[Advaita-l] Gayatri interpreted as Sharanagati (Surrender)

V. Krishnamurthy profvk at yahoo.com
Wed Sep 21 17:15:32 CDT 2005


There was a question (in a private mail)  by Lalit Misra-ji
on the full significance of Gayatri. To write on the full
significance of Gayatri one may have to write volumes. But
here I want to touch upon the significance for the
Sharanagati  (Surrender) concept.

The three lines of the Gayatri reverberate beautifully with
 three facets of surrender. 

“tat-savitur-vareNyaM” (That – of the Originator – Most
excellent) is the supreme Glorification of the Self. The
word ‘savituH’ indicates the Originator because ‘savitA’
goes back to the same root word that ‘prasava’ (birth,
creation) goes to. This glorification  is what motivates
‘asato mA sad gamaya’ (Lead me from the Unreal to the
Real). This is the surrender of the karma yogi to the
shakti of Supreme Existence (‘sat’). Both the ‘good’ and
‘bad’ of our finite existences (*sarva dharmAn* of the
karma yogi) are then destroyed; the bottled ‘kuNDalinI
shakti’ is released as Infinite shakti.

“bhargo devasya dhImahi” (Light -  of God – Let us
meditate) is the supreme worship of the Infinite, that
automatically brings in  the Ananda, because meditation  of
the Supreme is itself bliss. So the finite self is taken to
the Immortal Bliss of the Infinite Self. ‘mRtyor mA amRtam
gamaya’ (Lead me from Death to Immortality). This is the
surrender of the Bhakti-yogi   to the shakti of Supreme
Bliss (‘Ananda’, that is, Bliss personified). The dualities
of life (*sarva dharmAn* of the Bhakti yogi) that come and
go are then destroyed. We are released from the wrong
tunings of ours to the drama of life and thus fine-tuned to
the music of that Infinite Bliss.

“dhiyo yo naH pracodayAt” (Intellects – He who – our – may
prompt) is the supreme Prayer to that Infinite
Knowledge-shakti. This is what takes us to the realisation
of the effervescence of that ultimate ‘cit’. ‘tamaso mA
jyotir-gamaya’ (Lead me from Darkness of Ignorance to the
Light of Lights). This is the surrender of the jnana-yogi
to the shakti of Supreme Knowledge (‘cit’). The VasanAs of
both kinds (*sarva dharmAn* of the jnana-yogi) of ignorance
as well as wisdom, are then destroyed. We are released from
our wrong perceptions and the eyes are opened
(‘jnAna-cakshhus’) for the Infinite Light to reveal itself.

And thus Gayatri constitutes the greatest form of
SharaNAgati (surrender). That is perhaps one of the reasons
why it is extolled by every part of Hindu scriptures. It is
the essence of the entire religion and philosophy. Of
course the above analysis already implies that the three
lines of the Gayatri stand for the Sat-Ananda-Cit svarupa
of Brahman.

PraNAms to all who revere Gayatri.


Prof. V. Krishnamurthy

Latest on my website:  A conversation on the Concept of God in Hinduism.

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