would suddenly see the place fill with that same light. So I understood. That sound contains the vibration of thousands and thousands of years of spiritual aspiration - there is in it the entire aspiration of men towards the Supreme. And the power is automatically there, because the experience is there.

(Mother's Agenda, Volume 4, pp. 130-131,11th  May 1963)

*                                    *
Mother : So, how is your mantra?
Satprem : Fine, Mother, it's a beautiful Mantra.
Mother : I had a rather interesting experience.
You know, there is always an impression that if you let someone else know the Mantra, it will lose some of its force, but I said to myself, "Never mind, I will do it," and the minute the decision was made, naturally I stopped thinking about it - it was gone. And in the evening of the day when I told you the Mantra, towards the end of the day, suddenly the words came with a warmth and intensity, as if ... (how can I put it?) they were rounded out with force. Then, at the same time, I remembered I had told you the Mantra, so I looked, and I saw it was what your consciousness had added to it - I was very glad.
I told you there was a great power in it, but it has become  (how can I explain?) warmer (Mother laughs). I don't know how to put it ... yes, it's as if a warmth of richness had entered into it - like a potential power (not yet manifested, that is, but potential), a very warm power of joy that had come into it. So I was very happy.
I have a whole mantra [besides the main Mantra], I told you, for years now, and it is extremely complete: it applies to all necessities and all occasions, it's a long series. But for some time it has become very spontaneous, too, and very self-living: when I want to see quite concretely where someone stands (someone meditating in front of me, for instance), I recite the mantra (within, of course) and I watch the reactions, because the mantra deals with the surrender of all the parts of the being and all the modes of life: it's very complete. So according to the reactions [in Mother's centers], I see very clearly. The other day, when X came, I did it (it was the first time I had done it with him), I did it, and when I came to a certain point ... (Mother smiles) he couldn't bear it! He sort of stiffened, bowed to me and got up. Before that, he had remained very silent, very quiet. But that ... (Mother laughs) You see, I invoke the Lord and ask Him to manifest His various ways of being or realizations (it's not taken in a mental sense, not at all), but when I said - I say many things, but up to that point he had been quiet, silent, still, and at one point (because it comes in a logical succession), I said, "Manifest Your Knowledge" - he felt uneasy, as if he felt he was being thrown out of himself! So I tried to calm that down, but he couldn't bear it - after five minutes, he got up and left. A real unease; because, as for me, I am inside people (I am everywhere, of course), I feel just as if it took place in my own body.

(Mother's Agenda, Volume 6, pp. 120-121,  9th  June 1965)


pianomonika said...

First: Thanks Dr.Jitendra Sharma, that we can hear this.--
It is balm for the soul.
Supplementing: The Gāyatrī Mantra is a highly revered mantra, based on a Vedic Sanskrit verse from a hymn of the Rigveda attributed to the rishi

pianomonika said...

Here are shown the ways to a successful mantra:
First: the mental way
repeated with a sense of its significance, a dwelling of something in the mind on the nature, power, beauty ,an attraction of the Godhead and it is to bring into the consciousness.
Second : the emotional way : it comes up from the heart or rings in it with a certain sense of feeling of bhakti making it alive.
A third way: The reliance on the power of the mantra or name itself.
But then it is necessary to go on till that power has sufficiently
impressed its vibration and the inner being to make it at a given moment suddenly open to the Presence.
As the Mother was asked of a ''true mantra''she answered, to have a whole stock of mantras.
They came to her spontaneously
and never from the head.
She gave the example, that she said simply:''My Lord'' and the contact to Sri Aurobindo was established.
But she stopped saying this, when Sri Aurobindo passed away.
Before Mother came to Pondicherry
she had a French mantra:Dieu de bonté et de miséricorde
God of kindness and was
the mantra of ascension ,of realization.

pianomonika said...

''Mother'' was in favor for a short mantra: Om Namo Bhagavateh
She told, that this mantra could be used in all cases, like a reflex. spontaneously ,and the mantra has its full force.
Om Namo Bhagavateh --It creates an atmosphere of an intensity almost more material than subtle physical.
When Mother was still in Paris, she went to a lecture, given by some fellow,who was supposed to have practiced yoga for a year in the Himalayas and recounted his experience.At once in the course of his lecture he uttered the sound ''OM''.
Thereupon Mother saw the entire room full with light, a golden vibrating light.
Mother had this experience in two or three countries also with different people.
She understood,that the sound ''OM'' contains the vibration of thousand and thousand of years of spiritual aspiration.
As Mother said, nobody can give us a true mantra.It must spring from within all of a sudden, spontaneously , like a profound intense need of being, only then it has power.
Mother found her mantra with the power of immortality.

vasudha kota said...

That is one enlightening post. Another reason for the reverence of this mantra is that it is composed in the gayatri metre.

The Gayatri metre contains three divisions of 8 syllables each, the total being 24 syllables. the 24 syllables symbolise 24 lunations in the lunar year (12 new moons and 12 full moons).

The three divisions denote the hot season, the rainy season and the winter that are well marked when computed from the equatorial region.

The formula of the 24 lunations is also applied to the day of 24 hours.

By meditating upon this division of the metre one gets tuned to the nodal points of time when he gradually grows in awareness into the activity of the solar year and the conciousness of the solar system.