Q.1. Why is Gayatri Mantra regarded as Guru Mantra?
Ans. Every body knows that one can learn very well under the direct guidance of a capable teacher. This, however, does not mean that a person devoid of knowledge and character be accepted as Guru . Instead of accepting an illiterate person as teacher and suffer the consequences it is better to regard the scriptures or any rishi or devatma as one's Guru and for this purpose even a picture or an idol of the person concerned can be used. All human beings are born through the same biological process as other animals. Man is, therefore, in no way different from other species of animal kingdom, until he takes the first step towards his spiritual evolution by way of initiation in Sadhana . This ceremony of initiation amongst the Hindus is known as the Upnayan Sanskar . (Baptism amongst the Christians.) The newly initiated person is called a Dwij (i.e. born-again) in spiritual parlance. Each Hindu is traditionally required to undergo Upnayan Sanskar . In course of this ritual, the subject is made to wear a Janeu (sacred thread) across the body on the left shoulder as a constant re mind er to follow the disciplines of Gayatri in life , (The Christians wear the crucifix for a similar purpose). During the Upnayan ceremony, the Guru initiates the person concerned exclusively in Gayatri Mantra . This is why it is known as the Guru Mantra. Literally too, the word ' Guru ' in Sanskrit means 'Heavy', 'powerful' or 'significant'. Since, this Mantra has been referred to in the scriptures as the very manifestation of omnipotence and omniscience of God it is justifiably called as Guru Mantra.