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"Exploring the Power of Gāyātrī: Meditation, Mantra, Intention, Pranayama"

Updated: Mar 16

As a yoga teacher, spiritual sound guide and general mystic I love all things that connect us more deeply to the body, mind, and spirit.  

This practice stands out for its profound ability to illuminate the path ahead for us.

Like a lot of people my journey into the realm of the Gāyātrī mantra began with hearing the rendition by Deva Primal and Mitten in the form of a beautiful devotional chant (on youtube). But this is one a form of bhakti, it is not Vedic Mantra which is very different.

The practice that is Gāyātrī Upāsana is a number of simple but profound steps, using the mantra in different ways combined woven in with other techniques and mantra.

To help you out I have put together some notes;

Rooted in ancient wisdom but transmitted through a living lineage (teacher to student and so on to this day ... to me!), this sacred mantra practice honours the sun deity Savitr. 

By chanting this mantra we are asking to;

  • Embody the quality of the sun, to self-illuminate.  

  • For light to be shone onto our path

  • To get clarity on the next steps we might take.

And, whilst this group of steps makes up part of a more elaborate sacred rite that requires initiation, the core practices of setting an intention, invocatory mantras,  a combined mantra and breath practice and the japa practice (repeated recitation of the mantra) is open to anyone who have an open heart.

Let us bring our minds to rest in the glory of the divine truth. May truth inspire our reflection

There are 70+ different translations of the of this mantra, all illuminating it in a slightly different way. This is a beautiful translation by Jean Le Mee. This idea of resting in the mantra itself really speaks to the practice.

What is an upasana practice?

An upāsana can be thoughts of as a complete spiritual practice made up of several smaller steps. It is a sacred journey inward, to connect with the divine within and without.  It helps us tune in seeking alignment with our true selves and by association with what we really want/want answers to.  

Step 1: Chanting Om: The Gateway to Sacred Space

At the outset of the practice, we begin with the primordial sound, Oṁ. This sacred syllable serves as a gateway, ushering us from the mundane into the sacred realm of ritual. As we chant Oṁ, we step out of the everyday and into ceremony, attuning to the frequencies of the universe.

Step 2: Invocatory Mantras: Seeking Divine Support

Following the chanting of Oṁ, we invoke the blessings and support of the divine through invocatory mantras. These sutras ask for the support and guidance of the celestial forces as we move forward. With humility and reverence, we call upon the deities to bestow their grace upon us

Step 3: Prāṇāyāma Declaration: Practice with Purpose

Next we come to the Prāṇāyāma declaration where we speak the full mantra of our practice. 

  • The Vyahrtis - The introduction

  • Gayatri Mantra - The maha mantra 

  • Gayatri Siras - The suffix mantra


This statement guides us deeper into the sacred space we have created and signals our readiness to have answers revealed.  We clarify the focus of our practice.

Step 4: Saṅkalpa:  Intentions for Inner Transformation

With clarity of purpose, we set our saṅkalpa, or intention, for the practice.

  • We assume saṅkalpa mudra

  • Listen to the intention prayer

  • Add our personal aspirations and desires

What do we need help with and want to be revealed. By adding our energy into the energy of the ritual, we uplevel our individual journey.

Step 5: Prāṇāyāma: Breathwork & Sacred Sound

Here we combine the three parts of the mantra with Prāṇāyāma (yogic breathing practice), specifically the alternate nostril breathing technique.  

The rhythmic breathing harmonized with the repetition of the sacred sounds amplifies the potency of both practices.  

With each inhalation, hold and exhalation, we align the three elements of the mantra and draw the essence of the mantra into ourselves. 

Step 6: Japa Mantra: The Power of Mantra Repetition

The repetition of the mantra can be thought of as the focal point of our practice, guiding our attention inward and dissolving distractions. Through japa, we experiencing the its illuminating effects. As we immerse ourselves, we enter into a state of deep meditation, a timeless, a weightlessness where the boundaries between the self and the mantra dissolve.

Step 7: Resting in Silence: Integrating the Energies

As the practice draws to a close, we surrender into the silence, allowing the energy of the mantra to permeate right into the cell tissue and the soul. In this stillness, we integrate the vibrations of the sacred sounds, allowing revelations and knowing to come forth.

Step 8: Closing Mantras: Honouring the Sacred

With gratitude and reverence, we offer closing mantras, ceremonially concluding our practice. These final prayers serve as a seal to the energy cultivated during our practice and honouring the divine force of the mantra that has guided us along the way. We carry with us the essence of the practice which continues to vibrate as we move forward on our physical and spiritual paths.

The light continues to shine

Through each step of the ritual, we deepen our connection to our inner truths and allow then to float to the surface and present themselves in the light and the vibrations, like the suns rays continue to sine light throughout our lives after the practice ends.

In embracing the Gāyātrī Prāṇāyāma as an Upāsana practice, we commit to a journey of radiance and brightness.

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