The Gayatri Mantra is one of the oldest mantras and one of the most widely interpreted mantras of all time. With versions ranging from the traditional style to modern, it has been covered by artists like Deva Premal & Miten, Tina Malia & Shimshai, Agape Choir, Cher and even as the theme song for the most recent re-telling of Battlestar Galactica.
Gayatri Mantra is considered not to have an author. Gayatri is the name of the meter in which the verse is composed. The most interesting aspect of the mantra is that the mantra is considered the same as the divine entity that forms the content of the mantra. The name of the divine entity contained in the mantra is also Gayatri. In other words, the Gayatri mantra is not just a means of worship but is an object of worship in itself.
The word ‘Gayatri’ is used both in reference to the Gayatri Mantra as an object of worship and in reference to the divine entity described in the mantra. It is in this sense of the Gayatri Mantra being an object of worship that the Mantra is personified into a goddess.
The most literal modern translation of Gayatri Mantra is:
the basis of all life,
Who is self-existent,
Who is free from all pains
and Whose contact frees the soul from all troubles,
Who pervades the Universe and sustains all,
the Creator and Energizer of the whole Universe,
the Giver of happiness,
Who is worthy of acceptance,
the most excellent,
Who is Pure and the Purifier of all,
let us embrace that very God,
so that He may direct our mental faculties in the right direction.
This month we are featuring two versions in our Conscious Music Spotlight. The first is one performed by Donna De Lory and remixed by Carmen Rizzo on the new Universal Light album. It is a modern upbeat spin with some english lyrics thrown in. The modern interpretation however hasn’t distracted from the essence of the Gayatri and is still a faithful rendition of the Gayatri tradition. You can download the full Universal Light album here.
The second version is a beautiful reworking by Sacred Earth from their upcoming album KuTumba. This mellow version is perfect for meditation and useful in your daily mantra practice as well. The new album will be available on May 28 and can be preordered from Bandcamp here.