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Importance of Chanting of Gayatri – Gayatri Japa – in Hinduism

Gayatri Japa is one of the most important mantras in Hinduism and it is dedicated to Surya, the sun god – pratyksha Brahman or the visible god. Hinduism believes in the welfare of all living beings and Gayatri Japa one of the most ancient prayers in the world is a universal prayer seeking welfare of all living beings.

Gayatri mantra is found in the Rig Veda (III.62.10).

Importance of Gayatri Japa

The mantra is constantly chanted in several grahya and Srautasutras – the ritualistic adjuncts of the Vedas.

It is also chanted in the Hindu religious codes and social laws (Dharmashastra).

Gayatri forms the primary mantra into which young boys and girls are initiated. This is part of the Upanayana ceremony.

Atharva veda (19.71.1) gives the title of Vedamata (Mother of Vedas) to Gayatri Mantra. It states that the recitation would confer on the person long life, glory, children and wealth.

As per Apastamba Dharmasutra, Gayatri Japa is equal to the recitation of all the four Vedas.

It has been repeatedly mentioned in the Hindu religious codes that Gayatri Japa is extremely potent, either by itself or with other prayers and rituals. It is chanted as part of penance and sin redemption.

Vasishta Dharmasutra (26.15) states the number of times Gayatri is to be chanted. Gayatri Japa should be chanted 1000 times or 100 times or at least ten times daily for a person to purify oneself.

As per Samvarta Dharmashastra (VI. 147 – 48), the person chanting Gayatri should first take a bath, the do achamana (sipping of water), perform pranayama, wear dry clothes and put pavitra – a loop made using darbha grass on the right hand. The person should then sit on hard ground in a clean place and commence the recitation of the Gayatri mantra. All sins committed by him in this world and the previous birth will be wiped off when the Gayatri Japa is performed continuously for five days.