Wikipedia states that a metrically restored version of Gayatri Mantra would have "váreṇiyam" instead of "vareṇyaṃ" i.e,

tát savitúr váreṇiyam
bhárgo devásya dhīmahi
dhíyo yó naḥ pracodáyāt

Has it ever been chanted with "váreṇiyam" instead of "vareṇyaṃ" anytime in ancient rituals?

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    Not only ancient times, it is varenium always. Gayatri is a mantra which has 24 letters.If we say it as varenyam, it will become 23 only. So we should always say Vareniyam. I read that in Chandogyopanishad also it is vareniyam only. Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 20:26
  • @SreeCharan Then where does the version containing váreṇiyam come from?
    – MathGod
    Commented Mar 31, 2017 at 21:46
  • @@Ishan Singh..In Veda Samhitas Varenyam is only present..So no need to look any further.
    – Rickross
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 7:49
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    fyi, mantras are not supposed to be discussed publicly.. they should be passed down from guru to shishya. Gayatri mantra should only be chanted if upanayanam was done and you wear yagnopaveetam and do sandhya. mantras need to be respected and hidden for them to have effect and more importantly, to avoid adverse effects.
    – ram
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 12:46
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    There are mantras which should be taken through Upadesam only. Gayatri mantra is one of them. If you are going to give mantram to anyone, find the eligible one. This is a public site and no one knows who sees these site. If someone ineligible is going to use it, you will be responsible for that result. It should be a guru who should give gayatri manta(father in all cases). Vareniyam is not an ill pronunciation. Singing mantras and keeping them as ringtones is ill pronunciation Who performs sanshyavandanam daily would know that. No need of a post on site. Which transliteration did you use Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 5:31

3 Answers 3


The Gayatri Mantra that is present in the Veda Samhitas has Varenyam in it and not Vareniyam.

The Gayatri mantra of Viswamitra Gatinah is not in the Gayatri metre but in a slightly variant metre called the Nichruth Gaytari which is made of 23 syllables and not of 24 syllables.

It is found in Rig Veda 3.62.10, Taittiriya Samhita of Krishna Yajur Veda and in Vajasaneyi Samhita 3.35 of the Shukla Yajurveda. And in all these versions varenyam is only present.

tat savitur varenyam

All throughout North India varenyam is chanted. Probably they pronounce it as vareniyam in the South only.

The same Mantra is present in the Yajur Veda ( Vajasaneyi Samhita 36.3, Krishna Yajur Veda Taiitiriya Samhita ) as well, but there the additional words are present viz

bhur bhuvah svah

thus changing the chandah (metre) to Ushnik from Nichruth Gayatri. Ushnik has 27 syllables.

I don't know how vareniyum came into being though. Probably something to do with Veda Shakhas ( ? ). For example, the persons belonging to Krishna Yajur Veda indeed replace the word Svah by Suvaha in the Mantra.

Abbreviations used in the answer :

Rig Veda 3.62.10 - Mantra 10 of Sukta 62 of Mandala 3 of Rig Veda Samhita.

Taittiriya Samhita - Verse 2 in Anuvaka 6 in Prapathaka 5 of Kanda 1 of that Samhita.

Vajasaneyi Samhita 3.35 - Mantra 35 of Adhyaya 3 of that Samhita.


Another confusion which must be cleared is that Gayatri metre have to have 24 syllables. This is completely wrong. Gayatri is a name of a family of metres.

The number of syllables can vary from 26 to 19. The Gayatri metre has as many as 10 variants.. The Nichruth Gayatri is one such variant.

Apart from differences in the number of syllables, more variants occur due to the padas. Some variants of Gayatri have 5 padas.

Some of them have formations such as :

5|5|5|5|6, 5|5|5|4|6, 6|7|11, 7|7|7|, 7|6|6 etc and all of them belong to the Gayatri family of metre.

The Gayatri mantra that appears in RV 3.62.10 is having 23 syllables. Even in the classical reference, Katyayana's Anukramanika, Katyayana calls the 23-syllabled metre by the name Gayatri only.

Similarly, all the other major Vedic meters are having more than one variants. For example, Anushtup is having 11 variants. Brihati is having 11 variants and the Trishtup chandaha has as many as 14 variants.

  • similar thing i have posted .. Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 9:23
  • @ Ok..but adhikantu NA doshAya..:D
    – Rickross
    Commented Apr 1, 2017 at 14:50
  • The only mantra present in all the vedas is this alone. In Chandogyopanishad, it is Vareniyam. 24 syllables. In the other vedas, it is varenyam. Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 7:21
  • @SreeCharan I am talking about Veda Samhitas..nothing is more authoritative than Veda Samhitas..And wherever this mantra appears in the Samhitas varenyam is used... so, without any iota of doubt varenyam is correct..
    – Rickross
    Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 12:13
  • It will be in some part of Samavedam. Check in Sama vedam again. I didn't check . I read that in Chandogyopanishad, it is vareniyam. You can't say version is only correct. Thant's not right. Why do people chant Vareniyam if they know it is wrong? There will be vareiyam in Samavedam. Check if you want clarification. Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 12:44

His holiness, late Shankaracharya Swamiji of Sringeri Peetam, Sri Abhinava Vidhya Teertha Swamiji clarifies this point in his book "Sandhyavandhanam". Gayathri has only 23 letters. The word Varenyam should be considered as Vareniyam then it becomes 24, but it should not be spelled as vareniyam during japa.

It should always be spelled as Varenyam. He clarifies his point by quoting from the vedas. A must read book for who chant Gayathri.

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    It would be better if you can quote the clarification made by Swamiji from Sandhyavandanam.
    – Pandya
    Commented Jul 24, 2018 at 3:47
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    He cites the Saura Ashtakshara mantra which has only 7 syllables but it is considered as ashtakshara (having 8 syllables), घृणिरिति द्वे अक्षरे ! सूर्य इति त्रीणि ! आदित्य इति त्रीणि ! ( तैत्रीय ब्राह्मण ) Gruni (घृणि) should be considered as having 2 syllables, Soorya (सूर्य) should be considered as having 3 syllables and Aditya (आदित्य) should be considered as having 3 syllables. Going by the same logic we should consider Varenyam as Vareniyam (not to be spelled as Vareniyam) When we have a confusion just blindly follow the authority. It's all too complicated subject for us :-)
    – Sambu
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 4:20
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    Yes, edit the answer to include it.
    – Pandya
    Commented Jul 25, 2018 at 4:49

It is chanted in both ways. As far as I know, it appears in the Samhita as "Varenyam" Rig Veda 3.62.10.

But to fit in the meter of 24 letters (gAyatri chhandas) it is chanted as vareniyam by many. However, Vareniyam or Varenyam do not alter its meaning. It is just done for the purpose of maintaining the chhandas.

North Indians mostly chant it as Varenyam. Some people say that it comes under Nichrud gAyatri chhandas.

South Indians prefer to chant as Vareniyam. Still meaning and potency is not altered.

Even the vyahriti is chanted as "suvah:" by some south Indians and as "svah:" by north Indians.

  • It is not the regional difference.It is due to difference in Veda Shakhas. In Samaveda, it is vareniyam. In other vedas, it is varenyam. Suva is the name of a loka. The vyahritis are name after the lokas or may be viceversa. Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 8:32
  • @SreeCharan what is difference between Suvah and Svah Commented Apr 2, 2017 at 14:00

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