By Periyava
Translation from Tamil: V. Krishnaraj

காயத்ரீ மந்திர மகிமை : தெய்வத்தின் குரல் (இரண்டாம் பகுதி)
The Greatness of Gayatri Mantra: Deivathil Kural, 2nd Part 

With three years of absent Yagna, he is a Dhurbrahmana or degraded Brahmana. Though degraded, he at least has Brahmana appended to him.
He is no more a Brahmana once his family gave up Gayatri Mantra for three generations. It is no more (the exclusive) Agrahāram, the street he lived in. It is the street of ordinary people. If the onerous default in not yet three years, they may be called Brahmanas. (After three-year default, that Brahmana is downgraded to Brahmana Bandhu or a nominal Brahmin.) There are remedies for the restoration of Brahmanahood. If Gayatri recitation was not in vogue for three generations, the Brahmanatva is lost forever. There is no way he can become a Brahmana again. Once lost, it is lost forever. He is a mere Brahmabandhu-a nominal Brahmin, meaning he has Brahmanas as his relatives. So is the case with Kṣatriyas or Vaisyas.
Therefore, it is mandatory to blow on the fiery sparks and make a flame. Small sparks have no value. But they have the potential to become a useful big flame.
The wearers of sacred thread should at least chant Gayatri 1000 times. The adherent should not eat unapproved food at unapproved eateries. One should take expiatory steps for the past Anāsāram (unapproved practices). One should purify the body (mind and soul) to retain the Mantra Sakti by not eating unapproved food.
It is high achievement to chant the Gayatri Mantra a thousand times. It is a middling practice to chant a hundred times. On the low side, at least ten chants should be uttered.
On should perform Gayatri Japam at least ten times in morning, noon, and evening and also in times of whatever may be the danger. These junctional times are the inductors of peace. Morning is when the birds, animals, people…awaken, a time of peace and tranquility. Evening is the time for peace at the end of the workday. At noon, the sun is at its highest and brightest, a time for rest and mental peace. On these three junctional times, one should meditate sequentially on Gayatri, Savitri and Sarasvati. Brahma Rūpiṇī, Siva Rūpiṇī and Vishnu Rūpiṇī are the forms for meditation in the morning, noon and evening.
Gayatri has all Veda Mantra Saktis in it and gives the power to all other Mantras. If Gayatri is not meditated upon, meditation on other Mantras has no power. In the name of hypnotism, many activities are performed. Gayatri Mantra is the hypnotism helpful and conducive to attainment of Mōkṣa. Gayatri-hypnotism helps man attain the goal of human endeavour. One should curtail worldly activities and blow on the fiery sparks to make the flame of Yagna. It should be one’s Vrata or vow. Without breaking the Sāstraic dictates, maintaining body purity will help keep the sparks from going out.
In Sandhyāvandhanam, water oblation and Gayatri are important. The rest are secondary. The poor must at least offer water and chant Gayatri at least ten times. Are these two only important? Why do we not do them and stop at that? Gradually, that will encourage greed. A pundit said in jest a truncated version meant for the poor and the ones in danger, if done by the rich and the comfortable, will always keep them mired in danger and want. Gayatri Mantra must be chanted in fullness and fervor with no deficiency, the important life matters will stand in good stead. Even during dangerous periods, all needs must be met with no lapse. During wars, the soldiers with no access to water used dust in the place of water at assigned times without fail.
At dusk, predawn, and noon, water oblation should be done. Siddhars are highly educated people, knowledgeable in herbal medicine, astronomy, literature… Idaikkattu Siddhar was one of them. He made a living tending sheep… He once said in Tamil, “காணாமல்1 கோணாமற்2 கண்டு3 கொடு!4 ஆடு5காண்6 போகுது7 பார்8 போகுது9 பார்!”10 என்று சொல்லி இருக்கிறார்.”
காணாமல்1 கோணாமற்2 கண்டு3 கொடு!4 ஆடு5 காண்6 போகுது7 பார்8 போகுது9 பார்!”10
Sun Before dawn
Before dawn, give water oblation. #1 without an angle2
Sun at noon. Give Water oblation #2 When you see the sun is in its arc3
Before sunset Give water oblation! 4
Water oblation before sunset#3

Waterplay in the Ganges5
Ritual bathing in Ganges Obtain Darśan of Sē tu Bridge6
Upon arrival at Ramesvaram Leaving7 see8
See the sins leave you because of 3 water oblations, bathing in the Ganges, and seeing the Sētu bridge. Leaving9 see10
See the sins leave you because of 3 water oblations, bathing in the Ganges, and seeing the Setu bridge.

Offer water oblation before Dawn. Offer second oblation at noon. Offer third oblation before sundown. Take the ritual bath in Ganges. Take the Ganges water to Ramesvaram. At Ramesvaram see the Sētu, the bridge that spans the shallow waters between India and Sri Lanka. Until 1480CE, the bridge was above sea level. Later it sank. This bridge was said to have been built by Rama’s army of monkeys to invade Sri Lanka so Rama’s wife could be rescued. Its name is Ram Setu (Rama’s Bridge). Kamban says, “Go to Kasi-Benares-bring the Ganga water (in a copper vessel), arrive at Ramesvaram and do the bathing of the idol with Ganga water. That is the tradition.

Only when Gayatri Mantra was properly chanted, we can accrue benefits from other Veda Mantras. Offering of water and Gayatri must be done with no lapse. At least once in a lifetime, bathing in the Ganges and darśana of Sētu Bridge must be done.
When a person suffers from high fever, we should do Sandhyāvandhanam on his behalf and pour the water in his mouth. It appears we have daily fever.
Medicine is essential for fever. Likewise, the Gayatri medicine is essential for the cure of fever of bondage sustained by the soul. It should never be abandoned at any time. It is more important than the medicine. We should not give up on Gayatri even for a day.
Gayatri Japam is practicable for everyone. There is no need for other than water. There is no physical demand. It gives goodness. Until the end of life, we should perform Sandhyāvandhanam with no lapse, delay or deficiency.
Gayatri should be worshiped in the form of mother. Bhagavan grants blessings to us coming in various forms. Mother offers the most love. You may say anything to Mother with no reservation or fear. Bhagavan’s arrival in the form of Mother is the most pleasing. Veda states that Gayatri is such Mother.
Puruṣa (husband) has Gayatri Mantra. For the woman, what Gayatri is available? If the husband worships Gayatri, wellness come to the spouse. The upper three castes should worship Gayatri for which they are entitled. This guarantees the unentitled other Jātis to obtain benefits. The higher castes are the trustees for the unentitled women and Sudras. If the upper castes do not worship Gayatri as their duty, obtain benefits and pass them on to the women and Sudras, there is no expiation and they will be damned with sin.
Mantras are plenty. Before Japam, we consider the special and different benefits and then worship gods. Gayatri Mantra’s benefit is mental purity: removal of stains from the mind. The benefits from all other Mantras are eventually for the creation of mental purity, which is the direct and one and only benefit from Gayatri Mantra.
In these modern times, all can perform Sandhyāvandhanam in the morning and evening. People going to office can do without fail the morning and evening Sandhyāvandhanam. The noontime Sandhyāvandhanam appropriate for that period can be done at 8:30 AM with Japam and offering of water.
If it is not a total impossibility, thrice-daily Sandhyāvandhanam is a must. If you are down with sickness or fever, you can ask others to perform the Sandhya on your behalf.
Let us all supplicate to God to grant us blessings so the flame of Mantra power grows brighter without extinguishment.