The Gayatri Mantra is:

ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः तत्सवितुर्वरेण्य
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात॥

In English,

Aum Bhur Bhuvah Svah Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi Dhiyo Yo nah Prachodayat.

The Gayatri Mantra is there in the Rig Veda (Mandala 3.62.10).

It is called Maha Mantra, because it defines God, as Aum. Aum the primordial energy that originates, sustains and destroys (to recreate) all and everything on this planet and in the universe.

Secondly, it highlights innate attributes and qualities of Aum (God), those are worth worshiping and emulating by one and all.

Lastly, It is a prayer to Aum to enlighten our intellect.

You may recall that in BG (13/5), there are 14 components listed up of each human  being. Atma or soul being a part of Aum itself, it is immortal. The other 13 are mortal (5 action organs, 5 sense organs, mind, intellect and ego). Of these 13, Intellect is the most important. Not that others are not important, but intellect is the MOST important.

You may live without an action organ or sense organ or mind or ego, but without intellect, we are vegetable.

It is therefore in this Mantra that it is prayed to Aum (God) to keep our intellect enlightened.

If our intellect is intact and fine, we may live nicely.

Thus, these are the three reasons why Gayatri Mantra is called, and should be called, the Maha Mantra.

This Mantra being there in Rig Veda shows that such unique and practical knowledge had been experienced and realized by our Saints and sages, thousands of years back.

Please note that both, Aum and Gayatri Mantra are great mantras for meditating by recitation on the Ishwar, Parmatma (Supreme God).

In BG (10/35), Lord Krishna says that I (Ishwar) am Excellence in different spheres of life. “Among the Vedic hymns, I am Gayatri (hymn).”

Another reason why Gayatri Mantra is called Maha Mantra.

This brings us to two questions:

  1. When Krishna says, I or me, in BG, does he mean, he as a human being or he as his spiritual self (Ishwar or Atma)?
  2. Is excellence the other name of Ishwar or Parmatma or God?

Those are for the next posts!


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