Sri Vaishnava : Rituals : Upakarma : Gayatri Japa Add/View Comments
Your Location Gayatri Japa Date All Locations Friday, August 23, 2002
(1) Do morning nityakarmas including sandhyAvandanam as one would do on any other day. (2) sankalpa for the japa Facing east: (a) Acamanam twice (b) prANAyAma (c) sankalpam and sAttvika tyAga: (i) guru-paramparA anusandhAnam. For example, for me, this is the following. Please adjust if necessary for your tradition. SrImAn venkaTanAthAryaH kavitArkika kesarI | vedAntAcArya varyo me sannidhattAm sadA hRdi || gurubhyas tad gurubhyaS ca namo vAkam adhImahe | vRNImahe ca tatrAdyau dampatI jagatAm patI || sva-sesha-bhUtena mayA svIyaiH sarva paricchadaiH | vidhAtum prItam AtmAnam devaH prakramate svayam || (ii) vighna nivAraNam / viSvaksena dhyAnam SuklAmbaradharam vishNum SaSivarnam caturbhujam | prasanna-vadanam dhyAyet sarva-vighnopaSAntaye || yasya dvirada-vaktrAdyAH pAriSadyAH paraH Satam | vighnam nighnanti satatam viSvasenam tam ASraye || (iii) mahA-sankalpa hariH om tat SrI govinda govinda govinda! asya SrI-bhagavato mahApurushasya vishNor AjnayA pravartamAnasya adya brahmaNe dvitIya-parArdhe SrI-Sveta-varAha-kalpe vaivasvata-manvantare kaliyuge prathamapAde jambudvIpe, bhAratavarshe, bharatakhaNDe, SakAbde, meror dakshiNe pArSve asmin vartamAnAnAm vyAvahArikANAm prabhavAdi shashTi samvatsarANAm madhye citrabhAnu nAma samvatsare dakshiNAyane, varsha Rtau, SrAvaNa mAse, kRshNa pakshe, prathamAyAm Subha-tithau, bhRgu-vAsara-Satabhishak-nakshatra yuktAyAm, SrI-vishnu-yoga SrI-vishnu-karaNa Subha-yoga Subha-karaNa evam guNa-viSeshaNa viSishTAyAm, asyAm Subha-tithau, SrI-bhagavad-AjnayA [ SrIman-nArAyaNa-prItyartham OR bhagavat-kainkarya-rUpam OR bhagavat-prItyartham, depending on sampradAya ] mithya-adhIta-doSa-prAyaScittArtham ashTottara-sahasra (1008) [ashTottara-Sata (108)] sankhyayA gAyatrI mahAmantra-japam karishye. (iv) sAttvika tyAgam (see notes) bhagavAn eva svaniyAmya sva-Sesha-bhUtena mayA sva-ArAdhana-eka-prayojanAya idam "kAmo'kArshIt manyur akArshIt mahAmantra-japam" svasmai svaprItaye svayam eva kArayati. (3) Do three or ten prANAyAma as you would before gAyatrI japa during sandhyAvandanam, including any and all nyAsa that you are accustomed to. (4) Invoke the presence of Gayatri Devi with the 'AyAtu varadA devi' mantra as in sandhyAvandanam. (5) Meditate on Gayatri Devi being the embodiment of the power of Supreme Self, who is the same as the Inner Controller of the Sun, and who guides and impels our thoughts. dhyAna slokas may be recited here in addition. (3) Do 1008 or 108 gAyatrIs as chosen in the sankalpa above. I really think everyone should try to do 1008 gAyatrIs, at least this one day in the year, and not take the easy way out and do 108. After all, this is an atonement for not having done one's duty the whole year! It's really not that hard if you set your mind to it. For those who are doing 1008: to make the counting easier, it is helpful to have 100 toothpicks or twigs set aside, moving one from one side to the other after every set of 10. I find that my hands tend to hurt if I keep moving both of them for the full japa. Alternatively, one can use a japa-mala with 108 beads and do the appropriate math to get to a count of 1008. Pick a place that is quiet and without disturbance for two to three hours. You should also make sure you are seated in a comfortable posture. I find that a 'maNai' (a wooden plank or low seat) is very helpful in avoiding backaches for this period. (4) After the japa is complete, stand up, do one prANAyama and recite 'uttame sikhare devi' as one would during sandhyavandanam. (5) abhivAdanam. (6) Acamanam twice. (7) sAttvika tyAga: bhagavAn eva svaniyAmya sva-Sesha-bhUtena mayA sva-ArAdhana-eka-prayojanAya idam gAyatrI-mahA-mantra-japam svasmai svaprItaye svayam eva kAritavAn.