I have taken much of your time already but if you are tired we can stop here; if you are not tired I can take a little more time, depends on your free will. We go on for some time?
Among all the mantras of the Vedas, one which is most famous and most common is the one I shall give you. It is known very widely in India, it is written by Vishwamitra, in the third chapter. I shall first speak the Sanskrit, it has the mantric power and then I shall give the translation of it: “Om bhur bhuvah swah. Tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi dhiyo yo nah prachodayat.” This is the mantra. It starts with Om. Now Om is a discovery of the Vedic Rishis, this word, this sound, Om. Vedic poets were discoverers. In fact every poet has to be a discoverer. Modern poets very often are not, but a real poet is one who discovers. A poet is a poet when he wants to describe his discovery in a rhythmic manner, with a style, with an image which is so powerful, as to describe the discovery accurately. It is said that only scientists describe accurately, but it is not true. The poets also have to be very accurate. Only when their description is accurate, when the image accurately describes, then only he is a great poet. That is the mark of a great poet. Now, Om is a discovery of the Vedic poets. The Vedic poets went into depths, in search of the power that is the root of the creation of the world, and when they reached the depths, inner depths, the inmost depths of the creative power, then they heard the sound “Om”. It consists of the sounds: a, u, m. you combine these three sounds; a, u, m that gives you the total sound Om. And they found out that “Om” is a sound which is prevalent all over the world. The world is nothing but this sound, “Om”. The entire world is vibrating with this word, the sound: “Om”. And if you yourself repeat this word, this sound, you will be able to go deeper and deeper until you reach the original power of creation, and then you yourself become creative, this is the promise of the Vedic Rishis. This is the discovery. If you repeat the sound “Om”, let’s say a million times, (and there are many people in India who practise this). I was myself told the word “Om” when I was only three years old and you might say I have repeated this sound, I do not know how many times, but from the age of three I have been repeating this sound, whenever I have the time, this is the one sound which I have been repeating. And the promise of the Vedic Rishis is that if you can repeat it with your utmost heart, with complete concentration, then you will chisel out your own personality, your courage, your strength, your will–power, or your creativity, you will be creative. So this is the one sound with which this mantra starts “Om”. Mother herself has said: “Om represents the Divine himself.” If you repeat this word “Om”, ultimately you will realise the Divine. It is the way of sound. It is the way of the sound by which you can arrive at the Divine. Whenever you want to address the Divine, if you want to address him in a sound form, then Om is sufficient invocation of the Divine. Mother herself has said that when she heard for the first time the sound Om, recited by somebody in France in a particular theater, She herself saw vibrations. It was pronounced in such a magnificent manner, the whole hall became luminous for the Mother. That was her first experience of Om. She did not know anything about India at that time, but her own sensitivity was so great that she immediately got the vibration of that sound and saw the power of that sound. You should find somebody who can recite Om, one day we shall try to bring some people who can recite Om so well, merely we can have one session of listening to the sound Om; it will be a marvelous experience. Some people have recited this word, the sound Om so deeply and so constantly, some of them have done it incessantly, for years, doing nothing else than reciting the sound Om, and the power of that recitation is so great that they can give you the same kind of an experience as Mother had.
Then next words are: bhur bhuvah swaha. I now go rapidly. Bhur means the earth, bhuvah means the open space, and swaha means that which is higher than mind and that which is heavenly. When you recite this mantra, you are told that in one stroke you must become aware of everything. Now, how to become aware of everything? This is the small formula given by the Vedic Rishis. Bhur bhuvah swaha. With these three words, you remember the earth, the external space that is all around and that which goes beyond this space. If you remember all the three together, you are becoming widest, automatically. And one of these conditions of entering into reality is to become as wide as possible. And this was the mark of the Vedic Rishis, to be as wide as the Divine himself. Even the sky is not enough to describe that wideness, it is beyond the sky. Swaha is beyond the sky, wider than the sky. So this is the first condition of your recitation: Om bhur bhuvah swaha.
Now comes the main substance of the mantra: tat savitur varenyam bhargo devasya dhimahi. Dhimahi means: we are meditating. So the whole science of meditation is summarized in one word: we are meditating. Upon what? Tat savitur varenyam bhargah. We are meditating upon the light, Supreme light. Supreme light of what? Of the sun, which is the highest source of light? We are contemplating upon the Supreme light of the Supreme source of light. For what purpose? Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat. So that our intellect (dhiyah means intellect) is guided, Prachodayat means guided, so that our intellect is guided by that light. In a sense this is a very simple statement. We are contemplating upon the Supreme light of the Supreme source of light, so that our intellect is guided by that light. Now you see the profundity of this statement. First of all, this mantra, I said earlier, contains the science of meditation. Dhimahi: What is meditation? And what is the object of meditation? There can be many objects of meditation. Descartes wrote a book call Méditations, meditations. And he contemplated on many important subjects. But Vishwamitra says: “We contemplate upon the Supreme light.” Not an ordinary object, there can be contemplation upon many objects. But here, the object of meditation is to be the Supreme light of the Supreme source of light. That is the first thing. The second thing which is very peculiar about this mantra is, it points out that if you want to be perfect, there is one instrument in your totality which you should identify, and which should be connected with that light. Now Vishwamitra discovered that among all the faculties of the human consciousness intellect is the one faculty which is most important. So he identifies it and says: so that the intellect is guided by that light. In fact, in modern science we come to this conclusion now that when consciousness, the intellectual consciousness particularly, gets diminished, the whole personality of the individual gets diminished. Therefore the most important thing that we should do in education is to sharpen the intellect. Others faculties should also be sharpened. But all others faculties can be sharpened much more perfectly if you sharpen the intellect. So this intellect is identified by Vishwamitra as the most important element. What is most modern today was in the most ancient book of knowledge written by Vishwamitra. At that time he had identified among all the organs, among of all the faculties of mankind, intellect as the one faculty which should be attended too. Not only attended too, not only sharpened, but should be united with that Supreme light. It should be guided by the Supreme light. You sharpen your intellect in such a way that you go from stage to stage of its development until it gets connected with the Supreme light.
One day we shall go into this particular mantra in a greater depth. Because this mantra is such an important mantra, particularly if you know, Sri Aurobindo himself wrote a new mantra, a new Gayatri mantra — this is called Gayatri mantra — for our times. Vishwamitra’s mantra and Sri Aurobindo’s Gayatri mantra are very similar and yet very different. So I shall conclude with the statement of Sri Aurobindo’s Gayatri mantra. His Gayatri mantra is: “Tat savitur varam rupam jyotih parasya dhimahi yannah satyen dipayet” — slightly different from the other one. Tat savitur varam rupam jyotih parasya dhimahi. We are meditating upon the Supreme light—this is also like Vishwamitra, we are contemplating upon the Supreme light of parasya — here is one difference. There it was savitur, it was sun–light. Sri Aurobindo goes one step further, parasya: the light of the Supreme transcendental reality, which is even beyond the sun–light. And then he says: Yannah satyen dipayet. So that we are not only directed by the Supreme light, as in Vishwamitra’s Gayatri, but dipayet: we are illumined, not only directed, we are illumined. And not only our intellect is directed. In the case of Vishwamitra, I identified only the intellect as a fundamental instrument, which was good, but Sri Aurobindo goes further saying: “Yannah; our entire being is illumined. Not only the intellect is to be directed, but every part of the being, totality, every cell of the body, every functioning of our consciousness, every organ of our being, our totality of the being, everything is illumined by that light. This is the mantra for our age. That was for that age. This is the mantra for our age. This is the Gayatri mantra that Sri Aurobindo has given for our age. I would like you to remember this particular mantra: “Tat savitur varam rupam jyotih parasya dhimahi yannah satyen dipayet. One day Deepti will write it down for you and you will have it in the language in which you understand and I would like you to remember this particular mantra. You will yourself become Vedic, although now living today. Thank you.