I have chosen to write this article in English, so that it may reach a larger audience, though I would prefer Tamil, my mother tongue, for this. I am not well-versed in Hindi, which would have been a more appropriate language. Let me be pardoned for using a Videshi Bhasha (a foreign language) here.
We all do many things in our day to day life, some mechanically and automatically, and some others with full consciousness. Our limbs are used to do these acts, prompted by our minds. Though our minds thus do the acts, through our limbs, the mind is guided by our Buddhi (intellect). If the Buddhi is in order, our minds perform the acts properly, through our limbs. If it is not in our control, as in an insane man, or in a drunkard, who have lost his senses by the drink, his acts are out of his control. We see that when a man commits a serious crime, when not in his senses, such an act is not considered as a crime. Thus, it is our intellect or Buddhi, should be fully in our control, for us to do right things.
This Gayatri Mantra, prays that our Buddhi is always in the right path and in our control. This prayer is made to the Supreme Being, which is present in the orb of the Sun, as its Bharga (lustre). In this mantra, we pray to this lustre for keeping our Buddhi in the right path and in our control. We say, "Dhiyo yo na: prachodayaat". The first word, here is "Dhiyo". In Sanskrit , the word : 'Dhee:' means Buddhi. It is singular . Its plural form is,'Dhiya:'. 'Dhiyo', is the same as 'Dhiya:'. The word 'na:' means, 'our' in Sanskrit. The use of 'na:' here, is most significant. He does not say the word 'mama', which pertains to him only. But he says,'na:', which includes himself, the society he is in, and the COUNTRY, he lives in. Thus 'na: Dhiya:' will mean, 'our Bhuddhi', ie., the society's and the country's intellect as well. . The letter.'yo' is 'ya:' .This letter is a word. This word means here, as 'that which is the lustre present in the orb of the Sun'. The meaning of the word,'chodayaat', a verb, is, 'clarify'. The word, 'Prachodayaat' means 'clarify well'. This lustre in the Sun is considered as our own mother, and this prayer is made to our own mother Gayatri. Because, a mother will always be concerned about her son, and his welfare.
This mantra is tutored to a boy of seven and he is directed to meditate upon this daily three times, as a mantra Japa (mentally repeating)--108 times in the morning, 64 times at noon and 32 times at dusk. He is to do it life-long. The effect is seen in him, when he grows older. Thus, person ordained to perform the Gayatri Japa does a service to society and the country as well, by his performance. Its effect can be seen evident, even today.
This lofty mantra is available only in the Indian culture, and nowhere else, Western (European, English, US, African or American or Eastern (Chinese, Japanese, Australian). But its effect will be prevailing in the entire world. Once upon a time, Brahmins, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas were doing this Gayatri Japa. But nowadays, only a few Brahmins perform this Japa. To that extent its effect is dwindled. But, if more persons are given the opportunity to do this Japa, after proper initiation, the effect will be enhanced many times.
From 1947 onwards, we have preferred the western culture to our own, of which this Gayatri mantra is only a sample. We seem to have gone after tinsel, forsaking our own priceless gems contained in our Vedas and Upanishads. We reap the consequences of our wrong choice now. This country is fully corrupt , not seen in its age-long history. This corruption is now threatening to engulf the entire economy of our country. Where was the need to adopt a wrong culture and weep over our lost values!! Our duty today, is to unwind the wrongly used rope, and re-wind it properly, so that the top (plaything) performs well. The transformation of this country without re-instigating our lost culture is like re-building a dilapidated house, without attending to its foundation. Those who are in a decision-making position in the government today, have to mind this aspect, while attempting to re-form this country.
Thanks to Sri. S. Chidambaresa Iyer for writing and sharing this article.