Gayathri Mantra has gone global

Marisa sent me this about Gayathri Mantra.  Very impressive.
Dr.Howard Steingeril, an american scientist, collected Mantras, Hymns and invocations from all over the world and tested their strength in his Physiology Laboratory.. Hindus' Gayathri Mantra produced 110,000 sound waves per second.. This was the highest and was found to be the most powerful hymn in the world. Through the combination of sound or sound waves of a particular frequency, the Mantra is claimed capable of developing specific spiritual potentialities. The Hamburg university initiated research into the efficacy of the Gayathri Mantra both on the mental and physical plane of CREATION... The GAYATHRI MANTRA is broadcast daily for 15 minutes from 7 P.M. onwards over Radio Paramaribo, Surinam, South America for the past two years, and in Amsterdam, Holland for the last six months.

We all know that any research, findings by the west on our spiritual heritage excites us. Apparently the mantra gets sanctified further. It is as if sage Vishwamitra was admitted as a fellow of a prestigious ivy league college and he could now walk in easily as a professor emeritus!

Happy, I sent it to a few friends and felt that I had done my duty as twice born Brahmin! Most hopefully they read it as it is quite an interesting piece of news, but with so many fws. on the Internet today, we could forgive them if they just deleted the mail.

 But Amruta Dongray responded and wanted answers; Super interesting...but popular belief is that women should not chant the Gayatri. However there is a Pune based lady who advocates otherwise on the basis of scientific reasoning. I forget her name. My mother has attended her talk in Mumbai. May be you can check on why women were not allowed to chant this mantra...

Having no clue, I diligently passed on the question to a few of my friends and they asked me to check Manu dharmashastra or ask the various Mutts. Mouli also added a few questions of his own. 'In fact why are the top three castes( Varna )alone permitted to recite it ? Why cannot every Hindu ( some 90 Crores) learn and recite it ? In fact Gayatri one knows for Sandhyavandana is longer than whatever that Scientist has quoted ? '

Sriram did oblige with a detailed answer quoting Kindle Life By Swami Chinmayananda:
In ancient days, ladies used to chant Gayatri as freely as men. So says Manu. In the ancient days all ladies had their Upanayanam performed. They used to learn the Vedas, teach the Vedas to others, and chant the Gayatri Mantra. Here the term "ladies" cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be conceived as meaning the ladies of the Brahmin or the Ksatriya families only.

In fact, the spiritual unfoldment, through Mantra Upasana, is found more readily in ladies than in gentlemen, because the former has not the nerve-shattering personal contacts with the competitive problems of life. Thus the Sastra injunctions and our own personal observations take us to the conclusion that women too can, rather should, chant the Gayatri Mantra regularly in their morning and evening worship.

In fact, there are repeated declarations in our Hindu sacred books that if the effects of the Sadhana performed by men are their own, the spiritual benefits acquired by the womenfold are shared by their husbands, children, their families and the entire society.

Sriram adds: During the childrens' summer camp at the local Chinmaya Mission center three years ago, Upanayanam ceremony was included, and there were quite a few girls who were initiated

I guess Amruta was partially answered. Women were not forbidden, in fact they were thought to be better! To get some more answers, I checked many websites on Gayathri Mantra, you could spend days and days getting to know the many claims and explantions on the mantra.

The magic of gayathri is one of them. to quote: For ages, this beautiful prayer has seemed mysterious to the Western mind and was out of reach even for most Hindus. It was a well guarded secret, withheld from women and from those outside the Hindu Brahmin community.

Today, it is chanted, meditated to, and sung around the world with reverence and love. It is often compared to The Lord’s Prayer in significance and impact.

There are some of questions of my own! Why is it called Gayathri mantra when it is in praise of Surya? Then I see there is another meaning for Gayathri. It means any hymn composed in the gayathri metre. In fact there is Manmata Gayatri Mantra (It is there in the web, but I forgot to copy the web address!)

Om Kama Devaya Vidhmahe
Pushpa Vanaya Dheemahe
Thanno Kama Prachodayath.

With their mild translation. (It can also translate into what is in the brackets!)
Om, Let me meditate on the God of love, (erotic love!)
Oh, God who is the forest of flowers, give me higher intellect,
And let the God of love illuminate my mind.
(let this desire inspire, excite my mind!)

From another website:

 But why then are they not allowed to take part in the rituals? Why were/are they not allowed to chant some of the Vedic versus?

My father, Late Shri T. S. Ramabathrachariar of Mukkur once gave me the reason which is definitely a fitting reply to the above questions.

It is widely believed that some of the Vedic Versus vibrations are so powerful in nature. Once a woman starts chanting these versus regularly, she is likely to lose her female-hood character and get manly tendencies developed in physical appearance . In majority of cases, it might cause hormone disturbances in the body's physical mechanism and disturb their menstrual cycle. In rare cases, a woman who chants these slokhas and versus frequently, even develops masculine character which allows growth of hair in their face & mustache! Imagine, if every woman developed such growth!

It is a fact that to keep women in their natural glory and beauty, the ancient scholars did not allow them to chant or recite these versus. They knew precisely all the effects and side effects of what they did. However, they were allowed to do so once they cross their menopause stage, then the chances of disturbances in their body mechanism were minimal. Also the Gland functional in their body stops, at certain age - any further physical growth is minimal. Certainly it was not for any discriminations but purely on the aforesaid reasons and points.I hope that this clarification stands valid even in this scientifically developed age. Every ritual and practice of this Great Hindu religion has a valuable hidden meaning. Unfortunately these were not carried on to the next generation that caused some imbalances in the society. Had it been given in full meaning, we very well could have avoided fanatics & half learnt scholars who now dictate and discriminate women on so many counts.

Even at the times of performing the last rites to the departed souls, only male persons are allowed and if there is no male issues for the deceased one, then power of attorney like authorization is taken from the female issues or from the wife of the departed soul. You know why?

After the cremation, the kartha or the performer has to shave/tonsure his head. But for women, would anybody like to do the same? How they will look, if done so, just imagine. Of course, there are many other reasons also given for giving these rights only to the male issues, but surely all are based only on sound and valid reasons.

Here is one more example of the power of Gayathri mantra: (Sorry to have lost the link of this as well! I am sure you can easily find them, if you wanted to!)
When a man is gifted with righteous wisdom, half of his problems vanish away. People land into trouble, when they are not able to take the right decisions. People tread the wrong path because they are not mature or wise enough to decide what's good for them and what's not. It is here that Gayatri mantra comes to play a major role by bestowing wisdom on the people who chant this mantra in the right way.

The performance of Gayatri mantra opens the gateway for knowledge and it is the raised intellectual level that enables a person to reach heights. The reciting of Gayatri mantra washes away the sins and provides the individuals with the intelligence to indulge in good deeds. It helps a great deal in purifying the mind, body and soul. You tend to feel relaxed after performing it and also your mind stops wandering, thereby leading to better concentration.

This single Gayatri mantra is so powerful that it brings the same reward as the reading of the four Vedas. The mantra has to be repeated thrice a day and in turn, it will confer all the blessings on you in the form of good health, wealth, vitality, beauty etc. You can chant the mantra even while carrying out your daily routine works. Many people are in the habit of chanting Gayatri mantra while walking in the morning. To attain enlightenment, there can be no better therapy than chanting this foremost mantra of the Hinduism religion.

As I thought about the mantra, memories of my initiation to Gayathri Mantra came flooding back to me. To be honest the day I was born again, I was an eleven year old confused boy! My eyes were burning and was wondering when all this would end. I do remember the vadyaar (the priest), asking me to repeat the mantra and telling me that it was a must for a vatu (a boy) like me to do sandhyavandana thrice a day. Being a literal minded fellow, I asked him if it was sandyavanadana, where was the need for it in the morning and afternoon. In anycase I had school in the afternoon. As you can guess, there was no real answer, excepting to be told, 'Do as I say. Don't take it lightly, Gayathri Mantra is very powerful and it will do you good'. There was always an implied threat in the tone, which warned me that if I did not perform as asked, there would trouble for me!

The next day I chanted GM for1008 times. Then I had more confusion. I was told that I was now a Brahmachari and should not sit next to women, even in the same row while eating! That I should not sleep next to my mother anymore, not that I did! I continued performing sandya, morning and evening, to please my grandmother  as long as she was alive. I stopped immediately after she was no more. I did it for her as I was very fond of her and she asked me to do it.

 Frankly GM did not make any impression on me as a kid and felt it was an imposition! Yes I do chant it now and enjoy the peace it gives me! And inspite of the strong waves of sound it creates, as per the study, it never gave me a feeling of power anytime. But I do feel proud that it is judged by a study as the most powerful hymn in the world and do hope more and more people accept and adapt gayathri mantra for its power to give us lasting peace.

I also read an extraordianary thesis on  OM, said to be primeval sound generated by the milkyway as it rotates on its galactic centre and was heard by sage Vishawamitra during his meditation. He  generously included it in Gayathri Mantra for our benefit. Surf the web if you have the time and enjoy the ride!


rohini said…
interesting! the kids say it everyday during assembly.
Thank you Nidhi. I enjoyed reading the blog. If one has implicit faith in the mantra there would be no need for tutelage from Western 'science'. While neurology is making great strides, it may be premature to translate beliefs to the nitty-gritty of science. Also the full benefit would accrue only if the intonation is right. That is usually taught verbatim.
srinidhi said…
Thanks Raghu, I had hoped you would like it. Interestingly those who made a comment have said the benefit from chanting GM.

I quote from Face Book:
Marisa Narula Thanks Nidhi. But no need to give me the credit.

Thanks for all the information. I had no idea that women were not supposed to chant it. Interesting how information gets changed over the years. And for the convenience of some.

Alka Mathur: To me this is news that women were not allowed to chant Gaythri Mantra as I have grown chanting it morning, evening with my mother and grandmother and my grandmother firmly believed in its power. she passed this belief to us too.

Doreswamy Srinidhi: I believe now. More power to you!

Sudha Murgai: · Friends with Alka Mathur
I too have chanted the Gayatri mantra ever since I remember and still do.i feel good chanting it .
Chandramouli said…
As I have said before, Gayatri Mantra is not bunch of sweet sounding Devnagari Phrases. It requires deep study into the phonics of a great language over centuries. You need to get hold of Devudu's Mahabraahmana to discover how and why it came into being; and Devudu's point of view as to its universal truth. According to my grandfather, E=MC square is equal to Gayatri- if done properly and with deep understanding. Otherwise it is one of those cliches that mean nothing in real value. Mouli
N L Sriram said…

Above is a link to a book 'Kindle life' by Swami Chinmayananda.

I need to send you BeeChi's recollections about his Upanayanam and Sandhya Vandana
Shrikanth said…
Hi Nidhi Uncle, there is another intriguing hypothesis about the power of our mantras. A Discovery program about cats hypothesised that because of the deep vibrations caused by cats' purring they are able to self-heal and rarely got cancers (except of their extremities, where presumably the vibrations are not as strong). That immediately got me thinking maybe thats the reason why our ancients devised mantras!! All i need to do now is start chanting them.....
Shrikanth said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said…
First time ever,Gayatri mantra online, simple log on to register,write and seek the Devine blessings
TSubu said…

You can find a globally applicable meaning of the Gayatri Mantra here:
Anonymous said…
Hi Nidhi, I must say, you explain very nicely and this was a whole bundle of wisdom in one small post!
Where you never found the strength, I can swear by this: When I was in a very bad, very very bad and really depressing state, I heard Gayetri Mantra. I hot boost of strength. Not Physical muscle one. But strength of Hope and Will Power.

It always made me so balance in two to tgree chants, I happily told those experiences to my parents.

And Thanks, the info is so very good. Can any of you share ebooks related to our Vedas andd religion share with me? If so, my email od is

kbsdu said…

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