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Gayatri Japa Procedure

by Mani Varadarajan
for the Sri Vaishnava Home Page

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.

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