Sandhyavandhanam

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Sandhyavandhanam

Sandhyavandhanam is a Nithya Karma (daily ritual) that is to be performed by the three Varnas (Brahmanas, Kshatriyas and Vaishyas ), as ordained  by the Holy texts. But with the Varna system extinct, the Sandhyavandhana ritual is now performed only by the Brahmins. It is necessary for a person to perform Trikala-Sandhyavandhanam –Pratha-Sandhya, Madhyanikam and Sayam-Sandhya. There are umpteen references to Sandhyavandhanam in our vedic scriptures. One such occurs in the Second prasna, Second Anuvaka of Thaithria-Aranyaka in Yajur Veda, explaining the procedure of worship.

But why do we do Sandhyavandhanam only at particular times of the day?

Sandhya in Sanskrit means Union – the union of night and day, the union of dawn,forenoon and afternoon (Noon) and finally the union of afternoon,night and dusk, while Vandhana means worship. Sandhyavandhanam is union of Jeevatma and Paramatma.

The reason for Performing the Sandhyavandhanam at these Sandhyas is to procure maximum concentration and focussing. Because only at these times one is on an empty stomach which is the consummate condition for any spiritual exercise. The Ida, Pingala and Sushumna Nadis in the spine are the paths of flow of Prana Vayu(Life force) and the flow is uniform only at these times. There is also abundant release of beneficial energy at sun rise and withdrawal of non-beneficial energy at sun set.

There is song in Tamil that runs as follows:

காணாமல்  கோணாமல் கண்டு கொடு கண்டு கொடு

ஆடுகால் சேது போகுதுபார் போகுதுபார்

Kaanamal  Konaamal Kandukodu-Kandukodu

Aadukaal Sethu Poguthupaar- Poguthupaar.

These verses are misinterpreted most of the times. On seeing through naked eye, one would interpret this verse as ‘need to be straight, with closed eyes while doing Sandhyavandhanam’.

But if we dig deeper into these lines we can interpret it in another way. It is

You need to do Sandhyavandhanam just before the sun rises (Kaanamal), when the sun is right above (Konaamal i.e. not inclined) and when the sun is just setting (Kandukodu).These lines explain the right time for performing the ritual.

Yajur Veda Sandhyavandanam comprises the following:

1 ) Achamanam 2 ) Ganapathy Dhyanam 3 ) Pranayamam 4 ) Sankalpam 5 ) Marjanam 6 ) Prachanam 7 ) Punarmarjanam 8 ) ArghyaPradhanam 9 ) Prayachitthartharghyam 10 ) Aikyanusthanam 11 ) Deva Tharpanam 12 ) Japa Sankalpam 13 ) PranavaNyasam 14 ) GayathriAavahanam 15 ) Aachamanam 16 ) Raksha

The benefits of doing ‘Trikala sandhyavandhanam’ can be alone written in volumes. References to Sandhyavandhanam in Dhaithriya, Ishavasya and Chandogya Upanishads bring out the importance of offering Arghya, meditating on Adithya (Surya) and chanting the all powerful Gayathri Mantra. Worshipping Surya Bhagawan will help one to acquire His Qualities – lustre, healthy body and mind, high intellect with grasping power, intuition, effulgence, tejas and memory. Sandhyavandhanam is a unique amalgamation of meditation, yoga and rituals. For example, Aachamanam is done in kukatasana pose.Achamanam helps in the flow of bio-electricity in the body. Pranayamam helps in activating the Chakras. Gayathri Japam’s benefits are a legion – both spiritually and physically. The chanting creates very specific vibrations and powers of righteous wisdom through their utterance.

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