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Here’s what the Mantra roughly means as each word has multiple connotations that explain the same philosophy differently:
OM- Supreme power/ Supreme Force that governs the universe or Almighty
Bhur – The existence of infinite God
Bhuva – The force that governs the universe and everything beyond
Svaha – The force that is omnipresent
Tat – The selfless giver
Savitur – the grace of the divine responsible for creation of the universe
Varenyam – Acceptance of the almighty as the supreme power that is responsible for creation of this infinite universe
Bhargo – the bright light that illuminates to destroy darkness represented by ignorance.
Devasya –refers to the various attributes of God that none can replicate. In short – God-like or divine-like
Dhimahi – to focus on truth (God) alone to banish all impurities in the mind that invites grief.
Dhiyo – The greatest possession (intellect). With the presence of God in the mind, one can achieve wisdom and the intellect to rise about materialistic desires.
Nah – selflessness. The prayers to the God are not for the self but the entire mankind.
Prachodayat – seeking his blessings to guide us to the path of truth by giving us a clear conscience.
It is always important to understand what you chant because only then shall you be able to surrender whole-heartedly to the divine.
Here’s the translation:
Almighty, the one who is infinite, the one who governs the universe and everything beyond, the one who is omnipresent, the selfless giver, the one who is accepted as the ruler of this entire creation, the one who removes our ignorance by emitting a light of knowledge, the one who is the supreme force, here’s focussing on him alone to remove all impurities from mind and seek the intellect from him to rise above petty materialism for the benefit of not just the self but mankind as a whole and guiding us to the path of truth.
We humans are tiny creations and too petty in front of the divine. The Gayatri Mantra helps us remain grounded and humble by reminding us that we are God's creations and not his creator.