The Magic of the Gayatri Mantra

Today at the Sai Centre, we sang the Gayatri Mantra, which is an ancient Sanskrit hymn that dates back thousands of years. It originates from the Rig Veda, a sacred text in Hinduism, and is dedicated to the Savitr, the Sun god. According to Hindu mythology, this prayer was said to be given to the sage Vishwamitra as a gift for his years of dedication and penance. The lyrics are as follows:

Om Bhur Bhuva Svaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam
Bhargo Devasya Dheemahi
Dhiyo Yonah Prachodayaat

There are many translations of the mantra, some that are line by line and word by word, and others that are more interpretative. Some of the ones that resonate with me are:

“We meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe; may He enlighten our minds.”  — Swami Vivekananda

“We meditate on the effulgent glory of the Divine Light; may it inspire our understanding.” — S. Radhakrishna

“Oh Creator of the Universe! We meditate upon thy supreme splendor. May thy radiant power illuminate our intellects, destroy our sins, and guide us in the right direction!” — Unknown

My Mom and I chant the gayatri mantra nine times in a row at 12 noon every weekday. It’s an opportunity for us to stop what we are doing, join forces, and align ourselves with cosmic energy (at least that’s what I think we’re doing!). It definitely reminds me of God and the universe and ancient wisdom, and returning back to my true self. With all the different mantras available, having discipline and establishing a routine are very important.

Speaking of universal energy – the craziest thing just happened. As I am in the middle of writing this post, I received a text message from my friend Gayathri (who I haven’t spoken to in months) saying Happy New Year and that she is happy to see my different profile pics on Whatsapp. Is that not a crazy coincidence?! She is also a Sai devotee, and a vibrionics practitioner (but that is a story for another day). The universe works in mysterious ways sometimes – but then again, maybe that’s just how life goes when you are blessed.

I Am

I am beautiful
I am worthy
I am raw and wild and untamed
I am intelligent and rational, spiritual and intuitive
I am dignified, yet when it comes to love
willing to throw it all out the window.

I am love incarnate.
I am submissive, yet defiant;
sensitive, yet callous –
I long to experience the joys of love and union,
yet value my independence above all.

I have eyes that can see through the depths of your being,
hair that falls graciously beyond my shoulders,
hips that sway to the rhythms of the earth.
I am everything you think I am and more,
yet can be magnificently misunderstood.

I am logical, yet open to forces much greater than me
I am powerful, yet acknowledge that the black hole of doubt
can drain me of my strength.
I am an artist, seeking his muse.

I am everything at once, yet deep down I know that I am nothing.
I am spirit and soul, earth and water.
I am never-ending….


“I AM” is the strongest creative statement in the universe. The universe responds to this as would ‘a genie in a bottle’ – it knows no other way to behave. My good friend Melinda once asked me to summarize what I thought about this statement and this is what I said:

I always say that “I AM” is the most powerful statement in the universe. It has the power to change your body and mind, which can be rewired simply by repeating this basic mantra. It can be as straightforward as “I am love, I am light”, or as intricate as “I am the being that recognizes the God in you.” The repetition is important, especially in times of doubt and when you don’t believe what you are saying is true.

This is the passage from Conversations with God that first introduced me to its power:

“When  your  thoughts  are  clear  and  steadfast,  begin  to  speak  them  as  truths. Say  them out loud. Use the great command that calls forth creative power: I am. Make Iam statements to others. “I am” is the strongest creative statement in the universe.  Whatever you think, whatever you say, after the words “I am” sets into motion those  experiences, calls them forth, brings them to you. There is no other way the universe knows how to work. There is no other route it  knows to take. The universe responds to “I am” as would a genie in a bottle.”

Another cool fact about “I AM” is that the reverberation it makes in your body has a realigning effect. In every enlightened being, and in every major religion, you will find the sound “I AM” – in Hinduism it’s AUM, in Islam it’s Ameen, and in Christianity Amen. They all derive from the same universal source/sound, and are one and the same. Cool huh?

Here is a recording of me saying “AUM Shanti” – have a listen and pay attention to how you feel when hearing it. Then when you have a moment on your own, take a deep breath in, and on the exhale, let out a long “AUM”. There are lots of different opinions on how to say it properly, but I just say it the way that feels right to me.

As you go about your day, keep this AUM sound with you, and let it lead you to the place of peace within yourself.

When Will and Grace align, anything is possible

I woke up at around 10 am this morning, the after effects of last night’s evening of magic still on my mind. My friend Gosia threw a fabulous party, where we danced and sang and enjoyed each other’s company. The sounds of the guitar and the rhythms of Ella’s dancing filled the room. I sang “I’m not the only one” by Sam Smith and “Hello” by Adele, and was elated to hear that my voice was strong, that I could reach deep within myself and sing the tunes of my heart.

I went to Raj’s class and he talked about Will and Grace. (individual will, and the grace of God). It was quite uncanny that this morning I had watched an episode of Will & Grace, which I hadn’t watched in so long. Coincidence?! I was kind of led to watch it, because my internet stopped working and I couldn’t watch Netflix, so I turned on the TV and watched the episode where Will and Jack pair up on a business venture that doesn’t end up working. Today was the last of Raj’s class series on finding inner balance. The theme was the story of Jesus, and Raj told the story of the crucifixion. It is a beautiful story.

I went to Casa Loma after class, since it was close by. I love it there! I made a wish and tossed some coins in the fountain – Here’s to hoping my wish comes true.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then I made my way to the Khalsa parade,  in celebration of Vaisakhi, and got there just in time to hear mayor John Tory speak. I love going to the parade every year. Usually I go with Jasmine, but she was busy so this year I was on my own, dodging through the crowds, having my hot chai and channa masala. It is such a peaceful gathering, and I feel right at home, and so grateful for the free food!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Following the parade, I walked down Queen West, where I saw a beautiful tribute to Prince that was painted by my friend Victor the street artist. I can’t believe that he died so suddenly. The songs “Purple Rain” and “When Doves Cry” are two of my favourites, so haunting and beautiful. May he rest in peace.

IMG_3288 - Copy

My brother told me about an event happening at 567 Queen West – Drake was promoting his new album “Views from the 6” and giving away free t-shirts. I got there and tried to bypass the line by telling the bouncer that I write a lifestyle blog and that I was covering the event. Unfortunately it didn’t work – he said I could cover the event from the line. Haha! It was such a cool vibe though – here is a video of the scene outside the shop:

On my walk home, I saw this beautiful wedding shoot by the lake. So pretty!

IMG_3312 (2).JPG
Magical wedding photo shoot, Harbourfront