Sandhya Vandanam is a specially devised efficient spiritual ritual for the realization of the Divinity of the Self (Atman). It is a Nitya Karma or an obligatory daily ritual whose object is to bring about self-purification and attunement to Cosmic Reality. It is an all-round complete ritual which incorporates the principles of the Supreme Divinity (Brahman).
RITUALS OF THE SANDHYA
Each part of the ritual is meant to give expression externally to an internal mental attitude and spiritual feeling (Bhava). Some necessary changes are introduced in the Mantras and ritual according to the time of the Sandhya-- dawn, noon, or sunset, and according to the Veda (Rg, Yajur, or Sama) to which the votary is affiliated. However, the main purpose as well as most of the Mantras, the procedures, and rituals are all common.
The procedure involve :
1. Achamanam :
Sipping a little water, in the prescribed manner, for self-purification, remembering the Supreme All-pervading Reality.
2. Apo-Marjanam :
Invoking all the waters of the earth which form the cause of the emergence and sustenance of all life, by sprinkling water on oneself, to enable one to be attuned to the cosmic life and reality.
3. Pranayama :
Regulated breathings, as per prescription, for establishing psycho-somatic harmony, using the Gayatri-Mantra.
4. Punar-Achamanam :
Again sipping water with appropriate Mantras for the removal of all sins and obstacles, attuning oneself to the light-giving sun in the morning, to the life-giving waters at noon and to the heat-giving fire in the evening, which are the means of all our life and activity, and as such are termed as the sources of Immortality (Amrta-yoni).
5. Punar-Marjanam :
Again sprinkling water over oneself with the Gayatri and other Mantras praying for welfare here in the world and highest spiritual attainment hereafter.
6. Aghamarsanam :
Repeating the cosmic creation Mantras, feeling oneself as a part of it, to remove the limitations of personality.
7. Suryopasthanam :
Invoking the Sun-God who brings life and light to the world and attuning the mind to the Divine in the Sun and to all the cosmic surroundings.
8. Gayatri-Upasanam :
First the Divine Gayatri is invoked as the source of the Vedas and then the different Worlds and the Supreme Divinity are located in the various limbs of one's body by touching them while uttering the Gayatri-Mantra, along with the Vyahrti (Bhuh, Bhuvah, Svah). This process of locating is known as Anga-Nyasa.
This is followed by the Japa and meditaion of the Gayatri-Mantra for as long as one can do conveniently, fixing, however, a decent minimum number of times for the Japa. For meditation Gayatri is conceived in the form of a luminous Goddess illuminating the Heart and removing all darkness of Ignorance.
9. Visarjanam :
Valediction. Praying to the Goddess to retire, to return again when invoked. Salutations are offered with devotion.
10. Antya-prakaranani :
Ending. Now, concluding the Upasana, protection against all wrongs and evils is sought and salutations are offered to the Sun-God and other Cosmic divinities. Forgiveness is sought for any flaws or lacunae in the uttering of the Mantras and the performance of the rituals and the Supreme Being is remembered to make them complete. The Upasana is concluded with the offering of salutations.
Preparation for the Performance of Sandhya :
Before performing the Sandhya, one should be physically clean, mentally calm and restrained and have a prayerful attitude. One should sit in a clean quiet place on a mat or Deer-skin, in a straight position with legs tucked in (ordinary Padmasana).
DETAILS OF THE PRACTICE OF SANDHYA WORSHIP
1. Achamanam Sipping water sanctified by mantras
Sit in a squatting position, facing east or north. The hands should be between the knees. Bend all the fingers other than the thumb and the small finger slightly so that a hollow is produced in the palm. Take a very small quantity of water in the palm and sip, uttering the following three mantras (one sip for each mantra):-
Utter Kesava and Narayana touching the right cheek and the left cheek respectively with the thumb of the right hand.
Utter Madhava and Govinda, touching the right eye and the left eye respectively with the ring finger.
Utter Vishno and Madhusudana, touching the right nostril and the left nostril respectively with the index finger.
Utter Trivikrama and Vamana, touching the right ear and the left ear respectively with the small finger.
Utter Sridhara and Hrsikesa, touching the right shoulder and the left shoulder respectively with the middle finger.
Utter Padmanabha and Damodara touching the naval and the head respectively with all the fingers.
By these actions the various parts of the body are sanctified and the person is made fit to proceed with the worship.
2. Vighnesvara Dhyanam - Meditation on Lord Vighnesvara
While reciting the following mantra, gently tap the two sides of the forehead with the fists five times with the thought that thereby the nectar (amrta) in the head flows down through all the nerves and invigorates them.
For the removal of all obstacles I meditate on Lord Vighnesvara who is clad in white, is all-pervading, is white like the moon, sports four arms and is always of serene aspect.
Regulation of breath
Bend the index finger and the middle finger and press the right nostril with the thumb and left nostril with the ring finger and the small finger. First draw in the breath through the left nostril while mentally chanting the following mantra. Then hold the breath within, mentally chanting the same mantra again. Thereafter, let the breath out through the right nostril, again mentally chanting the same mantra. These three actions of inhaling, holding the breath and exhaling, during which the mantra is chanted three times, together make up one Pranayamah.
Om Bhuh, Om Bhuvah, Om Suvah, Om Mahah
Om Janah, Om Tapah, Om Satyam
Om Tat Saviturvarenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi,
Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat
Om apo jyoti raso amritam Brahma
Bhur Bhuvas suvar om
Om is all the lokas - bhuh, bhuvah, suvah, mahah, janah, tapah, satyam. We meditate on the adorable effulgence of the Lord who creates everything, so that it may energize our consciousness.
Om is water, light, the earth that yields tasty food, the air that sustains life, the all-pervading either and the mind, intellect and the 'I' sense marked by the terms bhuh, bhuvah and suvah.
Place the left palm, turned upward, on the right thigh and place the right palm, turned downward on the left palm. Recite the following mantra :
Mamopatta samasta durita ksaya dvara sri paramesvara prityartham -
- In the morning Pratah sandhyam upasisye
- At noon Madhyahnikam karisye
- In the evening Sayam sandhyam upasisye
I begin to worship the goddess of sandhya in the morning (at noon/in the evening) in order to merit God's grace which destroys all the sins acquired by me.
Purification of the body and mind
Uttering Om keshavaya namah, write Om on water with the finger and touch the spot between the two eyebrows with that finger.
Then, while reciting the first seven of the following nine mantras, sprinkle water on the head with the ring finger. While reciting the eighth mantra, sprinkle water on the feet. Again sprinkle water on the head while reciting the ninth mantra.
Aapo hi stha mayo bhuvah
Ta na urje dadhaatana
Mahe ranaya chaksase
Yo vah sivatamo rasah
Tasya bhajaya teha naha
Tasma aram gamama vah
Yasya ksayaya jinvatha
Aapo janayatha cha naha
Now take a little water in the palm and rotate the palm around the head with the following mantra:
Om Bhur bhuvah suvah
It is well-known that you, the deities of water, are the cause of great happiness. Please nourish us with the divine vision which brings glory and loveliness. Please make us worthy of imbibing the auspicious bliss even as a mother feeds her children. We approach you with eagerness for that bliss to distribute which you have taken a form and are shining. Bestow on us the boon of a next life sanctified by knowledge.
Sipping water with mantraTake a little water in the palm and sip, after reciting the following mantra :
(Pratah) Suryascha ma manyuscha manyupatayascha, manyukritebhyah.
Papebhyo raksantam. Yadratrya papamakarsam. Manasa vacha hastabhyam.
Padbhyam udarena sisna. Ratris-tadavalumpatu.
Yatkincha duritam mayi. Idam aham mamamarita yonau.
Surye jyotisi juhomi svaha
(In the morning) May the sun who stimulates everything, anger which enslaves all and the gods who preside over anger, protect me from the sins committed through anger. May the deity of the night absolve me of the sins committed by me at night with the mind, lips, hands, legs, stomach as also of whatever other sins may linger in me. This "me" devoid of all sins, I offer as sacrifice in the effulgence of the sun who is the source of immortality. May this sacrifice be well done.(Madhyahne) Apah punantu prithivim prithvi puta panatu mam.
Punantu brahmanas patirbrahma-puta punatu mam.
Yaducchistam abhojyam yadva duscaritam mama.
Sarvam punantu mamapo asatam ca pratigraham svaha
(At noon) May the deity of water sanctify the earth which is its base. May the sanctified earth purify me. May it sanctify the teacher who is the channel for the Veda. May the ever pure Veda purify me. May the deity of water absolve me from sins incurred through consuming food left by others or food unfit to be eaten, through bad contact and through receiving gifts from the wicked. Thus purified I offer myself as sacrifice in the Supreme effulgence.
(Sayankale) Agnischa ma manyuscha manyupatayascha manyukritebhyah.
Papebhyo raksantam. Yadahna papamakarsam. Manasa vacha hastabhyam.
Padbhyam udarena sisna.
Ahastadavalumpatu. Yatkincha duritam mayi.
Idam Aham mamamrita yonau. Satye jyotisi juhomi svaha
(In the evening) May the Fire who stimulates everything, anger which enslaves all and the gods who preside over anger, protect me from the sins committed through anger. May the deity of the day absolve me of the sins committed by me at day-time with the mind, lips, hands, legs, stomach as also of whatever sins lingering in me. This "me" devoid of sins, I offer as sacrifice in the effulgence of Truth who is the source of immortality. May this sacrifice be well done.
Sprinkling water againSprinkle water on the head with the following mantra:
Dadhikravnno akarisam. Jisnorasvasya vajinah.
Surabhi no mukhakarat. Prana ayumsi tarisat.
Aapo hista mayo bhuvah……
End with Om Bhurbhuvah suvah
I make obeisance to the Supreme Person who supports, rules and sustains all the worlds, who is ever victorious and who has taken the form of Hayagriva the repository of all knowledge. May He make our faces and other organs fragrant. May He protect our lives continuously. It is well-known.…knowledge (as in No.5 above)
Stand facing east. Take plenty of water in both palms and raising the heels a little, pour the water down through the tips of the fingers other than the thumb uttering the following mantra. This is to be done three times.
Om bhurbhuvas suvah. Tat saviturvarenyam
Bhargo devasya dhimahi. Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat.
[Meaning - see no. 3 We meditate .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. consciousness]
Stand facing north and do the same twice
Squat facing west and do the same three times
Offering of water in atonement for failure to perform the worship at the proper time
Do Pranayamah once, as in No.3. Thereafter offer arghya once, as in No.8. Then uttering Om Bhurbhuvas suvah turn round once and sprinkle a little water around you.
Meditation on the identity of the individual self and the Supreme Self
Sit down, close the eyes and mentally chant
Asavadityo brahma. Brahmai vaham asmi
This sun is Brahman. I too am Brahman.
Do achamanam once, as in No.1.
Offering of water to the devas
Morning: Squat, facing east.
Noon: Squat, facing north.
Evening: Squat, facing north
Pour water through the finger tips of both hands reciting the following mantras :
I make my offering to the presiding deities of the nine planets - Aditya, Soma, Angaraka, Budha, Brhaspati, Sukra, Sani (who moves slowly), Rahu, and Ketu; and Narayana with twelve names - Kesava, Narayana, Madhava, Govinda, Vishnu, Madhusudana, Trivikrama, Vamana, Sridhara, Hrsikesa, Padmanabha, Damodara.
Do achamanam once, as in No.1.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Detailed procedure of Sandhyavandanam - 1 of 2
Posted by Gubbi at 1:59 AM