On Gayatri Mantra

On Gayatri Mantra

Om Bhurbhuvaha Swaha Tat Savitur Varayneyum
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi Dhi Yo Naha Prachodayat

Mantra, grammatically refer to as meter. English poem readers would know of common meters like a couple or triplets. Urdu Shayari readers would also know that most of the compositions are also couplets. Similarly, Gayatri is also a meter used often in Vedas. That is what “Gayatri Mantra” means, grammatically.

The actual mantra (composition) that we usually refer to when we say Gayatri Mantra is, to be more accurate, a Surya Gayatri Mantra from Rig Veda. Thus, it is a Mantra, written in Gayatri meter, dedicated to Surya Dev from the Rig Veda.

BhurBhu is land, earth. When combined with Bhuvaha, Bhu becomes Bhur
BhuvahaAir, atmosphere
SwahaBeyond the atmosphere. Antariksha, universe, cosmos
TatTat is sanskrit for pronoun ‘that’. Tat is the pronoun used by Hindus to refer to what is often refered to as God.
SaviturSun. When Savitur is used to refer to Sun, it is not the star called Sun. In that case word Surya is used. Savitur referes to the divine or spiritual Sun that shines with knowledge. It is that divine form of Sun that is the light of wisdom.
VarayneyumThat what is worth Varan. Vanan means to mention. Talk about. Discuss. Adore. Talk with respect. Chant, Repeat. Describe
DevasyaDev like. Divine.
Dhimahito contemplate. we contemplate
Dhiyoderived from Dhi is intellect, knowledge, deep learning
Prachodayatrequest, urge, lead, inspire

Sanskrit does not map into English. Nor the words or the sentence formation. It is always recommended to learn Sanskrit or at least Hindi to understand the mantras. Here is an attempt to translate it using words explained above:

We meditate about Om, Bhu, Bhuvaha and Swaha
About ‘Tat’
On Savitur‘s divine illumination
Who is Varayneyum
May/to Prachodayat our Dhiyo

The Rig Veda (10:16:3)

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