Introduction: The Gayatri Mantra (GM) is one of the oldest available divine hymns in ancient vedic literature, a mantra of physical, emotional, mental healing and spiritual awakening or self-realization. GM is a standard, validated, empowerment tool aiding in effective behavioral changes leading to optimal and healthy lifestyle. Effect of vedic chanting on consciousness and mental state has been long researched and has been documented in ancient religious literatures. However, due to its religious connotations, its scientific scrutiny and validation has been not popularized. The present study tried to assess the effect of GM chanting on attention, memory, anxiety and mental state on healthy young athletes.
Methodology: The present study was a prospective one which included 45 athletes who were divided into three different study arms of 15 each – two arms were undertaking normal meditation with or without an add on GM Chanting while meditation, while one was control group. All subjects were evaluated (at baseline and 3 months) for attention (using 6 letter cancellation, digit letter substitution), memory [using digit span test (forward, backward), multiple choice apparatus], anxiety (using state trait anxiety inventory), and mental state using MMSE. Results were statistically analyzed.
Results: Subjects with GM chanting showed significant improvement in attention and memory domain. Less failed attempts and prompt response to audio and visual stimuli for multiple choice apparatus was noted for the GM group. Sustained visual attention, scanning without distraction and better concentration are required for the digit cancellation test. Marked improvements in both state and trait anxiety was noted for the GM chanters. Improved mental state was observed for both meditating group compared with the control.