By Nityaananda (Clint Thompson, MD)
“What is Gayatri?
It really means
‘Let me concentrate on That which illumines all.’
- Sri Ramana Maharshi
(ōṃ) bhur bhuva suvaḥa
ఓ౦ భుర్ భువ సువ:
tat savitur varēnyaṃ
తత్ సవితుర్ వరేణ్య౦
bhargo devasya dhimaḥi
భర్గో దేవస్య ధీమహి
dhiyoyo naha prachodayat
Listen to the Gayatri Prayer
Listen to An Experience of the Mother Through the Gayatri Prayer
Excerpted from a 2013 Maheshwari Yoga Program Teaching Broadcast
Sri Kaleshwar, during his lifetime over the span of his teachings that covers fifteen years with westerners, at least with us. I don’t want to generalize, but he came to America first in 1997 and taught until he took his Mahasamadhi in 2012 at the age of 39. During that time he did mention Vishvamitra a lot. And he taught hugely about the Shakti Gayatri and the Gayatri mantras and used those prayer formulas throughout the scope of processes and teachings, both in India and in programs all around the world. He was fond of saying that in this Kali Yuga the truth is standing on one leg. Can a chair stand on one leg? Can an animal, a four legged animal stand on one leg? The four legs being Satya, Shanti, Dharma, Prema, in this yuga the truth is wobbly at best, the reality things are mostly obscured by the maya in the consciousness of 99% of the human beings on the planet. It’s that dark, 99% of the thoughts being generated on the planet are negative and so, in this age his mission and both through word and especially he demonstrated through his deeds throughout his life, his sacrifice throughout his life was to, he said “bring the light back for awhile” during this Kali Yuga. Because there are a lot of souls who came to this planet during this lifetime, on the planet now or in the near future, not to just experience another incarnation of delusion and add to their debit card of karmic debt with an unknown interest rate, like the fine print of those credit card applications - like what?! That’s karma. You don’t want it.
But, it’s not about suffering, it’s about transcending the darkness and recognizing the light in the midst of the darkness and bringing the light into the darkness and illuminating or pointing out the light that exists already in other’s darkness. So, he taught a whole spectrum of knowledge and it is quite voluminous the teachings of Sri Kaleshwar, more voluminous than anybody that I... I don’t think anybody has a handle on everything or even an idea about everything that he taught. Even though there are many hundreds of people who have dedicated their lives to studying it around the world, maybe more than that, maybe thousands, and are still doing that. But one of the hallmarks of his teachings was that in this age it’s not possible and it’s not relevant actually, the voluminous ten thousand volumes of the Vedas and millions of mantras and hundreds and thousands of yantras and formulas. But instead he gave a selected slice of that pie of the knowledge which was relevant for now the way the energy is flowing, the way the karmas are flowing on the planet today. It’s a huge ocean, he gave just a few cups of that ocean and that’s, those are the tools that are effective now.
He called it “short-cut” and short-cut is good, it’s effective in terms of describing it, but it’s not really as much a short-cut as much as it’s the only pragmatic way to make your way today on the planet to reach your destination and enlightenment. You can reach the ultimate destination today on the planet and that’s what we’re all striving for, that’s a unifying intention that every single person in this group has, even though there’s people in this group who don’t know anybody else in the group and there’s nobody in the group who knows everybody in the group, by a long shot. But there’s something unifying and one of those things is that desire, that hope, that impossible dream that we can’t let go of to reach that highest state of consciousness and embody it and bring to the world and help others through that place of awareness. So, in this age that destination is reachable. But, only with certain with tools that will cut through certain illusions and nourish the light that we need to grow in ourselves and in each other.
And one of those pieces of knowledge that Swami Kaleshwar always kept on the table was the Gayatri mantra and the Shakti Gayatri mantra. He said many times that most of the ancient formulas and the Vedic traditions are well and good, but they’re not that effective right now on the planet for getting us where we want to go, but he said the Shakti Gayatri and the Gayatri never lost that. And actually when we hear the story of Vishvamitra in a minute then we’ll get some clues about why that was the case. I remember the first time I meditated, when I first met Swami in 1997 I didn’t know anything about India at all. You know, I would have been hard pressed to find it on a map if it was not labeled right. I didn’t know anything about the tradition at all. And I met Swami in Ojai, California, he taught The Five Elements there in his broken English and at the end of that program he invited everyone to come to South Central LA where he was staying and working (spiritual works), and he was doing a fire puja that night. And he said, but you have to know the Gayatri mantra. He made a condition, I thought maybe we were going to be tested or something on it. Of course, we weren’t tested on it, but all the way driving from Ojai to South Central, the person I was with and I, we just had this tape of the Gayatri and we just listened to it over and over trying to memorize that. And we did memorize that and that was the mantra that was used at that fire puja. Then, in my first trip to India we went to Shirdi (in Maharashtra state) on this power journey with Swami, it was my first trip to Shirdi too. And the first night we were there as a group Swami had us all come to the Dwarkamai and it was a very different situation in those days (compared to how it is now), it was totally open and empty. It was really sparsely populated and we just wandered in and kind of just arranged ourselves in certain places and he said everyone should meditate and he told everyone to meditate on the Shakti Gayatri or maybe it was just the Gayatri, I don’t remember which form of the Gayatri it was.
Ramakrishna: Just the Gayatri.
Nityaananda: Just the Gayatri. Then all these experiences started happening, it was quite remarkable. That’s Shirdi too, Baba is, Baba’s here, he makes a point of saying if you think I’m only in Shirdi then you don’t understand me at all, that is absolutely true. But he is definitely in Shirdi and if you want to know Baba, Shirdi is a place to get a good taste, even the most skeptical mind is, if you are awake and not too intoxicated in whatever way you’re going to find Baba there and Baba did that, you know, with all of these things. And then finally, and Swami was meditating with us, we’re doing the Gayatri and it was a moon, I think it was a full moon night. And then he said, he left and he said you can stay and meditate as long as you want. I stayed as long as I could, and a few people did as well. At a certain point in the meditation, it was hours of japa with the Gayatri in this really high power spot place. At a certain point I noticed that if I paused in my repetition that picking up the silence where I wasn’t meditating anymore I heard another voice singing the mantra. At first I thought that there must be some mistake, I don’t know (if) I’m dreaming, so I tested it a few times, you know I opened my eyes and looked around and then I closed my eyes and started doing the mantra and then stopped the mantra, and the voice would pick it up and then I’d start it again. Then I would stop at a different place in the mantra and I would go slow, I would go fast, I mean I have a doctor’s mind you know, skeptical mind. But ultimately it was a proof for me of the consciousness, it was a woman’s voice singing that mantra, that makes sense, doesn’t it? And it was an initiation in a way, you know, the energy teaches itself. So I’m a believer in the Gayatri mantra.
Nityaananda (Clint Thompson, MD)
is a physician who trained directly for 15 years with Sri Kaleshwar until his mahasamadhi in 2012. He resides at the Divine Lineage Healing Center in Laytonville, California and gives teachings, healings and healing energy transmissions around the world.
Nityaananda is the author of The Awareness of Healing.