Sri Sathya Sai Gayatri
The occasion was Christmas Eve of 24 December 1977. The place was the Sri Sathya Sai Mandir in Brindavan, Whitefield, near Bangalore. The assembled audience consisted of a group of students and faculty members of Sri Sathya Sai College as well as a number of visiting devotees. It was in the glorious presence of Sai Baba himself that a great Vedic scholar Pandit Sri Ghandikota Subrahmanya Shastry, was inspired to announce Sri Sathya Sai Gayatri—the mystic formula devoted to Sri Sathya Sai. The words and meaning are as follows:
Om Saieshwaraya Vidmahe
Sathya Devaya Dheemahi
Thanna Sarvah Prachodayath
We know Sri Sathya Sai as Supreme Divinity Incarnate
We meditate on this God of Truth
May Almighty God lead us to Liberation
This Sri Sathya Sai Gayatri, like other Gayatris, is on a par with Veda Mantra or mystic formula. It has 24 letters; it consists of three lines, each with 8 letters. Such a composition has unique properties. According to Maharshi Vararuchi, the numerology of all letters adds up to 108. That is why recitation is to be done 108 times; to realize the full effect of Siddhi-which is signified by the 108th number, i.e. the Meru or the tassel of a rosary or Japamala. Ashtottara Sata Nama—the 108 name chantings lead to the realization of God, which is the goal.
Every Gayatri Mantra has a revealing prophet or Rishi and a presiding deity Adhishthana Devata, who is the subject of the Mantra. This Mantra is expressed through the inner workings of Sri Sathya Sai through the mouth of Pandit Sri Ghandikota Subrahmanya Shastry in the presence of Sri Sai Baba. Needless to say that Sai Baba himself is the presiding deity of this mystic formula or Mantra.