Brahma conceived the Gayatri mantra consisting of 24 letters before he created the world. Each letter in this mantra has a great potential force, which when released, branches off into the four Vedas with their sub-branches just as a vast tree is hidden in its seed. After sprouting, the mantra takes the form of the four Vedas.
Philology (the science of language i.e., sound) was born of the 14 sounds. With these 14 sounds that vibrated and emanated when Lord Shiva, in his happier mood, played on his favorite 'damaru' (a percussion instrument). With these 14 sounds (the sutras) as the basis, Panini, the greatest grammarian, wrote his Astadhyayi (or Maha Vyakarana), the greatest and the most important compilation on Sanskrit grammar. Many scholars have commented on his work and such commentaries alone are enough to constitute a large library. Similarly, all literature in various forms is the outcome of the 24 letters of Gayatri mantra only. While the Gayatri mantra is the sutra or source, the compilations with their branches and sub-branches are its extensive commentaries.
The 24 letters of Gayatri Mantra and significance of each
The following table gives the 24 letters of the Gayatri spell and its relation to the power.
1. 'tat' - tapini - fruitfulness2 'sa' - saphalata - valor3 'vi' - visshwa - perseverance4 'tur' - tushti - welfare5 'va' - varada - yoga6 're' - revati - love7 'ni' - sukshma - wealth8 'yam' - jnana - lustre9 'bhar' - bharga - protection10 'go' - gomati - wisdom11 'de' - devika - subjugation12 'va' - varahi - allegiance13 'sya' - simhani - determination14 'dhi' - dhyana - life15 'ma' - maryada - time16 'hi' - sphutaa - penance17 'dhi' - medha - forecast18 'yo' - yogamaya - alertness19 'yo' - yogini - production20 'nah' - dhanin - protection21 'pra' - prabhava - idealism22 'cho' - ushma - adventure23 'da' - drishya - discrimination24 'at' - niranjana - service.
The 24 powers of Gayatri mentioned above awaken certain qualities, and along with this awakening one starts getting success and prosperity i.e., siddhi. Many feel that these benefits are showered by some God or Goddess. But in reality the development of the subtle force is within themselves. If they are able to know the subtle force working in them, they will realize that such benefits do not accrue of their own accord and that all of them are the results of the interplay of spiritual forces in them. Gayatri sadhana or upasana is not blind faith, but a scientific process whose development and progress are sure to yield the desired fruits.
The authors of the science of mantra say that whatever sound comes out from the mouth is the outcome of the interaction of various organs such as the wind-pipe, the tongue, the teeth, the lips etc. The different organs or parts of the mouth are interconnected with the various parts of the body through tubular organs known as nadi.
In those areas of the body wherever the nadis are (the six Chakras are related to the sushumna nadi) there are lots of ganglia (granthis), and the effect of vibrations of different parts of the mouth (place of sound organs) have a pressuring effect on these ganglia. If one’s talk is defective, it means that some of the ganglia are not functioning properly or effectively. Our body contains many ganglia of different sizes, some are seen and some of which are not seen. The spiritualists know what power is contained in each of the ganglia. The various sounds produced through the organs of the mouth have their effect on these ganglia; they cause the ganglia to activate and discharge their stored power. The wordings of the mantras are arranged on the basis of their sounds and intonations. The Gayatri mantra contains 24 letters, and all these 24 letters have a direct relation with the 24 ganglia in the human body. Our body can be compared to a sitar (a stringed musical instrument) with 24 strings. When the Ganglia are activated they energize the power that yields the right kind of knowledge. The repetition, recitation or japa of Gayatri mantra produces notes which mingle with similar sounds existing in Nature or Prakriti. This is what one achieves from Gayatri sadhana.
The power of the spoken word or sound in Nature
The Word or Shabda is compared to Brahma. When Brahma is inspired, his body quivers and the vibrations created by the movement of his body fall again on his body and take the form of Omkar or Pranava which echoes seven times. Like the pendulum of a clock, this Omkar creates the movement or vibrations which in turn keeps Nature or Prakriti functioning. As a result of such functioning, the three gunas - sattwa, rajas and tamas – with their powers hrim, shrim and klim respectively flow and break off into different rivulets and streams and create the bija mantra. One should not underestimate the effect of the sound waves produce. Those well versed in the science of sound know what potency sound waves contain and what effects they produce. Sound works in it own sphere ad even controls Nature. Thus Nature functions through the power of the word-sound. Gayatri mantra is composed of selected sounds and due to their very order in the mantra a very powerful current or wave is produced and made to flow .
If one wishes to know what miracles the power of word-sound can create, one has to acquaint with the latest developments in science and technology. The Russians have devised what is known as the transducer, with which the aid of subtle sound waves can cut even thick iron and steel plates. From the cleansing of the sophisticated instruments to the working of the ordinary washing machine, all the work is now done by the aid of sound waves.
We read in history that the Dipak Rag was sung by Tansen, by the vibrations of the oil lamps, which had gone off glowed again. We know deer forgets its own self and the cows yield more milk when they hear enchanting music. Similarly, hearing the sound of cuckoo, a man’s sensuousness is said to be aroused. When battalions of soldiers in formation cross a bridge, it is said the soldiers are not expected to maintain the uniformity in steps, ass it is feared that when they keep uniformity in steps, due to the impact of the sound waves produced (known as resonance), the bridge, may collapse. Dr Huchisson of U.S.A., who has gained much popularity claims sure success in fighting certain diseases with the aid of sound waves. In all these cases, the vibrations mingle with similar sounds spread in subtle Nature or Sukshma prakriti, revolve round and round and converge again on the place of their origin, thereby producing a kind of energy which produces the desired effect. In other words, many miraculous things happen due to the power of a mantra. The Gayatri spell also derives its force in the same fashion. While uttering the mantra whichever organs of the mouth come into play, activate their corresponding ganglia also. When the ganglia are activated thus, a musical (which is also spiritual) sound resembling the Vedic Mantra spreads in the air, returning to its base again carrying along with it a powerful force of similar sounds already spread in Nature to help achieve the desired end. The musical effect of the vibrations, or the current occasioned by the utterance of the mantra on the already existing current created by the five elements and the subtle soul force or atma shakti created by the five elements-ether, air, fire, water and earth, the subtle soul-force created by the intensity of piety, sincerity and earnestness of the prayer offered, make the Gayatri forces powerful as a Divine Blessings.
Absolute and firm faith in the divinity by the sadhak in reciting Gayatri yields a powerful subtle force. Psychologists are well aware of the power of such force. As a matter of fact, many people have been saved and resuscitated from untimely death by this force. Many might have perished due to lack of faith. The great saint Tulsidas, in one of his couplets, has compared faith and belief to Parvati (Shraddha) and Parameshwar (Vishwas). Belief has the power of converting a piece of rope in the dark into a snake, a tree into a spirit, and an idol into a Deity. Because of faith man spends his energy, money and even sacrifices his life. We can quote several people- Ekalavya and Kabir, for example, who were able to amass immense knowledge in a split second (which otherwise had to be learnt at the feet of the tutor) on account off their faith and belief. If for instance a sadhak takes a sadhana of Gayatri with the supreme faith and belief, he gets an unparalleled siddhi because of the mingling of the sound force in Nature with the spiritual powers.
Gayatri - the Prime Force of the Universe
Gayatri is the adi shakti (the prime force). With this force both sentient and insentient worlds (life and matter) derive their movement (gati) or force or inspiration, and result in development and progress. Just as one can easily hear any broadcast from any station by just tuning a knob, similarly, one can establish one’s contact through one’s spiritual powers with the subtle, all pervading Gayatri. One can use one’s own spiritual power for attainment of all or a particular benefit-material, psychological or spiritual. This is sadhana or worship.
Gayatri is the desire-yielding cow (kamadhenu). One who recites Gayatri and engages one self in her sadhana is blessed by Mother Gayatri. He remains outside the purview of ignorance, incapacity and want of things and gets all he desires.
Gayatri Puja is done by chanting 'Gayatri Mantra', worshipping the 'Gayatri Yantra' or conducting the 'Gayatri Anushthan'.