Yoga Sutra

Awakening the Sun in our Hearts: The Gāyatrī Mantra

Sun, 12/21/2014 - 13:37 -- admin

The Return of the Sun

During this holiday season, we celebrate the return of the Sun in many of the world’s spiritual traditions. No matter where we turn, Christmas tree lights and candles brighten the intense darkness of our winter landscapes.

This is a Perfect Reflection of That

In my Therapeutic Yoga classes, we open each two-hour session by meditating on the Light in the Heart. Why?

In the Yoga tradition, it is said that the Soul (Purua) shines like the Sun with an unchanging brilliance, while the mind, like the Moon, is always changing with the tides of Life. That said, one (the seen, the manifest) is a perfect reflection of the other (the unseen, the un-manifest). When the Moon mind is perfectly clear, it perfectly reflects the Light of the Sun Soul. And when the mind-body dies, all that remains is the radiance of our inner Light. That is who we truly are.

OM purnamada purnamidam
Purn
āt purnamudachyate
Purnasya purnamad
āya
Purnamev
āvasishyate
Om śantisśantisśanti
Śanti Patham, Brihadaranyaka Upaniṣad, 5:1:1

That [spiritual world] is perfect. This [phenomenal world] is perfect. If That is taken away from This, That is all that remains. May there be peace in our thoughts, words, and actions.

Radiant Beauty Shines All Around
During the last two weeks of our fall series this term, we focussed on back bends, opening our Hearts to Grace, Joy, Peace, and Light. All these qualities, celebrated during this holiday season are within us, just waiting to be experienced. All we have to do is to get quiet enough to feel that endless expansive Joy with our Hearts, ready to Light up any room with Its endless Radiance.

To facilitate this experience, this term, I introduced my students to the Gāyatrī Mantra, the Māhā (great) Mantra of the Vedic tradition of India. The meaning is so universal that it has the power to transcend the diversity of our spiritual expressions across the globe.

Gāyatrī Mantra - Māhā Mantra
Om bhūr-bhuvas-svaha
Tat-savitur-vareniyam-bhargo-devasya-dhīmahi 
Dhiyo-yo-nah(p)-pracodayā-t

Taittirīyopaniṣat 4.41.26

By honouring (varenyam) and meditating upon (dhimahi) the (tat) radiant (feminine aspect) Sun (savituh), purifying (bhargah) for even the deva-s (devasya), may our minds (dhiyah) become enlightened (pracodayat) with her purifying Light

Maggie’s English Gāyatrī

Cast your Light upon my Heart
Break me open, pull me apart
That's how your Light gets through
Loving only what is True

Shine your Light upon my face
Fill my Heart with your amazing Grace
Radiant Beauty shines all around
Darkness breaks - hands clap - no sound

Shine on me 
Radiant
Gāyatrī

Happy Holy-day Blessings!
My wish for all of you this holy-day season is to have some quiet time away from the external forms of celebration, to experience the inner celebration of Light, Radiance, and Joy, just waiting to be first received and then abundantly shared with all you touch this season. Happy Holy-day Blessings!

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