The Power of Gayatri Mantra
The term ‘Gayatri’ has two parts “Ga’ has come from the word ‘gayan’ which means that this is one mantra for which vedic uccharan is not compulsory rather it is chanted in a particular chand. The second part ‘tri’ signifies 3 vedas or 3 loks – the nether worlds or the lower dimensions, our present dimension of existence and the lok of higher dimensions. The mantra which has the essence of the three vedas is called the Gayatri and for that you need not know the Vedic uchharan, only that chand is required.
There are 3 vedas, not 4 – Rig, Yajur and Sam Veda. Rig Veda is to make you rise above whichever level of existence you are at. The first mantra of Rigveda is the Gayatri Mantra, it was given by Rishi Vishvamitra who was akshatriya. Due to a clash between brahmans and kshatriyas, the order of veda was changed and agni became the first word. Gayatri, which is the janani (mother) of every mantra, often called the mahamantra was featured later in veda because of conflicts in the society. It is the same conflict because of which we are losing out our culture, we can no longer think above the physical aspects- caste, position, status etc.
That said, there is no denying the fact that agni was of prime importance in the vedic culture, because of which it was chosen as the first word.