‘Gayantam Trayaete Iti Gayatri’

Perhaps it would be easier if the earlier gurukul system still existed. One guru under whom one could learn all the shastras.
My in-laws come from a pure Brahmin lineage and have been deeply steeped in tradition and religion. However, the years in the city chipped away at a lot of the old knowledge and slowly most of the practices stopped. It didn’t help that they didn’t know the reasons behind some of the rituals. Most of the wise old friends of the family passed away and with them a treasure trove of the experience of age.
As far as asana goes, there is guidance in class and through books. Japa sadhana is a whole new exercise. It is very much an inside job. I’ve persisted in an early morning repetition of the Gayatri mantra since it was the first one I ever learnt. Swami Chinmayananda talks about it at length in a couple of essays and one thing that struck was
‘Gayantam Trayaete Iti Gayatri’
Translated it means, That Mantra which protects him who chants it.
I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have it as my mantra.
Initially I was aghast at the velocity of my mind which refused to stay with the words of the mantra. Wrestling with it didn’t seem to work and for now I am just sitting down with 12 repetitions everyday. There are times when I think maybe it is not time yet. Perhaps I should just let it go but the stubborn runner inside says NO. So I sit and stay. There is not a single moment where I am present with the mantra.
Perhaps this frustration is also due to not seeing quick results. In asana, there is an immediacy to the effects. I forget the same principles of abhyasa and vairagyam work in all areas of my life. I only have the right to labour, not the fruits.
There is a continuous pattern of a phase of growing pains followed by a short ‘aha’ moment in all that I do. So this also will settle into a rhythm if it is meant to be. So far, the good thing has been sitting down everyday in the quiet hours of the morning and chanting, sometimes silently. A kind of setting the tone for the day.

3 thoughts on “‘Gayantam Trayaete Iti Gayatri’

  1. What a beautiful practice chanting the Gayatri 12 times. I think we feel there should be instant results, but if you reflect in the time you have been chanting it, perhaps you were protected from things you are not aware of. In my “Western” practice, I listen to the Gayatri on my car’s CD player during my morning commute and try to chant along when there isn’t heavy traffic. I also have other mantras I practice based on how I feel I need my devotion and energy to be channeled. My car is not exactly the most sacred place to do puja, but I actually look forward to my commutes and I always arrive to my destination safely. It surely isn’t because of my driving skills 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s something I didn’t consider… Being protected from things I am not aware of. Thank you for the thought.
      I too listen to the Shiva Sahasranama, the Yog Sutras or Geeta shlokas while driving but that’s more to memorise and hone my pronunciation.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was excited to read the title of this post since I recognized it! I have been listening to Jasraj’s “Gayatri mantra” during my asana practice, and a narrator in his spoken introduction to the gayatri mantra, recites the mantra that forms your title : )

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