What is the significance of Gayatri Mantra? Can women chant it ? Why do we chant 108 times?
Ga-ya-tri – there are three types of misery. We have three bodies, the gross body, the subtle and the causal body. And in all the three levels there is misery. The human life has to cross-over all the three, and that is what Gayatri means. One who sings it, sails over the ocean of misery to go to bliss.
The Gayatri mantra is one of the greatest prayers mankind has.
What does it say? Let me soak in the Divine, and let the Divine destroy all my sins.
The Divine light that burns all sin, let me adore and soak in that Divine light. And let the Divinity inspire my intellect.
See, all our actions happen through our intellect, right? Thoughts come and then you act.
So you pray to the Divine to bring good thoughts into your mind. You pray to the Divine, ‘Take over my intellect. Inspire my intellect’; dhiyo yonah prachodayat.
Dhi means intellect. May my intellect be guided by, kindled by, and inspired by you (Divinity).
When right thoughts come, your action will always be right. When intuitive thoughts come, your actions will be fruitful. So praying for the best thought. Let my mind, my whole life energy be soaked in Divinity. That is the significance of Gayatri Mantra.
Why 108 times?
Because there are nine planets and twelve constellations. When nine planets revolve around the twelve constellations, it brings 108 kinds of changes. If there is anything wrong in these changes, it can be rectified with the positive energy of the mantras.
Can women chant The Gayatri Mantra?
Yes. Nowhere it is said that women cannot chant.
It is unfortunate that somewhere in the middle ages, these rights of women were taken away. We have reinstated this in the Ashram. Many women are learning.
See it was a male dominated society. The men thought that if ladies do Gayatri Mantra, it will bring them a lot of power; healing power and sankalpa Shakti. Whatever they wish for those things will start happening. So the men said, ‘No our wives are already powerful, we don’t want to make them more powerful. So we won’t let them chant the mantra’.
This is why only a small section of people kept this as a highly guarded secret.