Gayatri Upasana can be performed mentally at any time in any circumstance. It is doubtlessly beneficial in every condition. Nevertheless, performing it regularly and religiously has greater significance and spiritual impact.
After daily routine and taking bath one should sit, with a calm and quiet mind, at a fixed place and fixed time. Minimum Jap of three malas of Gayatri is essential. The entire worship takes about half an hour.
The Systematic Gayatri Upasana has 4 steps
(1) Atmashodhan - (Purification) - also called Panch Sandhya or Brahm Sandhya.
(2) Dev poojan (Invocation)
(3) Jap & Dhyan - ( recitation of Mantra with Meditation )
(4) Surya Arghyadan - Visarjan
Each could be performed in 2 to 5 minutes except japa and Dhyan. The latter should be performed for 15 minutes at least; the Sadhak could choose a longer duration as per his convenience.
(1) Atmashodhan (Purification) - (Also called Panch Sandhya/Brahm Sandhya )
- Pavitrikaran - sprinkling of water on the body.
- Achaman - pouring of three spoons of water in the mouth.
- Shikha-vandan - touching shikha, the crown of the head.
- Pranayam - inhaling deeply and slowly, restraining and exhaling.
- Nyas - taking water in left palm dipping the fingers of right hand in the water and touching different parts of the body with the tips of fingers of the right hand in the prescribed manner.
With these five acts a feeling of increasing purity and righteousness should be linked. Only pious and nobly brilliant persons are entitled to get entry into the kingdom of God and seek His grace. Therefore, the aspirants on the path of self-realization have first of all, to do Atma-shodhan.
(2) Dev-poojan :-
True aspirants should regard awakening of the indwelling maha-pragya, Ritambhara Gayatri, as the fundamental aim of their worship. The picture of Gayatri Mata should be kept on a decorated altar as a symbol of Maha-pragya and should be saluted deferentially with head bowed down.
Intimacy is established with the deity by Panchopchar worship by symbolic dedication of (i) Jal (water) (ii) Akshat (rice) (iii) Pushp (Flowers) (iv) Dhoop-deep (incense and lighted lamp) and (v) Naivedya (sweet offering), and keeping them one by one in a dish.
Water is symbolic of modesty and compassion. Rice implies happiness, prosperity and beauty. Dhoop-deep implies spreading light by self-effacement. Naivedya implies sweetness and gentleness of nature. By Panchopchar worship the Sadhak resolves to equip his personality with righteousness.
(3) Jap & Dhyan (Recitation of Mantra with Meditation ) :-
Minimum Jap of three malas of Gayatri has to be done daily, which takes about 15 minutes time. It should be regarded as a cleansing process. The object of Jap is to ardently invite divinity to illuminate one’s innerself .
Dhyan (Mediation) While different parts of the body get engaged in Jap, the mind should remain immersed in remembering the Divine. In Sakar Dhyan, one has to sit in close proximity of Gayatri Mata and feel continuous inflow of Her love and affection within him. In Nirakar dhyan, one has to contemplate on the golden rising Sun and inflow of its rays in the body and mind in the form of faith, Pragya and Nistha. This helps in concentration of mind.
(4) Surya-Arghyadan, Visarjan -
Water contained in the Kalash kept on the Tulsi plant. Water symbolizes one’s own soul and Sun as symbol of Virat, universal Brahma. Suryarghya implies surrender and consecration of the individual self to the Virat Brahma (Omnipresent God).