Sri Sathya Sai Speaks, Vol 33 (2000)
4
Sanctify Your Life By Chanting Gayatri Mantra

Contents 
Dear Boys!
THIS is the most auspicious moment of your life. Human life can be compared to a four-storeyed mansion. The four storeys correspond to four stages of man’s life, namely, Brahmacharya, Grihastha, Vanaprastha, and Sanyasa (celibate, householder, recluse and renunciant). Today you are laying the foundation of the mansion of your life. The safety and security of the mansion is assured once you make the foundation strong and sturdy.
Man has four births.
His first birth takes place from his mother’s womb.
He gets a second life when he is initiated into the Gayatri mantra.
His third birth occurs when he studies the Vedas.
He becomes a Brahmin when he recongnises the principle of Brahman. This is his fourth birth. One becomes a Brahmin not merely by birth, but by knowing the nature of Brahman. For this, chanting of Gayatri Mantra is very essential.
Man is the embodiment of all gods. In fact, the gross form of the food that man consumes refers to the principle of Brahma. On this basis, it is said,
“Annam Brahma, Raso Vishnu”
(food is Brahma and the essence is Vishnu).
The subtle form of the food denotes the principle of Vishnu. The subtlest form symbolizes the principle of Easwara. The gross part of the food strengthens the body. The subtle part of the food strengthens the mind; the subtlest part of the food purifies the speech. So, food plays a vital role in strengthening and purifying the body, mind and speech.
Gayatri Is The Mother Of The Vedas
Gayatri is sarvadevata swarupini and sarvamantra swarupini (embodiment of all gods and all mantras). It is said,
Gayatri Chhandasam Matha
Gayatri is the mother of the Vedas
There is no need to chant any other mantra if you chant the Gayatri mantra.
Gayatri has three names: Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati.
Gayantham Trayate ithi Gayatri
Gayatri protects the one who recites it
Gayatri is the master of the senses. Savitri is the presiding deity of the life principle. When Gayatri acts as the protector of life force, she is known as Savitri. You might have heard the story of Savitri, a woman of chastity, who brought her dead husband, Sathyavan, back to life with the power of her prayer. Savitri protects those who lead a life of Sathya (truth). This is the inner meaning. Saraswathi is the presiding deity of speech. Man has to earn the grace of Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati to sanctify his life.
First and foremost, man has to purify his speech. Only then will his life be safe and secure. If you slip and fall, the injury can be cured, but the injury caused by the slip of the tongue is incurable. It will make your life miserable. So, you should have control over your speech. Excessive talk will lead to untruth and unpleasantness. That is why the ancient saints and seers used to observe silence. You can uphold truth and attain fame only by talking less. Limited talk will confer happiness. Excessive talk will put to grave dangers.
Gayatri, Savitri and Saraswati are latent in everybody. Bhur, Bhuvah, and Suvah in the Gayatri mantra refer to body (materialization), life-force (vibration) and soul (radiation). Bhur means Bhuloka (the earth), which is nothing but the combination of materials. This denotes the human body, which is also a combination of materials. Bhuvah refers to the lifeforce, which makes the body vibrate. Suvah refers to Prajnana Shakti, which sustains the life-force. This Prajnana Shakti is known as Constant Integrated Awareness. This is also termed as radiation. All the three, namely, materialization, vibration and radiation are present in man. I tell you often, you are not one, but three - the one you think you are (physical body), the one others think you are (mental body) and the one you really are (Atma).
Heart Should Be Pure And Compassionate
Human life is the combination of body, mind and atma. Body is the basis for attaining wisdom. So, it should not be misused. One has to purify one’s body and mind by undertaking sacred actions. The principle of atma is always pure and unsullied. Human life is highly sacred.
Janthunam Narajanma Durlabham
(human birth is the rarest of all beings).
Sareeramadyam Khalu Dharma Sadhanam
(body indeed is the first medium for the pursuit of Dharma).
Do not underestimate the potentialities of human body. In fact, human body is the basis for attaining the goal of life.
Work for the redemption of your life by chanting the Divine Name and undertaking sacred activities. You need not make any special effort to acquire the human values, namely, Sathya, Dharma, Santhi,
Prema and Ahimsa. They are with you right from your birth. But you have forgotten them, as you have not put them into practice. Instead of giving tons of speeches, it is better that you practise at least an ounce of what you have learnt. Today humanness is on the decline because man does not practise human values. Man is developing asalu (desires), forgetting adarsalu (ideals). His attachment to the body is becoming stronger, whereas his attachment to the spirit is on the decline. No doubt, attachment to the body is essential, but it is desirable only when it comes to performing actions.
Cultivate Spirit Of Patriotism
You should give up dehabhimanam (attachment to the body) and cultivate deshabhimanam (spirit of patriotism). After Ravana was annihilated, Lakshamana prayed to Rama to rule over Lanka. He said, “Brother, it is not proper on our part to disturb Bharata, who is ruling over Ayodhya. Moreover, the kingdom of Lanka is more affluent and beautiful than Ayodhya. So, it is my humble prayer that you should become the king of Lanka.” Vibhishana too fell at the feet of Rama, saying, “Swami, I surrender myself, my wealth and the kingdom at your Lotus Feet.” But Rama was not carried away by the affluence of Lanka. He said,
Janani Janma Bhoomischa Swargadapi Gareeyasi
(the mother and the motherland are greater than even heaven).
”I cannot leave my motherland even if it is not that affluent as Lanka.” This shows the love and respect Rama had for his motherland.
Himachala (the Himalayas) forms the northern boundary of Bharat. ‘Hima ’ means ice. It is white in colour and melts easily. Whiteness symbolizes purity. ‘achala ’ means that which is steady. Your hridaya (heart) should also be like Himachala, pure and steady. It should melt with compassion.
Hri+Daya=Hridaya. Daya means compassion.
God resides in your heart only when it is pure, steady and full of compassion. But today human heart has lost purity, compassion and steadiness due to limitless desires. Life is a long journey and your desires are the luggage. “Less luggage more comfort makes travel a pleasure.” The journey of life will become enjoyable only when you reduce the luggage of desires. The lesser the desires, the happier you will be. The Gita teaches that you should offer everything to God.
Sarva Karma Bhagavad Preethyartham
(perform all your actions to please God).
Only then will you be free from all difficulties and hardships.
Turn Your Mind Toward God And Overcome Maya
The Vedas declare:
“Mathru Devo Bhava, Pithru Devo Bhava”
(rervere the mother and the father as God).
I keep telling the students very often that their blood, food, head and duddu (money) are all the gifts of the mother. So, first and foremost, one should show gratitude to the mother. You should never forget your mother who gave you birth after carrying you in her womb for nine months and brought you up providing all care and comfort, unmindful of her own discomforts. The mother always has your well-being uppermost in her mind in whatever she says or does. You may be highly educated and your mother may be illiterate, but still you should have utmost regard for her. You should consider the teachings of your mother as the Veda itself.
Gayatri is the embodiment of the mother principle. You should chant the Gayatri mantra everyday, in the morning, noon and evening. These are referred to as Prata Sandhya, Madhyahna Sandhya, and Sayam Sandhya. When your back is towards the sun, your shadow will be in front of you. It will fall behind you only when you stand facing the sun. Similarly, maya (illusion), which is like your shadow, will overpower you when you turn your mind away from God. It can be overcome only when you turn your mind towards God.
Spiritual Education Is True Education
Due to the impact of Kali Age and the advancement of modern education, man’s intellect is getting perverted. There is no point in acquiring education bereft of character. Worldly education, which comprises mere bookish knowledge, can never help you to lead a divine life. No doubt, worldly education is essential, but along with worldly education, one should have spiritual education too.
“Adhyatma Vidya Vidyanam”
(spiritual education is the true education),

”Nadinam Sagaro Gatih”
(rivers ultimately merge in the ocean).
Worldly education is like rivers and rivulets, while spiritual education is like a mighty ocean. So, of all the forms of education, spiritual education is the highest and the noblest.
Today even the highly educated parents are acting without any sense of discrimination. They discourage their children from worshipping God and participating in Bhajans. They tell them that they would have ample time to think of God after retirement. This is a grave mistake,
“Start early, drive slowly, and reach safely.”
One can remember God in old age only when one thinks of Him right from childhood.
Students!
Childhood is the right age to contemplate on God. This is the golden age as it is a very sacred age. Do not misuse it. Some parents want their children to go abroad immediately after the completion of their graduation. What is there in foreign countries that is not available in Bharat? In fact, that which is not present in Bharat is not present anywhere else in the world. Most of the students who go abroad to pursue higher studies develop perverted minds and lose their character. I have Myself seen that many students who went abroad lost their character. People send their children abroad because they want them to become dhanavantulu (wealthy), but not gunavanthulu (virtuous). Money may provide all the comforts and conveniences, but can it confer mental peace? No. Only spirituality can grant peace of mind.
Excessive Money Gives Rise To Arrogance
Today people are crazy to go to foreign countries, whereas the foreigners themselves are coming to Bharat in search of peace of mind. They have all the material comforts, but lack peace of mind. They have money in abundance. Excessive money gives rise to arrogance, which in turn leads to all wicked qualities. So, one should not go abroad in search of wealth. One should remain in Bharat if one wants to cultivate noble character. Take Swami’s own example. Thousands of devotees have been praying to me to visit their respective countries. But till today I have not even entertained the thought of going abroad. What is the reason? Bharat is the centre of all dharmas. It is the land of sacred rituals and sacrifice. Here is a small example. The train has an engine in the front and many compartments attached to it. You will find coal, fire and driver in the engine only, and not in other compartments. Bharat can be compared to the engine. In Bharat alone you find the sacred fire of yajnas and yagas. The other countries are like different compartments attached to the engine of Bharat. Some ‘compartments’ may get disjoined. What is the reason? They do not have proper ‘link’ with the engine. The culture of Bharat is highly sacred. The Bharatiyas should be attached to their motherland; they should practise and propagate its sacred culture.
Upanayanam Necessary At Early Age
Gayatri is known as Panchamukhi, meaning she has five faces. What are they?
Om is the first face;
Bhur Bhuvah Suvah, the second;
Tat Savitur Varenyam, the third;
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi, the fourth;
Dhiyo Yo Na Prachodayat is the fifth.
Gayatri mantra has three parts: praise, meditation and prayer.
First, the Divine is praised, and then it is meditated upon in reverence and, lastly, prayer is offered to the Divine to dispel the darkness of ignorance and to awaken and strengthen the intellect. Dheemahi relates to the meditative aspect. Dhiyo Yo Na Prachodayat relates to the prayer.
Chanting of the Gayatri mantra purifies the mind and confers devotion, detachment and wisdom. Young men must necessarily chant the Gayatri mantra. Today we find that they get initiated into the Gayatri mantra at an advanced stage of their youth. Intellect will blossom and shine in all its splendour after initiation into the Gayatri mantra. That is why it is essential that Upanayanam be done at the age of eight. One who is initiated into the Gayatri mantra at an early age will become highly intelligent. Man’s life will be sanctified by chanting this mantra.
It is because man does not think of God with devotion and sincerity that fear and restlessness have become the order of the day. Chanting of Divine Name alone can make one fearless. God is referred to as Hiranyagarbha. Hiranya means gold. Only when you place this ‘gold’ in your heart, can you get the jewels of Sathya, Dharma, Shanthi, and Prema. Once God is installed in your heart, only divine feelings will originate from it. When sweet pudding is poured into a vessel with a number of holes, what comes out of the holes will also be sweet pudding. Likewise, when you fill your heart with divinity, all your actions will become divine. But man lacks faith in divinity. He has swasa (breath), but no viswasa (faith). Such a life is useless.
Evil Qualities Are Gateways To Hell
The youth should work for the progress of the country. They should always help their fellowmen.
Sage Vyasa gave the essence of 18 Puranas thus:
Paropakaraya Punyaya Papaya Parapeedanam  
(one attains merit by serving others and commits sin by hurting them).  
So, Help ever, Hurt never.
This is the true devotion and surrender. Devotion does not mean offering worship or doing bhajans. They are all external activities. All these are futile if there is no inner purity. So, develop love.
Love is God, God is love. So, live in love.
Love your parents. Serve them, obey their command and satisfy them. They have immense love for you. But, sometimes, they may try to put you on the wrong path unknowingly. In such a case, explain to them, what is right and what is wrong and convince them. If they want you to go abroad to earn more money, tell them that character is important, not money. If you explain to them in a proper way, there will certainly be a transformation in them.
Boys!
If you chant the Gayatri mantra wholeheartedly, you will never face difficulties or hardships in life. Chant the divine name incessantly. You know the story of Prahlada. His father Hiranyakasipu commanded him to stop chanting the name of Lord Narayana. Prahlada never argued with his father. He smilingly listened to all that his father said but ultimately followed the dictates of his conscience. Huge elephants were let loose to trample him under their feet, poisonous snakes were set on him to bite. He was pushed down from mountain cliffs, thrown into the deep sea. But never did he give up chanting the Lord’s name. As a result, the elephants, poisonous snakes, mountain cliffs and mighty oceans transformed into Lord Narayana Himself. The Lord came to his rescue whenever he was put to danger. Likewise, if you have divine feelings in your heart, God will protect you wherever you are. Have unwavering faith in Him and chant His name with love.
Love Can Transform Even A Foe Into A Friend
Do not give scope to the evil qualities of desire, anger, and greed. They are like gateways to hell. Ravana was highly educated and powerful, but he ruined his entire clan and kingdom as he became a victim of kama (desire). Hiranyakasipu symbolized anger and ultimately ruined himself. Duryodhana was greed personified and he too suffered the same fate as that of Ravana and Hiranyakasipu. You may have immense knowledge, wealth and valour, but you are bound to suffer if you become a slave to anger, desire and greed. Do not take pride in your wealth, physical strength and education. Develop strength of love. Love can transform even a foe into a friend. Only through love can your life be redeemed.
Some people may argue that it is foolish to believe in the existence of God whom you cannot see. But, in fact, you are seeing God all the time, because the entire universe is the form of God. Right from microcosm to macrocosm, all forms are His. The Vedas declare:
Easwara Sarva Bhutanam
(God is present in all beings).
You are unable to see Him because you see Nature from the physical point of view. Give up the worldly feeling and see Nature with divine feelings. Then God will certainly manifest before you. Just as fragrance is present in the flower, divinity is latent in you. Flower can be seen by the naked eye, but can anyone see its fragrance? Mother loves the child. She has a form, but her love has no form. That love is God.
Divine Power Exists In All The God Forms
Gayatri mantra is highly sacred. As Sastri Garu pointed out, Gayatri mantra contains the essence of all the mantras. Gayatri is the embodiment of all gods and goddesses. Just as a single thread runs through all the flowers in a garland, the same divine power exists in all the god forms. Understand this unity in diversity. One who has understood this unity will never be put to suffering. Develop faith in God. Do not get carried away by what others say. Follow the dictates of your conscience.
Dear Boys!
Today is a sacred day. In fact, it is the foundation day of your life. Make this foundation strong and sturdy. Then the mansion of life raised on this foundation will also be strong and secure. This will give strength to the grand edifice of our nation. You should develop national and patriotic feelings. The spirit of nationalism is absent in the youth of today. This is due to the influence of those politicians who keep their self-interest above the interests of the nation. But, you should be ready to sacrifice even your life for the nation. This should be your ideal in life. If you develop such lofty ideals, you are sure to experience divinity.
If you have the strong desire to see God, contemplate on Him with unwavering faith. Then you can certainly see Him. Never doubt His existence. He exists for those who believe in His existence and does not exist for those who deny His existence. He acts according to your feelings. So, develop faith in Him. Chanting the Gayatri mantra three times a day, i.e., morning, noon and evening, is not enough. Chant this mantra perpetually. Why should you stipulate a particular time period for chanting His name who is beyond time?
Sarvada Sarvakaleshu Sarvatra Harichintanam 
(contemplate on the name of God at all places, at all times and under all circumstances).
At first, God stands at a distance watching your efforts. He is like the teacher who stands aside while the student writes the answer to his questions. When you shed your attachment to the material world and turn to doing good and serving others, God comes encouragingly near.
– Sathya Sai Baba
Selected Excerpts From This Discourse