Namaste to all.
It's totally amazing how one's whole consciousness and outlook can drastically shift within the space of five months.
For example, I have a lot more respect (and understanding) for Shiva Lingam now and I have also come into full awareness of the whole significance behind the Gayatri Mantra, as well as the Brahmin caste in Kali Yuga and the nomenclature of "Gayatri" as being a girl's name.
First, I must apologise for my rather tongue-in-cheek remarks about the Shiva Lingam before. It actually represents the cosmic patterns of universal energy flow within the microcosm in a form that is infinite - sort of like the ancient Hindu version of the oroborous or mobius strip.
Secondly, while I was researching the teachings of the Nayanars last night, I stumbled across something quite awesome:
Each of the Bijas the Gayatri Mantra is comprised of has been explained!
Of course, Om, Bhur, Bhuvah and Swah refer to "Om" (the cosmic constant) with "Bhur", "Bhuvah" and "Swah" representing the Triloka - the three planes of existence.
As for Brahmin priests and their 'taboos'...back in the early Vedic days, women and those of other castes had a lot more freedom and privilege than they have endured for the past millennia.
I was reading the Padma Purana the other day and women were allowed to wear Rudraksha, chant Gayatri Mantra and all of that before the start of this current Yuga.
What happened after that, was the Brahmin caste enforced rules and regulations upon those of the 'twice born' to make Brahmins more superior, patriarchal and 'higher in rank/status' as a kind of huge, religious ego trip and those who were of a different caste or different sex couldn't do things that they
did, because the Brahmins would lose their whole hierarchical 'advantage' if that were to occur...so, women, Sudras, untouchables etc were prohibited from wearing the rudraksha, chanting Gayatri mantra, reading or reciting the scriptures, entering temples...it turned into a form of 'religious apartheid' in that only the Brahmins could practice the religion of Hinduism and everybody else could both literally and metaphorically 'go to hell'.
Of course the attitudes towards this are slowly changing, but it's unfortunate that the Brahmin caste still holds all positions of power in India, so the bias towards others won't vanish so quickly, even if they are going against what the Vedas say anyway.
As for Gayatri being the name of a woman...that's just 'after the fact' in as much as Savitri is also
a popular girl's name in India. Parvati is also
a popular girl's name, but it doesn't mean they are THE 'Parvati' of the scriptures...they were just named after
her, in as much as a girl is named 'Gayatri' in homage to
the mantra...and probably because her parents thought it was a nice name...but what is in a name? ask Bill Shakespeare.
Om Namah Shivaya