Gayatri visualized as a young woman
Question: Why is Gayatri visualized as a young womanwith its peculiar ornaments?
One should not be under the illusion that Gayatri is a living being with one mouth and two arms or five mouths and ten arms. Woman has intrinsic superiority over man and so Gayatri is given mother’s form. Having Kamandal and a book in Gayatri Mata’s hands are symbolic of knowledge and science. There is no living being in the world having five mouths and ten arms. This is just a symbolic representation. Five mouths signify Panch-kosh as the five, sheaths of human existence and ten arms represent ten characteristic features of religion.
The symbolism of Mother Gayatri sitting on a swan is that the Sadhak should keep discriminative wisdom like a royal swan or Paramhans. It is said about the mythological Rajhans (royal swan) that it has the power to discriminate the good from the bad, to separate milk from water, to pick up only pearls and leave pebbles. It never eats worms and insects. This is an example of the soul status of a Param-hansa. Ordinarily swans live on insects, neither consume milk nor dive to the depths of the ocean to find pearls. The representation of God and powers of Divinity as female deities is a unique feature of Indian spirituality . There are compelling reasons for this insight. Nature has exclusively equipped the female of the species with powers of reproduction and sustenance of the infant. The expression of selfless love of a mother can only be the true representation of love of God for human beings. Hence, Gayatri has been conceived as Mother. Since, Divinity never grows old and is eternally young and beautiful, Mother Gayatri is shown as young attractive maiden. Besides, meditating on a beautiful woman as symbolic of Divinity also helps one develop a platonic - pious attitude towards women in general. The lotus as Her seat means the presence of Divinity in an environment which is fragrant, pleasant and blossomingly cheerful.