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Goddess Gayatri is considered to be the second spouse of Lord Brahma. According to another school of thought, she is a form of the three Goddess combined; Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati and Mahakali. The Vedas portray her as the female form of the light of the sun. It is She who had presented Brahma with the four Vedas and is thus, also worshipped as Veda Mata or Mother of the Vedas.
Gayatri Jayanti is widely celebrated on the next day of Ganga Dussehra. It falls on the Shukla Paksha Ekadashi during the Jyeshtha Lunar month. Gayatri Jayanti falls on 13 June this year in 2019.
Story behind Gayatri Jayanti
Gayatri Jayanti is celebrated as the day when Goddess Gayatri first appeared in the form of knowledge on the earth. Sage Vishwamitra, is supposed to have first uttered the Gayatri Mantra, the chanting of which helps to eliminate ignorance and absolves the worshipper of all sins and sufferings. By chanting the Gayatri Mantra, the devotees can attain spiritual and worldly happiness. The letters of the mantra are interwoven in such a manner that when the mantra is chanted, special vibrations are created, activating the secret centres of energy within the Sadhak.
Significance of Gayatri Jayanti
According to Hinduism, Goddess Gayatri is the supreme Goddess and chanting the Gayatri Mantra has the same importance as doing all the good deeds one can do in one’s life. Since the Goddess appeared in the form of knowledge on the 11th Shukla Paksha during the Jyeshtha month, this day is celebrated as Gayatri Jayanti. Gayatri Mantra is considered to be second only to the mantra, “Om”.
Traditions and Rituals
On this day, devotees chant the sacred Gayatri Mantra three times during the day; in the morning, in the afternoon and in the evening while sitting in front of the idol or picture of the deity. The deity is normally depicted as a Goddess with five heads and ten arms, sitting on a lotus(signifying wealth). In her arms, she holds all the weapons of Lord Vishnu, symbolising all her reincarnations.
A lamp and incense stick is lit in front of the deity and an offering of camphor, milk, yoghurt, water, fruits and flowers are made while chanting mantras. Four of her five heads symbolise the four Vedas and the fifth symbolises the Almighty him/herself.
The Gayatri Mantra is as follows-
Om bhoor bhuvah svah
Tat savitur varenyam
Bhargo devasye dhimahi
Dhiyo yo naha prachodayat.
In addition to this holy mantra, mantras like, “Om gam Gayatri devayi namaha” can also be chanted while placing the offerings in front of the Goddess.
At many places, devotees gather in temples and everyone together chants the mantra 108 times with supreme devotion. In the temples, it is a pandit or an elderly person, who initiates the prayers.
In many satsangs, hawans are performed and saamagri is offered to the fire with the chanting of the Gayatri Mantra.
Some faithfuls observe Gayatri Jayanti during Shravana Purnima.