Gayatri Mantra is a verse in Rig Veda (3.62.10) and is addressed to Sun. It is found in Rig Veda book 3 hymn 63 line 10. The mantra is attributed to Sage Visvamitra.
Tat Savithur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayat
There are innumerable interpretations of Gayatri Mantra. Scholars have been interpreting Gayatri for ages and it still continues. The net result is that ordinary people no longer knows what it means. People have begun to attach undue importance and we have all sort of stories on Gayatri Mantra. Each syllable in the Gayatri has been put under scanner and undue significance has been attributed.
Then there are the scientific interpretations of Gayatri Mantra. Some of them can make excellent science fictions.
One can easily get lost in the sea of scholarly and scientific articles on Gayatri Mantra. Most of these articles are the product of ego of the author who wanted to show off his/her knowledge. Some of the interpretations were meant to purely glorify the Vedic age and Hinduism.
One of the earliest translations of Gayatri Mantra captures its true essence. Sir Henry Thomas Colebrooke translates Gayatri Mantra like this - “Earth, Sky, Heaven. Let us meditate on (these, and on) the most excellent light and power of that generous, sportive, and resplendent sun, (praying that) it may guide our intellects.”
Gayatri Mantra is an excellent way to start a day. It brings one in contact with ‘Brahman.’ What else do one need? It is also an ideal mantra to chant while meditating. It glorifies the Pratyksha Brahman - Sun - without whom no living being can exist.
Understand the true essence of Sanatana Dharma – everything in this world is the product of Brahman and everything contains the essence of Brahman. So by repeating Gayatri ‘X’ number of times nobody is going to gain anything extra.
Similarly, by attributing newer qualities to Gayatri Mantra nothing is going to change. It only creates confusion to an ordinary devotee and instills with more wrong ideas and notions.