Monday, October 12, 2009

gayatri mantra

The Gayatri mantra, featured in the opening credits of Battlestar Galactica (yes, I'm a bit of a sci fi geek), is a practice that I took up a while back. At first I thought that I'd never be able to recall the mantra but I now find myself humming it or coming back to it when least expected, even though I no longer chant it regularly. I suppose that in some ways it is my "hail mary."

OM BHUR BHUVAHA SWAHA
TAT SAVITUR VARENYAM
BHARGHO DEVASYA DHIMAHI
DHIYO YONAHA PRACHODAYAT

Translation (from yoga journal)

We worship the word (shabda) that is present in the earth, the heavens, and that which is beyond. By meditating on this glorious power that gives us life, we ask that our minds and hearts be illuminated.

There are other translations which offer a slightly different interpretation of the the mantra, but the core essence is that we seek to move into the light and become enlightened.

Here is a translation from wikipedia that is more closely linked to the word for word translation:

O God ! Giver of life, Remover of all pain and sorrows, Bestower of happiness, the Creator of the Universe, Thou art most luminous, adorable and destroyer of sins. We meditate upon thee. May thou inspire, enlighten and guide our intellect in the right direction.