Clint: Where did the longer version of the Gayatri Mantra first appear? I realize the short one was the first and appeared in the Rig Veda. In the Ramayana it is said that Vishvamitra discovered Gayatri Mantra but I don’t understand because the Rig Veda came before Ramayana.
Swami Ram Swarup: Gayatri mantra is a Ved mantra which exists in Yajurved. Actually, it also exists in Rigved and Samved. Vedas are an eternal knowledge which emanate directly from God in the beginning of every non-sexual creation. The said creation starts after the time of final destruction of universe elapses. Thereafter, not only Gayatri mantra but several mantras are quoted by Rishi-munis in their spiritual granths. I paste Gayatri mantra along with its meaning and other articles:-
The Gayatri mantra is as follows —
OM BHURBHUVAHA SWAHA TATA SAVITUR VARENYAM BHARGODEVASYA
DHIMAHI DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODYAT
Meaning of Gayatri mantra stating each word is as follows. Its meaning is based on
Vedas and Sanskrit grammar. Grammatical hints are in short please.
Om has three Hindi words. Aa, Uu AND Ma. Aa is meant for Aakaar from which three
names of God are built, Viraat, Agni, and Vishwadi. From Uu = uukar from which
Hirannyagarbha, Vayu and Tejas names occur and Ma = makaar from which Ishwar,
Aditya and Praajyan aadi, holy names of God occur. Rigveda mantra 1/164/46 says
God is one but His names are several. But here OM the holy name of God is only
VIRAAT = Viraat word is made from dhatu ‘Rajrideeptau’ i.e., manifest. Therefore
Viraat means He who manifests the universe. As God manifests the universe, thus
Viraat is the name of God. Rigveda mandal 10, sukta 129 states that like potter
makes pot from clay, similarly God creates universe from non-alive matter prakriti.
Prakriti is unseen matter. From unseen matter, the whole universe is created in the
visible form. Science also says that matter is never destroyed but changes its form.
Suppose a paper is burnt, paper changes its form into ashes. Then ashes are crushed
and thrown in air. At this moment, the paper changed into ashes becomes invisible
but was never destroyed. Similarly the whole universe at the time of final destruction
is turned into prakriti i.e., into unseen form.
AGNI = From dhatu, “ANCHU GATI POOJANAYOHO” the word “AGNI is made. Its
meaning is: He who is a form of wisdom. “SARVAJAYEN” i.e., Omniscient. That is,
knows each and every atom of universe and even beyond universe. He who is to be
known, to be gained and is worshipful. So Agni is the name of God.
VISHWA = Vishwa word is made from dhatu, “VISHPRAVESHANE”. Its meaning is He
in whom the universe is entering or He who is entering the universe. So being
omnipresent, Vishwa is the name of God.
HIRANNYAGARBHA = i.e., ” JYOTIRVAYIHIRANYAM”. Its meaning is, who is the base
of all sun, etc., luminous lokas or He who is the living place of all luminous lokas.
VAYU = from dhatu, “VA GATIGANDHANYOHO”, vayu word is made. Its meaning is
He who holds, gives life and destroys and is the mightiest amongst all. So the name
of God is Vayu.
TEJ = from dhatu, “TIJA NISHANE”, the word Tej is made meaning He who is self
made and self-enlightened and gives light to sun, moon, stars etc. God does not take
light from anywhere but gives light to sun, moon, stars, etc. so the unbroken,
unobstructed/unproduced and eternal form of light is Almighty God and not sun,
moon etc. So the name of God is Tej.
ISHWAR = from dhatu, “ISH ASHWERIYE”, the word Ishwar is made. Its meaning is
whose knowledge is thoughtful and true and He who has unlimited wealth, fortune
and glory etc. Therefore the name of God is Ishwar. Here it is not out of place to
mention that soul (man/woman) has limited qualities and are dependent whereas
God is independent and has unlimited qualities that is why He is God.
ADITYA = from dhatu, “DO AVAKHANDANE”, Aditya word is made. Its meaning is the
one who cannot be broken into pieces and thus cannot be destroyed. So God’s name
PRAJAYEN (PRAGYA) = from dhatu, “JYEN AVABODHANE”, Prajayen word is made
meaning whose wisdom is totally without any misunderstanding and thus he who
knows every matter and behavior of whole universe without misunderstanding. So
God’s name is Prajayen. So here also it is not out of place to mention that illusion
can never attack on God and God is totally free from illusion.
BHUHU = “BHUHU ITI VAYEE PRANAHA” i.e., He who is the base of lives of universe,
is most beloved, even more than Prann i.e., breath. So Bhuhu is the name of God.
BHUVAHA= “BHUVAHA ITI APANAHA” i.e., He who is totally free from any sorrow,
and the soul removes his own all sorrows after coming in contact with Him. So the
name of God is Bhuvaha.
SWAHA = i.e., “SWAHA ITI VYANAHE” who is omnipresent in the universe and is
holding the same. So the name of God is Swaha.
SAVITUHU = He who creates the universe. So the name of God is Savituhu.
DEVSYA= who gives all pleasure/merriment, so the name of God is Dev.
VARENNYAM = He who is the most supreme and acceptable. God is most supreme
and acceptable for worship.
BHARGAHA = the purest entity (though God is formless, but finding no suitable
English word of Sanskrit word, “SHUDH SWARUPAM” the word entity has been used.)
TAT = i.e., the God i.e., of the purest entity.
DHIMAHI = i.e., we must hold (sort of meditation) because
YAHA = the God
NAHA = our,
DHIYAHA = mind(i.e., in our minds)
PRACHODYAT = by inspiration (fulfil the mind with wisdom)
“We meditate the God who is the base of lives’ of universe, totally free from any sorrow, omnipresent, creates the universe, gives all pleasure/merriment, most supreme and acceptable, purest entity; May the God enlighten our minds with wisdom by His inspiration”.
Here it is not out of place to mention that idea of a (one) Ved mantra is based on ideas of several Ved mantras. So in the above Gayatri mantra, there are three things —-
Bhuhu, Bhuvaha, Swaha, Savituhu, Bhargaha, Devsya are some qualities amongst unlimited qualities of God. These are called Stuti i.e., to say about God with His real qualities and not self made etc.
Secondly Dhimahi means meditation i.e., one should always sit in meditation and do hard and pious deeds for which he will have to study Vedas in full, while discharging moral duties towards family and nation.
Third and last is DHIYO YO NAHA PRACHODYAT. It is a prayer to God explanation of which is cited above.
God has made universe and blessed us with human body to do pious deeds to attain salvation only. He has not made any heaven or hell. All have to face the result of their deeds, good or bad here only, even by taking rebirth. (Rigveda mantras 10/135/1,2 refer)
God has not only made universe but has also given knowledge of four Vedas where answers to your and everyone’s questions have been given. There are four Vedas:
1. Rig Veda – gives knowledge of science, matter of the universe like sun, moon, air, body etc., etc.
2. Yajurveda – gives knowledge of all the deeds and duties to be performed by men, women, students, leaders, king, agriculturist etc., etc., etc.
3. Samveda – gives knowledge how to worship God who gives peace and long happy life etc. In this way, details of Yoga philosophy, qualities, supreme deeds and nature of the God are also given.
4. Atharvaveda – gives details of God, medical science and details of medicine etc.
Actually in four Vedas there is unlimited knowledge. Yajurveda mantra 40/8 says that God is everywhere, is Almighty, formless, devoid of nervous system, purest, away from sins and does not have to face any result of any karmas (deeds), knows every soul, knows what is in everyone’s mind, no body has made God, but God creates universe, has given the eternal knowledge of four Vedas and always gives the said knowledge at the beginning of every universe to know the science and deeds to all concern. Similarly four Vedas say about God that God is an omnipresent, omniscient, formless, beyond imagination and beyond calculation. Actually God has unlimited qualities. There is only one God who creates, nurses, destroys the universe and recreates. Atharvaveda mantra 4/1/1 also says that God gives the knowledge of Vedas at the beginning of the earth to four Rishis of non-sexual creation. And thereafter only public listens Vedas through Rishis Munis as yet and become learned. Rig-Veda gives knowledge of Almighty, Yajurveda gives knowledge of karmas (deeds), Samveda tells about worship-Yoga philosophy and Atharvaveda about medicines and God. Actually all Vedas commonly says about God also, so this is about Vedas in short. But the knowledge of Vedas is endless.
It is a fundamental law that knowledge is always given by somebody. Otherwise knowledge can’t be gained at any cost. If a new born baby is nursed well in a dense jungle and is not educated then he will not be able to gain any knowledge even if he becomes young or old. So we have to think about the origin of the knowledge prevalent in the world today. In this connection the Vedas themselves say that God gives this knowledge to four Rishis. As said by Rishi Patanjali in Yoga shastra sutra 1/26, God is the first Guru of the four Rishis. Yajurveda mantra 31/7 also refers. This is all in short about Vedas.
The Vedas are not a book, rather it is a knowledge originated in the heart of Rishis. At the time of beginning of the earth those Rishis preached Vedas by mouth and all others remembered the same orally. At that time there was no pen, pencil, paper, etc. This process of studying Vedas orally remained till Mahabharata time. Muni Vyas too remembered Vedas traditionally by heart. Then Muni Vyas for the first time wrote the Vedas on Bhoj patra about 5300 years ago. In 16th century when printing press came into existence then the Vedas were printed. Still Vedas are not those which have been printed but those which are preached by mouth by an Acharya/yogi and the printed Vedas are called Sanhita.
Now if somebody worships a statue etc., then it is their own creation please but Vedas deny. According to Vedas the best worship of the God is Yajyen for which all Vedas are self-proof. Yajurveda mantra 31/16 says that the learned persons worship God by Yajyen.
So many people have asked me that most of the scholars/preachers of different religion state that their religion incorporates all matters of the world including science. What about Vedas? I wrote so many Ved Mantras describing science matters therein. For example, Yajurveda Mantra 3/6 states “Ayam Gauhu Swaha Pitram Puraha Prayan Mataram Prishnihi Aakrameet Asadat”.
This earth revolves around the Sun in the space and it also rotates on its own axis. Vedas are eternal like God because Vedas emanate from God. Now, according to Vedas, this present creation is about 1 Arab, 96 crores, 8 lakh 53,111 years old. So are the Vedas but as said in Rigveda Mantra 10/191/3 the present creation is same as was the previous one and this process of creation is eternal. So are the Vedas which emanate from eternal God. This all concludes that Vedas are the oldest in this creation also and no other book of science, maths or pertaining to spiritualism is written before Vedas.
Like the above example of rotation and revolution of earth, the significance of whole present science is mentioned in Vedas. We can see that whatever is happening in the universe, is all according to the Vedas. For example, occurance of six seasons, actions of Sun, moon, process of death, birth, worship, yoga philosophy, atomic energy, agriculture, animal husbandry, knowledge of politics, administration, architecture, solar energy, knowledge of home appliances like mixer, grinder, business rules, about men, women, children, marriage, Brahamcharya, education, clothes etc., etc., i.e., knowledge right from a straw to Brahma is all in Vedas. God is Almighty and has unlimited powers. So through His power He is able to originate the knowledge of Vedas in the heart of four Rishis without pencil, paper, help of mouth or any other worldly assistance.
We, i.e., the whole world depends on Almighty God but God is forever independent. That is why, He is God. We are the souls who reside in human bodies. We need assistance of senses, perceptions, mind and body to do deeds but not God.
Nowadays, so many saints are writing books. What is the background to write their books? Background is clear that they have first studied or listened the preach from their Gurus, keeping aside the matter of truth or falsehood. And after studying or listening the same, they became able to write the books. So this is also fundamental law, based on which, the ancient Rishis first listened Vedas and when they became learned then only they wrote the Vedic books like Valmiki Ramayana, six shastras, Mahabharat (Bhagwad Geeta), Upanishads, etc., etc. So, first the knowledge of Vedas is initiated in the universe and afterwards other books come into existence.
Somebody may say that human beings have knowledge by their nature to create anything like books etc., but we see that the newly born baby who is nursed in a jungle, in the absence of knowledge of a learned person, he becomes incapable to do anything. Thus, he
can’t be M.A, M.Sc, doctor etc. So there are two types of the words and meanings. First, eternal which are from Almighty God and second, natural made by human beings. Eternal word meanings are always from Vedas i.e., from God. After listening/studying Vedas, human beings become learned and then too based on their own natural knowledge, they make their own words and meanings, literature etc. But it is very much clear that in the absence of knowledge of Vedas, no one can become learned. Nowadays, also people live in dense jungle and do not lead a civilized life because they are not learned as cited above. Vedas are not sects because they emanate direct from God and God is one for all human beings. God creates sun, moon, air, water, food etc., which are meant for the best use of all human beings for their long, happy life. So are the Vedas. So all human beings must accept Vedas as an eternal knowledge from God, for the benefit of whole creation.
Clint: I would like to know if Sathya Sai Baba is singing the original Gayatri Mantra.
Swami Ram Swarup: Gayatri mantra is being sung/recited throughout the world. But question arises whether those person also know completely about Vedas and recite other ved mantras under the guidance of learned acharya. Nowadays, gayatri mantra and other shastras, upnishads etc., are being used mostly for professional purpose. However, the Vedas, which includes Gayatri mantra also, are meant for attaining the main motto of human-life i.e., salvation, while discharging all moral duties mentioned in Vedas.
N: Pranaam Swamiji!Me and my husband are planning for our second baby. Can you please advice me if this is a good day or suggest any better date for conceiving? I will like to have a daughter.(other details provided)
Swami Ram Swarup: My blessings to you, my daughter.
Your views are pious according to Vedic religion. My blessings are always with you, please go ahead on odd days (7th or 9th or 11th day) .