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Gayatri Ashtakam | Gayathri Ashtakam | Gayatrayastakam by Adi Shankara

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Gāyatrayaṣṭakam

I meditate on Gāyatrī, Who was the result of penance of Viśvāmitra, Who is dearest, Who is served by bumble-bee like sages,1 Who gives eternal or fleeting discerning knowledge, Who has a smiling face, Who is resplendent due to decoration by a crescent moon, Whose face is glowing red in color and has a betelnut, Who is situated in the middle of (twelve) Āditya, Who is dear to Hari, Who has three eyes, and Who has five heads.[1]

I meditate on Gāyatrī, Whose two feet are honored by garlands of jasmine, lotus and Ketakī, Who is with alphabetical formations resembling the nature of supreme truth, Who bestows wisdom to understand the supreme truth, Who is served completely by knowledge-men skillful in prāṇāyāma, Who is eternally blissful, Who is dear to Hari, Who has three eyes, and Who has five heads.[2]

I meditate on Gāyatrī, Who magnifies whole world’s state of being charming by the sounds of Her anklet, Who hindered a great company of demons using water offered by sages, Who is like Mother Earth, Who absolves the sin of chanters, Whose complexion is red like that of Japākusuma flower, Who is adorned by a swan, Who is dear to Hari, Who has three eyes, and Who has five heads.[3]

I meditate on Gāyatrī, Who is adorned by a girdle and garment, Who is full of eternal bliss, Who is bearing garlands and half-garlands,2 Who is the supreme Goddess, Who bestows refuge (to everyone), Who destroys wisdom blinded by attachment, Who is bhū, bhuvaḥ and svaḥ (three worlds), Who gave birth to the three worlds, Who is bowed upon by the branches of dialectics, Who is dear to Hari, Who has three eyes, and Who has five heads.[4]

I meditate on Gāyatrī, Who absolves the burns of meditating person due to womb-fire, Who is equipoised, Who is reached by equanimity, Who is served during the evening, Who is full of svara (syllables), Who is dark like far-off grass,3 Who is dear to Hari, Who has three eyes, and Who has five heads.[5]

I meditate on Gāyatrī, Who is served by best sages shining in robes marked by the color of evening (saffron), Who has a necklace of star-like (twinkling) diamonds, Who has shining moon-like jewels between the breasts, Whose face is like the full moon, Who is served by the consort of Ramā (Viṣṇu), Who has a conch-shell and other shining objects in hand, Who is dear to Hari, Who has three eyes, and Who has five heads.[6]

I meditate on Gāyatrī, Who is adorned by bumble-bees buzzing around the garlands decorated by the hair-bun (of Her),4 Who is buzzing like a female bumble-bee with supreme knowledge of Self and knowledge of rasa stuck on the tongue, Who is piercing the evening darkness by the pearl-rays emanating from Her nose ornament, Who is dear to Hari, Who has three eyes, and Who has five heads.[7]

I meditate on Gāyatrī, Who is surrounded by beautiful bundle of shining rays from dust and pollen situated inside the lotus-feet, Who is the only connoisseur of drama by Rambhā, Who bestows wisdom of Vedānta (Upaniṣat), Who is listening to sounds made by demi-gods from lute, flute, tabour and drums, Who is dear to Hari, Who has three eyes, and Who has five heads.[8]

Having pierced the mountain-sized sins like murder, liquor consumption, gold robbing or desiring preceptor’s wife — those sages, which have obtained this śruti on Gāyatrī, and which are comparable to Indra or Sūrya, they having chanted it during evening with a fixed mind, get the best Vaidika course of the soul possible for humans by the Goddess.5[9]

Footnotes:

1 The buzzing of bumble-bees can be compared with the chanting of sages.

2 The notion of half-garland or ardhamālā is unclear.

3 The meaning of māturdāsya... is unclear to the translator.

4 Presence of bumble-bees signifies that the flowers are eternally fresh. This means either the absence of time in the sānnidhya of Goddess or the state of infallibility by being associated to Her.

5 The first two lines may have an inaccurate translation. Please suggest any corrections to stutimandal@gmail.com by email.

References

Poet: Ādi Śaṅkara

Translator: Animesh Kumar

Submitter: Animesh Kumar

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Date added: 2008-10-07
Last modified: 2008-10-07
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© Stutimandal 2008-10-07