Above is Maha Sankalpam for Yajur Veda Upakarmaa – from SrisrisriMusiri Maamaa’s son Vajpeyayaaji Shrimaan Yegnappa of MUSIRI.
ஹர ஹர சங்கர ஜெய ஜெய சங்கர| ஹர ஹர சங்கர காமகோடி சங்கர|
Credits : Vajpeyayaaji Shrimaan Yegnappa of MUSIRI and Ganesh Raghu , Houston.
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Why is a day allotted separately as ‘Gayatri Japa’ ?
“When we chant Gayatri as part of Sandhyavandanam every day, why is a day allotted separately as ‘Gayatri Japa’ day for chanting it again?” A valid doubt.
THE POWER OF GAYATRI JAPA:
A question I was asked once about the chanting of Gayatri come to my mind. “When we chant Gayatri as part of Sandhyavandanam every day, why is a day allotted separately as ‘Gayatri Japa’ day for chanting it again?” A valid doubt.
But the question was followed by an admission which became the answer to the question itself! “Of course we look forward to this day every year and perform the japa with great enthusiasm and much devotion, and when I was a brahmachari I used to do the Gayatri homa as well with great care”. So what makes this day so special? What gives us that inexplicable joy when we do Gayatri Japa?
Generally the Gayatri Japa day comes the day after ‘Sravana Pournami’. It is the same day for all the Veda branches, though the day of Avani Avittam is different for different Vedas. On this day, ‘Sahasra Gayatri japa’ i.e. chanting of Gayatri 1,008 times has to be performed without fail. The sankalpa that precedes Gayatri Japa, which comprises Mityaadeeta praayaschitta, Apadaneeya dosha praayaschitta and Samvatsara praayaschitta gives you an idea of the importance given to the Sahasra Gayatri Japa.
Mityaadeeta praayaschitta is considered the most significant among these, and seeks forgiveness for our omissions, errors, mispronunciations and tonal lapses in the chanting of mantras on different occasions during the entire year. With this praayaschitta the Brahmacharis also seek pardon for other transgressions if any from the Brahmacharya vrat.
This is what you do when you chant “Mityaadeeta praayaschittaartham sahasra Gayatri maha mantra japam karishyae” during the sankalpam on this ‘Gayatri Japam’ Day.
If we go strictly by the rule, all of us – not only Brahmacharis but even grhasthas – are supposed to do Gayatri homa, with 1,008 samit’s offered to the Agni at the rate of one samit per chant. Over time the custom has changed and the current practice is that homa is done by Brahmacharis only.
One is not supposed to eat till the Japa is completed. After completing the Japa, doing the Madhyahnikam and Brahma Yagna, one can partake of lunch.
It can be averred with authority that if everyone required to do Gayatri japa does it diligently with pavitra on their finger and chant the mantra as it should be done i.e. in five distinct sections within the mind and without moving the lips and tongue, the benefit to the person as well as to the community at large will be immense.
Let us remember the definition of Gayatri: “gaayantam traayata iti Gayatri” meaning “that which protects the singer, one who chants, is Gayatri”.
The Gayatri Japa comes this year, Manmata varusham, on 30th August. I hope we all use this wonderful opportunity to perform the Gayatri Japa sincerely and pay homage to our Rishis, our Vedas and to Paramatma.