“Everyone loves the sun. It is a very good focus for meditation because it brings warmth, light, clarity and is like a good friend who is always there even when you can’t see them.”
— TKV Desikachar
Today is the day after the Winter Solstice, a time to honour the teachings of the darkness and celebrate a returning of the light. Earlier this year I travelled to Ojai California to spend time with Sonia Nelson, a longtime student of TKV Desikachar, and she taught me a mantra practice that feels appropriate to share as it invites the qualities of Gayatri, the sun as supreme creator, into our hearts.
I learned this mantra with accompanying hand gestures, called nyasa, where we extend our hands to the rising or setting sun (or with eyes closed to a visual of the sun) and as we chant the mantras we draw our hands to our heart, inviting the qualities of Gayatri to enter us. I also like to practice this with a beeswax candle, which produces a warm glow that evokes the quality of the sun's light.
OM ojosi (you, the one who glows) |
OM sahosi (you, the one who is so patient) |
OM balamasi (you, the one who is strong) |
OM gayatri mavahayami (Gayatri, come into me!) ||