The most famous and powerful mantra ("power sound prayer") of Hinduism. It is said to have been revealed to the great sage Vishwamitra, preceptor of Prince Rama of the Ramayana religious epic. Its origin, however, is believed to have been the supreme creative force Brahma, before the Vedic scriptures were revealed. Thus the Gayatri mantra has been named "Vedamata" (Mother of the Vedas).
Every devout Brahmin is required to perform the Gayatri mantra each morning and evening. The mantra is addressed to the sun as "Savitri," personified as a goddess, wife of Brahma. The mantra translates roughly as "Earth, sky, heaven, we meditate on these and the ineffable light and power of the resplendent sun, may it guide our understanding."
The three regions of earth, sky, and heaven are also associated with physical, emotional, and mental states. Mantras, when properly intoned, vibrate the body. Some practitioners have combined the repetition of the Gayatri mantra with pranayama (breathing techniques) in order to activate the psychic body, especially as it is pictured in the chakras or mystical centers, and thus arouse kundalini energy (which is seen as resting latent at the base of the spine) to transform consciousness.