Learning Sanskrit by Fresh Approach – Lesson No. 116

Learning Sanskrit by Fresh Approach – Lesson No. 116

संस्कृतभाषायाः नूतनाध्ययनस्य षोडशाधिकशततमः (११६) पाठः ।

Everyone gets to know the गायत्रीमन्त्र. I too have known it. But its meaning is not always very clear, especially by the grammar of every word and the meaning based on the grammar. So, this is an attempt rather an indulgence to learn the Sanskrit of the गायत्रीमन्त्र.

ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् |

पदच्छेदैः – ॐ भूः भुवः स्वः तत्-सवितुः वरेण्यं भर्गः देवस्य धीमहि धियः यः नः प्रचोदयात् |

अन्वयेन – ॐ धीमहि, यः भूः भुवः स्वः तत्-सवितुः देवस्य वरेण्यं भर्गः नः धियः प्रचोदयात् |

शब्दशः विश्लेषणम्

  1. ॐ = invocation

  2. धीमहि =

    1. धी 4 Ā (धीयते) 1 To disregard, disrespect. -2 To propitiate. -3 To hold, contain. -4 To accomplish, fulfil.

    2. प्रायः धी-धातोः विधिलिङ्-लकारे उत्तमपुरुषे बहुवचने आर्षरूपम् |

    3. Let us meditate

  3. यः = यत्-सर्वनाम | अत्र पुंल्लिङ्गि | तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनं च |

  4. भूः =

    1. भूः f. [भू-क्विप्] 1 The earth (opp. अन्तरीक्ष or स्वर्ग); दिवं मरुत्वानिव भोक्ष्यते भुवम् R.3.4;18.4; Me.18; मत्तेभ- कुम्भदलने भुवि सन्ति शूराः । -2 Earth as one of the nine substances. -3 The universe, globe. -4 Ground, floor; मणिभयभुवः (प्रासादाः) Me.66. -5 Land, landed property. -6 A place, site, region, plot of ground; काननभुवि, उपवनभुवि &c. -7 Matter, subject-matter. -8 A symbo- lical expression for the number ‘one’. -9 The base of a geometrical figure. -1 A sacrificial fire. -11 The act of becoming, arising. -12 The first of the three Vyāhṛitis or mystic syllables (भूः, भुवः, स्वः) –representing the earth–repeated by every Brāhmaṇa at the commencement of his daily Sandhyā.

  5. भुवः =

    1. भुवः Ved. 1 Fire. -2 The earth (भुवोलोक). -3 The air, atmosphere (भुवस्).

  6. स्वः =

    1. सुवरिति वा एतास्तिस्रो व्याहृतयः T. Up.1.5.1; वेदत्रयान्निरदुहद्भूर्भुवःस्वरितीति च Ms.2.76; according to some they are seven in number as भूः, भुवः, स्वः, महः, जनः, तपः, and सत्यम्.

  7. तत्-सवितुः =

    1. तत्सवितुः = तस्य सवितुः

    2. तत्सवितृ-इति सामासिकं नाम | तस्य षष्ठी विभक्तिः एकवचनं च |

    3. सः सविता इति “तत्सवितृ” (कर्मधारयः) |

  8. देवस्य = “देव”-इति पुंल्लिङ्गि नाम | तस्य षष्ठी विभक्तिः एकवचनं च |

  9. वरेण्यम् =

    1. वृ-इति धातुः | तस्मात् अनीयर्-प्रत्ययेन “वरणीय”-इति विशेषणम् | वरेण्यम् इति प्रायः आर्षरूपम् | अत्र नपुंसकलिङ्गि | तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनं च |

    2. वृ I. 1, 5, 9 U. (वरति-ते, वृणोति-वृणुते, वृणाति-वृणीते, वृत; pass. व्रीयते) 1 To choose, select as a boon; वृतं तेनेदमेव प्राक् Ku.2.56; ववार रामस्य वनप्रयाणम् Bk.3.6. -2 To choose for oneself (Ātm.); वृणते हि विमृश्यकारिणं गुणलुब्धाः स्वयमेव संपदः Ki.2.3; यदेव वब्रे तदपश्यदाहृतम् R.3.6. -3 To choose in marriage, woo, court; अयोनिजां राजसुतां वरीतुम् Mv.3.28; A. R.3.42. -4 To beg, solicit, ask for. -5 To cover, conceal, hide, screen, envelop; मेघैर्वृतश्चन्द्रमाः Mk.5.14. -5 To surround, encompass; वृतस्त्वं पात्रेसमितैः खट्वा$$रूढः प्रमादवान् Bk.5.1; U.4.18; R.12.61. -7 To ward off, keep away, restrain, check. -8 To hinder, oppose, obstruct. -9 To love, adore. -Caus. (वारयति-ते) 1 To cover, conceal. -2 To avert from (with abl.). -3 To prevent, ward off, restrain, sup- press, check, hinder; शक्यो वारयितुं जलेन हुतभुक् Bh.2. 11. -Desid. (वुवूर्षति-ते, विवरिषति-ते; विवरीषति-ते) To wish to choose. -II. 1 U. (वरयति-ते) 1 To choose, select; वरं वरयते कन्या माता वित्तं पिता श्रुतम् Pt.4.68. -2 To choose in marriage. -3 To ask for, beg, solicit, (with two acc.); तां त्वां संवरणस्यार्थे वरयामि विभावसो Mb.; शैलेन्द्रं वरयामासुर्गङ्गां त्रिपथगां नदीम् Rām.

    3. वरेण्य a. [वृ-एन्य Uṇ.3.98] 1 To be wished for, desirable, eligible; अनेन चेदिच्छसि गृह्यमाणं पाणिं वरेण्येन R.6.24. -2 (Hence) Best, most excellent, pre-eminent, most worthy or distingushed, chief; वेधा विधाय पुनरुक्तमिवन्दुबिम्बं दूरीकरोति न कथं विदुषां वरेण्यः Bv.2.158; तत् सवितुर्वरेण्य भर्गो देवस्य धीमही Rv.3.62.1; R.6.24,84. Bk.1.4; Ku.7.9; A. Rām.2.6.62. -ण्यः A particular class of deceased ancestors. -ण्यम् Saffron.

  10. भर्गः –

    1. भर्गस् इति नपुंसकलिङ्गि नाम | तस्य प्रथमा विभक्तिः एकवचनं च |

    2. भर्गस् n. Radiance, Iustre; देवस्य भर्गो मनसेदं जजान Bhāg.5.7.14; ऊँ तत् सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि Gāyatrīmantra, Rv.3.62.1.

  11. नः – अस्मद्-इति उत्तमपुरुषवाचकं सर्वनाम | तस्य षष्ठी विभक्तिः बहुवचनं च |

  12. धियः

    1. धीः [ध्यै भावे क्विप् संप्रसारणं च] 1 (a) Intellect, understanding; धियः समग्रैः स गुणैरुदारधीः R.3.3; cf. कुधी, सुधी &c. धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् Gāyatrimantra; तत्राज्ञानं धिया नश्येदाभासात्तु घटः स्फुरेत् Vedāntasāra. (b) Mind; दुष्टधी wicked-minded; स्थितधीः किं प्रभाषेत Bg.2.54; R.3.3. -2 Idea, imagination, fancy, conception; न धियां पथि वर्तसे Ku.6.22; ध्यायन्ति चान्यं धिया Pt.136. -3 A thought, intention, purpose, propensity; इमामहं वेद न तावकीं धियम् Ki.1.37. -4 Devotion, prayer. -5 A sacrifice. -6 Knowledge, science. -7 (in Horoscope) The fifth house from the लग्न.

    2. धी-इति स्त्रीलिङ्गि नाम | तस्य द्वितीया विभक्तिः बहुवचनं च |

    1. प्रचोदयात् –
      1. प्रचुद्-इति धातुः (प्र-इति उपसर्गेण सहितः) | तस्य आशीर्लिङ्-लकारे प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम् |

        1. Dr. H. N. Bhat has noted in his comment that प्रचोदयात् is not आशीर्लिङ्-लकार.

        2. I had checked up at http://tdil-dc.in/san/skt_gen/generators.html# and found that the रूपम् of चुद् in आशीर्लिङ्-लकारे प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम् is given as चोदयिषीष्ट/चोद्यात्. I had hence thought that प्रचोदयात् is an आर्षरूपम्.

        3. Dr. Bhat considers it to be लेट्-लकार. This लकार is anyway to be found only in Vedas (लेट् वेदे). By that consideration also it becomes an आर्षरूपम्. But I do not know whether in Vedas, as a लकार, लेट्-लकार has the sense of आशीर्लिङ्.

        4. The रूपम् प्रचोदयात् sounds similar to many आशीर्लिङ्-रूपाणि such as ब्रूयात्, भूयात्, कुर्यात् etc.

अन्वयार्थः Overall meaning as per the syntax

ॐ धीमहि, यः भूः भुवः स्वः तत्-सवितुः देवस्य वरेण्यं भर्गः नः धियः प्रचोदयात् =

ॐ = In all serenity

धीमहि = Let us meditate or pray (that)

तत्-सवितुः देवस्य of that God Sun

  • यः भूः भुवः स्वः = who is (and pervades) this earth, the environment above it and the heavens OR

  • यः भूः भुवः स्वः = who is consummation of all the three mystic syllables

वरेण्यं भर्गः = (His) most benevolent radiance (lustre)

प्रचोदयात् = may (प्र = ever and vigorous and energetic) motivate, may enlighten

नः धियः = our intellects

टिप्पण्यः Notes

  1. When exploring the words भूः भुवः स्वः, I have noted from Apte’s on-line dictionary, the mention, “.. एतास्तिस्रो व्याहृतयः (from तैत्तिरीय उपनिषत्) ..”, but further on, “.. according to some they are seven in number as भूः, भुवः, स्वः, महः, जनः, तपः, and सत्यम् ..”. This brings to mind a possibility that the seven व्याहृति-s may actually be referring to seven levels of atmosphere above earth. In modern sciences, different names such as troposhere, stratosphere, etc. are given to layers of atmosphere above earth as can be seen in the picture below. Interestingly, these are also seven in number !

  2. This मन्त्र is known as गायत्रीमन्त्रः There are many such मन्त्र-s or prayers which have some common features and words. Some गायत्रीमन्त्र-s illustrated at http://www.speakingtree.in/spiritual-slideshow/seekers/faith-and-rituals/content-233849/47042 are –

    1. गणेशगायत्री – एकदंताय विद्महे, वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि, तन्नो दंती प्रचोदयात् ।। महाकर्णाय विद्महे, वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि, तन्नो दंती प्रचोदयात्।। गजाननाय विद्महे, वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि, तन्नो दंती प्रचोदयात्।।

    2. ब्रह्म-गायत्री – ॐ वेदात्मने विद्महे, हिरण्यगर्भाय धीमहि, तन्नो ब्रह्म प्रचोदयात् ।। ओं चतुर्मुखाय विद्महे, कमण्डलु धाराय धीमहि, तन्नो ब्रह्म प्रचोदयात् ।। ॐ परमेश्वराय विद्महे, परतत्वाय धीमहि, तन्नो ब्रह्म प्रचोदयात् ।।

    3. शिव-गायत्री – ॐ तत्पुरुषाय विद्महे, महादेवाय धीमहि, तन्नो रुद्र: प्रचोदयात् ।।

    4. विष्णु-गायत्री ॐ त्रैलोक्य-मोहनाय विद्महे काम-देवाय धीमहि तन्नो विष्णुः प्रचोदयात् ।।

    5. नारायण-गायत्री – ॐ नारायणाय विद्महे वासुदेवाय धीमहि तन्नो विष्णुः प्रचोदयात्। ।।

    6. कृष्ण-गायत्री – ॐ देवकीनन्दनाय विद्महे, वासुदेवाय धीमहि, तन्न: कृष्ण: प्रचोदयात् ।।

    7. सूर्य-गायत्री – ॐ आदित्याय विद्महे मार्तण्डाय धीमहि तन्नः सूर्यः प्रचोदयात् ।।

    8. देवी-गायत्री – महादेव्यै विद्महे दुर्गायै धीमहि तन्नो देवी प्रचोदयात् ।।

    9. अन्नपूर्णा-गायत्री – ॐ भगवत्यै च विद्महे, महेश्वर्यै च धीमहि, तन्नो पूर्णा प्रचोदयात् ।।

    10. हनुमान्-गायत्री – ॐ आञ्जनेयाय विद्महे, वायुपुत्राय धीमहि, तन्नो हनुमान् प्रचोदयात् ।। ॐ वायुपुत्राय विद्महे, रामदूताय धीमहि, तन्नो हनुमान् प्रचोदयात् ।।

    11. Even there is साई-गायत्री – ॐ शिरडीवासाय विद्महे सच्चिदानन्दाय धीमहि तन्नो साई प्रचोदयात् ।।

  3. Some meter can be seen to be applicable to all गायत्रीमन्त्र-s. Possibly the name of the meter itself is गायत्रीच्छन्दस्. The meter typically has three lines, each of eight letters as in एकदंताय विद्महे | वक्रतुण्डाय धीमहि | तन्नो दंती प्रचोदयात् ।। First line ends in विद्महे, second in धीमहि, and the third one in प्रचोदयात् ।।

    1. This गणेश-गायत्री is a part of श्रीगणपत्यथर्वशीर्षम् where there is a mention of the name of the meter as निचृद्-गायत्रीच्छन्दः

    2. It may also be noted that for the deity to whom the prayer is offered by the verbs विद्महे and धीमहि the case used is the fourth case संप्रदानकारकविभक्ति (चतुर्थी विभक्ति). Basic understanding of the use of this विभक्ति seems to be that the prayer is “offered”. It is for the deity to accept the prayer or not.

  4. The गायत्रीमन्त्र – ॐ भूर्भुवः स्वः तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् | is of course the most famous. It is hence known as गायत्रीमहामन्त्रः It can also be noted that its deity is God Sun. Any person of any faith should be able to derive strength and inspiration from this गायत्रीमहामन्त्रः, because the deity Sun ought to be respectable, regardless of faith and hence for all.

  5. Motivation or enlightenment obtained from the deity Sun can never be untoward or unwarranted motivation. It will be the most appropriate and the most energetic motivation. This prayer seeks only such energetic motivation.

  6. The verb धीमहि is First person plural. “Let us meditate”. That pronoun “us” is very inviting, all-encompassing, universal, at all times, eternal.

  7. The reference of this गायत्रीमहामन्त्रः is quoted as Rv 3-62-1. So it is from ऋग्वेद. Certainly such great, universal and eternally valid thought of Vedic philosophy will sustain and will enlighten the world anytime, anywhere. It has sustained over thousands of years and would sustain for many more thousands of years !

  8. Humanity will always need such solemn and sublime, blissful and energetic, thoughts and prayers at all times.

शुभं भवतु !

-o-O-o-

8 thoughts on “Learning Sanskrit by Fresh Approach – Lesson No. 116

  1. Yes. Here is the text of the Mantra RV.3.62.10 IN Gayatri Metre, split into words —

    RV_३,०६२।१० तत् सवितुर् वरेण्यम् भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि |
    धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ||

    पदच्छेदः —

    तत् | सवितुः | वरेण्यम् | भर्गः | देवस्य | धीमहि | धियः | यः | नः | प्र-चोदयात् // RV_३,६२।१० //

    This गायत्री मन्त्र has got many different interepretations, but the मन्त्र does not include what Mr. Abhyankar has incorporated, which is called व्याहृति-s which follow any Mantra, recited. but not the part of the Mantra.

    I am not reproducing the interpretations here as it would go beyond the purpose of this blog.

  2. प्रचुद्-इति धातुः (प्र-इति उपसर्गेण सहितः) | तस्य आशीर्लिङ्-लकारे प्रथमपुरुषे एकवचनम् |

    प्र+चुद् धातोः, चोरयतिवत्, लिङ्-लकारे, प्रचोदयोत् इति, आशीर्लिङि प्रचोद्यात् – प्रचोद्यास्ताम्। इति रूपाणि, न तु प्रचोदयात् इति।

    प्रचोदयाद् इति लेट् लकारः, प्रथमपुरुषैकवचनम्।

  3. One doubt. I thought om bhur bhuvah svahah was not a part of the gayatri mantram. Because gayatri chandas has only 24. I thought it was for pranayama. Can you clarify please.?

    Please see the explanation on the first word भूः given in the dictionary, as you have explained, not as part of the Mantra, but the purpose of the sequence of recitation:

    -12 The first of the three Vyāhṛitis or mystic syllables (भूः, भुवः, स्वः) –representing the earth–repeated by every Brāhmaṇa at the commencement of his daily Sandhyā.

    This Gayatri, being called Savitri, and used in Sandhyavandana and hence the importance of Vyahriti.

    तिस्रो वा इमा व्याहृतयः – which are called व्याहृति, and five called महाव्याहृति-s. and independent of the Mantra.

  4. Abhyankar ji:

    I have been browsing your site on and off. I like your novel approach to teaching Sanskrit.

    I notice that you break up compound words and explain the parts. In lesson 116, you have explained the “Dhi” part of “Dhimahi” – but not explained the “mahi” part.

    I will appreciate it if you could you expand on this as well.

    Dhanyavaada
    Suresh

    • Dear Mr. Suresh,

      Explained this as follows in my reply on 2014/05/24 to Dr Renuka Kasibhatla –
      गायत्री-मन्त्रे “धीमही”-इति शब्दः | कस्य धातोः रूपमिदम् धि-धातोः ध्यै-धातोः वा धा-धातोः ?
      There is also धातुः धी (४ आ., धीयते) To hold, to contain.
      In classical Sanskrit विधिलिङ्-लकारे उत्तमपुरुषे बहुवचने – धीयेमहि This is so detailed as below at http://tdil-dc.in/san/skt_gen/generators.html#

      However धीमही or धीमहि in Vedic Sanskrit as in तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यं भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् Rv.3.62.1

  5. धीमही or धीमहि in Vedic Sanskrit

    I thin k the second is the Vedic form in the Gayatri Mantra, from the root ध्यै चिन्तायाम्.

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