by a Thinker, Sailor, Blogger, Irreverent Guy from Madras

Gayathri Japam procedure

The Gayathri Japam day occurs on 21st August of this year.  That is the day when chanting of 1008 Gayathri Mantras is said to purify the body and mind.  The elaborate procedure for Gayathri Japam (and Avani Avittam or Rig-Yajur Upakarma 2013) will be uploaded in week end.

But let us see what are the general guidelines for chanting Gayathri Mantra in general.

  • should sit on the floor (that is not on chairs);
  • should not sit on bare floor (if nothing else, at least on a cloth mat or towel);
  • should sit straight without leaning or taking support of other (like walls etc.);
  • the Padmasana posture is recommended, but cross legged will do;

Hand Position
  • the hands should be held in front of face or chest;
  • the hands should face the chanter and not curled or folded;
  • the hands (arms) and left shoulder should be covered by the vastra;
(original images courtesy

  • Gayathri Manthra should *never* be recited *without* count;
  • should not count by extending or folding fingers;
  • count should start between 2nd and 3rd knuckle of ring finger and move clockwise  to end for a count of 10 at base of index finger; then reverse direction in anti-clockwise direction to 20 and so on (right hand, reverse it in left to keep count of 10s); 
  • the base of the middle finger is considered to be ‘Meru’ and should never be crossed;
  • the habit of breaking dharba grass at the count of 10 or 100 is taboo; 
  • dharba grass or samith sticks should never be broken;  however, each whole stick/grass can be moved for such counts;

  • the mantra should not be said aloud;
  • recital of the mantra without even lip movement is considered the best;
  • Gayathri Mantra should be recited with 5 breathes - that is breath should be expelled 5 times, one each at the end of:
    • Oṃ|,
    • bhūr bhuvaḥ svaḥ|
    • tát savitúr váreṇ(i)yaṃ|
    • bhárgo devásya dhīmahi|
    • dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt|
  • thus, it might take about 25 minutes for a 108 count recital and about 3.5 hours for a 1008 count chant;
  • during the chant, should not speak, spit, yawn - or drink water or watch TV :-); if they do occur, the usual procedure is to touch right ear chanting Oṃ|, and stothra acamanam (reciting only the mantra);
For your reference:
Gayathri Japam general procedure
Upakarma general procedure

Gayathri Japam procedure for 2016 available as free PDF download in Tamil, Sanskrit, or English in this post-


  1. Nama

    its purely helpful to me

  2. You are Welcome. But it makes me wonder. 2 days of work and 800+ downloads (& counting), yet yours is the 1st comment in the Blog. :-D

  3. Great work... thanks a lot.....

  4. Kannan Swamy20/08/2013, 11:38

    Vanakkam, Nandri for uploading all this valuable piece of information.

  5. what an useful information. Here in USA, this has come in handy just in time for the japam on 21 st. August. Never thought that some one will have the most current update for the 2013 . .

  6. Thank You, But this is not the 1st blog/site or 1st time this blog is doing it. Only this time it became a huge hit. :-D

  7. Great work. Really useful and helpful

  8. Glad to be of service. Do visit the blog often - perhaps everyday, for more such thoughtful writeups. ;-(