Why do we trace our lineage in chanting Gayatri mantra ?

Gummuluru Murthy gmurthy at MORGAN.UCS.MUN.CA
Thu Aug 29 07:17:43 CDT 1996

          All of us, members of this group, are well aware that we are not the
          body, nor the mind.  What we refer to as "I" is the Nirguna
          Brahman, that formless, shapeless Reality described in the
          Upanishads.  We add various upadhis to it due to ajnana and give
          ourselves a name and a lineage and falsely associate ourselves with
          this lineage.

          Most of us chant Gayatri mantra at least twice a day and my
          question relates to the Gayatri mantra.  When we do abhivaadanam,
          (introducing ourselves), we trace at least three rishis who are
          our ancestors, we state our Gotra etc. Gayatri mantra is the
          most sacred and ancient of all the mantras and we cannot
          question the meaning of the verses. We can only put our
          interpretation to it.

          Why did the learned sages incorporate the tracing of the lineage and
          gotras in the Gayatri mantra, knowing full well that the Self is never
          destructed and does not have a birth.  Then, why this scent of
          association of Self with the body and the mind ?

          Any clarification and/or reference where this is
          discussed, is most appreciated.

          Gummuluru Murthy
Adau ante ca yan nAsti vartamAnepi tat tathA !
                                GaudapAda in Mandukya kArika
What did not exist at the beginning and what is not going to exist at the
 end is as good as non-existent even in the present.

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