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Hinduism Gayatri Mantra

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Hinduism Gayatri Mantra

namjiwankaur

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Nov 14, 2010
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Hi all.

One of my favorite morning rituals is listening to some videos of The Gayatri Mantra. I love to hear it, but also to feel the message entering my heart. Would it be against Sikhism to recite this mantra? I have found it to be very universal and nothing in the mantra goes against other religions. It is merely asking the Beloved for Guidance to live in a way that we are made aware of Supreme Reality.

Are there mantras like this in the Sikh faith also? If so, I would love to hear about them.

Thank you!!!!

Jasnoor
 

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spnadmin

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jasnoor ji

In my humble opinion, the Gayatri mantra has no place in Sikhi. These are ancient Sanskrit mantras that appear first in the vedas. Insofar as Guru Nanak rejected practices of Brahaminism, why would a Sikh engage in the practice of its recitation?

Now to be a realist -- which I am -- the practice of Hindu mantras and other Hindu practices are found in some sangats and sects of Sikhism. Most Sikhs are in India and are connected unavoidably to the ancient and collective memories of Hindu dharma. It is not easy to drop cultural ties for a new skin for many people. In addition, 3 HO Sikhs (Western Sikh Dhrama) employ mantras as part of their sadhana. I am not here to take any stand based on outrage. But point out that these were integrated with the practice of Sikhism because their founder Yogi Bhajan had his own roots in Vedic teachings and masters.

The history of Sikhism after the death of Guru Gobind Singh led to chaos and disruption because of the horrific religious persecution of Sikhs. During that period many Hindu practices crept back into Sikhi in some quarters.

The 19th and 20th Centuries show one interesting story after another of reform movements which reclaimed Sikhi as Guru Nanak taught it. This is evident in the Sikh Rehat Maryada, which you should read. There in that document is one area after another where it is made clear that Sikhs are neither Hindu nor Muslim, and that Hindu practices are specifically forbidden to baptized Sikhs.

I have attached a copy for you and hope you find it answers many of your questions.
 

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namjiwankaur

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Nov 14, 2010
557
432
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Hi. I see I stuck my foot in my mouth yet again. :blushhh:
Please forgive me for the ignorance. I don't know too much about Hinduism or Sikhism so it was not intentional to offend. It was my lack of knowledge.

I read a little bit online this afternoon and found out that this mantra is attached to Brahmin priests. And if I am getting it right, this meant they were in a higher caste and the caste is something Sikhs rejected from day one. I also found out that a guru gives Hindus permission to recite mantras (not sure if that includes the Gayatri mantra). I saw somewhere there is a Sikh version of "Gayatri" mantra that was given to Sikhs so they could recite it. Do you know anything about this one? I think it is called something like "guru gayatri". Its hard trying to learn from the internet because its hard to know which sites are providing accurate info.

Jasnoor

jasnoor ji

In my humble opinion, the Gayatric mantra has no place in Sikhi. It is an ancient Sanskrit mantra that appears first in the vedas. Insofar as Guru Nanak rejected practices of Brahaminism, why would a Sikh engage in the practice of its recitation.

Now to be a realist -- which I am -- the practice of Hindu mantras and other Hindu practices are found in some sangats and sects of Sikhism. Most Sikhs are in India and are connected unavoidably to the ancient and collective memories of Hindu dharma. It is not easy to drop cultural ties for a new skin for many people. In addition, 3 HO Sikhs (Western Sikh Dhrama) employ mantras as part of their sadhana. I am not here to take any stand based on outrage. But point out that these were integrated with the practice of Sikhism because their founder Yogi Bhajan had his own roots in Vedic teachings and masters.

The history of Sikhism after the death of Guru Gobind Singh led to chaos and disruption because of the horrific religious persecution of Sikhs. During that period many Hindu practices crept back into Sikhi in some quarters.

The 19th and 20th Centuries show one interesting story after another of reform movements which reclaimed Sikhi as Guru Nanak taught it. This is evident in the Sikh Rehat Maryada, which you should read. There in that document is one area after another where it is made clear that Sikhs are neither Hindu nor Muslim, and that Hindu practices are specifically forbidden to baptized Sikhs.

I have attached a copy for you and hope you find it answers many of your questions.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
SPNer
Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,179
Hi. I see I stuck my foot in my mouth yet again. :blushhh:
Please forgive me for the ignorance. I don't know too much about Hinduism or Sikhism so it was not intentional to offend. It was my lack of knowledge.

I read a little bit online this afternoon and found out that this mantra is attached to Brahmin priests. And if I am getting it right, this meant they were in a higher caste and the caste is something Sikhs rejected from day one. I also found out that a guru gives Hindus permission to recite mantras (not sure if that includes the Gayatri mantra). I saw somewhere there is a Sikh version of "Gayatri" mantra that was given to Sikhs so they could recite it. Do you know anything about this one? I think it is called something like "guru gayatri". Its hard trying to learn from the internet because its hard to know which sites are providing accurate info.

Jasnoor
Dear jasnoor ji

You did not offend me that is for sure! And the question is legitimate and important to ask. So you did not put your foot in your mouth as far as I am concerned.

To put you at ease. There are no restrictions on listening to mantras or Hindu bachans for musical enjoyment. I am very fond of Karnatic music, much of which consists of Sanskrit bachans that sung and played in the raag tradition of South India.

I will check the link you posted above to see what is happening there. However, part of the practice of kundalini yoga ("as taught by Yogi Bhajan") does include both mantras and mudras (hand and finger positions). This is a feature of Sikhism as experienced in the 3HO or Western Sikh Dharma tradition.

On a historical note - which I hope clarifies things a bit. Whenever Guru Nanak spoke of "hindu" in Sri Guru Granth Sahib Maharaj, he was referring to Brahmins. A "Hindu" was essentially a Brahmin up to the time of the British raj. Hinduism has become referred to as a religion of diverse beliefs and practices, only as recently as the past 200 years. Prior to that, and from the first written records on the subject which are Persian and go back to about 1000 AD, the many different peoples of India who lived in historical Hindustan were not known as Hindus. They identified religiously according to the dharmic tradition they belonged to. Yes, the Brahmin priests gave the mantras to worshipers, women could not recite the vedas or even listen to them, and sudras could be killed for reciting the vedas.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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PS- Here's the link to the page I read about concerning a "Sikh" Gayatri mantra. http://www.mrsikhnet.com/2006/03/25/the-guru-gayatri/

Also thanks for referring me to the Code of Conduct. I knew of this, but had never read it. I will read it asap.
I checked and could not make heads or tails of it. The Gayatri mantra according to my understanding, before we had this conversation, was not limited to one mantra. For example, if you were to listen to the recordings of Mohan Mistry you would hear him sing a number of these, more than one, and they are all different. So I did a little more research, not much, and discovered that this mantra has many forms and this link lists the Gayatri mantras for many Hindu deities. http://www.hindupedia.com/en/Gayatri_mantras_of_Several_GodsM

Moving the thread to Interfaith Dialogs
 

namjiwankaur

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Nov 14, 2010
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Hi. Not sure I'm replying in the right place since the thread is now in the Interfaith Forums. I have learned quite a bit today about the gayatri mantra and I had no idea how Hinduism has been practiced until the past couple centuries. It is good to learn these things. I guess I really am a "learner" like Sikh means. I find it good to open my heart to this learning and I am grateful for how you have taught me.

Jasnoor
 

vijay walia

SPNer
Mar 30, 2007
5
15
yes, no particular religion shade, in any recitation actually, KOI BOLE RAM RAM , KOI KHUDAEikonkaar
 

Astroboy

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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I think the Gyatri Mantra being referred to is this one:-

Aum Bhur Bhuva Suvaha
Tat Savitur Varenum
Bargo Devesya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

Meanings:

We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of Heave. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.
 

Astroboy

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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But there is another mantra which I am quite attracted to known as the Universal Mantra:

Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu

Means let peace and happiness prevail in all the planes of existence.

Loka means plane. According to the traditional view, there are 14 worlds, or planes of existence--six figuratively above us and seven figuratively below. Bhuh is the earthly plane. Above it in ascending order are Bhuvah, Svah, Mahar, Jana, Tapa and Satya (also known as Brahma-loka); below in descending order are Atala, Vitala, Satala, Rasaatala, Talaatala, Mahaatala and Patala. These are generally divided into three zones: heaven (svarga), earth (prithvi) and the netherworld (patala). That is why one frequently comes across the expressions in the scriptures like "the lord of the three worlds." If one refuses to accept that there are 14 worlds, they can consider the reference to multiple worlds as meaning the infinite perspectives of this world, as percieved by all the animals, plants and humans.

http://archives.amritapuri.org/bharat/mantra/lokah.php
 

Astroboy

ਨਾਮ ਤੇਰੇ ਕੀ ਜੋਤਿ ਲਗਾਈ (Previously namjap)
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There are many mantras in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib but they are referred to as Shabads. Something similar to the Gayatri Mantra would be:-

http://www.srigranth.org/servlet/gurbani.dictionary?Param=%E0%A8%97%E0%A9%81%E0%A8%B0%E0%A9%81Page 53, Line 5
ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥
गुरु परमेसरु एकु है सभ महि रहिआ समाइ ॥
Gur parmesar ek hai sabẖ mėh rahi▫ā samā▫e.
The Guru and the Transcendent Lord are one and the same, pervading and permeating amongst all.
Guru Arjan Dev - view Shabad/Paurhi/Salok
 

a.mother

SPNer
Jun 13, 2010
127
286
Canada
Thank you very much namjap ji for explaning about Gayatri mantra. Time to time when this goes in my ears I felt very soothing even-though I didnot know any of word's mean but I always wonder what is this mean and why it is soothing to me . I don't jaap this mantra but when occasionaly I listen in radio and TV then I question my self why I feel so much peace deep in to soul.
 

namjiwankaur

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Nov 14, 2010
557
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This is the one I was referring to. I find the meaning is beautiful for me to chant with in the early morning. Is the mantra rejected by Sikhs because of its associations with Brahmanism and the sacred text this mantra came from? It sounds like Sikhs are very strict when it comes to rejecting other religious practices.

Jasnoor


I think the Gyatri Mantra being referred to is this one:-

Aum Bhur Bhuva Suvaha
Tat Savitur Varenum
Bargo Devesya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat

Meanings:

We meditate on the transcendental Glory of the Deity Supreme, who is inside the heart of the earth, inside the life of the sky and inside the soul of Heave. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds.
 

namjiwankaur

SPNer
Nov 14, 2010
557
432
USA
Hi Namjap ji,

I have chanted this one also. It also has a very beautiful meaning. Amma asks her devotees to chant it every evening. Would this also be rejected by Sikhs? Is this also found in the Vedas or another sacred Hindu text? I am learning as much about Hinduism as Sikhism here! :)

Jasnoor

But there is another mantra which I am quite attracted to known as the Universal Mantra:

Samastha Loka Sukhino Bhavanthu

Means let peace and happiness prevail in all the planes of existence.

Loka means plane. According to the traditional view, there are 14 worlds, or planes of existence--six figuratively above us and seven figuratively below. Bhuh is the earthly plane. Above it in ascending order are Bhuvah, Svah, Mahar, Jana, Tapa and Satya (also known as Brahma-loka); below in descending order are Atala, Vitala, Satala, Rasaatala, Talaatala, Mahaatala and Patala. These are generally divided into three zones: heaven (svarga), earth (prithvi) and the netherworld (patala). That is why one frequently comes across the expressions in the scriptures like "the lord of the three worlds." If one refuses to accept that there are 14 worlds, they can consider the reference to multiple worlds as meaning the infinite perspectives of this world, as percieved by all the animals, plants and humans.

http://archives.amritapuri.org/bharat/mantra/lokah.php
 

namjiwankaur

SPNer
Nov 14, 2010
557
432
USA
Hi Namjap ji,

I would like to learn more about Shabads and how to chant them. Are they all mantras from the Sri Guru Granth Sahib?

There are many mantras in the Sri Guru Granth Sahib but they are referred to as Shabads. Something similar to the Gayatri Mantra would be:-

Page 53, Line 5
ਗੁਰੁ ਪਰਮੇਸਰੁ ਏਕੁ ਹੈ ਸਭ ਮਹਿ ਰਹਿਆ ਸਮਾਇ ॥
गुरु परमेसरु एकु है सभ महि रहिआ समाइ ॥
Gur parmesar ek hai sabẖ mėh rahi▫ā samā▫e.
The Guru and the Transcendent Lord are one and the same, pervading and permeating amongst all.
Guru Arjan Dev - view Shabad/Paurhi/Salok
 

spnadmin

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jasnoor ji

It is easy to blur the outlines which distinguish Sikhi from Hinduism by glancing over the important differences. And in one sense yes the shabads are the "mantar" but in another sense these are not the same as the mantars that Amma might be recommending. (I don't know which Amma you are referring to as there are several. )

Namjap ji was showing a point of comparison between the the Gayatri mantra and a portion of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji. I do not think he was communicating that chanting mantras was a common practice. Sikhism does not subscribe to routine chanting of mantras or shabads. And instead encourages reciting and singing in a mindful way the shabads of the Gurus. Recitations of mantras is not endorsed. Here is what we hope to be chanting/reciting/singing/jap-ing. It is a very important distinction.


ਜਨੁ ਨਾਨਕੁ ਜੀਵੈ ਨਾਮੁ ਲੈ ਹਰਿ ਦੇਵਹੁ ਸਹਜਿ ਸੁਭਾਇ ॥੫॥੨॥੩੫॥

jan naanak jeevai naam lai har dhaevahu sehaj subhaae ||5||2||35||

Servant Nanak lives by chanting the Naam. O Lord, please give it to me, in Your Natural Way. ||5||2||35||



Here the Naam is the entire connection we make with ShabadGuru, and the shabads of Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji connect us with that.
Sometimes in the interests of breaking down the divisions between one path and the other it is possible to loose the message of Guru Granth Sahib, which is very clear. In Sikhism ceremonial chanting of mantras is not encouraged, and it is discouraged. I apologize if the discussion seemed to create the impression that Shabads and mantras are one and the same thing.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
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and what did the Guru Sahibhan mean by "chanting?" Their words have been translated to include the word "chant." This is, now that I think about it, a subject for serious study. Thanks Aman ji for provoking this thought.
 

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