Mantra in Meditation
I use the Gayatri mantra in my daily meditation practice. It’s also a great way to keep track of time during meditation. It takes me about five minutes to recite the mantra ten times. I use my fingers to keep track of the number of times I recite the mantra. The left hand counts individual repetitions and the right hand counts sets of ten repetitions:
om bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ tatsavitur vareṇyaṃ bhargo devasya dhīmahi dhiyo yo naḥ pracodayāt
In Devanagari: ॐ भूर् भुवः स्वः ।तत्सवितुर्वरेण्यंभर्गो॑ देवस्य धीमहि ।धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥. The mantra is usually repeated 108 times. The reason for that is a little bit esoteric and again, there are a few explanations which don’t always agree with one another. Here is one from Sadhguru:
Below is a video that will teach you the pronunciation and I also find the melody and orchestration quite charming. You can use it to learn the mantra initially since it also repeats 108 times.
There have been many translations of the text over the years but at the most basic level, you are asking for enlightenment. My current favourite translation is: “We meditate on the adorable glory of the radiant sun; may it inspire our intelligence.”