Chandra Shekar, who was born in New Delhi and hails from Chennai, is a former industry manager and venture capitalist who embarked on a journey of self-discovery after the death of his wife in 2005. He lives in San Rafael, California and is a recording artist, writer and public speaker. Together with noted guitarist Tomas Michaud, he recently released The Magic of Gayatri in which he chants the Gayatri mantra and helps the listener understand its beauty, depth and meaning.
He is interviewed here by Abha Iyengar.
“Om Bhur Bhuva Swaha
Om Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yo Naha, Prachodayaat.”
— Gayatri Mantra
Abha: What has led you to believe in the healing power of sound?
CS: While my wife was ill with cancer, I became more and more disenchanted with traditional methods of treatment. I began to take an active interest in alternative methods and stayed up late at night researching different approaches. Thanks to the internet, I found that there are so many healing techniques that the medical profession and the pharmaceutical industry did not speak about. Especially interesting were those healing modalities that had to do with sound and light vibrations and frequencies. By the way, many of these methods have been known to our ancestors and were recorded in the ancient scriptures of almost every indigenous people – we Indians, the Egyptians, the Polynesians, Hawaiians and the Native Americans.
Abha: Please tell us about your explorations with sound, as a method of healing.
CS: As I mentioned earlier, many native people have used and still use the sound-vibration of chants for healing purposes. I started researching Indian mantras and Hawaiian chants and found amazing parallels. I also found similar traits within the prayers and chants of the Native Americans. I looked for clues in ancient manuscripts, including The Vedas. Then I began to look for technologies that apply sound and light frequencies for healing. I came across at least three companies in the U.S. that were getting positive results from their approaches towards healing.
Abha: Did you personally recite or chant the Gayatri Mantra before you decided to take it out to the world?
CS: Yes, for almost 50 years, since my sacred thread ceremony. But, I had chanted it mechanically before understanding its true value.
Abha: Indian tradition places great value on and recognises the healing power of sound through chanting of mantras. Any reason why you specifically chose the Gayatri mantra?
CS: I guess the simple answer is that, it was the one I was most familiar with. But, as I started the project, my belief strengthened that the Gayatri was universally loved, was easy to understand and to apply. I was surprised at how many people in the West knew the mantra and spontaneously recited it to me when I told them about my project to create a CD.
There is another reason that I feel pretty strongly about. For centuries, this mantra was used by the religious fanatics to control and discriminate. Until fairly recent times, women and non-Brahmins were not allowed to chant the Gayatri mantra, let alone foreigners. What people forget is that the mantra is a universal prayer; it predates all religions, including Hinduism. It was a gift from the Divine for all humanity. I wanted to make it loved and accessible to everyone, regardless of his or her religion, sex or ethnic background.
Also read » Morning Mantras (Chants) to Awaken the Power Within
Abha: How many times in a day are we supposed to chant the mantra?
CS: Our Vedic scriptures say that we should chant the Gayatri mantra 108 times on three occasions during the day — at sunrise, noon and dusk. I personally chant it nine times on multiple occasions and listen to it in the car as often as I can. The real issue is that regardless of how many times one chants it, if it is not chanted with intent and with an open heart, it serves very little purpose.
Abha: Do you know of any instances of how the Gayatri Mantra is creating an impact on people as they chant it or listen to it?
CS: I am getting some pretty amazing feedback from people around the world on the effect this CD has on them. There are no two similar responses. My sense is that listening to or chanting the Gayatri mantra helps people where they most need the help -— whether the need is physical, emotional or spiritual. One lady from Australia wrote that her young baby had not slept for three months and obviously neither had the parents. Since she started playing the chant, the baby and the parents have both been sleeping soundly! To be honest, I have no clue as to what is happening and I also feel that I am not supposed to ask.
Abha: Could you give us the essence of the Gayatri Mantra in your view?
CS: There are many interpretations of the Gayatri Mantra. My own way of understanding and loving the essence of this prayer is as follows,
“We meditate on that most adorable, desirable and enchanting lustre and brilliance of our Supreme Being, our Source Energy, our Collective Consciousness, as manifested by the Sun..who is our creator, inspirer and source of eternal Joy. May this warm and loving Light inspire and guide our mind and open our hearts.”
Spot an error in this article? A typo maybe? Or an incorrect source? Let us know!
Can chanting Gayatri help a person who has an evil entity attached to them? Can it be used as an exorcism? Or is dangerous for someone like that to chant it?
I love to chant gayathri mantra but i would like to eat non veg .
shall i chant on daily morning or if i eat non veg i should not chant ?
As stated by CS, the effect it has is manifold. You can feel it where it’s needed the most. I have been personally doing it since the age of 3. Obviously, it was because my father does it. I never knew the impact it was going to have on my life. As long as I was doing it things were alright in my life. When I turned 13, I kind of started loosing faith in these ideologies and stopped chanting the mantra regularly and it became more of a professional need for me. Whenever, I had to perform certain puja, I used to chant it, that’s pretty much it. I slowly began to realise that I had lost the peace and calmness that I possessed. I lost the ever smiling attitude that I had. Even, smallest of things started to worry me. Then I started it again and it was no surprise I felt more complete, more stable. I still don’t do it one a regular basis. But as and when I feel the need I derive my energy from it. I have felt that no matter how bad a given situation is I always get through it (by god’s grace, I must say). Gayatri is one such power that is universal and if possible everyone should practice it.
Chant it with devotion and see the difference
i will say in a very simple language…
chant gayatri mantra daily as much as you can…dont chant speedily..chant slowly by heart imagining gayatri mata’s picture in front of your eyes…
very soon you will see the benefits and positive effect in your life…
I’m Alok C. Khardikar from Nashik ( Maharashtra) working in the finance field. I chant Gayatri mantra since my Scared thread ceremony took place. But due to work I cant chant it 108 times regularly. But I chant it as Chara Gayatri many times. I feel its importance & strength when I feel alone or scared. It realy works.
Mr.Alok C. Khardikar
True to Your Story of Power Of Gayatri Mantra, There are two ways of Chanting This Mantra. One Being Stira Gayatri ( That is what You Practice at Home by Chanting 108 times or less ) The Other Being Chara Gayatri ( Which you can chant any time while walking Jogging Waiting at Bus Station / Railway Station Intervie Hall Exam Hall etc Without Lip Movement of Course The Power will reflect as a Hollow around your head and Your near realatives will definetely see a amber/grey colour around your neck.
Please try Chara Gayatri from today and see the diff.