The Gāyatrī mantra (also called Sāvitrī mantra), is a mantra from the Rig Veda (Mandala 3.62.10). Like all Vedic mantras, the Gāyatrī mantra is considered not to have an author and is believed to have been revealed to Rishi Vishwamitra.
The mantra is considered to be not different from the divine entity that forms the content of the mantra. Thus name of the divine entity contained in the mantra is also called Gāyatrī.
Therefore, Gayatri mantra is not just a means of worship but is an object of worship by itself. Depending on how Savitri is interpreted, this mantra can be seen as connected both to Sun worship and to the Mother Goddess.
During its recitation, the hymn is preceded by oṃ (ॐ) and the formula bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ (भूर् भुवः स्वः). It is known as the Mahāvyāhrti (“great mystical utterance”). Bhur, Bhuvah and Svaha are the names of the 3 worlds (Bhur, Bhuvah, Svaha).
From a meditational point of view, Bhur, Bhuvah, Svaha are mystically interpreted as the 3 depths of meditation: Conscious, Semi-Conscious and the Unconscious.
The Gāyatrī mantra is described in Shaiva tradition as the key to opening the door to Cosmic Consciousness. Silently speaking the Gāyatrī mantra influences the physical body, clears the emotional body, leading one to the inner heart. To chant the Gayatri Mantra purifies the chanter. To listen to the Gayatri Mantra purifies the listener.
ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः ।
भर्गो॑ दे॒वस्य॑धीमहि ।
धियो॒ यो नः॑ प्रचो॒दया॑त् ॥
oṃ bhūrbhuvaḥ svaḥ
dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt
– Rigveda 3.62.10
Here’s a rough translation of the Gayatri Mantra:
“We meditate upon the spiritual effulgence of that adorable supreme divine reality.
Who is the source of the physical, the astral and the heavenly spheres of existence.
May that supreme divine being enlighten our intellect, so that we may realize the supreme truth.”