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Region 5 - Gayatri Mantra Chanting: A Unique Collective Prayer Initiative

In January 2016, a few youth from Region 5 during conversation before our weekly bhajan session thought about starting a Gayatri chant project utilising WhatsApp which was successfully trialled in another country. WhatsApp was used as a Messenger to motivate, remind and inspire people in the centre to chant the Gayatri Mantra. This discussion which lasted no more than a few minutes led to the creation of the “Gayatri Mantra Initiative” in Region 5 of the SSIO UK.

Use of WhatsApp has the benefit to engage devotees to chant the Gayatri Mantra. It transcends physical barriers to reach out to people outside the Sai fraternity. The working mechanism of the project was fairly straightforward. A person is added onto the group and for every 18 Gayatri chants, they send in a prayer emoji to rest of the group (Figure 1).

Figure 1- WhatsApp Screenshot of the Gayatri Chants Figure 2- Screenshot of the Daily Tally of Chants

At the end of the day, the administrators of the group tally the total number of chants done; they would then send the group a message with the daily count (Figure 2). The administrator also adds the daily count to an Excel sheet where the total monthly chants are tracked.

We started this initiative with the simple intention that more people should chant the Gayatri Mantra. Although Swami has many a time reminded us of the benefits of Gayatri chanting, few of us actually do it! Take up for this initiative was very encouraging. Soon after we started, we received many messages of thanks, stories of inspiration and requests by people to be added to the group.

We noticed that the act of creating a group had a profound impact on the lives of many. At a personal level, our lives changed as well. Whenever we used to walk between lectures, walk back to home from work, sitting on the bus or whilst walking, we used to be on the phone either chatting with friends or on Facebook getting ourselves tangled into the web of this materialistic world. However, every time we now had time to ourselves, we would start chanting the Gayatri Mantra. Chanting of the Gayatri benefitted us to focus within rather than on the external things happening around us.

We have felt calmer and more composed as a result. What is fascinating is the fact that such change has come about as a result of chanting the Gayatri Mantra, consistently, for less than 3 months. We cannot wait to see the change which comes about after years of chanting!

Inspired by the regional theme of chanting the Gayatri Mantra, we organised an event entitled Gayatri Bhajan Mala on the 27th March 2016 in Oldham, to cleanse the atmosphere and propagate the beneficial effects and vibrations of chanting the Gayatri Mantra. Over 75 devotees from across region 5 attended and took part in the chanting. The programme commenced with Swami chanting the Gayathri mantra which helped us get the intonations correct, followed by Bhagawan explaining the meaning. After the chants, bhajans were sung for around 2 hours which enabled us to soak in the spiritual vibrations.

Gayatri Bhajan Mala in Oldham held on 27th March 2016

Finally, this initiative has helped many people across the region and we are certain that the vibrations created through collective chanting would have a positive impact for the world! We have chanted the mantra over 300,000 times in the last 3 months that we have been doing this and have set ourselves a target of 1.8 million chants for the year. Most importantly, we would also like to thank our dearest Mother Sai Gayatri for inspiring and guiding us to offer this humble collective Sadhana at Thy Lotus Feet. We encourage everyone to take up the chants.

Ravi Sisodia Region 5 Youth
Prasanth Selvam , Youth Coordinator (Greater Manchester Sai Centre) Sai Sreenidhi Ram , Youth Coordinator Region 5