Written by Sri Swami Chandrashekarendra
"Whoever sings is protected,” that is "Gayatri". "Gayantam trayate
"Sings" is not used here in the sense of singing a song. It means
or chanting (the mantra) with affection and devotion. People who chant
the Gayatri in this manner are protected. While speaking about this
mantra the Vedas use these words: "Gayatrim Chandasam mata".
"Chandas" means the Vedas. So Gayatri is the mother of all Vedic mantras
(that is the Vedas proclaim them so). It has twenty-four aksaras
syllables) and three feet, each foot of eight syllables. That is why the
mantra is called "Tripada Gayatri". Each foot is the essence of a Veda.
Thus Gayatri is the essence of Rgveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda. The
Atharvaveda has its own Gayatri. To receive instruction in it you must
have a second upanayana.
Says the Manusmriti: "Tribhya eva tu Vedebyhah padam
padamaduduham". It means that each pada of Gayatri is taken from one
of the (three) Vedas. We have forsaken all else that is Vedic. What will
our fate if we give up the Gayatri mantra also?
Gayatri-japa is essential to all rites performed according to the
(See also chapter 12)