Gayathri Japam – Rituals and Significance
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Gayatri Japam (08-Aug-2017)
Gayatri Japam is a very glorious and holy day for Hindus. It is observed just after Shravana Purnima (full moon day in the Hindu month of Shravana) as per the traditional Hindu calendar. This date falls in the months of July-August in the Gregorian calendar. On the auspicious day of Gayatri Japam, also known as ‘Gayatri Japa Sankalpam’, the Sama Vedi, Rig and Yajur Brahmins chant the Gayatri mantra with utmost devotion and dedication.
In the Southern states of India, this ritual forms a part of the Avani Avittam and Upakarma rituals. During this ritual Brahmins who wear the ‘janeyu’ or the sacred thread, chant the Gayatri mantra 108 times. The Gayatri Japam day is celebrated with great dedication all across India and is popularly called as ‘Gayatri Padyami’ or ‘Gayatri Pratipada’ in the Telangana and Andhra regions.
Brahmins get up before sunrise and take an early bath on the day of Gayatri Japam. They first offer prayers to their Ishta Devata to be enlightened with knowledge and wisdom. After finishing the initial puja rites, Brahmins chant the Gayatri Mantra for 108 or 1008 times continuously. The mode and sequence of performing this ritual greatly depends on the mutt affiliation. The Gayatri Japam ritual is performed during the morning and within the speculated time. Not only Brahmins but any individual can perform the Gayatri Japam ritual. A Brahmachari (on who follows celibacy), a Grihastha (householder) or even one in ‘Vanaprastha’ (old age) can selflessly chant this mantra with a pure conscience. Gayatri mantra is dedicated to Sun God. It is believed to be highly meritorious to chant Gayatri Mantra three times during the day, in the morning when the sun rises, at noon when Sun reaches its apex and in the evening when the Sun sets. Gayatri Mantra is one that unites the individual with the Supreme Power, the Almighty.
Significance of Gayatri Japam
It is believed that a person who performs Gayatri Japam sincerely will be bestowed with all spiritual and worldly happiness. The power of Gayatri mantra is such that it frees the individual from all his/her sins, besides offering self-purification.
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