Question: What is the truth in the belief that God Brahma, and rishis Vashistha and Vishwamitra had laid a curse (shaap) that success will elude the practitioner unless he/ she recites certain verses (shlokas)?
That this is baseless, is established by the following references from the scriptures:-
a) Gayatri is well known as the inherent creative power of God . She is also at places referred metaphysically as spouse of God Brahma. Scriptures say that with the help of Gayatri , He (Brahma) created the universe and expounded the doctrines of Veda s (the four faces of Brahma symbolize the four streams of Vedic revelation).
b) Vashistha inflicted a crushing defeat on Vishwamitra with the help of Nandini- the symbolical cow which fulfils all wishes and is regarded as the counterpart of Kamdhenu of heaven (Swarg).
c) To Vishwamitra goes the credit of untravelling the mystery of Gayatri . Not only he practised Gayatri for a very long period with strictest of self-discipline, and acquired immense occult powers therefrom, but also developed the expertise and methodology for invocation of divine powers through practice of Gayatri Sadhana .
From the aforesaid, it is evident that the great spiritual personalities of yore had used the power of Gayatri to fulfil their objectives. There is, therefore, no logic in assuming that they had cursed it and deprived other human beings of its fruits.
It appears that the feudal lords of the medieval ages, propounded their independent cults and to establish their own doctrines found it necessary to discredit the traditional practice of Gayatri . The concocted story of ‘curse on Gayatri ’ was the easiest and simplest way of striking at the roots of faith and confidence of the masses. This could have been one reason behind this baseless assumption. Otherwise, who in this universe has the capability to put a curse on divine manifestations like the sun, clouds, air, lightening, the earth etc. Gayatri is, in essence, the primordial energy of the Almighty. Hence, all are free to utilize it without any restrictions or apprehensions whatsoever. At the most, the concept of the so-called “curse” may be symbolically indicative of the need for a Guru of the status of Vashistha and Vishwamitra, in absence of whom success eludes the worshipper.