| 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 vedasor 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 a kshatriya. 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 conflicts because of which we are losing out are 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.
Agni is the only element out of the five, which cannot be polluted and agni is the only element which is not completely tied by gravity and hence it rises up. Thus, agni has the capacity to elevate you, make you rise up by increasing your purity levels. Have you ever wondered why a person is put to fire upon his death? It is for the liberation of the body. While the soul leaves the body on the 13th day and gets liberated, the body is liberated by the fire which transforms and directs the 5 elements which takes the body to their respective dimensions. The elements that make your body are the same elements, which would have once made Lord Ram’s and Krishna’s body, the same elements which constituted the body of Hitler as also of a dog or an ant. The body is just the 5 elements, it is formed because of an impurity or dosha in the elements. Ayurveda talks about tridoshas of vata, pitta and kapha. These doshas constitute a body, at any point one dosha predominates over the other two, determining your prakriti. When all the 3 doshas come into balance, then the person leaves the body and gets liberated from that body. There are two things to take note of—imbalance of doshas and kriya-sheelta (action tendency) of that imbalance. An imbalance may not push you to do anything, or it may push you to do the wrong thing. This decides what kind of a person you are and what will be your next yoni. The traits of a being and his nature (prakriti) get defined in the womb itself. The prakriti of the first cell which is formed determines the prakriti or predominant dosha of the being and then it cannot change throughout your life (unless you are in yog and want to rise upwards). When the body is cremated, the agni removes thedoshas and the body gets liberated. That is the significance of shamshan (cremation ground), the body (5 elements + doshas) gets liberated (and not destroyed) there.
All the mantras in Rigveda are for atmic utthaan, evolving out of the physical and impure body with the power of agni. Thus the only purpose of any mantra in Rigveda is evolution. These days, these mantras are chanted in the hope of improving financial condition, coming out of business losses, etc, but that is not their purpose. Besides evolution there are two other requirements of a human being – enhancing physical life and indulging in creative pleasures. These are dealt with in the Yajurveda and Samveda respectively. Yajurveda covers all the aspects of physical life – politics, arts of war, social networking etc and describes in detail how to lead life. Samveda contains all the dance and music forms. Whenever swarglok is depicted on the television shows, it is projected as a place where apsaras are dancing with sitar playing in the background, that is a depiction of the Samveda only. The artistic and creative people who have their higher chakras more developed than the lower chakras, prevail in Samveda – music, dance, art forms.
Thus, there were three requirements of the human being and hence the three vedas. But with the change of yug, at the onset of treta yug, a need was felt for a fourth veda. With the change of times human’s desires were becoming more and more physical. Whenever there is bhog (physical indulgence), it is accompanied with a rog (disease). Hence came the Atharvaveda with all the healing sciences and tantric mantras for wish fulfilment—and mind you, the wishes are not to have shiv darshan but your wishes are centred on improving health, power, position, relationships and appearance. Recently I had gone to a news channel studio and someone commented on seeing me, “Look he has a big belly, the other ‘yoga guru’ is so fit. What yog he must be knowing?” These things are indicative of how much you have embedded yourself into the physical such that your buddhi has become bhrasht. And more the buddhi becomes bhrasht, the more you depend on the physical and because of this there is more and more misrepresentation of