The Significance of the five faces of Gayatri

गायत्री के पाँच मुखों का महत्व

Lord Shiva explains the significance of the five faces of Gayatri

शिवजी ने गायत्री के पाँच मुखों का महत्व बताते हुए कहा

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Goddess Gayatri and her five faces
Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

O Parvati! This entire universe is made of five elements – water, air, earth, light and ether. Gayatri is present in each living being on this earth in the form of energy or shakti. It is these five elements that are manifested in the five faces of Gayatri. In the human body, these five elements have been called the five sheaths or layers under which our true being resides. These five sheaths or koshas are the anna-maya, prana-maya, mano-maya, gyana-maya and ananda-maya. The five koshas are the source of unlimited powers and blessings for those who realize and recognize their presence. Every human being can be eternally blessed by meditating on Gayatri via these five sheaths which manifest different levels of energy.

हे पार्वती! यह संपूर्ण ब्रह्मान्ड जल, वायु, पृथ्वी, तेज और आकाश के पांच तत्वों से बना है | इस पृथ्वी पर प्रत्येक जीव के भीतर गायत्री प्राण शक्ती के रूप में विद्यमान है | ये पांच तत्व ही गायत्री के पांच मुख हैं | मनुष्य के शरीर में इन्हें पांच कोश कहा गया है | ये पांच कोश अन्नमय कोश, प्राणमय कोश, मनोमय कोश, विज्ञानमय कोश और आनंदमय कोश के नाम से जाने जाते हैं | ये पांच अनंत ऋद्धि सिद्धियों के अक्षय भंडार हैं | इन्हें पाकर जीव धन्य हो जाता है |

Parvati asked Lord Shiva

पार्वती ने पूछा

O Lord! How can one know more about and recognize these five koshas or sheaths?

प्रभु! इन्हें जाना कैसे जाता है? इनकी पहचान क्या है?

Lord Shiva replied

शिवजी बोले

O Parvati! It is by the practice of yoga and meditation that one can recognize these five koshas. The discovery of these koshas in one’s self is the surest path to release from the bonds that bind one to the material world. This is indeed the path to obtain release from the cycle of birth and death. The anna-maya kosha represents the physical body which is nourished by “food”, while the life-force or prana-maya kosha is nourished by heat and light. The mano-maya kosha or mind is nourished by self-control and the gyana-maya kosha or sheath of intellectual knowledge is satisfied by science and rational thinking. Lastly, the ananda-maya kosha or sheath of bliss is nourished by engaging in artistic pursuits. The five faces of Gayatri indeed represent these five elements of our being.

पार्वती! योग साधना से इन्हें जाना जा सकता है, पहचाना जा सकता है | इन्हें सिद्ध करके जीव भव सागर के समस्त बंधनों से मुक्त हो जाता है | जीवन मरण के चक्र से छूट जाता है | जीव का ‘शरीर’ अन्न से, ‘प्राण’ तेज से, ‘मन’ नियंत्रण से, ‘ज्ञान’ विज्ञान से और कला से ‘आनंद’ की श्रीवृद्धी होती और पुष्टि होती है | गायत्री के पांच मुख इन्हीं तत्वों के प्रतीक हैं |

The Gayatri Mantra

No discussion of Gayatri can be complete without the famous Gayatri Mantra – the mantra which is a prayer to the savitur of the Vedas – the life-giving Sun.

Aum bhur bhuvah swah

tat savitur varenyam

bhargo devasya dheemahi

dhiyo yo nah prachodayat

Do you practice the Gayatri Mantra? Or do you have some other favorite mantra? Please share with us in the comments section below.

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One Response to The Five Faces of Gayatri

  1. sriguru says:

    Hari AUM Tat Sat. Aum Namo Bhagavate Dattatreya.

    Am a follower of Tridev or Trimurti Bhagwaan Sri Guru Dattateya, the 6th incarnation of Bhagwaan Hari as in the Srimad Bhagavatam.

    Thanks for providing
    1) Information on Sri Gayatri mantra
    2) Information Bhagwaan Krsna as Purna Avatara

    CLARIFICATION # 1:
    – The article on this site mentions “The Five Faces of Gayatri” as the heading and describes it with authentic reference to scriputures, but the source of Bhagwaan Siva explaining the significance of the five faces of Sri Gayatri, is not here.
    – In the final portion of the article, the following words are given:
    “the mantra which is a prayer to the savitur of the Vedas – the life-giving Sun”

    I need clarification on the connection between – “Savitur”, “Sun” and “Gayatri”. Sri Gayatri has 5 faces, where does she reside, why is the form of that image important and why is the mantra connected to the sun or is is the spiritual Sun Aditya. Then what does Savitur mean? These are somehow connected, I need some help and clarification here.

    There is a mantra, 5 faces of Sri Gayatri and the Sun as life-giving. I need to understand the connection. Thanks for providing opportunity to post this question.

    CLARIFICATION # 2:
    I seek Clarification from the learned scholars that are supporting this WEB site and are providing Vedic information. It is IMPORTANT that proof be supported in Sanskrit scripture and not by someone or some scholar or Yogi or Svamee born in Kali-Yuga..and mentioning their scripture. We need scripture from 24th Veda Vyasa or previous that is, Badarayana Veda Vyasa.

    I am looking for further information on correct verse in Sanskrit scriptures where it states that Bhagwaan Krsna is the Purna Avatara or complete incarnation of Bhagwaan Hari/MahaVisnu.

    The Gaudiya Matha in their English translation of the Srimad Bhagavatam explain in Chapter 3 of Vol I that

    “Krsna is the source of all incarnations”. They support this with Brahma Samhita Chapter 5.x where in it states

    “Krsnas Tu Bhagwaan Svayam”

    Can you please mention with Sanskrit, Sanskrit-English translation by any author that Krsna is Purna Avatar CORRECTLY.

    Thanks for providing opportunity to post this question.

    SriGuru

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