I’ve been chanting the Gayatri Mantra for quite a while. It was probably the first complete mantra that I learned. It is one of the oldest, and generally thought of as being the greatest and most powerful mantra of all. The ancient yogis believed the Gayatri is so powerful that it can protect you from harm no matter where you are or what the circumstances. The Gayatri is said to remove all obstacles on the path to increased wisdom and spiritual growth.
I love to chant it. I love the rhythm, the Sanskrit words, and the energy it produces, but somehow I don’t think I ever understood the full meaning. I never quite got it.
OM. Earth. Mid-heaven. Heaven.
Let us contemplate the most excellent splendor of Savitri
so that He/She/It may inspire our contemplation.
So we’re supposed to contemplate to inspire more contemplation; meditate on Savitri, (the life-giver and also the principle that illuminates the mind) and that is going to inspire more wisdom. Somehow, I wasn’t getting the download.
And then, my husband and I went on a mission, to witness the totality of the solar eclipse. With all the hype of seeing Totality I wasn’t sure anything could live up to the high bar expectations that were set for this eclipse. But it surely did not disappoint. This was reality at its best, no need for the virtual kind. The moon’s movement across the surface was beautiful in and of itself, with the sun seeming to go through the phases normally thought of as moon phases. I had a strong urge to do a moon salutation, honoring the phases of the sun rather than the moon as it slowly and methodically morphed into a “crescent sun.” The 10 minutes both before and after totality were truly amazing. Everything that was said to happen did in fact happen, with the shadows and lighting eerily awe-inspiring. Our own shadows and that of the trees did in fact look different, sharper, like the contrast was indeed turned up. The feel of the air, the sense of the sun disappearing behind the moon was……… indescribable. Then for 2+ glorious minutes, Totality, what we had made our journey for, there it was, the corona. It was magnificent. Our fellow viewers began to cheer and shout, but for me, I felt a more introspective pull.
Witnessing the brilliant ring of light that branched out and embraced the moon with great sparkling lacy butterfly wings, I finally got it. I felt my own deep connection to the earth, the elements and perhaps a glimpse of what the ancient yogis must have felt as they watched cosmic events such as this unfold without the benefit of scientific findings or knowing exactly when they would occur. I understood their need to honor the great giver of life. Standing in the magnificence of this natural phenomenon, it truly did inspire my contemplation. I felt like I had finally witnessed the Gayatri.