By Swami Harshananda
Gāyatrijapa is the most important part of the Sandhyā ritual. Its primary steps are:
‘Nyāsa’ means ‘to keep or to place’. It is aimed at filling the fingers of the hand and other limbs like the head and heart with the divine power of the deities. Dhyāna is meditation on the deity as per the detailed description given in the hymn called as ‘dhyānaśloka’ while repeating it. The goddess Gāyatrī within the orb of the sun is the deity. After dhyāna, comes japa or repetition of the Gāyatrīmantra. While doing japa, dhyāna on the form of the goddess should be continued. It is better to repeat the mantra 1008 times or at least 108 times per sitting.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore