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“Gayatri” means “joy of singing”. The traditional Gayatri metre is 24 syllables long, and arranged in three lines of eight. There are hundreds of Gayatris, all following the form given here. By far the most common Gayatri is the Savitri Gayatri, beginning “Aum, Bhur, Bhuvah Svaha”, which honours the Sun. This particular Gayatri, the Guru Gayatri, honours the Teacher. It is chanted three times.
Let us envision the divine teacher
Let us meditate upon the bliss of the Supreme
May the guru guide us to That
Aum shanti shanti shanti.